Kurt S. Browning, Superintendent of Schools
November 3, 2017

Kurt S. Browning, Superintendent of Schools

November 3, 2017

Kurt S. Browning, Superintendent of Schools

November 3, 2017

Kurt S. Browning, Superintendent of Schools

November 3, 2017

Superintendent's Message

Bargaining Update

Both our SRP and Instructional bargaining teams met this week to continue contract negotiations.  In addition, I met with USEP president Don Peace to discuss the bargaining teams’ work.  We haven’t come to agreement on raises for either side, but I’m happy that we are talking.  Both sides have the goal of giving all employees the best deals that we can, and we will continue our work toward that end.  We also agree that we want to settle as soon as possible, and we’re both committed to civil discourse.


Daylight Savings Falls Back

As a reminder, daylight savings time ends on Sunday, November 5, at 2 a.m. Don't forget to adjust your clocks back an hour!


Starkey Ranch District Park Grand Opening

Watch the video below to hear what Superintedent Kurt Browning has to say about the new Starkey Ranch District Park. 


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Sheriff's Office Urges Adults to Monitor Youth Smartphone usage

Pasco County Sheriff's Office Cyber Investigations Unit has seen an increase in preteens who have received online solicitations to perform sexual acts using smartphone apps, such as Liveme, Skype and Instagram.

Pasco Sheriff's Office Cyber Investigations Unit is seeing a trend in the abuse of Social Media and preteens. Over the last two months, Cyber Investigations has noticed a trend involving prepubescent children who are being solicited online to perform sexual acts using phone apps such as Liveme, Skype and Instagram.

In all cases, the juveniles were not monitored and had full control over the digital devices. In some cases, the suspects live overseas, preventing any action by investigators.

We urge all adults to closely monitor youth's use of the Internet and smartphones. 


Land O' Lakes Seventh Annual Bake Sale

Help support the Academy of Culinary Arts and order your holiday treats through our annual bake sale. For more information, click here and contact Jessica Cooper if you have any questions.


“Two Good Soles” Supporting Pasco County Children

For the second year in a row, Pasco County government employees are joining Pasco County constitutional offices and the Pasco County District School Board to collect new shoes and socks for area children through the Two Good Soles Shoes & Socks Drive. For more information, click here.


PCASA Administrator of the Year Nominations

There will be two stages in the selection of this award:

  1. Nomination. Nominations are due November 2 and can be made here. You may nominate a total of three administrators from the list provided here. Please nominate colleagues who promote the success of all students by ensuring management of the organization, operation and resources for a safe, efficient and effective learning environment. Nominations will be accepted only if accompanied by a brief statement indicating the reason for the nomination.
  2. Voting. Voting will conclude on November 9. During this stage each administrator will cast two votes for the nominees. The three highest vote recipients will become finalists. The administrator receiving the most votes will be the district’s Administrator of the Year. The three finalists will be invited to attend the Education Celebration on January 26, 2018 at River Ridge High School Center for the Arts.


Gen Nano

The National Science Foundation and the National Nanotechnology Initiative are sending up the signal and asking for your help!  Gear up and compete in this year's Generation Nano: Superheroes Inspired by Science challenge. Sixth through twelfth grade students will compete for scholarship money and a trip to Washington, D.C. to attend the 2018 USA Science and Engineering Festival. There will be an honorarium for teacher(s) involved with the winning teams. Students may compete as individuals or as members of a two- to three-person team. They must create a superhero using science or tell their story in a short comic or video. The contest closes on January 8, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. Click here to learn more. If you have questions, email the Gen Nano Team.


Your Vote Is Your Voice Contest

Pasco seventh grade students can enter the Pasco Supervisor of Elections video contest. The contest deadline is November 3, and students must create a video showing:

  • How your vote is your voice
  • How we affect change and make a difference together
  • Importance of participating in the democratic process

Click here to access more information on the contest flyer.

Pasco County Government

Holiday Toy Drive

Pasco County Board of County Commissioners Chairman Mike Moore is partnering with the Pasco County District School Board to collect new toys for Pasco County children.  The inaugural Holiday Toy Drive will be held November 1, through November 27. All toys will be donated to students through Pasco County District Schools.  More than 38 thousand Pasco County students are considered to be living at or below the poverty level. Chairman Moore is inviting anyone who would like to donate new, unwrapped toys for children ages 5 to 13, to drop them off at one of the following locations by November 27, 2017:

  • West Pasco Government Center: 8731 Citizens Dr., in New Port Richey
  • Pasco County Historic Courthouse: 37918 Meridian Ave., in Dade City
  • New River Branch Library: 34043 State Rd. 54, in Zephyrhills

Several Pasco County community partners are also accepting toy donations. Click here for a full list of participating locations.

Florida Southern College - Information Sessions

Join Florida Southern College throughout the fall and winter at one of their information sessions! Attendees will learn about bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degree programs in education. Click here for more. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP here.


Core Personal Development Sessions

The Office for Professional Development and School Supports is hosting training sessions throughout November. To view the calendar, click here

Newspapers in Education: Literacy Times

Click here to read the Tampa Bay Times Literacy Times webpage. 


Hometown Heroes

Hometown Heroes is an organization designed to give back to those who help make our communities a better place to live by offering real savings from local and national business partners, and real estate professionals. Heroes can find savings for the things they do and use every day. Qualifying heroes are military service members, medical personnel, first responders, non-profits, and educators. Click here to learn more.


Prudential Spirit of Community Awards

This year, the 23rd annual Prudential Spirit of Community Awards are searching for Florida's top youth volunteers. Prudential will be soliciting applications from fifth-twelfth grade students, and will announce the winners on February 6. Winning students will be brought to Washington April 28, through May 1, for four days of special recognition events, along with the top two applicants from every other state and the District of Columbia. Here is more information:

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program, the nation's largest youth recognition program based exclusively on volunteer community service, has honored more than 120,000 youth volunteers over the past 22 years at the local, state and national level.



School Spotlight

San Antonio Elementary School, Cambridge Programme

Student Spotlight

Robert Easterbrook, Academy of Culinary Arts at Anclote High School

NNB Finalists

The NNB of the Year committee would like to offer congratulations to our top 3 finalists for NNB of the year. Our finalists are:

William Amon-Distrib Svcs Coord (DS)

Support Services-District
Maria Correia-Secretary II NNB 245 (Main)

Food and Nutrition
Robin Wachsman-FNS Mgr  (WRHS)

The winner will be announced at the STAR Awards on January 26, 2018.


Pasco Middle School Student Receives Hispanic Heritage Month Award

Governor Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott recently announced the 2017 Hispanic Heritage Month student and teacher contest winners. This year’s theme was “A Recognition of the Role of Hispanic-Americans in Shaping Florida Today,” and the winners were honored during the Annual Hispanic Heritage Month reception at the Florida Governor’s Mansion. Pasco Middle School sixth-grader, Charleigh Ann Wood, was awarded as one of the essay winners. Students were tasked with writing about a Hispanic-American from Florida who played an important role in shaping then state's current climate. Charleigh will receive a four-year Florida College Plan scholarship (pictured above with Scott, Mrs. Scott, and Mrs. O’Connell, Florida Prepaid College Foundation director). Click here to read the full article.

Staff Spotlight

Donna Braxton

Food and nutrition manager at Centennial STEM Magnet Middle School

Click here to learn more.


Veterans Recognition

The district is honoring our Pasco County Schools employee veterans with special service lanyards, which are being delivered via the courier system. This wonderful idea was developed by the Hudson High School Army JROTC cadets as part of their annual service learning project. Please have veterans who did not complete the mach form and receive a lanyard email Mike Macchiarola or contact the Office for Career and Technical Education at (813) 794-2202.


Fall Instructional Job Fair

Pasco County Schools is hosting a job fair for teachers, student services employees, and those who have a bachelor’s degree and would like to change careers. For more information, click here.


Veterans Day Ceremony

Superintendent Kurt S. Browning, the District School Board of Pasco County, and Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley cordially invite you to this year’s Pasco County Schools’ Veterans Day Ceremony. This year’s ceremony will take place at the Center for the Arts at River Ridge on Friday, November 10, at 9 a.m. The Center for the Arts at River Ridge is located at 11646 Town Center Road, in New Port Richey.  Our keynote speaker will be Representative Danny Burgess. After the ceremony concludes, Supervisor Corley and his staff will conduct "Vote in Honor of a Veteran," their annual student voter registration drive, at each high school. The ceremony will be recorded and sent to schools by noon to show to students. Click here to learn more.


Schools Throughout Pasco County Celebrate Veterans Day

Students and schools throughout Pasco County will participate in Veterans Day ceremonies at their schools and in the community. For the list of events, click here


Fantastical Times Award Presentation and Reading

Please join the Tampa Bay Times Newspaper in Education (NIE) program in celebrating Tampa Bay's best young authors! This event will be hosted at USF St. Petersburg, Davis Hall Room 105 on Saturday, November 11, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. It will feature several Pasco student authors, including Wiregrass Ranch High School's Mindy Do, the 2016-17 grand prize winner! Click here for more.


3rd Annual Pasco County All-Star Football Game

The 2017 Pasco County All-Star Game is Thursday, December 7, at 7 p.m. at Sunlake Field, 3023 Sunlake Blvd., in Land O' Lakes. Tickets are $10, and are available here, at all high school front offices, or at the ticket booth the day of the game. Click here to view the event flyer.


Pasco County Schools Hurricane Irma Shelter Operations Appreciation Festival

The District School Board of Pasco County, Superintendent Kurt Browning, and the entire Pasco County community are thankful for everyone who staffed and supported shelters before and during Hurricane Irma.  To show our appreciation, we have planned a day of free family fun, including food, games, music, contests and raffles, for the 1,500 employees who served.
When:  Noon to 4 p.m., Saturday, January 20, 2018

Where: Land O’ Lakes Community Center Heritage Stage, 5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd. in Land O’ Lakes


  • 5: Daylight Savings Time Ends
  • 11: Veterans Day
  • 13-17: American Education Week
  • 15: Education Support Professionals Day
  • 16: National Parental Involvment Day
  • 17: Substitute Educators Day
  • 17: Progress Reports
  • 18-26: NO SCHOOL - Thanksgiving Break
  • 23: Thanksgiving Day

Puerto Rico - Lunch and Learn

Sunlake High School is hosting a lunch and learn on November 9, at noon, for new students from Puerto Rico who have been displaced by hurricanes. Parents and guardians are welcome. The school will have music, food, school supplies, peer mentors, psychologists, social workers, and supports for ESOL and ESE students. There will also be English and Spanish presentations regarding school policies, procedures, and community resources. Donations are welcome. Contact Adrian Anthony, if you need more information.


Linda Cobbe, I wanted to take an opportunity to give appreciation and kudos to english teacher Julie Smith.  She has been the Red Ribbon week coordinator at SLHS for the last 6/7 years and for 20 years in total at her various schools.  Julie goes above and beyond during this week, bringing in speakers and setting up events in order to educate our high schoolers on the dangers of drugs and alcohol.  Julie puts her heart and soul into it every year in order to ensure a successful week.  Julie will be retiring this school year and it will be hard to find someone to fill the huge hole she leaves behind but we will certainly try to continue the tradition and carry on.  Well done Julie, you will be missed. -Lisa Eshkov, ESE Teacher and Department Manager, Sunlake High School


Superintendent Browning, I wanted to send this email as a thank you to your wonderful Director of Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Melissa Musselwhite and supervisor of special programs Michael Bailey. Melissa and Michael hosted our Flagler team on November 1, when we visited Odessa Elementary School and Bexley Elementary School. We were blown away by the structure of your ESE programs, the quality of instruction your students are receiving, and the administrative leadership. It's not often that institutions are willing to host and display the hospitality we were shown. We learned a lot and are excited about the knowledge gained, as well as the opportunities we now have to better serve our students with disabilities. -Dr. Timothy King, Director of Exceptional Student Education, Flagler County Public Schools

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School Matters is Superintendent Browning’s weekly newsletter to employees and is published by the Communications and Government Relations Department. It is an employee’s one-stop source for District news, events, and instructional videos.
Pasco County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex/gender, religion, national origin, marital status, disability, age or genetic information in its educational programs, services or activities, or in its hiring and employment practices. (read more)