Kurt S. Browning, Superintendent of Schools
October 5, 2018

Kurt S. Browning, Superintendent of Schools

October 5, 2018

Kurt S. Browning, Superintendent of Schools

October 5, 2018

Kurt S. Browning, Superintendent of Schools

October 5, 2018

Pasco County Schools Q12 Employee Engagement Survey

Beginning Monday, October 8, you will have the opportunity to voice your opinions regarding employee engagement. You are invited to participate in a brief and confidential Pasco County Schools Q12 Employee Engagement Survey. The survey will remain open until Friday, October 26.

It is important to have 100 percent participation in the survey so that we can best identify what is working, as well as what the current challenges are. Your responses to this survey will enable us to create a stronger, more supportive working environment for you.

The survey invitation email will have support@mail.gallup.com for both the "Reply To" address and the "From" address.  The email may route to your spam folder, so please check if you don’t see the invitation in your inbox on October 8

Results of the survey will be reported in groups. To further protect your confidentiality, composite statistics will not be reported for any group with less than five respondents.

If you need assistance completing this survey, please contact Gallup Client Support by calling 1-888-486-9104.

Thank you in advance for participating in this important survey.

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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Visit the First Edition of the Grant Opportunities E-Newsletter

The purpose of the newsletter is to provide information about funding opportunities that could benefit our students and schools. This newsletter will also provide information on grant writing, tips for successful grant submissions, and how to's for grant seekers. Click here to view.


A Teacher's Dream

There's a new store for teachers in New Port Richey! Teacher's Corner is a cozy 500 square feet of teacher and book-lovers' goodness. There are teacher professional books and quality children’s books, each carefully chosen for enjoyment in the classroom or at home. Customers will also find a special selection of classroom decor, student incentives, supplies, stationery, math manipulatives, gifts, and more.

They also offer large and small format laminating services, a Cricut Explore Air 2 machine, and a color printer. To see what else Teacher's Corner has to offer click here or visit them at 6837 S.R. 54, New Port Richey, FL 34657.


Alpha Delta Kappa Month

2018 marks the 71st anniversary of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international, honorary organization of women educators. The goals of Alpha Delta Kappa are to recognize outstanding educators, foster fraternal friendship among educators on a world-wide scale, promote standards of excellence for educational projects and charitable activities that enrich society, and further our social and cultural progress.

Women in education constitute a great portion of our nation’s work force and they are constantly striving to better serve their communities in various educational, civic, cultural, and charitable programs to promote harmony and peace among all people.

The District School Board of Pasco County will consider a proclamation at their next board meeting proclaiming October 2018 as Alpha Delta Kappa Month in Pasco County, Florida, congratulating the women of this highly esteemed organization on its 71st anniversary, and expresses deep gratitude to the Delta Xi chapter here in our own county for their dedication and tireless support in providing excellence in education for our students, and for their contributions in supporting our future educators.


Hispanic Heritage Month Student Art and Essay Contests and Educator Awards

Once again, Governor Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott have invited all Florida students to participate in the annual Hispanic Heritage Month art and essay contests, which will be centered around the theme, “A Celebration of Innovative Hispanic-American Leaders.” Students in grades K-3 have a chance to win a cash prize by submitting artwork, and students in grades 4-12 can earn a 4-year Florida prepaid scholarship through the essay contest. The prizes could transform the lives of a student in your class or school. We hope that you will encourage all of your students to take full advantage of this opportunity to enhance their appreciation for Hispanic-American History and prepare financially for their own future education aspirations.

Additionally, students, parents, teachers, and principals are invited to nominate full-time educators in elementary, middle, and high schools for the Hispanic Heritage Month Excellence in Education Award.

All entries must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, October 15, 2018.

To learn more about Florida’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration and contests, visit www.FloridaHispanicHeritage.com. You can also access promotional materials to share with your students and their families here.


Kids Safe Online Poster Contest for K-12 Students Nationwide

Each year, the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) hosts the Kids Safe Online Poster Contest for K-12 students nationwide. Students from across the country submit pieces of artwork that cover topics such as being safe online, good online security practices, cyber bullying, and how to be a good digital citizen. The winners of the contest are made into cybersecurity awareness posters and calendars that are distributed throughout the country in recognition of National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

The contest runs from Wednesday, September 26, until Friday, January 25, 2019.  Below are links to the contest guide and registration form that go over how to enter the contest and how to submit the artwork. Each entry must include a registration form.

Website:  https://www.cisecurity.org/ms-isac/ms-isac-toolkit
Guidelines and Entry Form:  https://www.cisecurity.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/MS-ISAC-Poster-Contest-and-Form.pdf

Please direct any questions to contest@msisac.org. All submissions and forms can be sent to contest@msisac.org as a scanned image, or can be mailed to the address below:

Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center
Education and Awareness Workgroup
31 Tech Valley Drive
East Greenbush, NY 12061


Voter Registration Deadline Approaches

Supervisor of Elections, Brian E. Corley, announces the voter registration books for the November 6, General Election will close on Tuesday, October 9, for all new registrants to the State of Florida and to anyone wishing to change their party. Voter registration applications mailed to the supervisor's office at PO Box 300, Dade City, FL 33526, should bear a postmark of October 9 or earlier, or be brought directly to one of the three Supervisor of Elections' Offices. Voters using the online voter registration application should do so before the 11:59 p.m. deadline on October 9.

Voters who have not voted in the last few elections should double check their registration status before the Tuesday deadline at www.pascovotes.com, or call 800-851-8754. All voters are encouraged to check their registration and to make updates and changes prior to election day.

To be accessible to voters for last minute registrations and updates, all Supervisor of Elections offices will be open Saturday, October 6, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and extended hours on Tuesday, October 9, until 7 p.m. at the following locations:

East Pasco Government Center
14236 6th St, Suite 200
Dade City (352) 521-4302

West Pasco Government Center
8731 Citizens Dr, Suite 110
New Port Richey (727) 847-8162

Central Pasco Professional Center
4111 Land O' Lakes Blvd, Room 105
Land O' Lakes (813) 929-2788

Representatives from the elections office will be available for voter registration at the Gulf Harbors and Wesley Chapel Tax Collector's office locations on Saturday, October 6, from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., and at all Tax Collector's office locations on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.  See http://www.pascotaxes.com/ for office locations.

The online voter registration application is available here: RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov


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. See below for training dates for becoming a Big.

  • Saturday, October 6 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at New Port Richey Public Library - 5939 Main Street, New Port Richey
  • Monday, October 8 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at WellCare, 5113 US Highway 19, New Port Richey, FL 34652
  • Tuesday, October 30 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Wesley Chapel Honda, 27750 Wesley Chapel Blvd., Wesley Chapel
  • Saturday, November 3 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at New Port Richey Public Library, 5939 Main Street, New Port Richey
  • Monday, November 12 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at WellCare, 5113 US Highway 19, New Port Richey,
  • Tuesday, November 27 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Wesley Chapel Honda - 27750 Wesley Chapel Blvd., Wesley Chapel

For more information, contact Deb Kristol-Irwin at DebK@bbbstampabay.org (or) 813-997-6881.



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.


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.



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Advanced Degree Opportunities

You are invited to register for an upcoming online information meeting to learn more about UWF’s graduate and post-graduate degree programs. The below programs are offered 100 percent online at affordable tuition rates, including new Pasco partner rates. During the session, degree programs, GRE waiver, admissions requirements, financial teacher loan forgiveness options, and voucher credits will be reviewed.

WHEN:  Monday, October 15 at 4:30 p.m. EST Register Here

100 percent online graduate programs:

  • M.Ed. in Educational Leadership - Shortest online Ed Leadership program in the state.
  • M.Ed. in Instructional Design & Technology - Concentration areas: Human Performance Technology or Distance Learning.

100 percent online post-graduate programs:

  • Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) in Curriculum & Instruction - Areas of focus: Administration & Leadership Studies, Instructional Design & Technology or Curriculum and Assessment.
  • Doctorate (Ed.D.) in Curriculum & Instruction/Curriculum & Assessment - Only FL state university to offer a fully 100 percent online doctoral degree including dissertation.

If you cannot join the online meeting, but would like more information, please email Casey Berman at Casey.Berman@academicpartnerships.com.


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.


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.


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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Staff in the Spotlight with Bryan Callegari

What is your role in Pasco County?

I am a Student Discipline Instructional Assistant at Gulf Middle School.

What do you love about your job?

I love that I get to work with so many different students every day and that I can make a positive impact on their lives by giving them the tools that they need to be successful. I also enjoy having fun with the students during our incentives, and I am fortunate that I get to work with such a wonderful administration and staff at Gulf Middle School.

Who or what inspires you?

I'm inspired by my three kids and my wife, who never give up on their goals in life no matter what the circumstances.

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

I started my professional career in business as a retail manager only to find out years later that I didn't love my job; so, I set out on a mission to find a career that I would love. I stumbled across education by accident when I became a substitute teacher looking for some extra cash. I never looked back and have loved every minute being in the field of education.

The person who nominated Mr. Callegari wanted to recognize all that he does for the school and the students that he works with, as well as helping out at other schools in times of need.

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The Florida Aquarium Annual Teacher Open House

Get a firsthand look at the Carol J. and Barney Barnett Learning Center, themed to inspire learning, and equipped with advanced technological learning tools. Find out about their innovative programs, explore the Aquarium's exhibits, and receive information about field trip planning. Aquarium admission is included for the day. This is a free event for registered teachers plus one guest each. The open house will take place on Saturday, October 13, from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.


Buy Two Days, Get Two Days Free at Universal Orlando Resort

Take your vacation to the next level at Universal Orlando Resort. Choose between three amazing theme parks with Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Universal’s Volcano Bay water park. Universal Orlando Resort features spectacular on-site hotels, nightclubs, and more.

To take advantage of this great offer, go to TicketsatWork.com and create your account using your email address and your company code, "PASCOSCHOOLS" or call 800-331-6483 for customer service.


Saint Leo University Hosting Open House on November 10

Saint Leo University will host an open house this fall. Students of all ages are welcome to attend with their families and friends from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, 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.


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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Mr. Fox,

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Don Torge. This past Saturday morning I received a phone call at 12:30 a.m. from the fire department because the alarms were sounding.  After my walkthrough with the fire department there were several strobes and intermittent alarms we could not power down. At 1 a.m. Saturday morning, I called Don Torge for his guidance.  At 1 a.m. Don answered my phone call.  Within 30 minutes Don came to my aid at my school.  Don was gracious enough to do a walk through with me to make sure we addressed every panel in every building. We have 15 buildings on campus.  Needless to say, it was a long night. I want to absolutely extend my sincere appreciation to Don for answering my call and assisting me in a desperate time of need.  Mark, thank you for having staff like Don dedicated to your mission.


Rob Aguis
Fred K. Marchman Technical College


Dear Mr. Browning,

Imagine racing to the scene after school where one of your school buses has been stopped due to a fight between two of the students. Your heart is pounding as you climb aboard, worried about what you will see. Although there are clearly students who are distraught and crying because they are scared and hot, no one is worse for wear. How can that be? Michele McGee may not be a teacher at our school, but she left the parking lot of her dentist’s office where she was about to head in for her appointment, to board our bus to check on our students and assist in calming them down. She remained on the bus until we arrived. Moon Lake is lucky to have her work at their school! I have thanked her personally, more than once, but I think she needs some extra applause because she exemplified how we all feel as Pasco County School employees – kids come first, even if they aren’t ours!

Jill Middleton
Assistant Principal
Schrader Elementary School


Hello Kurt,

FYI, tonight at our District Board of Trustees (DBOT) meeting , we will be honoring two PSC employees, Lynn Young and Samantha Whitney Del Valle. They both provided outstanding work and assistance in ensuring that our processes for enrolling dual enrolled students in Pasco and Hernando County are very efficient. Please join us in thanking Lynn and Samantha for their services and assistance to PHSC and the PSC students.

Timothy L. Beard, Ph. D.,
Pasco-Hernando State College


Dear Superintendent Browning,

According to Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”  I am writing today to tell you about a teacher at Seven Springs Middle that is not only changing the world for her students but also for the students of another teacher! 

During the first week of school, the Civics teacher on team 7L received a call from her doctor telling her he was concerned about some of the tests run over the summer.  He asked her to come in for some more tests which led to a serious illness.  As a result, the teacher began immediate treatment and the administrative team began looking for a professional guest teacher. 

After two weeks of interviews, I shared my concerns about finding a teacher with the professional learning community facilitator, Diane Cunningham.  We brainstormed ideas, discussed retired teachers, and agreed that we were concerned for the students on team 7L who would be taking a Civics EOC at the end of the year. As we reached the end of the third week of school, I had exhausted all my resources and still had no teacher.  

Then I received a text message from Diane Cunningham. She told me that the students from team 7L had been on her mind. She was  concerned that the students had substitutes for three weeks and that the students would be missing the foundational concepts and standards they needed to be successful. She felt that the students needed someone who would be able to fill in any gaps and assist them in moving forward. In short, they needed her! 

Diane is now teaching both the students on team 7B and 7L. While she is supported by the Civics PLC, a substitute, and the administrative team, she is the teacher who cares so much for students that she was willing to teach not on one team, but two. She is an amazing teacher who has assisted all the students in finding success, and deserves to be recognized for putting the needs of students ahead of all else!


Terry Yohn

SSMS Assistant principal


Congratulations to the Gulf High School NJROTC cadets who retained their championship and won the Central High School Iron Bear Challenge on Saturday for the 2nd year in a row.  The cadets took home 4 first-place, 2 second-place, and 1 third-place trophies and the giant Bear Head Trophy.  Way to go BUCS!

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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)