The Pasco County School Board has passed a resolution asking for a reprieve from the state’s accountability standards this year, to avoid potential punitive consequences.
The board is seeking to avoid any negative outcomes on teachers, students or schools that could occur based on results of the Florida Standards Assessments, known as FSA for short.
Specifically, the board approved a resolution that requests the governor and commissioner of education “to provide safe harbor to students, teachers, schools, and districts, by pausing negative consequences of the accountability system based on statewide assessments for the 2020-2021 school year.”
The resolution was adopted on March 2, on a 4-0 vote, with Allen Altman, board chairman, absent.
The board’s action followed a discussion of the issue on Feb. 16, prompted by concerns raised by board member Alison Crumbley.
Crumbley said it wouldn’t be fair to use the FSA results for anything other than a diagnostic tool to identify strengths and weaknesses, because of COVID impacts.
Other board members agreed noting teachers shouldn’t be held responsible for testing results, especially for MySchool Online students who had failed to participate.
At the same Feb. 16 meeting, Crumbley questioned how school grades could be “considered accurate, during these COVID-related times.”
In other action at the March 2 meeting, the board:
• Renamed the James Irvin Education Center and Harry Schwettman Education Center. The new names will be the East Pasco Education Academy, James Irvin Campus and the West Pasco Education Academy, Harry Schwettman Campus.
These schools will begin offering voluntary placements options with diploma pathways for students. The Harry Schwettman complex will be relocated to the former Hudson Elementary School site. Additionally, the programs at Achieve Center of Pasco will be relocated to these schools.
• Superintendent Kurt Browning reported that the Department of Health-Pasco County had agreed to 2,500 doses of vaccine, expected as early as the weekend of March 6 and March 7, to vaccinate school district employees, who are at least 50 years old.
Those vaccines are in addition to the 500 second doses for district personnel, scheduled the same weekend.
Board member Cynthia Armstrong said she has been vaccinated, and encouraged others to get vaccinated when they can. “It brings you wonderful peace of mind, to go ahead and get the vaccine,” she said.
• Don Peace, president of United School Employees of Pasco, announced that both school-related personnel and instruction staff overwhelmingly approved this year’s contracts. The SRP contract passed with 98% approval; instructional passed with 95% approval, he said.
Peace thanked the superintendent and the board for their part in the negotiations.
“I think that the results show that this was a fair and equitable contract,” Peace said.
Published March 10, 2021