Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco's Dayspring Academy charter school seeks to expand

PORT RICHEY — Pasco County's oldest and most academically successful charter school is seeking an expansion.

Dayspring Academy, co-founded by state Sen. John Legg and others in 2000, has informed Pasco school district officials of its intent to apply to open new campuses in Holiday and Hudson in 2014.

"We have a long waiting list. It's pretty close to our current enrollment," Dayspring senior administrator Suzanne Legg said. "And we have a lot of students who come from a lot of spots, mostly on the west side (of Pasco). ... We feel like it's something we'd like to share with families in those areas as well."

Dayspring, which features an arts-themed curriculum in grades kindergarten through eight, also is seeking to increase its enrollment for the coming school year. It has requested approval to grow by close to 9 percent, to 600 students.

The district's other charter schools have made similar requests for the coming year.

Countryside Montessori and Imagine School at Land O'Lakes have requested a 20 percent increase each, while both Academy at the Farm and Athenian Academy have proposed growing by up to 15 percent.

Superintendent Kurt Browning already has advised Athenian Academy that its plan is not acceptable because the school did not meet statutory requirements to grow its enrollment by that much. The school's state grade declined last year from B to C, and initial FCAT results this year indicate further drops.

The state has set academic performance as the key factor for charter school growth. Athenian Academy officials have challenged the district's interpretation of the law and threatened a lawsuit.

Imagine School's request also is likely to generate conversation. The A-rated school's charter contract is set to expire June 30, and it does not have the same "high performing" status as Dayspring and Academy at the Farm that creates an easier path to expansion.

District officials lately have raised concerns that traditional schools are losing children to charters, home schooling and virtual courses. State funding follows students who leave for those publicly-approved alternatives.

Browning recently announced plans to create a choice task force to explore different ways the district might attract children who have left.

"We want to bring those people back, and prove to them that we can do everything that (the charters) are doing right now," said School Board member Steve Luikart.

Luikart welcomed the idea of more choices, including the pending expansion of Dayspring Academy. "I will say, they are tops when it comes to charter schools," he said.

Dayspring routinely has the county's best FCAT scores and a high demand for its few open seats.

Jeffrey S. Solochek can be reached at jsolochek@tampabay.com, (813) 909-4614 or on Twitter @jeffsolochek.

Pasco's Dayspring Academy charter school seeks to expand 05/29/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 10:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Under Republican health care bill, Florida must make up $7.5 billion

    Markets

    If a Senate bill called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 becomes law, Florida's government would need to make up about $7.5 billion to maintain its current health care system. The bill, which is one of the Republican Party's long-promised answers to the Affordable Care Act imposes a cap on funding per enrollee …

    Florida would need to cover $7.5 billion to keep its health care program under the Republican-proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.  [Times file photo]
  2. Minors also a training ground for umpires with big-league dreams

    The Heater

    Umpire Tom Fornarola, 23, left, and Taylor Payne, 24, facing, talk before the start of the Gulf Coast League game between the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers at the Tigertown complex in Lakeland, Fla. on Wednesday, July 5, 2017.
  3. In Florida, nation's only lightning center closes after DARPA cuts funding (w/video)

    Environment

    University of Florida professor Martin Uman usually spends much of this summer at an old Army base about an hour northeast of Gainesville, shooting rockets at thunderclouds, then measuring the bright flashes of lightning that followed.

    Rocket-and-wire triggered lightning at the University of Florida's International Center for Lightning Research and Testing, which recently lost federal funding. A rocket trailing a grounded wire is launched toward an active thunderstorm at the ICLRT. One launch is from a tower, one from ground. When the wire is about as high as the Empire State Building, lightning is induced to strike the top of the wire, much as it strikes tall objects like the ESB. Interestingly, the cloud charge source is about 3 miles high, so a 300 yard-long wire can cause a 3 mile or more long lightning.  After that, there are several normal tortuous strokes ( downward leaders from the cloud charge/upward return strokes) which can be seen as the wind blows the individual strokes to the right. The time between strokes is about 50 thousands of a second. Between some strokes, continuing current can be seen. Continuing current is what generally starts forest fires. [Photo by Dr. Dustin Hill]
  4. Editorial: Reasonable clarity on gambling in Florida

    Editorials

    Gambling expansion strategies — and misfires — are nearly an annual ritual in Florida. There were the eight counties that voted to allow slot machines but were blocked by the Florida Supreme Court. There was the governor's $3 billion deal with the Seminole Tribe in 2015 that was never approved by the …

    Gov. Rick Scott agreed to a much simpler deal with the Seminole Tribe that embraces the status quo instead of expansion. And that’s a good thing.
  5. Amid U.S. real estate buying binge by foreign investors, Florida remains first choice

    Real Estate

    Foreign investment in U.S. residential real estate recently skyrocketed to a new high with nearly half of all foreign sales happening in Florida, California and Texas.

    A National Association of Realtors annual survey found record volume and activity by foreign buyers of U.S. real estate. Florida had the highest foreign investment activity, followed by California and Texas. [National Association of Realtors]