Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

10 Pasco schools propose magnet-type programs

LAND O'LAKES — Ten Pasco County elementary schools have answered superintendent Heather Fiorentino's call to create academic themes that could draw new students to their doors.

Half of them sit along the bustling State Road 54 corridor, an area that generally has strong parent support and interest but also loses some students to nearby charter and private schools. Four of the schools propose a focus on science, math and technology, while another three want to emphasize the arts.

Among those arts centers, Longleaf Elementary School also states it would like to be a K-8 school.

One school would have a college-prep curriculum. Another would place students in Spanish-English dual language immersion. The final one would create a "global marketplace" theme revolving around a Florida-friendly garden at the school.

A community survey this spring revealed that about half of respondents were interested in magnet schools. The theme areas that generated the most interest were STEM and college prep.

Assistant superintendent David Scanga plans to present the schools' ideas to the School Board on Tuesday to get direction as to which, if any, the board might want to pursue. If the board wants to get any of them open in the fall, district spokeswoman Summer Romagnoli said, that would require initial startup money of about $10,000 to $20,000 each.

That amount would cover such costs as planning and staff development.

Board members said they welcome a conversation about establishing magnet-type options. The district currently has no magnet schools, although it does have specialty attractor programs including International Baccalaureate and career academies.

"I am glad for whatever motivation and reason they are finally willing to have a discussion on things I have been wanting to talk about for three or four years," board member Allen Altman said. "It will benefit our district."

Before jumping in, board members will need more details regarding funding, goals, time lines and other key matters, board chairwoman Joanne Hurley said.

"There will be many questions on the part of the board," Hurley said. "We'll need some hard answers before we go forward."

Vicki Garner, principal of Seven Springs Elementary School, looked forward to establishing a "school of innovation" if the board approves. She has proposed the dual language immersion program for Seven Springs.

The school has operated a small-scale version of the program for several years in one classroom per grade level for zoned students only. Efforts to expand snagged on budget concerns.

"When the conversation went to schools of innovation, we opened ours up as an example in hopes we could get even better," Garner said. "We figured this was an opportunity to reinvigorate the program."

The School Board will discuss the magnet concepts during a workshop at 3 p.m. Tuesday. The board also is scheduled to discuss the Penny for Pasco and the 2012-13 budget.

Jeffrey S. Solochek can be reached at jsolochek@tampabay.com, (813) 909-4614 or on Twitter @jeffsolochek. For more education news, visit the Gradebook at tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook.

Schools of innovation

Ten Pasco County elementary schools have proposed creating specialized instructional programs that may attract more students while also offering different academic options. They are:

New River Elementary: Global Marketplace, revolving around a school Florida-friendly garden

Longleaf Elementary: K-8 School of the Arts, including dance, strings, theater and digital arts

Trinity Elementary: College Academy, focusing on rigorous academic studies

Cypress Elementary: Center for the Arts, exploring dance, drama, visual arts, cinematography and music

Odessa Elementary: STEM School, a comprehensive education with a focus on science, technology, engineering and math

Deer Park Elementary: STEM Innovation School, providing project-based learning using technology

Oakstead Elementary: Center for the Arts, integrating traditional curriculum with arts education

Fox Hollow Elementary: Fox Hollow Tech, with an emphasis on math, science and technology

Wesley Chapel Elementary: WCESoI, with core subjects of science, technology, engineering and math

Seven Springs Elementary: Dual Language Program, a partial immersion and cultural enhancement program in English and Spanish.

10 Pasco schools propose magnet-type programs 05/12/12 [Last modified: Saturday, May 12, 2012 1:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jameis Winston, Feeding Tampa Bay to provide groceries to families hit by Hurricane Irma

    Hurricanes

    TAMPA — Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, Feeding Tampa Bay and the nonprofit Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa will distribute food and gift cards Tuesday to an estimated 400 families who suffered power outages and lost food after Hurricane Irma.

    Tampa Bay Bucaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, center, in green shirt, serves a meal at a disaster assistance registration center in St. Petersburg on Sept. 15. Winston has purchased 400 $25 gift cards from Publix and is scheduled to present some of them to families who lost groceries after Hurricane Irma from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa at 1907 E Hillsborough Ave. in Tampa. LARA CERRI   |   Times
  2. Hot, isolated, and running out of supplies, parts of Puerto Rico near desperation

    Hurricanes

    JUNCOS, PUERTO RICO — In the heat and humidity here in the central mountains, Meryanne Aldea fanned her bedridden mother with a piece of cardboard Sunday as the ailing woman lay on her side, relieving a large ulcer in her back.

    A man walks from Juncos in search of gasoline. The mountain town is one of the most affected by Hurricane Maria's pass through Puerto Rico. [Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo | Washington Post]
  3. President Donald Trump during a rally in Huntsville, Ala., Sept. 22, 2017. Trump called for football fans to boycott NFL games unless the league fires or suspends players who refuse to stand for the national anthem.
  4. Rick and Tom podcast: Worst-Case (Keenum) scenario

    Bucs

    Rick Stroud and Tom Jones break down the Bucs' 34-17 loss to the Vikings on Sunday in Minneapolis in their latest podcast.

    Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum (7) scrambles away from Bucs defensive end William Gholston (92) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Tonight: Hear ideas for remaking downtown Tampa interchange

    Transportation

    TAMPA — New concepts for rebuilding the downtown interchange will be discussed at a Florida Department of Transportation community meeting Monday night.

    The Florida Department of Transportation renamed its controversial Tampa Bay Express plan, also known as TBX. The plan is now known as Tampa Bay Next, or TBN. [Florida Department of Transportation]