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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

A turnaround at John Hopkins Middle?



turnaround.jpgIf the latest arrest reports are any indication, John Hopkins Middle School - the St. Petersburg school that was rocked last spring by brawls and bad publicity - is quietly making a turnaround.

Hopkins logged just 16 arrests through December, far below the pace that put it at over 100 last school year. And those numbers truly reflect a new reality on the ground, said SAC chair Rosa Robinson, who didn't hesitate last year to criticize a school that many parents and teachers considered out-of-control.

"That nonsense going on last year is not going on this year," Robinson told The Gradebook in a brief interview. "Definitely there has been an improvement."

On a scale of 1 to 10 - with 10 being the worst - Robinson said the school was a 9 last year. This year? "A five or below," she said.

And the fights? "Almost gone."

Robinson said new principal Barry Brown deserves some of the credit.

The arrest data from the St. Petersburg Police Department - which you can see by clicking on the link below - shows the number of arrests, month by month, at Hopkins and the other middle and high schools in the city. At Hopkins, few arrests have been for fighting.

(It's not clear from the report which arrests stem from on-campus incidents and which are related to off-campus behavior. But a St. Petersburg Times look at similar arrest reports last year showed the vast majority were for on-campus incidents.)

(Photo from




[Last modified: Wednesday, January 5, 2011 6:39am]


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