Pasco crafting improvement plans for consistently failing schools

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Several Pasco County Schools have been getting failing grades for the past few years. The district says its making them their top priority.

  • Six schools received "D" or "F" grades for two or more years
  • District working on improvement plans for all six schools
  • Improvement plans could include rewarding teachers for proven student success

Currently, six Pasco elementary schools have been getting ‘D’ or ‘F’ school grades for two or more years. Those schools include Gulfside Elementary, Gulf Highlands Elementary, Hudson Elementary, Pasco Elementary, Rodney B. Cox Elementary, and Lacoochee Elementary.

Hudson Elementary is the state’s biggest concern. It’s had a ‘D’ grade since 2010.

“We were a little bit concerned,” said parent Kerry Duck.

The district is working on improvement plans for all six schools to be implemented next year.

Hudson Elementary already has a head start with a new principal, Dawn Scilex. Scilex came from Fox Hollow after changing its grade from an ‘F’ to a ‘C’ in three years.

Scilex says part of it was focusing on her teachers.

“We are providing additional professional development throughout the year, so they have time outside of their contract time that they’ll be compensated for,” said Scilex. “We are also bringing instructional coaches to the campuses."

Part of the improvement plan could also include rewarding teachers for proven student success. It will be different than what Lacoochee Elementary had done in the past, giving teachers bonuses for just working there. The teachers still left.  

Now the district hopes to fill vacancies. The district has been holding job fairs, as well as going out of state to recruit high quality teachers to fill the roughly 180 openings throughout the district for next year.

The plan is to recruit high quality teachers and student services staff, which is something parents like Duck like to hear.

“It’s really important for me that my daughter comes to school excited to learn every day and has these wonderful teachers that encourage her and support her," said Duck.

Bay News 9 – local-news

May 8, 2016 |

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