Friday, November 24, 2017
Education

Hernando superintendent reviews accomplishments, data, says reorganization is coming

RECOMMENDED READING


BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County schools superintendent Lori Romano will soon submit a proposal to restructure the district's administration.

Details of the plan remain sparse.

Romano said she has asked her top administrators to provide ways they might restructure their departments and make them more efficient. She said she will present her proposal to the School Board next month.

The announcement came Tuesday night as part of a presentation to the board about her accomplishments during her first 100 days as superintendent.

The report, in keeping with Romano's style, is loaded with details. It documents her efforts to meet with community organizations, School Board members and school principals in the first months on the job. It documents her visits to schools, her town hall meetings, her efforts to determine the status of implementing Common Core State Standards, and includes a review of attendance data, graduation data, dropout data and other measurements.

Romano also presented a number of changes she has made in the way the district conducts its business. "There were some things that were not in place that we put in place," she said.

She created a Cabinet to advise her on a weekly basis. She made a number of tweaks to improve communication among people within the district and also among the district, School Board members and the community.

Before she arrived, Romano said, there was no process for routinely reviewing data by top members of the district staff. She created a data room at the district office and established a routine for reviewing, analyzing and formulating conclusions that will inform decisions.

She created a budget committee and also instituted a policy to review and revise outdated School Board policies.

Before going through her summary, she presented her first "state of the district" — a document that received rave reviews from School Board members.

The document shows the district has a lot of room for improvement.

For the 2012-13 school year, 14 of the district's 22 traditional schools dropped a letter grade in the annual state assessment, including all five high schools. Some would have dropped even further had it not been for a provision that prevents schools from dropping more than one letter. The district's Advanced Placement test scores also are on the decline. And the district's graduation rate is below the state average; the dropout rate is higher.

Romano said she presented these "challenges" because they represent the district's current reality and because she believes the district can improve.

"I think it's important that we are very transparent about the issues and concerns that we have," she said. "We need to own that data as a community. We don't need to say, 'Oh, it doesn't exist.' "

Danny Valentine can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1432. On Twitter: @HernandoTimes.

Comments
Self-proclaimed Nazi banned from University of North Florida — but allowed to remain a student

Self-proclaimed Nazi banned from University of North Florida — but allowed to remain a student

A self-proclaimed Nazi is banned from the University of North Florida’s campus — but will remain a student, university officials said.Ken Parker, a 37-year-old Navy veteran who once served as the grand dragon, or highest-ranking leader, of the Ku Klu...
Published: 11/23/17
Pasco students score big at Junior Thespian Festival

Pasco students score big at Junior Thespian Festival

NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco schools brought home 20 top honors from the District 11 Junior Thespian Festival, which included 22 schools from Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando and Manatee counties and took place at the new River Ridge FAME Academy on Nov. 17 and ...
Published: 11/22/17
A year after impasse, Pasco school contract talks run more smoothly

A year after impasse, Pasco school contract talks run more smoothly

LAND O’LAKES — Representatives from the Pasco County school district and the United School Employees of Pasco sat together several times in the weeks leading to Thanksgiving break, trading contract proposals amid (mostly) amicable conversation.They c...
Published: 11/22/17
Epilogue: Music professor Rita Osborn insisted that her students experience the arts live

Epilogue: Music professor Rita Osborn insisted that her students experience the arts live

The thousands of students who signed up for Rita Osborn’s music and humanities classes at St. Petersburg Junior College knew what they had to do to pass.They could study and memorize material for tests, but they wouldn’t earn more than a C if they di...
Published: 11/21/17
Updated: 11/23/17
When school is out, a Pinellas camp for autistic kids offers a much-needed service

When school is out, a Pinellas camp for autistic kids offers a much-needed service

ST. PETERSBURG — Matt Wiseman’s cellphone rings at least once a week, usually after 9 p.m., with a call from a desperate parent. The voice on the line is tired, defeated. Once again, their child was excluded from an after-school program or summer cam...
Published: 11/21/17
Updated: 11/23/17
USF professors honored as AAAS Fellows

USF professors honored as AAAS Fellows

Six University of South Florida professors whose research efforts span biology, engineering, chemistry and business have been selected as Fellows to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the organization announced Nov. 20.Election ...
Published: 11/21/17
Updated: 11/22/17

University of Central Florida suspends sorority for hazing

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A University of Central Florida sorority has been suspended after its members were accused of hazing, underage drinking and providing false information to law enforcement.The university placed Alpha Xi Delta on an interim suspens...
Published: 11/21/17
10 African-Americans named Rhodes scholars, most ever

10 African-Americans named Rhodes scholars, most ever

Associated PressThe latest group of U.S. Rhodes scholars includes 10 African-Americans — the most ever in a single Rhodes class — as well as a transgender man and four students from colleges that had never had received the honor before. The Rhodes Tr...
Published: 11/19/17

Class notes

School Calendar• Nov. 27: School resumes after Thanksgiving break• Dec. 22: End of second grading quarter.• Dec. 23-Jan. 7: Winter Break.• Jan. 8: Teacher planning day. No school for students.Arts/Music/TheaterCenter for the Arts at River Ridge Middl...
Published: 11/16/17
Updated: 11/22/17
Pasco’s 2018 Outstanding Senior hails from River Ridge High

Pasco’s 2018 Outstanding Senior hails from River Ridge High

River Ridge High School senior Connor Beckman has been named Pasco County’s 2018 Outstanding Senior.Commander of the school’s Air Force JROTC program, Beckman is also an Eagle Scout mentor, National Honor Society president and swim team captain.Beckm...
Published: 11/22/17