‘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...]

School to get $33 million renovation

One of Pasco County’s oldest high schools is set to undergo a major makeover. Across the next two-plus years, Zephyrhills High School will see a number of upgrades to not only give the school a modern aesthetic, but also to enhance campus safety and the overall learning environment. The total price tag: $33 million, funded through Penny for Pasco. Details about the renovation project … [Read more...]

Pasco has no plans to allow employees to carry firearms

Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed into law a measure passed by the Florida Legislature that clears the way for classroom teachers to serve as armed school guardians, but Pasco County Schools has no intention of pursuing that option, according to a district news release. The new law implements legislative recommendations of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety … [Read more...]

Browning talks school safety, other issues

More than a year since the Parkland school shooting claimed the lives of 17 students and faculty members, ensuring school safety remains a forefront priority for Pasco County Schools Superintendent Kurt Browning. Browning discussed that, and a number of other school issues, as the featured guest speaker at the North Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce March breakfast meeting at the Pasco-Hernando … [Read more...]

Carin Hetzler-Nettles named principal of the year

When Pasco County Schools opened Cypress Creek Middle High School, the challenges facing the new leader of that school weren’t the same kind faced by most principals of new schools. For one thing, the school was the first in the Pasco school district that would be for students in sixth through 11th grade, initially, with a senior class to be added the following year. For another, the school … [Read more...]

This crowd was bullish on East Pasco’s prospects

Speakers at the recent “Discover Dade City” symposium cast a spotlight on East Pasco’s development opportunities. The event, held in the conference center at the East Pasco campus of Pasco-Hernando State College, focused on ongoing projects, as well as those on the drawing board and future prospects. The Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with the Greater Tampa … [Read more...]