Kurt S. Browning, Superintendent of Schools
September 14, 2018

Kurt S. Browning, Superintendent of Schools

September 14, 2018

Kurt S. Browning, Superintendent of Schools

September 14, 2018

Kurt S. Browning, Superintendent of Schools

September 14, 2018

Superintendent's Message

Please watch the video, and after you view it, provide feedback by clicking here.  The deadline to respond is September 21.  Thank you for your input.


Pasco County Schools Enhanced Event Security Procedures

Pasco County Schools will enforce new event safety procedures beginning with home football games on Friday, September 14.

The procedures generally fall under:

1.  Bag Procedure

a. Only clear plastic, clear vinyl, or clear Ziploc bags are permitted.
b. Backpacks, fanny packs, purses, and duffle bags are prohibited.
c. Student athletes are permitted to bring bags. These bags are subject to search.
d. An exception will be made for medically necessary items, diaper bags, and properly credentialed school and professional photographers’ camera bags. These bags will be subject to search prior to entry, unless the item meets the clear bag guidelines.
e. Clear bags with items of concern also may be searched.
f. There will be separate lines for patrons without bags for expedited entry.
g. Bag search areas will be located so as not to impede crowd movement into venues.
h. Bag rules will be posted in multiple locations at each school, and on school websites and social media.

2. Patron Code of Conduct

Students are expected to abide by the Pasco County Schools Student Code of Conduct.  Adult fans are expected to abide by rules for civility, and are prohibited from unruly, disruptive, or illegal behavior.  Specific rules will be listed on the Patron Code of Conduct signs that will be posted in multiple locations at each school.

3. Prohibited Items

The following ists of prohibited and allowed items will be posted in multiple locations at each school, and on school websites and social media.  Prohibited items include:
a.  Firearms
b.  Weapons of any kind
c.  Knives
d.  Any item that could be used as a missile
e.  Fireworks
f.   Aerosol or spray bottles (including those of sunscreen)
g.  Glass
h.  Recreational balls
i.    Horns/Lasers
j.    Illegal drugs
k.  Alcoholic beverages of any kind
l.    Pets (exceptions will be made for service animals)
m. Coolers
n.  Sticks/Poles/Camera “Selfie” Sticks/Extenders or Gimbals
o.  Unmanned aircraft systems & radio controlled model aircraft/drones (strictly prohibited on stadium property including parking lots, stadium exterior and inside the stadium)
p.  Food and drinks not purchased at the venue

4. Allowed Items

a.  Ponchos if worn, carried over the arm, or in original sealed clear package
b.  Blankets and/or towels if unrolled or unfolded
c.   Small, handheld radios or TVs with earphones
d.  Binoculars, worn around the neck or carried (not in a case)
e.  Cameras with carry strap (not in a case)
f.    Sunscreen lotion (no aerosol or spray bottles)
g.  Banners and/or flags without sticks or poles
h.  Laptops/tablets (not in a case)
i.    Seat cushions
j.    Umbrellas

5.  General Security Protocols

No re-entry will be allowed into games if a patron leaves, and no tickets will be sold after the beginning of the 4th quarter for football and basketball.  Parking lots will be cleared immediately after games, and no loitering or after parties will be allowed.

These rules were developed in conjunction with the Pasco Sheriff’s Office after violence occurred following two Florida high school football games this season, and after surveying other school districts that are implementing similar procedures.  School leaders have discretion to implement additional rules.  Rules and guidelines for other sporting events will be released as needed.

To view the complete procedures and see signage examples, click here.


We need your help getting more good news out to the public and the media!

We want to be able to send out press releases frequently about fun, unique, and/or interesting school/department activities. It can be a special lesson, unique program, recognition, or an outstanding accomplishment. Remember, the media wants to cover activity, and they prefer covering the creation of things rather than the finished product. Small, community newspapers need about two weeks notice, and daily papers and TV stations need about a week.

Click here to submit a "Good News" Story!


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Congratulations to Our Gold, Silver, and Bronze Model PBIS Schools!

Each school year the Florida Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Project’s Model School program identifies and recognizes schools that demonstrate improved schoolwide (Tier 1) student outcomes, as well as equitable student outcomes. We are excited to celebrate and highlight the following nine schools that implemented and exemplified the high levels of fidelity of the 10 critical components of Tier 1 PBIS for the 2017-18 school year:

Gold Model School(s): Cotee River ES, Cypress ES, Double Branch ES, Mittye P. Locke ES, New River ES, Northwest ES, Oakstead ES

Silver Model School: Chasco ES

Bronze Model School: Schrader ES

Congratulations!! We look forward to continued excellence at these Model Schools and we are confident that we will be celebrating additional schools next year as we ramp up the PBIS efforts in Pasco!!


Innovative Classroom Project Applications Now Open

Every teacher has creative and innovative ideas to help their students engage in learning; but classroom budgets do not leave much for purchasing the supplies to bring those ideas to fruition. Each year, Pasco Education Foundation's classroom grant program provides teachers across Pasco County the financial resources they need to inspire learning among their students. Each grant is valued at $500! To apply, click here. The deadline to submit applications is October 15.


Ten New Businesses Join Our Educator Passport Program

The Educator Passport Program was established to connect Pasco County Schools employees with local businesses that have generously agreed to offer special discounts.

To receive the discount or special offer from a participating business, simply show your employee ID badge.

  • Advantage Tire and Auto
  • Florida Main Movers LLC
  • Ferman
  • Florida Screen Pros
  • Jon’s Gourmet Nutrition
  • Lutz Jazzercise
  • Parks Ford of Wesley Chapel
  • Tijuana Flats Burrito Company
  • Trinity Yoga and Massage
  • Unleashed Fitness and Performance

You can view the new offers by visiting our Passport Offers page.


World Space Day at MOSI

Help your students experience the wonders and challenges of space and space travel during World Space Day on October 4, 2018. MOSI now features a fully upgraded Saunders Planetarium, The Art Factory and Gallery, upgraded Mission Moonbase, A Look Within, Journey through the Skies, I Wonder, Slippery Science, CONNECTUS, Sky Trail Ropes Course, and the brand new state-of-the-art Virtual Reality Simulator. Be sure to check out the completely renovated Idea Zone, MOSI’s maker space, with hands-on activities in engineering, math, robotics, and physics, all included with general admission. Book early as space is limited!


Ferman Corporate Sales Partnership Program

Ferman Automotive has partnered with Pasco County Schools to offer employees a discount on the purchase of new and pre-owned vehicles.

Through participation in the program, Pasco County Schools employees have access to special incentives. These incentives may be activated to purchase a personal vehicle from Ferman Automotive. In addition to special savings, Corporate Sales Partners will enjoy premium offerings like the Ferman Preferred Concierge.

Employees are required to download, complete, print, and present the guest information form.  This document serves as the discount certificate for applying for the Corporate Sales Incentive, which when presented will authorize Ferman to honor the employee discount.

Proof of Eligibility:
Available to eligible employees, retirees, and their immediate family members.  Eligible employees must provide proof of eligibility to the authorized Ferman dealership in the form of company badge or other acceptable form of identification and a completed Guest Information Form.

This program includes new and pre-owned pricing on Ferman's majority-owned subsidiaries including: Acura, BMW, Buick, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Mazda, Mini, Nissan, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Jeep, RAM, Volvo, and Harley-Davidson.


Have you ever thought about becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister?

Being a Big often means including your Little in things you already like to do, like going to a game, taking a bike ride, or reading books. You can help change the lives of children facing adversity for the better, forever. The first step is to attend a Big Orientation and Training session. Click here for training dates and further information about becoming a Big.


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New Resource Available - PBIS Florida Project

The PBIS Project has released Classroom Management Systems Modules. The interactive recorded modules are for teachers related to classroom management.

Part 1 (Foundations): Overview of classroom management. Self-Assessment of foundational components using a series of questions with links to specific information.

Part 2 (Designing a Plan): Action Steps for addressing problem behaviors in the classroom. Focusing on setting up a group behavior system with points and rewards.

Click here to view the modules.


Florida Southern College of Education Offerings

New teachers with temporary certificates can complete 100 percent of coursework online by enrolling in the Teacher Workshop program. Fall 1 registration will close on Wednesday, September 19. Click here to view the course schedule and apply online.
Upcoming information sessions:

  • 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Saturday, September 15, at FSC Campus, Admissions Center
  • 10 a.m., Saturday, October 13, at FSC Campus, Admissions Center

You may also participate in an online information session provided on their website. To register for one of these events and learn more about their programs please click here or email Kelly Levin at klevin@flsouthern.edu.


Earn your Master's Degree at Florida Southern

Whether you are a teacher ready to advance your career or you are thinking about switching careers to become a teacher, the FSC online Master of Education in Transformational Curriculum and Instruction will provide you with the knowledge and skills to become a classroom innovator and leader in the field quickly and conveniently. They also offer a Master of Arts program in Transformational Curriculum and Instruction for career changers.  For more information click here or contact Kelly Curtis at (863) 680-4914.


Florida Southern Offers Two Doctorate Degrees

The Doctor of Education (EdD) at Florida Southern prepares leaders for positions in administration, policy development, college and university teaching, and research. The curriculum includes broad topics addressing leadership and organizational theories, assessment and accountability practices, policy, politics, planning issues, research-driven decision-making, and policy analysis. They also offer a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. This program prepares educational leaders to teach in a higher education institution, focusing on Pre-k -12th grade teachers' preparation. Please click here for more information. You may also contact Kelly Levin at klevin@flsouthern.edu or call (863) 680-4914.


Crayola Educational and Creative Kits

Schools can now supply families with educational and creative kits designed by Crayola to support the implementation of family engagement strategies. These kits were designed to engage parents and their children in the learning process while igniting creativity. Each kit is unique in its contents, creating distinctive learning experiences for each child. Kit components include a six-page parent guide, six-to-eight top-of-the-line Crayola products that are unique to each kit, a keepsake frame for enforcing creativity in the home, as well as a two- to four-page educator’s resource booklet. To learn more about Crayola's Family Engagement Kits, please click here or call Matt Ditnes at 1-800-291-6020 Ext: 3116.



USF’s Turnaround School Leadership Educational Specialist (EdS) program

The Educational Specialist (EdS) degree in Educational Leadership with a concentration in turnaround school leadership is an advanced graduate degree program that focuses on developing effective school leaders with skills and experience to address turnaround and underperforming school contexts. Click here to read more information about this degree program. Admissions deadline for Spring 2019 is October 15, 2018.


Online Professional Development Options Available Free to All Pasco County Teachers

In partnership with the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE), Pasco County Schools will accept in-service credit for many of the courses offered through select providers. For more information regarding courses that are accepted, and what in-service credit will be awarded, please refer to this document.

All courses offered through select providers are:

  • Available at no charge to Florida educators.
  • Self-paced via online learning.
  • Presented in a user-friendly format.


Professional Development Alternatives (PDA)

The Professional Development Alternatives (PDA) offers online modules designed to help educators become more proficient in responding to the various instructional and behavioral needs of each individual learner in order to maximize achievement of all students. The facilitated modules provide ongoing collaboration with colleagues and expert facilitators with specific start and end dates. The independent study modules allow self-paced learning.

The courses offered through PDA will be automatically added to your transcript in myPGS when we receive documentation from FDLRS that the course has been completed. Click here for more information.


Personnel Development Portal (PDP)

The Personnel Development Portal (PDP) offers a collection of independent study courses designed to provide high-quality professional development to Florida educators to increase their ability to respond to the needs of students with disabilities.

Each participant will need to submit the completed course information as an external credit request in myPGS in order ro receive in-service points. Click here for more information.



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Student of the Week - Michael Canizio

River Ridge Middle School 7th grader Michael Canizio’s actions are a great reflection of our school values: respectful, responsible, and being a problem solver. He is a member of our Royal Ambassadors program where he goes out of his way to help our new students become part of the Royal Family. His enthusiasm is contagious. Michael inspires his teachers and peers to be the best they can be with his positive attitude.





Staff in the Spotlight with Deborah Walters

What is your role in Pasco County?

I am a Support Facilitator at Zephyrhills High School in Algebra 1 and Geometry. I work with freshman, sophomores, and juniors. I am also the Hospital Homebound Coordinator Teacher. I have worked for Pasco County Schools for 25 years.

What do you love about your job?

I find great joy when my students have an "ah ha" moment in their learning. It's wonderful to see their faces light up with understanding. I went into teaching to teach skills that are acquired for lifelong use and for a successful future.

Who or what inspires you?

A former student said that she dreamed of being a teacher like me. She wanted to help other students with learning challenges. She felt that I helped her greatly, academically, and in her life. That student achieved her dream, graduating with a degree in Elementary Education. She is now a successful educator in Texas. She brought great joy to my teaching experience and in my life! I am so proud of what she has accomplished!

Tell us something unique that people may not know about you.

I lived overseas as a child in Istanbul, Turkey and Cali, Columbia.

The person nominating Ms. Walters shared, "She inspired my daughter to become a teacher!"

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Saint Leo University Hosting Open House on September 29

Saint Leo University will host two open houses this fall. Students of all ages are welcome to attend with their families and friends from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, September 29, and November 10.

The open house setting provides students a chance to explore life as a Saint Leo Lion. Guests will become acquainted with the academic programs through conversations with faculty, resource fairs, and a variety of academic presentations and demonstrations. Visitors may tour the Saint Leo campus (33701 State Road 52, St. Leo, FL 33574), chat with current students, learn about clubs and organizations, meet with financial aid representatives, talk with their admissions counselors, and more. High school seniors and transfer students can also complete a complimentary application on-site.

Breakfast and lunch will also be provided, and friends and family are welcome to attend. There is no cost for this event.

You can register by clicking here. For assistance with registration, or questions regarding the event, contact the Office of Admissions at admissions@saintleo.edu or call (352) 588-8283.


Volunteers Needed for International Coastal Cleanup in Pasco

Lend a hand and take pride in transforming your community. Pasco County, in partnership with Keep Pasco Beautiful, is seeking volunteers to help clean our public lands, roads, and waterways. The annual International Coastal Cleanup will be held throughout Pasco County on Saturday, September 15, from 8 a.m. to noon.

Teams will be cleaning up at various locations throughout Pasco County, including:

  • Anclote Gulf Park and Strauber Memorial Highway in Holiday
  • Port Richey
  • Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park
  • Hudson Beach
  • Lacoochee
  • Dade City
  • Land O’ Lakes
  • Wesley Chapel

Anyone who would like to volunteer for the Pasco County Coastal Cleanup can contact Kristen King at (727) 856-7252 or kking@pascocountyfl.net.


Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

September is designated as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month to bring attention to this devastating disease. Every year, more than 15,000 children are diagnosed with cancer, the leading cause of death by disease in children under 15 in the United States.

Below are some upcoming local events that support research, affected families, and awareness.



What you can do to help:

  • Donate to childhood cancer research.
  • Participate in childhood cancer charity events.
  • Donate blood; childhood cancer patients often need transfusions.
  • Wear gold in September to raise awareness about childhood cancer.
  • Advocate for research for new medications to treat childhood cancer.


Pasco County Historical Society

The Pasco County Historical Society will meet on Friday, September 21, at 7 p.m. at the Pioneer Florida Museum & Village at 15602 Pioneer Road, Dade City, in the Mabel Jordan Barn at the museum facilities. The dynamic Chipco Creek String Band will present an array of historical music. Click here for more information.


25th Annual Flapjack 5K and 1 Mile Run

Get ready for another Flapjack 5K and 1 Mile Run being held on December 8, at Connerton in Land O' Lakes. Students and teachers will enjoy a gorgeous day, beautiful landscaping, vendors, prizes, and of course, delicious flapjacks.
Click here to register for the run.


Calling all Coaches

Irish 31 Pub House and Eatery, along with their community partners, are introducing a program called Cheers to Pub-Lic Service. This program celebrates those who are influential, reliable, impassioned, selfless, and humble, and who have an undeniable impact on our youth. Five coaches will be awarded $1,000 each at every Irish 31 location the week of December 17.

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Dear Mr. Browning,

I am one busy mom of two teenaged boys at Land O’ Lakes High School, but want to take a moment out of my day to give kudos to the administration and staff at LOLHS. I have a Senior who is dual-enrolled this year at LOLHS and PHSC, as well as a Sophomore in honors classes. Scheduling their classes this year took quite a bit of finesse. Ms. Kristen Mahoney and her associates were amazing! My Senior student, Michael, has one honors high school class, two semester college classes taught on campus at LOLHS, and three online college classes. I still cannot believe he was able to get all these classes scheduled the way he did. Mr. Melin was also great at answering specific questions, when needed. This would have a been a challenging task under normal circumstances, but for the staff at LOLHS who are also undergoing construction and remodeling, it was praise worthy! They had a make-shift office in the culinary cafe with desks, printers and computers connected all over the place with extension cords. If that were not enough, the alarm company was testing the sirens and lights in the school every day that week. It was incredibly loud. Mr. Browning, I just cannot imagine working under those conditions AND keeping such a great attitude. They were so kind, and really cared about every student getting exactly the schedule they needed to have a successful school year. As a parent trying to navigate the public school system these days, I find it to be quite a learning process, with all the options that are available to students. I’m sure you are aware of the stellar teachers and administrators you have at Land O’ Lakes High School, but I just had to tell you that I think so too. I wish I knew of another way to bless them, but I figured I could at least share my experience with you. I hope it will bless you to read this and remind you why you do what you do. We don’t always get to see the front side of the tapestry, but when we do… It’s a beautiful sight!

Heather Resina


Dear Mr. Browning,

I am writing this letter to let you know how special my principal, Michelle Boylan, and Assistant Principal, Jennifer Jaworski are. I have taught for over 30 years in a variety states, school systems, and positions. These two wonderful ladies definitely have stood out as exceptional, as well as professional, due to the support they give to the students and staff at Chasco Elementary. Their door is always open and they are always available to assist in any way necessary to the students, staff, and parents. They are always understanding to circumstances that arise and are willing to work with you to solve issues.

This has not been the case for me over the years that I have taught. Mrs. Boylan sends weekly detailed and positive emails and or phone calls to parents, informing them of ongoing activities and expectations. Teachers and staff also receive these emails, as well as additional emails of what to expect for the week. She never fails to add motivating and positive notes along with expectations for staff.

As you can see, I am impressed by the professionalism from each of these administrators. These ladies work very hard and complement each other’s strengths. I feel very privileged to work under their direction. They are always present throughout the school facility. I have seen students giving and receiving hugs to each administrator.  I have seen them escorting students to the clinic and listen when students have something to share. Mrs. Boylan assists students during car duty and stays the whole time. I have never seen this with other administrators. I am sure the same goes for Mrs. Jaworski during bus duty. I only help with car duty. These wonderful ladies do not miss a beat in supporting new staff and giving advice on how to become an effective and efficient teacher.

Mrs. Boylan always has a smile. She writes supportive notes to teachers. This is so wonderful, since teachers who are in the trenches do not always hear this. We usually hear we are not doing enough. Even though I feel privileged to work at Chasco Elementary, I know I am expected to perform to the best of my ability for each child I teach. Both administrators have high expectations with supportive demeanor.

Please recognize my hard-working administrators for their dedication. They certainty deserve it. Thank you for your time and please let me know if they are recognized.

Beverly Matthews
Chasco Elementary

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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)