‘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...]

Project needs outpace funding in Pasco County Schools

As Pasco County Schools heads into a new school year, the district faces a perennial issue: There’s not enough money to cover district construction and maintenance needs. “Our current debt is about $525 million,” Chris Williams, director of planning told Pasco County School Board members during a workshop last week. Pasco’s rapid growth continues to create demand for new or expanded schools, … [Read more...]

New, High-Performing Charter School Coming To Avalon Park West

Families with school-aged children who live in Avalon Park attend some of Pasco County’s best public schools located within a few miles of their homes. Soon, they will have the option of going to a brand-new charter school at the community’s entrance. Pinecrest Academy Wesley Chapel is being opened by Pinecrest Academy Inc., one of the top charter school operators in Florida. In the past few … [Read more...]

Pasco embarks on new type of high school

The Pasco County school district is planning a new magnet high school that doesn’t fit the traditional mold. It will combine a rigorous curriculum along with technical skills training — and will seek community partnerships to give students real-world experiences, said Ray Gadd, deputy superintendent for Pasco County Schools. Coming up with a name for the school is a little bit tricky, Gadd … [Read more...]

Creating safe and compassionate schools

When you ask an open-ended question, there’s no telling what the responses will be. But that’s the point, actually, in a process that Pasco County Schools used to gather different perspectives, regarding the emotional and physical safety of district students and staff. District officials conducted a ThoughtExchange that allows participants to use technology to share their thoughts and ideas, … [Read more...]

Pasco County Farm Bureau advocates for agriculture

Protecting the lush farmland in and near towns, such as Dade City and Zephyrhills, has been the focal point, for decades, of the Pasco County Farm Bureau. The grassroots organization supports the needs of farmers and their produce. The agency is just one within 60 statewide counties that fall under the Florida Farm Bureau – an organization that began more than 75 years ago. Allen … [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...]

New charter school under construction in Wesley Chapel

Pinecrest Academy Wesley Chapel is under construction in the Avalon Park West community, off State Road 54. Officials for Pinecrest and Avalon Park West invited the community to a groundbreaking ceremony, held mostly indoors at Trinity Church of Wesley Chapel, which is next door. The new charter school, expected to open in the fall of 2020, will eventually serve kindergarten through eighth … [Read more...]

Saint Anthony Catholic School celebrates 135 years

Saint Anthony Catholic School, in San Antonio, had a special celebration last week to mark its 135th anniversary. The day began with the Most. Rev. Gregory L. Parkes, Bishop of the Diocese of Saint Petersburg, presiding over a celebration of the Holy Mass. The Rev. Garry Welsh, pastor of Saint Anthony of Padua Catholic Church offered welcoming remarks at the Mass and, throughout the … [Read more...]