1. Gradebook

Hillsborough School Board will turn cameras on for two important workshops

Viewers can see the action on the website or TV
Hillsborough County School Board meeting [OCTAVO JONES | Times]
Hillsborough County School Board meeting [OCTAVO JONES | Times]
Published Jun. 19, 2019
Updated Jun. 19, 2019

Returning some - but not all - transparency to its governance, the Hillsborough County School Board will hold its next two workshops in the main board room, with cameras on.

On Thursday, they will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss the upcoming search for a superintendent to replace Jeff Eakins, who is retiring in June of 2020.

On Tuesday, June 25, also at 10 a.m., they will discuss student discipline - a huge topic for teachers in recent years - and the district’s relationship with the Florida State Fair.

The decision to televise the June 25 workshop was “based on the topic and the number of people we expect to either come to the workshop or be interested in it,” district spokeswoman Tanya Arja said in an email.

The Tampa Bay Times, which has been pushing for televised workshops ever since they were curtailed in February, had been in contact with several individuals and organizations who considered attending and doing their own live-streams. These included teacher activist and blogger Ryan Haczynski, the teachers’ union, the Whistleblower Facebook site, and educator April Cobb, who conducts web-based watch parties about diversity issues in the schools.

Since 2017 and the beginning of this year, workshops were televised routinely until, under the leadership of Tamara Shamburger, the district stopped televising both the workshops and the public comment section of their board meetings.

Arja said “there are no other changes,” which means public comment will still be omitted from the broadcast and live-stream of the 4 p.m. meeting on June 25.

All of these gatherings are open to the public and anyone who wishes to live-stream the 3:30 p.m. public comments is free to do so.

The district just renewed its contract with Tampa Bay Arts and Education to carry programming that includes school board meetings, at a cost to taxpayers of $148,000 a year. To see the meetings, viewers can go to the school district’s website or, on television, look for them at Spectrum Cable channel 635 or Frontier channel 32.


  1. Custodian James Berrien, (center) and Hillsborough Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins are pictured at Cypress Creek Elementary for the opening of a time capsule buried in 1991 when Eakins was a 4th-grade teacher. It was the first year that Berrien, present at the burial of the capsule, worked at the school. Febuary 27. Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020 in Ruskin.  [MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE  |  Times]
  2. Hillsborough school superintendent Jeff Eakins holds a time capsule at Cypress Creek Elementary Thursday in Ruskin. Eakins, who retires soon, was a fourth-grade teacher at the school when the capsule was buried in 1991. [MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE  |  Times]
  3. Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, has pushed for changes to Florida's restraint and seclusion laws for nearly a decade.  (AP Photo/Steve Cannon) [Associated Press (2016)]
  4. Health officials recommend washing hands frequently and sanitizing toys, clothes and other items as often as possible to avoid the spread of viruses.
  5. An artist's rendering shows one view of Tyrone Middle School in St. Petersburg after a $28 million renovation. Work is expected to start in February 2021. The Pinellas County School Board approved a contract with Rowe Architects Inc. to work on the project. [Pinellas County Schools]
  6. Graduates enjoy fireworks at Bright House Field.
  7. A bill to merge Florida Polytechnic into the University of Florida keeps advancing, even as most lawmakers say they don't approve.  [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times (2018]
  8. Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D- Orlando  [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  9. More than 100 people turned out Jan. 15, 2019, to give the Pasco County School Board their thoughts on the district's policy and procedures for transgender student rights. [JEFFREY S. SOLOCHEK  |  Times]
  10. Hudson High student Kaitlyn Helzer introduces herself to a curious corn snake during the Nature Coast Envirothon, held Feb. 19 at Dade Battlefield Historic State Park in Sumter County. Students from Pasco, Hernando, Sumter and Citrus counties tested their knowledge on aquatics, forestry, soils and wildlife while vying for a spot at state competition. [MICHELE MILLER  |  Times]
  11. Incoming Superintendent Addison Davis (center) and School Board Chair Melissa Snively (right) sign Davis' contract with the Hillsborough County School District after it was unanimously approved by the school board on February 18, 2020. [JUAN CARLOS CHAVEZ  |  Times]
  12. Teacher Dequita Parker guides youngsters to lunch from the playground Sept. 20 at the PromiseLand Early Childhood Education Center in Tampa.