Pasco, Hernando school and college leaders look for areas of collaboration
Acknowledging their similar issues and students, top officials from Pasco-Hernando Community College and the Pasco and Hernando school districts got together last Friday to talk about ways they can work together.
It was their second such meeting in two years, and aimed at finding areas they can become more efficient and effective by cooperating and collaborating. They quickly settled on one key issue, dual enrollment of high school students, but then didn't quite agree on others. They had so many topics among them that they ended up going broad — education continuum and long-range planning — and then hoping everything sorts out during future subcommittee discussions.
"We will now dive into the meat of how the issues can be improved locally," Pasco School Board member Allen Altman told the Gradebook.
Talk during the three-hour joint session at the college campus highlighted the many different directions that the leaders wanted to go.
Stanley Giannet, provost of the PHCC north campus, noted that every level of education seems to blame the one just before it for the academic deficiencies of the students coming to them. He was among the group advocating for a better understanding and streamlining of the curriculum and standards, with universal benchmarks all the way from K-20, so teachers can keep students on track for what comes next.
"That's a really solid priority," Giannet said.
Pasco School Board chairwoman Cynthia Armstrong, meanwhile, spoke for a group that focused on meeting students' career needs by bringing more businesses into the education fold and creating more internships and such alliances. Others talked about creating more avenues for parent involvement, shared professional development, joint use of facilities and finding more revenue to provide services.
Each got placed under one of the umbrella categories, promising to make the winnowing down a complicated process.
What areas do you think are most important for the K-12 system and the community colleges to work on jointly to better ensure student success?