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Back to School 2016
A special Times report helps you get in step with the start of the new school year – from basic information on how to register your child, to information on the state sales tax holiday, school calendars, education policies that affect your family and more.

Why Florida schools are starting so early this year

Every summer, Joe Kuehn takes his family on vacation, making plans that get his daughter back in time for classes at Countryside High. This year, the Pinellas County School District threw Kuehn for a loop. Months after adopting its 2016-17 academic calendar, the School Board moved its first day of classes two weeks …



Florida trims its back-to-school tax holiday to only three shopping days

Facing tighter budget restrictions this year, the state Legislature reduced the back-to-school tax free holiday to three days and ruled that the credit this year will not apply to computers or clothing items costing more than $60. Last year, consumers enjoyed 10 days without paying the 6 percent state sales tax on  …


  1. Hillsborough's new system of area superintendents aims to bring school decisions closer to families


    TAMPA — Sharon Morris spent 28 years at Riverview's East Bay High School, advancing from teacher to principal.

    AREA 1
Lisa Yost
  2. Hillsborough makes leadership changes at some schools


    Some Hillsborough County public schools will start the year with new principals.

    Here's a school-by-school breakdown:

    Bailey Elementary

    Jarrod Haneline

    Age: 33

    Joined the district: 2005

    Jarrod Haneline
  3. Hillsborough County schools by the numbers



    largest district in Florida (out of 67)


    students, K-12 based on April 2016 state count




    annual budget


    graduation rate


    elementary schools …

  1. Hernando County: new principals for 2016-17


    Five Hernando County schools will have new principals going into the 2016-17 academic year:

  2. Back-to-school events — Hernando County


    Back to School events

    Back-to-School Bash

    Rev Up Your Engines kicks off the school year with entertainment, a Teachers' Supply Drive to stock up their supply closets, free haircuts and sports physicals for $25 per student. Coastal Way Shopping Center, 13173 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville. …

  3. 2016-17 Hernando County schools calendar


    2016-17 calendar

    Aug. 10: First day of school for students.

    Aug. 31: Early release day.

  1. Several Pasco schools start the year with new principals


    Several Pasco County schools have new principals for the 2016-17 academic year:

    Wiregrass Elementary

  2. Growth sparks new offerings in Pasco schools for 2016-17


    The school district will open one new elementary school this fall, along with two special education campuses and two new middle school magnet programs. One new charter school will debut in August, bringing the total number of charters to 10. Here's a breakdown of the new additions:

    Wiregrass Elementary …

    The newly built Wiregrass Elementary awaits it first students in Wesley Chapel.
  3. Back-to-school events — Pasco County


    Special events

    Around the region

    Westshore Mall Back-to-School Fair

  1. New crop of principals take the reins in Pinellas


    Elementary schools


    Michael Rebman, 39, was promoted from assistant principal to principal of Azalea. He launched his career in the Pinellas school district in 2005 and has also served as an assistant principal at Fairmount Park Elementary.

    Bear Creek

    Michael Rebman, 39, principal of Azalea Elementary.
  2. Pinellas County schools by the numbers



    largest district in Florida (out of 67)


    students, K-12 based on April 2016 state count


    students in adult education programs


    full- and part-time instructional staff



  3. Pinellas brings back recess, but it won't be the same at all elementary schools


    When parents across the county joined others statewide to demand the return of daily recess in elementary schools, the Pinellas County school district responded with its own solution.

    Responding to a push from parents, the Pinellas school district has mandated increased physical activity in elementary schools.