Sunshine concerns about school board 'retreat'


On March 22nd, School Board Members, Superintendent and Superintendent’s staff participated in a board 'retreat' at Silverthorn Country Club from 10AM to 3:30PM. Concerns arose over potential Sunshine violations due to the district’s failure to publish a public notice for the training session.

At the Regular School Board meeting on April 11th, School District Attorney Dennis Alfonso commented that it was less of a retreat and more of a board training program, which was discussed at a public meeting months earlier “and several dually noticed public workshops.”



THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, April 19, 2017 .......... A bill aimed at scaling back the number of standardized tests administered in Florida passed its final Senate committee on Wednesday after picking up amendments dealing with recess and other education issues.

The growth of the measure (SB 926) quickly drew complaints, even from some supporters, that it was becoming an unwieldy "train," a term for late-session bills that glom together different proposals in order to ease passage for one or more of the ideas.

Teacher terminated for inappropriate survey


Fox Chapel Middle School

A Fox Chapel Middle School teacher, Daryl Cox, recently distributed a questionnaire to her sixth grade “Leader in Me” students. The questionnaire contained inflammatory questions on race, religion and sex. Cox was terminated by the Hernando County School District. The story was picked up by two local television stations as well as The Blaze.

A reporter for WTSP, found that many of the questions were taken straight from a book called “Exploring White Privilege” by Robert Amico.

Time capsule unearthed at Explorer K-8

Teacher Rebecca Honey-Baroudi, front, and inaugural year kindergarten students, now in eighth grade go through the contents of the time capsule they buried eight years ago.

On Friday, March 24 the inaugural class of kindergarteners who are now in eighth grade, unearthed a time capsule that they had buried in 2009. Fifty-three of the original class of 187 students who started school when Explorer K-8 opened are still attending the school.

Their current classmates and teachers; eleven of the original kindergarten teachers who are still teaching at the school; Stacy Tarbox, yearbook supervisor who worked with the students on the project; and Chris Healy, Assistant Principal joined these first “explorers” at the ceremony.

School District considers free meal program for all students at several public schools

The Board Members of the Hernando County School District are supportive of the district implementing the Community Eligibility Provision, a federal program that reimburses the district for providing free breakfast and lunch to students at qualified schools.

Lori Drenth, Hernando County School District Food Service Coordinator described the Community Eligibility Provision or “CEP.” The purpose she states, “is to provide meals at no cost to large groups whether it’s schools [or] school communities.” The provision is part of the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act.

Powell Middle School Choir receives SUPERIOR ratings

The Powell Middle School Choir received the highest ratings of SUPERIOR from all four adjudicators at their annual music performance assessment on March 3 in Ocala. The evaluations are sponsored by the Florida Vocal Association, the organization that oversees the choral programs in Florida’s middle and high schools. This is the 12th consecutive year that the Powell Choir, under the direction of David Pletincks, has been rated as SUPERIOR. The combined Powell Choirs have performed this year at Christmas in Spring Hill, Universal Studios and Busch Gardens Christmas Town.

School District Updates Feb. 28, 2017


'Superintendent Spotlight'

The update from the Superintendent highlighted the work of reading coaches. There are 7 reading coaches in the district. They provide professional development, collaborate with teachers, analyze and review data, facilitate curriculum task force, update curriculum maps, etc. They also organized last year’s Superintendent's Summer Reading Challenge. They work to have all students reading on grade level. A reading coach regional meeting was held at DS Parrott Middle School.

Spring Hill native receives Phil Royal Scholarship

Cristian Miller accepts the $4000 Key Center Phil Royal Scholarship on Feb. 22, 2017. Photo submitted.

Nature Coast Tech Alum and Spring Hill native, Cristian Miller, 20, was bestowed a high honor on February 22. He was the recipient of the first Key Center Phil Royal Law Enforcement Academy Community Service Scholarship to Withlacoochee Technical College. The Key Center serves individuals with developmental disabilities and Phil Royal served on the Board of Directors for 19 years.

10 Hernando County students make All-State Ensembles

10 Hernando County students chosen for All-State Choir/Band Ensembles with their choir/ band directors.  Photo provided by the Hernando County School District

(STAFF) Ten students in the Hernando County School District were selected to perform with the Florida All-State Ensembles in choir and band.

Chorus teacher and director at Powell Middle School Dave Pletincks explained the rigorous statewide audition process. At the band level they go to a location where they record auditions. There is a sight reading audition and scales audition. Each student audition is loaded online and judges go through them to determine the best ones.

Some ensembles and honor bands are selected through recommendations.