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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

More about those job cuts in the Hillsborough school district

Sligh Middle School success coach Lanita Lucas stopped to shoot a few baskets during our visit in November. At last count, the Elevate school on the outskirts of Sulphur Springs had two success coaches for 497 students.


Sligh Middle School success coach Lanita Lucas stopped to shoot a few baskets during our visit in November. At last count, the Elevate school on the outskirts of Sulphur Springs had two success coaches for 497 students.



At our request, the Hillsborough County School District provided us with two emails that were sent out to employees this week that shed more light on the hiring freeze and the plan to fill teacher vacancies with educators who are not now in the classroom.

The second of the two emails confirns that success coaches -- tasked since late 2014 with working closely with at-risk students in high school and middle school -- will be affected by this move. The success program was considered a key component in the district's plan to even out racial disparities and reach a 90 percent high school graduation rate by 2020.

But the news isn't all bad for success coaches. The second of the two emails says that high-needs schools will be "fully considered" in this process, which could mean the Elevate schools and others that struggle with high poverty and low grades will get to keep the resources they need.

The two emails are at the end of this post. For your convenience, here is the Gibson Phase I report and the Gibson Phase II report. Superintendent Jeff Eakins' video address is here, and Chief of Staff Alberto Vazquez's remarks in Spanish are here

In a few days, we will organize these and other budget-related documents in an updated post that will make them easier to find.


Monday's "auto-opener" email to employees:

Principals/Site Managers/Supervisors,

This email is a notification that effective tomorrow (10/11/16) at 4:00 PM, HCPS will go in to a hard freeze on ALL positions, instructional and support.  There will be no hiring of any positions until the freeze is lifted.

We understand a freeze in hiring instructional positions is unusual.  However, we are in the process of looking at potentially filling these vacancies with current HCPS employees.  We appreciate your patience as we work through this process.

Stephanie F. Woodford

Chief Human Resources Officer

2920 North 40th StreetTampa, Florida 33605

(813) 840-7328


Wednesday's auto opener email, in English and Spanish:

Dear Colleagues,

Hillsborough County Public Schools has received the Gibson Consulting Group's second phase report.   The report is currently being reviewed by the Superintendent and Chief of Staff.   

The Gibson Group makes recommendations based on audits assessing the efficiency and effectiveness of the district's major programs.  Additionally, the report compares the district's unit allocations against other districts of similar size as well as makes comparisons against industry standards.  Our focus as a district is always on how we can best serve the needs of our students.

 As a District and in collaboration with many stakeholders, decisions as to which recommendations will be implemented will be made.  These decisions will be made with our students' needs as our first priority. Please be assured that our goal is to implement these changes slowly and purposefully, without the need for layoffs.

The first section of the report addressed the over-allocation of clerical support throughout the district.  We have implemented the first phase of unit adjustments in the clerical area in conjunction with our scheduled fall unit adjustments.  

The report also addressed the staffing costs for non-classroom based instructional staff.  Based on recommendations from the Gibson Report, the next phase of unit relocations will include adjustments to the non-classroom instructional formulas.  Non-classroom instructional units include: district resource teachers, school resource teachers, academic and success coaches, and academic intervention specialists.

It is clear that the instructional units play a key role in the success for our schools, classrooms, and students.  A stakeholder committee will be convened to develop models that can best be implemented so that appropriate support is still provided for students and teachers.  Much of the restructuring will occur through transfers, promotions and retirements.  High needs schools will be fully considered in any implementation of these decisions.   

Once again, we recognize the challenges we have faced as a district this year may have caused some employees to feel uncertain.  We will do everything within our power to minimize the impact on you, our valued employees, and honor the choice of parents by providing the highest quality of education to our 213,000 students.

Human Resources

Estimados colegas,

El Distrito de Escuelas Públicas del Condado de Hillsborough ha recibido el segundo informe de la Empresa Consultora Gibson (Gibson Consulting Group). El informe está siendo revisado por el Superintendente y por el Jefe de Gabinete y Administración.

La Empresa Consultora Gibson hace recomendaciones basadas en auditorías que evalúan la eficiencia y eficacia de los programas principales del distrito. Además, el informe compara las asignaciones en cada área del distrito con otros distritos de tamaño similar, así como también hace comparaciones con los estándares de la industria. Como distrito, nuestro enfoque principal es siempre~cómo mejor servir a las necesidades de nuestros estudiantes. El Distrito, con la colaboración de muchas partes interesadas,~tomara~decisiones acerca de cuáles recomendaciones se aplicarán. Estas decisiones se tomarán teniendo en cuenta las necesidades de nuestros estudiantes como primera prioridad. Pueden estar seguros que nuestro objetivo es poner en práctica estos cambios poco a poco y con un propósito, sin la necesidad de despidos de personal.

• La primera sección del informe se refiere acerca de la sobreasignación de personal de apoyo administrativo a través del distrito. Hemos puesto en marcha la primera fase de ajustamientos en el área de apoyo administrativo en conjunto con aquellos previamente establecidos para el otoño.

• El informe también señala los costos de personal de instrucción fuera del aula. Basados en las recomendaciones del informe de Gibson, la siguiente fase de redistribución de áreas incluirá ajustes a las fórmulas de enseñanza fuera del aula. Áreas de instrucción fuera del aula incluyen: maestros de recursos del distrito, maestros de recursos de escuelas, entrenadores académicos y para el éxito, y los especialistas de intervención académica. Las unidas didácticas juegan un rol importante en el é xito de nuestras escuelas, aulas y estudiantes.  Un comité de socios será convocado para desarrollar e implementar un modelo para que los apoyos apropiados sean provistos a nuestros estudiantes y maestros.Gran parte de la reestructuración ocurrirá a través de traslados, ascensos y retiros. Las escuelas con más necesidad serán consideradas totalmente en cualquier aplicación de estas decisiones.

Una vez más, reconocemos que los retos que hemos enfrentado como distrito este año pueden haber causado que algunos empleados se sientan inseguros. Haremos todo lo que esté a nuestro alcance para reducir al mínimo el impacto en ustedes, nuestros valiosos empleados y honrar la decisión de los padres en escoger un programa educativo de la mejor cualidad.

Human Resources

[Last modified: Wednesday, October 12, 2016 4:37pm]


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