TAMPA — The head of school at Tampa Bay Preparatory School is back on the job after an investigation stemming from a decades-old allegation of wrongdoing, the school announced this week.
Kevin Plummer was on a leave of absence during the summer while the school looked into an allegation of "possible inappropriate behavior" at a different school where he was an intern more than 25 years ago....
Hillsborough district spokeswoman Tanya Arja responded Wednesday to rumors about job cuts with this statement:
The ongoing adjustments are business as usual.
Chief of Staff Alberto Vazquez, in a meeting recently with the eight area superintendents, told them all to evaluate their schools and make sure that they were properly staffed. Or, as Arja put it, "ensure the units were properly allocated."...
After months of ceremony, the first official work of the Mort Elementary Community School began with 16 mothers telling one another, "Good evening, everybody, my name is ...."
Wednesday's session, conducted entirely in Spanish, was Mort's first Engaged Parents class, led by instructors from the local Hispanic Services Council.
The group will gather at the north Hillsborough school every week to learn about resources in the public schools while their children are provided with dinner and activities in another room....
Hillsborough superintendent Jeff Eakins updated the School Board Tuesday on the district's seven high-needs Elevate schools. We'll post regular updates too, as the district has pledged to improve education at these seven long-struggling schools.
Sulphur Springs K-8 School has a multi-level "house" system, as seen in the Harry Potter books and, closer to home, at Franklin Boys Preparatory School. The system is designed to encourage students to take more responsibility for the school and their behavior. "Each house has a color, a crest, a chant," Eakins said....
TAMPA — Hillsborough County school employees gathered Monday for three hours of training that included this admonishment from district leader MaryLou Whaley:
"It's never okay for a teacher to pray with a student."
Not even if you know the family, said Whaley, director of community partnerships and philanthropy. "Any time you're seen as an authority, it crosses the line."
Monday's session, one of six to bring administrators up to speed on an array of topics, included information on Hillsborough's new online activity fliers and how it now screens volunteers....
Hillsborough School Board | District 7
Eight people are competing to replace Carol Kurdell, who is stepping down from her at-large seat. The diverse group includes repeat candidates and newcomers, parents and former teachers from neighborhoods extending from Riverview to New Tampa. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes, the top two vote-getters will face off in the general election....
Hillsborough School Board | District 5
Five candidates are hoping to replace Doretha Edgecomb to represent east and central Tampa. Some of the district's poorest neighborhoods and most disadvantaged schools are in District 5, and the outcome of this contest will rest largely on which candidate appears most capable of advocating for children who need the most help. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes, the top two vote-getters will face off in the general election. ...
Hillsborough School Board | District 3
Cindy Stuart's upset win in 2012 was the first step in a shift in power that toppled Superintendent MaryEllen Elia. Since then, Stuart has focused on serving her area schools while serving on other boards, including Safe and Sound Hillsborough and the Metropolitan Planning Organization. She is challenged by Alicia Toler, whose experience as the parent of an autistic child has made her an advocate for children with special needs. ...
Hillsborough School Board | District 1
Now seeking her fourth term, Susan Valdes presided over the leadership change that resulted in a new superintendent, Jeff Eakins. Critics are not convinced enough progress has been made. Bill Person, a retired school district administrator, believes both the administration and the elected board need improvement.
About the job: School Board members, elected on a nonpartisan basis, are paid $42,000 a year for interacting with constituents and overseeing the district and its yearly budget of $2.8 billion. They meet about four times a month. District 1 includes Northwest Hillsborough and Town 'N Country....
TAMPA — Harrison Peters remembers the 10th-grade teacher who said he wasn't college material, and the one who said, "I love you, I believe in you and I'm not going to allow you to fail."
He shares those stories every chance he gets. "What we tell children, it matters," he says to teachers.
That is, when he isn't quizzing them about what they do, why they do it and how exactly they will make sure it's working....
It's official: Hillsborough County's school district will use more voicemail and cut back on its secretarial staff, in keeping with recommendations from the Gibson Consulting Group....
TAMPA — A Riverview elementary school principal has received a warning letter from his bosses over a faculty prayer session that took place last week on his campus as the staff prepared for the new school year.
The Aug. 4 letter from chief of staff Alberto Vazquez went out to principal Anthony Montoto, describing a video in which "you, the Assistant Principal and members of the Frost Elementary School staff were praying on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016 at the start of the day during pre-planning week."...
TAMPA — Teachers say they are discouraged from writing discipline referrals. Students need more time with counselors. And, by some accounts, children are encouraged to take a few days off instead of serving an official suspension.
As more than 200,000 Hillsborough County children return to school today, they will experience a well-intended discipline policy that, according to some teachers, still needs work....
TAMPA — Kollin Spain, 14, wants to be a U.S. Navy Seal. Paola Rioja, 17, is on her way to becoming a mechanical engineer.
Giovani Reyes, 12, wants to play middle school soccer. D'Satrius Nelson can recite his alphabet, which is appropriate because, at age 6, he is just entering first grade.
Two days before the start of the school year, Hillsborough County Public Schools superintendent Jeff Eakins introduced these and other students at a news conference with a message to the 27,000 employees now returning to work:...
TAMPA — Seven of Hillsborough County's lowest-performing schools will continue to get extra support even though the district eliminated a special department dedicated to their needs, said superintendent Jeff Eakins.
Eakins addressed reporters at a news conference Wednesday where he insisted he is not retreating from goals he stated a year ago to make Booker T. Washington, Potter, Edison and Miles elementary as well as Sulphur Springs K-8, Sligh and McLane middle schools into centers of excellence instead of perpetual struggle....