Kurt S. Browning, Superintendent of Schools
November 09, 2017

Kurt S. Browning, Superintendent of Schools

November 09, 2017

Kurt S. Browning, Superintendent of Schools

November 09, 2017

Kurt S. Browning, Superintendent of Schools

November 09, 2017

Superintendent's Message

Veterans Day

On Friday morning, the entire district will honor our military veterans.  Schools will hold memorial ceremonies and the district ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. at River Ridge Center for the Performing Arts. A video of the ceremony will be sent out to schools by noon, so students can be part of the largest Veterans Day observance around. I truly believe that students learn more about the bravery, courage and sacrifices of our men and women in uniform – and the meaning of Veterans Day – when they are in school.  I am so proud of the programs we have put on for the last four years.  We always honor our employees who have served, and veterans in our community.  Each year, we identify one or two graduates to give special recognition, and each year, our supervisor of elections, Brian Corley, participates and his staff and volunteers register students to vote.  This year, thanks to the Hudson High School JROTC, the district is honoring all of our employees who have served by providing them each with a lanyard displaying their branch of service.  On behalf of the District School Board of Pasco County, I want to thank all those who have served this country, and especially those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom.


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Stuff the Bus to Help Feed Pasco Families

Pasco County Public Transportation (PCPT) invites the community to "Stuff the Bus" with food on Saturday, November 18, 2017 to help feed less fortunate Pasco County families during the Thanksgiving holiday. Click here to learn more.


Tampa Bay Times Honors Land O' Lakes High Swimmer

Congratulations to Jabari Ramsey, Land O' Lakes High School senior and swimmer, who has been named one of this week's Tampa Bay Times HomeTeam Hot Shot winners.  Jabari has joined elite status as one of the only athletes in Pasco Schools history to win an individual state championship three years in a row. He also  was an essential part of the school's first state champion 200 medley relay team. Click here to learn more about Jabari's outstanding achievements. 


Two Land O' Lakes High Teachers Receive Barrett Foundation Awards

Hannah Trapani, math teacher at Land O' Lakes High School, and Terry Stanley, science teacher at Land O' Lakes High School, have received Barrett Foundation 2017 Excellence in Science and Mathematics Awards. Click here to learn more. 


Pasco Schools Outstanding Seniors

At 8:15 a.m. on Tuesday, November 14, Pasco Schools and other local officials will select the Outstanding Seniors who will represent Pasco for 2017-2018. We have a great panel, including:

Dr. Paula S. O'Neil, Ph.D.
Pasco Clerk and Comptroller

Dr. Tim Beard
President of PHSC

Captain William Davis
Pasco County Sheriff

Stacey Capogrosso
Executive Director
Pasco Education Foundation

Wendy Beard
Program Coordinator
Career and Technical Education (CTE)

The panel will interview each school nominee in the CTE conference room, 7227 Land O’ Lakes Blvd, Bldg. 3 South second floor (first building on the right after turning onto Gator Lane). Please ring the doorbell if you are unable to enter the building. Click here to see the schedule. 


DHSMV and Nissan/INFINITI Issues Urgent Vehicle Recall

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) has partnered with Nissan/INFINITI to urge Floridians owning certain 2001-2006 model year Nissan and INFINITI vehicles to immediately respond to an urgent recall notice. Click here to learn more.


Pasco Education Foundation Announces Scholarship Opportunities for Graduating Seniors

The Pasco Education Foundation is pleased to announce that applications for the 2017-2018 Scholarship Opportunities for Graduating Seniors (SOGS) program will be available online at PascoEducationFoundation.org from December 1, 2017 through January 31, 2018.


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. 


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.


Tampa Bay Next

The Florida Department of Transportation’s Tampa Bay Next program works  with the community to get its input on the future of transportation in our region. The program currently is in the early stages of its 2018 outreach plan and it is seeking our community's help. Click here to learn more. 


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.

Professional Development Leads New Teachers to Success

The Office for Professional Development and School Supports will host Year 1 and Year 2 Professional Development Courses for new teachers. Click here and here to learn more. 


Pasco Schools Undergoes Structural Changes to Better Serve Staff and Students

There have been several recent transitions in some of the instructional departments, which will lead to better supports for students, schools, and the system.

The goals of the new structure include:

  • Strong focus on school supports — The shared work of supporting schools will be connected within a new department, called the Office for Leading and Learning, led by Lea Mitchell. This new department will include staff from the Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction and Enriched Programs divisions of OTL, as well as all staff from Professional Development.
  • Aligned system supports — The District, State and Federal Programs division of OTL will partner with the Compliance/Resolution division of SSPS and form a new section within SSPS, called Service Quality, dedicated to providing quality supports to the district as a whole.


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.


University of West Florida - Information Sessions

The University of West Florida (UWF) will host an online information session at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 15. UWF's programs are offered at affordable tuition rates, including Pasco partner tuition rates. During the session, UWF will review degree programs, the GRE waiver, admissions requirements, financial loan/teacher loan forgiveness options, and more. Click here to learn more and register for this online session. 


Core Personal Development Sessions

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

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

Centennial STEM Magnet Middle School 


Aviation Mobile Lab

Learn about our new aviation mobile lab bus.


Staff Spotlight

Tracey Nettler, instructional trainer coach for STEM at Gulfside Elementary School

Click here to learn more.

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.


AIA Florida Aerospace and Defense Workforce Summit

The Office for Career and Technical Education will attend the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) Florida Aerospace and Defense Workforce Summit Wednesday, November 15, and Thursday, November 16. Click here for more information. 


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.


2017 Pasco County Schools Spirit Day

The Pasco Education Foundation and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host the 2017 Pasco County Public Schools Spirit Day at 1 p.m. on Sunday, December 10. Click here to learn more. 


23rd Annual Holiday Food Giveaway

Local officials and Farm Share will host a holiday food giveaway from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Friday, December 15. Click here to learn more. 


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



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

Superintendent Browning, I wanted to share my sincere appreciation for my Air Force/PCSB lanyard! What a great sentiment and very touching gesture! In all my years with our organization I can say this was one of my most appreciated gifts. Please pass on my sentiments to the ROTC unit. My son was in the Mitchell program for four years and is now stationed in Japan in the Air Force as well. Great programs making life differences for students! Have a wonderful Veteran’s Day!  — Jeanne Krapfl, principal at Gulfside Elementary School


Cpl. Ammiano, Just wanted to update you. My daughter was discharged today and is back home. I have a note from the hospital for her absence, and I have given her the choice to stay home tomorrow if she needs a day to herself to get back to normal. Also, she has an appointment with her psychiatrist tomorrow for followup from the incident. Could you please pass this information on to Cpl. Ammiano for me? I could not find his email on the website, and I called the school and he wasn’t on campus when I called. I would like to share with you that Cpl. Ammiano is a very kind and caring man; stern, but with a kind heart. My family is very appreciative of his actions with helping my daughter. If he had not seen what she was going through, who knows what would have escalated when she went home Friday. We thank God he put the right people in the places they needed to be to help her. Thank you so much for being understanding. — A thankful parent


Superintendent Browning, We have an ESE teacher, April Gill, who out of her love for the students donates money to our “Hardship” account, so no student would receive an alternate meal for lunch if their account is overdrafted. So far, she has donated $175! She cares so much about the kids at Sunray Elementary School. She knows they aren’t responsible for their lunch money and she doesn’t want them to stress about it, so they can focus on school work. She’s a wonderful, giving person, and my staff and I feel she should be recognized. Thank you very much! — Helen Venezia, Food and Nutrition Services manager, and staff at Sunray Elementary School

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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)