TAMPA — Hillsborough school officials are poised to deny the application for a new charter school at MacDill Air Force Base, citing concerns about the way it would be governed.
The School Board votes Tuesday on the proposed MacDill Charter Academy, and a last-minute meeting is planned Monday to try to iron out differences between district staff and the charter school group.
But staff found inconsistencies in the charter's 475-page application....
TAMPA — As the Hillsborough County School District once more contemplates a multimillion-dollar school security plan, it is losing its longtime security chief.
After 20 years on the job, David Friedberg says he will step down as early as January, allowing for a transition to the next chief.
"I have two grandchildren. I have a third on the way," Friedberg, 60, said Wednesday. "I have accomplished pretty much all I have set out to do in the last 20 years with the school district, and I think this is the opportune time." ...
TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School District will pay more than $500,000 to the family of a special-needs child who drowned behind her Riverview middle school, subject to a vote Tuesday by the School Board.
Jennifer Caballero was an 11-year-old student with Down syndrome at Rodgers Middle School when she vanished from a crowded physical education class on Oct. 22, 2012.
After a frenzied search involving school staff and Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies, her body was recovered from a retention pond near the school that evening....
And the decision on
is --- we still don’t know. MacDill Charter Academy
The percentage of high school graduates who are ready for college when they get there is increasing statewide, and in most Tampa Bay counties, according to data released by the state Department of Education.
Hillsborough showed the best results, with 72.5 percent ready for college in 2012, up from 70.7 percent in 2011.
Statewide, the percentage rose to 66.4 percent from 64.7 percent. Increases were reported in Hernando County, to 63.7 from 63.2; and in Pasco, to 68.1 from 66.7. College readiness decrease in Pinellas County, where 70.1 percent were ready in 2012, down from 70.9 percent in 2011....
TAMPA — A student athletics transfer policy that stymied Hillsborough County families and school officials is coming under major revisions that could give kids more ways to change schools.
The rules, which previously allowed transfer students to play under only four sets of criteria, would become far more broad if the policy is approved by the Hillsborough County School Board.
For example: If a family can no longer afford a private school, the child can transfer to his or her neighborhood public school and play the same year....
Once again, the Hillsborough County School Board is trying to fine-tune the district's process of determining althetic eligibility for transfer students.
As the board sits as a sort of appellate body when students are not allowed to play, it's a hot topic. Under the current policy -- which a local lawyer already has challenged in court -- a student must sit out a full calendar year of play if he changes schools after ninth grade. A committee can reverse that decision if the student meets one of four sets of criteria, including a "full and complete move" by the family....
12/01/13 Public Safety
TAMPA — A Seffner driver was killed after he swerved off a road early Sunday and drove his van off a 4-foot embankment, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
According to the report, Joshua Paul Carroll, 27, was heading east on State Road 574 near Cragmont Drive, west of Seffner, at 6:02 a.m. when his Plymouth Voyager van went off the road.
The van traveled on the shoulder and through a fence, then flipped over when it fell from the embankment....
TAMPA — They called her a hero. They gave her a plaque with a miniature school bus.
Celebrated by the Hillsborough County School Board on Nov. 12, bus driver Debra Dryden said this about the 9-year-old from Ippolito Elementary School whom she had caught six days earlier with a gun:
"I feel very sorry for this young man and what he's done. I'm sure he did not have complete comprehension of what he was doing and where it was going to lead to."...
TAMPA — Responding to a charter group's pitch for a new school at MacDill Air Force Base, Hillsborough superintendent MaryEllen Elia said Thursday that she has reservations about the for-profit company that would run the school.
What's more, she said the school district has made multiple offers to expand its services to military children, including a K-8 school in South Tampa, and already provides much of what they need....
TAMPA — For the second time this year, the Hillsborough County School District will revisit its new athletic transfer policy, which is the subject of a recently settled lawsuit and a lot of aggravation for the School Board.
The decision to discuss the policy at a Dec. 2 workshop came after a frustrating afternoon for the board, which heard five appeals, most involving a group of softball players who left Blake High School....
TAMPA — For two decades, his star rose in the Hillsborough County school system as a well-regarded educator who finally got a principal's job last year at Freedom High. Then last month, he told parents, teachers and students he was stepping down for health reasons and would take another job with the district.
There is more to the story of David Sheppard — details left out of the official explanation, details that may or may not be related to his departure but that have raised questions....
Hillsborough County School Board members are increasingly exasperated by the athletic participation appeals process.
Meeting to rule on several appeals two hours before the Tuesday night board meeting, they allowed a Jefferson High School student to play softball after transferring from Blake High School, largely because of a conflict with her coach and a bullying situation involving another student....
TAMPA — In an unusual move, a group that wants to open a charter school at MacDill Air Force Base pitched its proposal Tuesday to the Tampa Bay Times' editorial board.
"What we're trying to do is change the way we support our families," said Air Force Col. Scott V. DeThomas, the base commander and a father of two who endorses the idea.
"This is one of the methods that we think we can improve on and ensure that we maintain the highest level of retention and recruiting and make sure that our families get the absolute best care when they're in Tampa."...
TAMPA — Charles Brink didn't just put his name in the race for Hillsborough County School Board. He's also loaned $65,000 to the campaign.
The loan — the only money 61-year-old Brink lists so far in his finance reports — makes him the fundraising leader of all 16 candidates who filed so far for three seats in 2014.
Close behind is Michelle Popp Shimberg with $61,368, much of it from family, friends, business associates of her husband and people she has met in her years as a community volunteer....