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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Two Hillsborough schools praised for College Board work

TAMPA -- Two Hillsborough schools have been named finalists to serve as demonstration schools for the College Board's SpringBoard program, company officials said today.

Strawberry Crest High and Martinez Middle are among 14 schools nationally to earn that status for showing particular proficiency with the program, which aims to prepare low-income and minority students for college-level work and the company's own Advanced Placement classes.

Hillsborough has led the nation in encouraging more students to enroll in AP courses, which bring college credit and a bit more heft to the college application. Some have cast a skeptical eye at the numbers of students who struggle in those courses, but the district says everyone benefits from a more rigorous curriculum.

In any case, SpringBoard is the program that aims to prepare students for those rigors in grades 6 through 12. More from the press release:

"Written by teachers for teachers, SpringBoard is a research-based program that is well aligned to the Common Core State Standards and was recently highly recommended by Phi Delta Kappa International as a program of exceptional quality.

"'SpringBoard builds critical thinking skills and problem-solving strategies that today’s students must have to succeed in secondary school, prepare them for rigorous course work like AP, and enable them to be successful in college and postsecondary opportunities,' said Pamela L. Nelson, vice president and general manager of SpringBoard at the College Board. 'Effective classroom implementation, as demonstrated by our finalists, can lead to measurable academic achievement for students and beneficial professional development for teachers.'

"Each finalist school has completed a rigorous self-assessment and produced a brief video of SpringBoard in action featuring student, teacher and administrator interviews that underscore the benefits and successes achieved. Each of the potential National Demonstration Schools will be evaluated on criteria including school walkthroughs, portfolio reviews, and interviews with students, teachers and administrators. Schools meeting these standards of exemplary practice will be recommended for National Demonstration School recognition by the site selection team."

"The 14 finalist schools exemplify the best of SpringBoard implementations in their districts:

-Longs Peak Middle School, St. Vrain Valley School District

-Pine Ridge Middle School, Collier County Public Schools
-Strawberry Crest High Schoo, Hillsborough County Public Schools
-Martinez Middle School, Hillsborough County Public Schools
-Mater Academy Charter Middle/High School, Miami-Dade County Public Schools
-Boynton Beach High School, School District of Palm Beach
-Santaluces Community High School —  School District of Palm Beach

New Mexico:
-Cleveland Middle School, Albuquerque Public Schools

-Chinook Middle School, Bellevue School District
-Highland Middle School, Bellevue School District
-Odle Middle School, Bellevue School District
-International Middle School, Bellevue School District
-Tillicum Middle School, Bellevue School District
-Tyee Middle School, Bellevue School District

"In addition, Bellevue School District is a finalist as a National Demonstration District finalist because more than 50 percent of its secondary schools are National Demonstration School finalists.

"SpringBoard is the foundational instructional component of the College Board’s College Readiness System and is used in over 1,000 schools across the nation, by more than one million students. To be considered as a National Demonstration School finalist, these 14 schools have implemented SpringBoard for at least two years with ongoing professional development. In addition, their teachers have established a professional learning community in their school so, with their peers, they can learn from their collective experiences and share best practices.

"The winning schools will be announced in June and receive a $10,000 credit for professional development services; registration and recognition at College Board events; a customized school banner and plaque; inclusion in SpringBoard research and reports; and opportunities to pilot new SpringBoard-related programs.

"For more information about SpringBoard, visit"

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 2:29pm]


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