TAMPA — As expected, the Hillsborough County School Board turned down a bid to open a charter school at MacDill Air Force Base — but not without a lot of discussion and a promise by Superintendent MaryEllen Elia to redouble her efforts to meet the needs of military families.
Elia announced Tuesday that she will create either a work group or task force to look at ways to serve base families, who often live far from the base and cannot send their children to the on-base public school, Tinker Elementary....
The Hillsborough County School Board on Tuesday named Celeste Liccio as principal of Chamberlain High School, and Fredda Johnson as princiopal of Turkey Creek Middle School, and Delia Gadson-Yarbrough as principal of Anderson Elementary School; and Richard Grayes as principal of Clair Mel Elementary School.
Liccio, who joined the district in 1988, worked previously as a teacher at Robinson and Plant City high schools; an assistant principal at Gaither and Jefferson high schools; and a districtwide supervisor for secondary education. She replaces Tommy Morrill, who is now principal of Gaither.
This, from Charter Schools USA, in response to a staff decision in Hillsborough County to deny a charter for a school at MacDill. The School Board votes at a 9 a.m. meeting but, unless history reverses itself, it will uphold the staff recommendation. The author is Ken Haiko, chairman of the Florida Charter Educational Foundation.
“Clearly Hillsborough County district staff is not interested in helping military families at MacDill Air Force Base by providing a charter school option for students on base. The concerns provided in our meeting and the documents posted online are ludicrous and demonstrate the district’s weak arguments against the charter. They outlined three different areas of concern:...
TAMPA — Former Freedom High School principal David Sheppard will become a teacher at Gaither High School in January, according to the Hillsborough County school district.
Sheppard stepped down as principal in October after he was investigated over an anonymous allegation that he had an inappropriate relationship with an employee.
Separately, former Wharton secretary Tracey Seenath, whom Sheppard evaluated while he was assistant principal there, was charged with stalking Sheppard and his wife, who died on Oct. 29. Seenath will be arraigned in Hillsborough County Circuit Court on Tuesday....
TAMPA — Last-minute discussions Monday were unsuccessful in securing approval for a charter school at MacDill Air Force Base.
The official position of the Hillsborough County school district: The application for MacDill Charter Academy should be denied.
The School Board will vote on the issue at its meeting today, but board members rarely, if ever, overrule staff on charter applications....
TAMPA — More security guards are not needed in the Hillsborough public schools and could contribute to discrimination against minority students, the American Civil Liberties Union said Monday.
After analyzing data on student achievement and discipline, the individual rights advocacy group came out strongly against a proposal to place an armed guard in every elementary school. The Hillsborough County School Board is scheduled to vote on the idea next week. ...
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."...