District will host robotics tournament
Two years ago, robotics lessons and competitions were scarce to nonexistent in the Pasco County public schools. This year, the district will host one of the First Lego League's qualifying tournaments, at Rushe Middle School on Dec. 1, leading to the state championships. At least 12 local teams representing six middle schools — Rushe, Crews Lake, Bayonet Point, John Long, Chasco and Pasco — are expected to compete. What changed? "This year in middle schools we made a conscious effort to begin transitioning some of our technical programs into robotics," district career and technical education director Rob Aguis said. "This is really an extension of that." Previously, students and teachers independently worked on such projects and competitions. Some parents even went so far as to home-school their children so they could be available for the events and practices. With interest high, the district decided to join in. Registration opens today and closes Nov. 1. Contact Shelley Kappeler at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Browning visits district offices
Kurt Browning, the GOP nominee for Pasco schools superintendent who faces only a write-in opponent on the Nov. 6 ballot, made one last visit Thursday to district offices as he gathered information about district operations and what changes he might make. He has met over the past three weeks with leaders of several departments, as he looks for ways to streamline operations and determine best fits for employees. He also conferred several times with outgoing superintendent Heather Fiorentino during Tuesday's School Board meeting and workshop. On Thursday, he sat with the heads of research and evaluation, instructional media technology, leadership development and communications. Leaders around the district who have been getting antsy, wondering where they'll fall on the chart, might get their answers soon. Browning told the Times that he'll take about a week to ruminate on the information he has been provided, bouncing ideas off his still-unnamed advisers. Then he expects to make an announcement about his organization plan and leadership team soon afterward.
AARP offers driver safety course
An AARP Driver Safety Course is planned for 9 a.m. Oct. 19 in classroom 108 in the education center at Pasco Regional Medical Center, Medical Plaza 1, Education Center, 13100 Fort King Road. The class lasts six hours. Many insurance companies offer discounts for completing the course. Attendees can bring lunch or buy food at the hospital cafeteria. The class costs $12 for AARP members or $14 for nonmembers. Registration is required. Call Richard Gest at (352) 588-0081.