Sunday, February 25, 2018
Education

Hillsborough plans two new schools, three school renovations

TAMPA — Hillsborough County's school district will build an elementary and middle school in the southeastern part of the county and is renovating three elementaries this year.

Beyond those projects, the prospect for additional ones is unclear as the state continues to direct its capital education dollars to charter schools.

Hillsborough educators are skeptical about the state's projection of charter school growth.

"The state likes to think we're going to have a lot of kids going to charter and virtual," chief facilities officer Cathy Valdes told the Hillsborough County School Board on Tuesday.

The state projection: Charter school population districtwide will increase from 11,894 in 2012-2013 to 19,410 in 2017-2018.

Population in traditional schools is expected to decrease for several years, according to a five-year plan that the district is required to update every year.

"The state is projecting that we're going to lose about 1,000 students a year into the fifth year of the plan," Valdes said. "And then they show us starting to gain again, because you know we are going to have growth in Hillsborough County."

This year's plan calls for renovations at Cannella, Bing and Boyette Springs elementary schools for a total of $18.5 million.

Looking to the future, board members wondered if the district might be caught off-guard — especially if school population does not conform to the state's expectations.

City of Tampa redevelopment efforts could put a strain on the Rampello Downtown Partnership School, they said.

Similarly, as the construction sector continues to rebound, south Hillsborough could find itself with school crowding.

Anticipating such trends, the district has planned most of its new construction in the southern part of the county.

Board member Stacy White of Valrico said he's interested in more than just construction. His constituents have asked if the district might open a fifth International Baccalaureate high school program in his district.

Superintendent MaryEllen Elia said that is not likely to happen any time soon because of the costs, but her staff will track the population in the four existing IB schools to see if the demand exists.

Marlene Sokol can be reached at (813) 226-3356 or [email protected]

Comments
Special Olympians shine at county summer games

Special Olympians shine at county summer games

NEW PORT RICHEY — It was one of those perfect days, when sunscreen and shade are in high demand, smiles are aplenty and the camaraderie on the field trumps the thrill of victory.About 600 Special Olympians and unified athletes from west Pasco schools...
Published: 02/23/18
Pasco foundation battling childhood hunger one school at a time

Pasco foundation battling childhood hunger one school at a time

ZEPHRYHILLS — On a Thursday morning in a small warehouse off Gall Boulevard, a well-oiled machine of goodwill is cranking. At the Thomas Promise Foundation, volunteers Carlos and Robin Clothier, pack boxes of macaroni and cheese, granola bars, apple ...
Published: 02/23/18
After Parkland, another plea for rumor control: ‘This is not a joke’ (w/video)

After Parkland, another plea for rumor control: ‘This is not a joke’ (w/video)

ST. PETERSBURG — The mayor and the police chief came to Northeast High on Thursday to warn students about the dangers of circulating rumors of school safety threats on social media.While they were there, one of those unfounded rumors popped up on Fac...
Published: 02/22/18
Collards, ribs and Kool-Aid: Black History Month menu at NYU stirs controversy

Collards, ribs and Kool-Aid: Black History Month menu at NYU stirs controversy

NEW YORK — On Tuesday, a dining hall at New York University advertised a special meal in honor of Black History Month. On the menu? Barbecue ribs, cornbread, collard greens, and two beverages with racist connotations: Kool-Aid and watermelon-flavored...
Published: 02/22/18
Arming teachers? Some officials like the idea, but many educators don’t (w/video)

Arming teachers? Some officials like the idea, but many educators don’t (w/video)

With high school students from Parkland in the Capitol this week advocating for gun control, the bill that would have allowed superintendents and principals to designate trained employees who can carry concealed weapons at school didn’t get heard as ...
Published: 02/22/18
How will Douglas High students go back to class? There’s now a plan in place.

How will Douglas High students go back to class? There’s now a plan in place.

When students return to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High for the first time next Tuesday, they will be greeted by additional counselors and law enforcement."There will be a plethora of counselors and services at the school," Broward Schools Superintende...
Published: 02/21/18
School shooter may get inheritance — and be ordered to spend it on legal bills

School shooter may get inheritance — and be ordered to spend it on legal bills

Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz appears to have been in line for a sizable inheritance. He’ll never get to spend it — except perhaps on defense attorneys.The amount could be enough to compel a judge to order him to hire a private lawyer, rather ...
Published: 02/21/18
Pasco County schools, dealing with threats, warn students of consequences

Pasco County schools, dealing with threats, warn students of consequences

DADE CITY — A Pasco High School student was taken into custody Tuesday amid accusations of threatening violence against the school. The campus was not at risk, school district officials said. But they made clear they take each threat seriously, and t...
Published: 02/21/18
‘Blind Side’ star delivers message to Newsome High kids

‘Blind Side’ star delivers message to Newsome High kids

LITHIA — Students, faculty and staff recently scurried inside the Newsome High School gym for a morning assembly to hear a message about bullying from a man who kids once taunted.Newsome’s principal Carla Bruning invited actor Quinton Aaron, star of ...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/23/18
Spoto High helps students un-bottle emotions with Challenge Day

Spoto High helps students un-bottle emotions with Challenge Day

RIVERVIEW — Spoto High School English Department Head Adam Sherman can’t help but wonder if a program he introduced to Spartan students could have changed the trajectory of Nickolas Cruz’s life before he gunned down and killed 17 people on Valentine’...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/23/18