Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Live coverage:

Want more? View the full stream

Live blog: 300,000 students start school today in Hillsborough, Pinellas

More than 300,000 students and upwards of 22,000 teachers will come together today as the Tampa Bay area's two largest school districts — Hillsborough and Pinellas counties — begin the 2017-18 academic year.

The totals do not include thousands of school district employees who work outside the classroom.

Motorists should feel the difference today, with nearly 1,500 school buses taking to area roads for their morning and afternoon routes.

LIVE BLOG: Complete coverage, and share your photos

BACK TO SCHOOL 2017: A Times special report

READ THE GRADEBOOK: The talk of Florida education

Some highlights: Nine new charter schools and one new district school will open today in Hillsborough, where officials will continue to wrestle this year with finances as they try to balance limited funds against fast growth in the southeast portion of the county. On a lighter note, students at Potter Elementary in Tampa will celebrate the start of school with a festive "clap-in" event.

In Pinellas, Gibbs High in St. Petersburg celebrates its 90th school year starting today while kindergarten students and their parents are just starting their journeys. Many Pinellas elementary schools will host "BooHoo breakfasts" to help kindergarten parents cope with the separation.

The Tampa Bay Times invites teachers, students and parents to share their first-day experiences on Twitter at #tbtbacktoschool.

As the year progresses, districts will look to improve their graduation rates, one of the ultimate measures of success for any school system. Pinellas' rate sits at 80.1 percent, which was up nearly 2 percentage points from the previous year, and Hillsborough's rate rose 3 percentage points to 79.1.

"Not every single student comes in making the right choice," Hillsborough school superintendent Jeff Eakins said in his back-to-school news conference Monday. "Sometimes we have to help them get there."

The school year begins Monday in Pasco and Hernando counties.

Photo illustration. [Getty Images]

Photo illustration. [Getty Images]

Live blog: 300,000 students start school today in Hillsborough, Pinellas 08/10/17 [Last modified: Thursday, August 10, 2017 8:46am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 'Oh, my God, this is crazy!' The 911 calls as Hollywood nursing home residents died (w/video)

    Hurricanes

    One by one, the calls for help poured in from nurses at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills.

    The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, where 14 residents died during an air conditioning failure in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, in Hollywood, Fla., Sept. 14, 2017. The police released 911 calls from a nursing home under investigation after some of its residents died in the post-hurricane heat. [Scott McIntyre | The New York Times]
  2. Neil deGrasse Tyson will speak at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday. We talked to him ahead of time. Check out what he had to say. [Patrick Eccelsine/FOX]
  3. Conor Oberst, Johnnyswim concerts moved out of State Theatre over construction issues

    Blogs

    Two more concerts -- including one this weekend -- have been moved out of the State Theatre in St. Petersburg as the venue continues to experience scaled-down crowd capacity following recent construction.

    Johnnyswim
  4. Hillsborough board to vote on new school start times

    K12

    TAMPA — The big issue at today's Hillsborough County School Board meeting will be the 2018-19 bell schedule. To save money and get students to school on time, …

    Hillsborough County School Board members tried to work out their differences at a training day in Temple Terrace on Oct. 11. Today, they will vote on revised school start times for 2018-19. [COLLEEN WRIGHT | Times]
  5. McCain condemns 'half-baked, spurious nationalism' in clear shot at Trump (w/video)

    National

    PHILADELPHIA — An emotional Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., launched a thinly veiled critique of President Donald Trump's global stewardship Monday night, using a notable award ceremony to condemn "people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems."

    Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., right, accompanied by Chair of the National Constitution Center's Board of Trustees, former Vice President Joe Biden, waves as he takes the stage before receiving the Liberty Medal in Philadelphia, Monday, Oct. 16, 2017. The honor is given annually to an individual who displays courage and conviction while striving to secure liberty for people worldwide. [Associated Press]