< Previous | Contents | Next >

Academic Accomplishments

The Pasco County Schools (PCS) is committed to fulfilling its mission of providing a World Class Education. In support of this mission, PCS has been expanding educational options to include magnet schools and other challenging and innovative programs, which facilitate student success in education, life, and the workplace. This work is built on a strong foundation of Professional Learning Communities (PLC) in each school, and in

fact, Pasco County Schools earned the honor of a PLC at Work Model District in July of 2021 from Solution Tree. Educators in the schools and districts selected for this recognition have shown “a sustained commitment to helping all of their students achieve at high levels. They have been willing to alter the structure and culture of the organization to reflect their commitment.”

The PCS currently offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme at Gulf and Land O’ Lakes High Schools, the IB middle years Programme at Pine View Middle School, and the primary years Programme at Pine View Elementary School. The 2019-2020 school year was spent in planning for an expansion of the middle years program to Gulf Middle School for implementation in the 2020-2021 school year. In that same year, Richey Elementary School, a feeder school to Gulf Middle and High Schools will also be in the planning stages for implementation of the primary years programme in 2021-2022.

Additionally, we offer the esteemed Cambridge Programme at Anclote, Pasco and Hudson High Schools, Pasco and Paul R. Smith Middle Schools, Hudson Academy, Hudson Primary Academy and San Antonio Elementary School. The success of our students in this program earned Pasco the Cambridge Medium Size District of the Year.

Several high schools, including JW Mitchell, Wesley Chapel, Wiregrass, River Ridge, and Sunlake offer the College Board Advanced Placement Capstone Diploma, engaging students in rigorous research and critical thinking to solve real world problems. All high schools have expanded AP offerings and coursework through a district partnership with Equal Opportunity Schools, yielding an increase of 24% more students taking these courses, a 16% increase in exams administered, and a 4% increase in exam scores eligible for college credit. This resulted in potential future savings of $700,000 in college tuition for our families. As a result of this work for several years, Pasco was not only recognized on the 10th Annual AP District Honor Roll in 2019, we also were named the 10th Annual AP District of the Year for a Large District for 2020.

We continue to expand our career and technical programs, most recently replicating our recognized River Ridge High School New Teacher Academy at Zephyrhills High School, with plans to continue this expansion in future years. Plans are also underway to open a Career and Technical Education high school on the east side of our county, modeled after our existing Wendall Krinn Technical High School on the west side. Student voice and family interest drove the technical programs that will be available at this new school, Kirkland Ranch School of Innovation. Our Pasco Pathways program allows parents to choose from many schools other than the one for which they are zoned through our open choice program.

Our Pasco eSchool is one of Florida’s premier online education programs, boasting some of the highest completion rates and assessment scores in the state, and the third highest enrollment of any Florida school district virtual education program. In 2019, several members of the program’s staff garnered statewide and national recognition for excellence in online teaching, and the program has been ranked favorably in national rankings published by US News and World Report and Niche. Most recently, the principal, JoAnne Glenn, was named a NASSP Digital Principal of the Year.

Finally, in 2015, we implemented a District Success Plan to guide our work. This Plan includes 4 key strategic pillars: Excellence in Student Achievement, Employee Success, Taxpayer Value, and Connecting to the Community. Each pillar is backed up with strategies, tactics, and metrics to achieve success. We review our success quarterly, mid-year, and annually toward meeting identified goals. This is a bona fide, actionable plan that the District and all schools follow in pursuit of our vision to provide a world class education for all students.

On measures of student achievement, such as the District’s graduation and drop-out rates, Pasco continues to excel. Graduation rates are released by the State in late Fall each year. Last year, Pasco had an 89.9% graduation rate (81.2% for Students with Disabilities), 1.6 percentage points higher than the previous year. The District monitors various academic measures including state assessments used as graduation requirements. The increased graduation rate reflects Pasco’s key priorities: high impact instruction, data- driven decisions, and collaborative culture.

The District has continued its commitment to recruiting and retaining highly qualified individuals to educate Pasco County students. In the 2020-2021 school year, 42% of instructional staff in Pasco County Schools had earned a Master’s Degree. This percentage is 6% higher than previous years. The percentage of voluntary departures for the 2020-2021 school year was 15.4%, which is slightly below the national average of 16% according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The number of first day vacancies was significantly lower for the 2020-2021 school year. For the 2019-2020 school year, the district had 118 unfilled instructional vacancies. To begin the 2020-2021 school year, the District had 68 unfilled instructional vacancies. The District has targeted hard to fill areas of recruitment and implemented a national recruitment plan that includes the targeted recruitment of diverse candidates and the targeted recruitment of universities with a high number of education majors. The District has attended both local recruitment events as well as events across the nation. The District has increased and developed a HR branding campaign, implemented a texting recruitment campaign, and increased social media presence. The mission of the Human Resource and Educator Quality Department continues to be to attract, support, and retain a world class team so that the District continues to provide a world class education to all students.