Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Education

Pasco eSchool wins state award

SPRING HILL — Pasco eSchool principal Joanne Glenn greeted her faculty with excitement and cheers on the first day of planning week. The school was named the 2017-2018 Florida Virtual School of the Year among large-district franchises.

Assistant principals Lori Wiggins and Pam Willoughby shared the news with 87 faculty members gathered at Crews Lake Middle School, home location of eSchool. The announcement set the tone for a celebration of the eSchool’s 10th anniversary.

The effort started when state Legislators decided that beginning with the graduating class of 2015, every student must pass an online course. It’s part of the 24 credits required for high school graduation. Online work is now routine for students, and many middle and high school students complete several online courses.

Faced with the new requirement, many of Florida’s 67 county school districts turned to Florida Virtual Schools, created in 1997 as the first statewide, internet-based high school in the United States. Pasco schools took advantage of an option to create a virtual district school with Pasco administrators and teachers.

Pasco is one of 44 Florida districts holding a Florida Virtual School franchise, and one of the largest. Broward and Orange counties have larger participation.

Pasco eSchool serves about 11,000 students in grades K-12 who select from 160 courses, Wiggins said.

The eSchool meets various student needs, including for students involved in activities that limit their time to attend class during traditional school hours.

Wiggins cited another option: "We may have a student who wants to take, for example, a foreign language that’s not offered in our schools. They may be able to do that through FLVS."

Attending eSchool requires parent involvement. Elementary school children and their parents attend a full week on the Crews Lake campus. They receive coaching on instructional techniques and academic integrity, such as avoiding plagiarism. Students participate in live lessons online and participate in conferences with their parents either online or by phone.

Glenn has led Pasco eSchool since it began. She’s adamant that it be part of the Pasco team helping students reach their academic goals.

"We are good partners with other schools, and our district really means it when they say they find a plan to meet individual student needs," Glenn said.

Times Correspondent Gail Diederich is a retired teacher. She has 32 years of experience, including 28 years in Pasco County Schools, where she taught gifted students and was a reading specialist. She taught education, general studies and business leadership at Pasco Hernando State College and at Saint Leo University.

Comments
Hillsborough schools will begin disclosing more data about lead in drinking water

Hillsborough schools will begin disclosing more data about lead in drinking water

TAMPA ­­— The Hillsborough County School District will begin publicly disclosing all locations where it finds lead in schools’ water, not just the samples that tested highest, an official said Tuesday.Detailed results from the testing lab could begin...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Heart-shaped earrings and pink hair? Check out Pasco’s first all-girl Cub Scout den

Heart-shaped earrings and pink hair? Check out Pasco’s first all-girl Cub Scout den

NEW PORT RICHEY — Cubmaster Alex Moyers stood in front of a table of Cub Scouts last month, waiting for them to come to attention."Please stand for the pledge and opening ceremony," Moyers said.The scouts quickly stood, and each placed three fingers ...
Published: 08/14/18
Kids are back in school in Puerto Rico. But Hurricane Maria’s effects still linger

Kids are back in school in Puerto Rico. But Hurricane Maria’s effects still linger

YABUCOA, PUERTO RICO — Nearly a year after Hurricane Maria ripped through this valley town in the southeastern corner of the island, obliterating homes and bringing months of darkness and misery, families marked a new milestone in the long road to re...
Published: 08/14/18
Metro-Denver school district moves to four-day week amid funding shortfalls

Metro-Denver school district moves to four-day week amid funding shortfalls

A metro-Denver school district announced Monday it will transition to a four-day school week starting this month, according to KUSA Denver.The school district, located just northeast of downtown Denver, citing a lack of funding as a reason for the ch...
Published: 08/14/18
Passed over for principal, a Pinellas educator with a problematic history is promoted

Passed over for principal, a Pinellas educator with a problematic history is promoted

Robert J. Gagnon was the shoo-in pick to be the next principal of St. Petersburg High last year, at least until "new information" surfaced about his early career that led Pinellas County school superintendent Mike Grego to reverse course.Now, 15 mont...
Published: 08/14/18
Pinellas education news: New texting system underway, gun forum at SPC and more

Pinellas education news: New texting system underway, gun forum at SPC and more

Pinellas launches new texting system for school emergencies Beginning this year, the Pinellas County school system is using text messages as an additional way to communicate with employees and families. The messages will be sent only to communicate i...
Published: 08/13/18
Updated: 08/14/18

School notes for Aug. 17

School calendar• Aug. 13: First day of school for students.• Aug. 28/30: Adult education graduation.• Sept. 3: Labor Day, no school.• Sept. 14: Progress reports.Library notes/Educational programs• Life Hack Academy: Sleuth Your Sources, 5 to 6 p.m. A...
Published: 08/13/18
Updated: 08/14/18
New programs, new facilities, new optimism mark first day of school in Pasco

New programs, new facilities, new optimism mark first day of school in Pasco

A rainbow spanned the horizon behind Wendell Krinn Technical High School early Monday, as students arrived for the first day of classes.Principal Chris Dunning viewed it as a positive omen for K-Tech, as most refer to the school that replaced Ridgewo...
Published: 08/13/18
Updated: 08/14/18
Hillsborough School District will speed up lead testing, following Times investigation

Hillsborough School District will speed up lead testing, following Times investigation

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School District said Monday it will accelerate how quickly it is testing school drinking and cooking water for lead.The announcement came several days after the Tampa Bay Times reported that the district didn’t disclos...
Published: 08/13/18
Updated: 08/14/18
School starts today in Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando

School starts today in Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando

Public schools in Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties reopen today, beginning a 2018-19 academic year that will be filled with change.In all Florida districts, enhanced security and mental health services are in place as a result of the Feb. 14 sch...
Published: 08/13/18