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What's new on the first days of school in Tampa Bay

What would the first day of school be without at least a few numbers and a little math? We've compiled some vital statistics from the four Tampa Bay area districts — Hernando and Pasco start classes today, Hillsborough and Pinellas on Tuesday — and added them up to offer a little lesson on the resources needed to educate young minds. Here's a sampling of what's happening as the 2009-10 academic year kicks off:

Pinellas

Early release: Students get out an hour earlier every Wednesday. (Some exceptions. Check your school.)

Merged schools: Coachman Fundamental + Kennedy Middle = Clearwater Fundamental Middle; Southside Fundamental Middle + Madeira Beach Middle + Madeira Beach Elementary = Madeira Beach Fundamental, the district's first K-8 school.

Teacher contract: Impasse on salary portion.

Hillsborough

No more opting out: Thanks to the swine flu, students with perfect attendance won't get out of taking exams this year. The district suspended the perk to discourage sick students from showing up anyway.

New schools: Five open Tuesday. Bailey Elementary and Strawberry Crest High, both in Plant City; Steinbrenner High in Lutz; and Stowers Elementary and Barrington Middle, both in Lithia.

Pasco

New schools: Anclote High in Holiday and Watergrass Elementary in Wesley Chapel.

Teacher contract: Negotiations continue over salary step increases.

Hernando

New leadership: Displeased with superintendent Wayne Alexander, the School Board struck a deal for his early departure. Negotiations continued late last week. His contract ends in June.

Teacher contract: Still negotiating insurance costs; automatic step increases approved last year.

Tom Marshall, Ron Matus and Jeffrey S. Solochek contributed to this report.

Across Hernando, Pasco, Hillsborough and Pinellas schools:

Enrollment:

380,000

About the population of Minneapolis.

Annual budgets:

$5.7 billion

Nearly the gross domestic product of Bermuda.

Total employees:

54,519

They'd fit in Raymond James Stadium with 10,000 seats to spare.

Total number of buses:

2,169

Daily miles traveled:

176,000

Enough to circle Earth at the equator seven times.

Toilet paper rolls used per year:

1.03 million

Enough to give four rolls to every man, woman and child in St. Petersburg and then some.

Pizza servings in a year:

5.2 million

Enough to feed a serving to every resident of the city of Tampa for two weeks.

Sheets of paper:

416 million

Or about 49,000 trees.

Glue sticks: 177,445

Enough for every Tallahassee resident with leftovers for lawmakers.

Sources: CIA World Fact Book, U.S. Census, Conservatree.com.

What's new on the first days of school in Tampa Bay 08/23/09 [Last modified: Saturday, August 29, 2009 2:28pm]
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