School district expands mental health services

The Pasco County school district has been ramping up training and tapping into outside sources, in its quest to build a better mental health support network for students. Statistics from across the school district underscore a compelling need for increased services. District figures show that more than 1,200 suicide assessments were done last year of students in elementary, middle and high … [Read more...]

Pasco to open K-8 school in fall 2021

The groundbreaking last week for Starkey Ranch K-8 School was celebrated in grand fashion —  at a gathering that included a high school jazz band and color guard, preschoolers, a private developer partner, elected leaders and government officials. The school is the second phase of a partnership between Pasco County Schools, Pasco County government and Wheelock Communities, the private … [Read more...]

Pasco school year gets off to a smooth start

Five-year-old Joshua Cortes was eager to begin his first day of kindergarten at Pine View Elementary School in Land O’ Lakes. The youngster was beaming as his parents took his picture near a welcome sign at the school — the perfect prop for a photo op. A little while later, as buses rolled into the bus loop, Pine View staff greeted students as they exited the bus. They saw many … [Read more...]

These kits can help save lives

A safety measure has been added to Pasco County high schools that’s aimed to help save lives during a mass casualty or active shooter situation. The schools now have bleed control kits — designed to help prevent victims from bleeding out before emergency responders arrive. The kits contain items such as tourniquets, blood-clotting dressings and casualty extraction litter, CPR mask, … [Read more...]

All kids deserve same academic opportunities, Browning says

Pasco Schools Superintendent Kurt Browning was addressing The Greater Pasco Chamber of Commerce, and he was on a roll. “Every child needs to have those same academic opportunities as kids in affluent neighborhoods,” Browning said, during the chamber’s breakfast meeting last week. “If we intend to educate our kids and really meet up with that whole idea of college, career and life readiness, … [Read more...]

‘Engage’ kids: Improve attendance

Students typically don’t decide to drop out of school overnight. And, there’s typically more to the story, when a student starts missing school on a regular basis. At least those were a couple points of discussion last week during a Pasco County School Board workshop on the topic of school attendance. “Attendance is really a symptom of something else that is happening with our … [Read more...]

Pasco Schools budget nearly $1.4 billion

The Pasco County School Board has approved a tentative budget approaching $1.4 billion for the coming fiscal year. Pasco County Superintendent Kurt Browning covered high points of the proposed budget at last week’s Pasco County School Board meeting, before the board approved the tentative budget and tentative tax rate. The new fiscal budget of $1,392,942,266 is an increase of $131.7 … [Read more...]

Growth puts squeeze on schools

As Pasco County Schools heads into another school year, crowded conditions are expected on several campuses within The Laker/Lutz News coverage area. District officials are projecting that Wesley Chapel’s Wiregrass Ranch High School will operate at 141 percent of its capacity, with an estimated 2,310 students in a school designed for 1,633. Connerton Elementary School, in Land O’ Lakes, … [Read more...]

Randy Maggard wins District 38 seat

Voters have selected Randy Maggard to become their next representative in District 38 of the Florida House of Representatives. Maggard, a Republican, received 9,615 votes, or 55.58 percent of the total in the Special Election held on June 18. His opponent Kelly Smith, a Democrat, received 7,684, or 44.42 percent of the vote. The voter turnout in the contest was 15.24. The district’s … [Read more...]

School district responds to Pasco’s booming growth

As Pasco County’s rapid growth continues, the county school district is constructing a middle school, expanding existing locations, planning future facilities and acquiring new sites. Earlier this month, the Pasco County School Board took initial steps to add a 10-classroom addition at Bexley Elementary School, 4380 Ballantrae Blvd., which just opened in 2017 in a subdivision off State Road 54 … [Read more...]