eLearning News for Pasco Parents

Vol 1. Issue 3: April 7, 2020

Focus for the Week

We recognize that this learning situation is new for the majority of our students in Pasco and that many families are also facing unprecedented circumstances with your own work routines and lives. It is incredibly important that you know we all support you in balancing Distance Learning with your current circumstances. If it feels like too much for you or your students, adjust to what is manageable and we will work to support you. If it feels like it is not enough, please feel free to have your students work on any number of the supplemental resources available to them on myPascoConnect.

We are here for you, we understand that each student and family is different and that what works for some may not work for others and what works for you today may be different tomorrow. It is all okay, we will work through it. Teachers, leaders and other school staff are available to help and support and we want your students to feel success, please reach out to them if you are in need of help.

Technology Help Desk

  • For fastest response from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm: Email TechHelp@pasco.k12.fl.us
  • If you are not able to email you can call: 813-794-2859 (If all lines are busy, leave a message and we will respond as quickly as possible)
  • Also, live chat is available from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm on our website at: Technology Help Desk Live Chat (you will see a green chat box in the lower right-hand corner of the screen)

Wifi Support Request

If you do not have access to internet at home, please complete the survey at this link: https://bit.ly/39kf2YY. Please note that completing this survey does not guarantee that internet access will be provided.

Tech Tips- What about all the printing?

Below are some tools to support you and your students at home. Please note that it is NOT REQUIRED for you to print out and submit items within the assignments. We understand that many students and families do not have regular printer access and so all other forms of submission are allowed.

Temporary Distance Learning Plan for Students with Disabilities

Given the uncontrollable circumstances created by COVID-19, and the very limited time period that districts have had to reconfigure their entire educational system, the Florida Department of Education has provided school districts with latitude in the provision of continued services and accommodations to their exceptional student populations: “To support students identified with IEP-related services who may have a disruption in services, school districts have flexibility for the remainder of the school year to provide alternate services or delay services in coordination with the student’s parents and IEP team”.

In order to ensure students have appropriate access to the distance learning program, Pasco County Schools will be implementing a Temporary Distance Learning Plan for students with disabilities. This Distance Learning Plan will act to temporarily supplement a child’s IEP so as to clarify that students will be temporarily educated through an individualized version of the online distance learning program being used by Pasco County Schools. This Distance Learning Plan will ensure that the online program is individualized for each student so that it is presented in a manner that is consistent with the accommodations, services, and needs of each child, as indicated in their IEP. A member of each student’s IEP team will contact you next week to receive input and collaborate with you regarding how to best implement your student’s IEP during the emergency closure. Please see the attached documents for additional information.

Pasco County Schools Distance Learning Plan for ESE Students

Advocacy Assistance

Procedural Safeguards

COVID-19 Fact Sheet

Gifted Services

Services for gifted students will continue through distance learning. During this first week, the focus for students will be familiarizing themselves with the platform and educational setting as well as completing core content area work. Beginning the week of 4/6, services will be delivered via a gifted endorsed teacher as needed and appropriate based on the student’s education plan.

Advanced and Honors Level Courses

During distance learning advanced and honors level courses will be covered in two ways. Middle school advanced courses that differed in content from non-advanced courses were built separately to ensure continuity of learning. Honors level courses are covered through the core subject area courses and will include enrichment from the teacher as appropriate. Students' schedules or course titles will not change in the student system.

John M. McKay Scholarship

The McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program, originally created in 1999, provides scholarships for eligible students with disabilities. If your child meets all Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) McKay eligibility criteria, you may request enrollment in another public school or may seek acceptance to a participating private school. Each year by April 1st, every school district must provide to parents of students with an IEP or 504 Accommodation Plan with information regarding the McKay Scholarship. This link will provide access to Pasco County School’s webpage which includes detailed information.

For Elementary School Students & Families

Week 1 Reflections:

Our elementary students and families did a remarkable job of learning how to access and navigate this new learning experience. We received lots of positive feedback about the types of learning opportunities and the ability to schedule and complete work at the pace that worked for each student. Concerns about the amount of work assigned especially in math and worries about printing and completing all expectations were shared by several families, and we are evaluating how to best incorporate this feedback in upcoming weeks.

Week 2 Updates:

  • Math: This week you will see that we have identified a small number of problems in the daily math lesson. These should take NO MORE than 10 minutes- if it does, don't feel pressured to complete them all, this may be an area to reach out to the teacher for help with. Please don't feel compelled to spend more than 10 minutes on the daily math practice problems.
  • Science: Included HERE you will find a parent-friendly document that summarizes the materials needed for each grade level each week. It also provides alternate options if you don't have access to the materials at home. There is NO EXPECTATION for families to be on the hunt for supplies and materials- if you have them at home great, if not- don't worry, it will not be held against your child or you for not completing. We understand that some things are not feasible for our students and their families at this moment.
  • Art, Music, and PE are all available to students throughout the week. There is not an expectation that students do every one, every day. We suggest picking one each day. It's important for students to disconnect and stay physically active and play each day-that is their PE and Recess. For art and music, these should be fun experiences for your student.
  • Supplemental Resources (Zearn, Smarty Ants, etc) are encouraged but are not required. These have been made available and are designed to support students at their current level. They are great resources for students who are completing all the work and need more and they are useful to support students who may be struggling with grade-level work.

SMARTY ANTS- Supplemental Reading Program

All Pasco primary students K-2 will have access to SmartyAnts® to practice phonics skills necessary to be a reader. Students will access SmartyAnts® in myPascoConnect. This resource will supplement the foundational skills lessons that the students will engage in MyLearning by allowing them to work through a variety of activities that provide opportunities for learning, practice, review, and remediation of foundational skills. For additional information about minutes and logging in you can access the Smarty Ants Parent Letter. Any student in grades 3-5 that needs additional practice with foundational skills can also access the program as needed, please consult your child’s teacher for guidance.

ZEARN: Click Here for additional information and parent resources for ZEARN.


All Pasco students K-5 will have access to hundreds of digital texts through the Bookshelf App on myPascoConnect. Students can find texts by topic or by color level. We encourage all students to read independently for at least 30 minutes a day, practice their Power Goal, and complete a reading log.

For Middle and High School Students & Families

Week 1 Reflections: Our middle and high school students and families did a remarkable job of learning how to access and navigate this new learning experience. Lots of positive feedback about the types of learning opportunities and the ability to schedule and complete work at the pace that worked for each student. Some feedback around there not being enough work for students to keep them busy throughout the day.

Week 2 Updates: This week students will see their electives, including Art, Music, PE and World Languages populate on their dashboards. Some unique electives and/or courses with very small numbers or sections have been combined with other courses with similar content. If this is the case for your child, their teachers will be in touch and will likely be offering opportunities to connect around additional directions, tasks or alternate assignments. We recognize the unique nature of many of our electives courses and know that figuring out how to support them through distance learning is a different task than for many of the core content areas. We recommend staying connected with the teacher and reaching out for advice, questions, and help whenever it is needed.

Middle School Reading Classes

Here you will find some information on how we will support your child in their reading class during Distance Learning using a new tool called Achieve 3000.

STEM Distance Learning Activities

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Tips

The Five Needs of All Children:
  1. Relationship: I want to connect with others
  2. Autonomy: I want to be independent
  3. Competence: I want to experience success
  4. Fun: I want to have a good time
  5. Safety: I want to feel safe physically, socially/emotionally

*from @originsonline

Additional Resources for Social Emotional Learning and support for families during this time can be found here: https://insidesel.com/2020/03/12/covid-19/

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