New Pasco schools for students with behavior problems get names
This August, the Pasco County school district will open two sites targeting the special needs of students with emotional and behavior disabilities.
The goal, according to student services director Melissa Musselwhite, is to take greater ownership in those children's educational and social requirements, and not leaving the work to others. The district had sent many students to a program run by AMIKids, but ended the contract in June.
With the change in control, district officials also wanted to create an identity for the schools. They didn't want to refer to the programs as "AMI" any more.
This week, the School Board adopted names for the elementary program at Richey Elementary and the middle-high school program at the former AMI site. Now they're called Achieve Center at Richey and Achieve Center of Pasco.
Musselwhite said the schools' newly appointed principals are in the process of hiring teachers and other staff, and preparing for full operations come Aug. 15, when students arrive. She anticipated a smooth transition to the new model, which she said will allow for better services because the students will not be split up around the county.