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Most Hillsborough County High Schools Earn A or B Grades

December 18th, 2014 Comments off

Three-quarters of the high schools in Hillsborough County Public Schools earned A or B grades during the 2013-2014 school year, despite the fact the state raised the bar, making it more difficult to earn such grades.

Ten of the district’s 27 traditional high schools earned A grades, 10 earned B grades, and 7 earned C grades. No high schools were assigned D or F grades. Most of the schools showed a higher level of performance. If the state had not raised the cut scores, 19 high schools would have earned an A grade.

“It’s important to note that the state continues to raise the bar and our students and teachers continue to meet the challenge,’’ said Hillsborough School Superintendent MaryEllen Elia. “The hard work being done in our high schools is reflected in a higher level of achievement.”

The high schools with the highest overall point totals are Plant, Newsome, and Steinbrenner high schools.

The elementary and middle school grades were released in July. High school grades are released later because factors other than test scores – such as graduation rates – are factored in to the grades. The graduation rates, also released on Thursday, show that both Jefferson High School and Middleton High School saw a 14-percentage-point improvement. The district graduation rate is 73.5 percent.

The scores above reflect the high school grades for traditional high schools. Brooks Debartolo Collegiate High School charter school received an A grade, and the Pivot Charter School earned a C grade.

For a complete list of high school grades and graduation rates, go to

Supt. Elia Named Finalist for 2015 National Superintendent of the Year

December 17th, 2014 Comments off

Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent MaryEllen Elia has been named a finalist for the 2015 National Superintendent of the Year.

The American Association of School Administrators announced four finalists this morning. The prestigious award honors school leaders throughout the country based on the following criteria: Leadership for learning, Communication, Professionalism, and Community Involvement.

Earlier this month, Elia was honored as Florida’s 2015 Superintendent of the Year.

“I’m honored to be recognized by my peers, and I know this is a recognition of the hard work and tremendous results we’re seeing with our students here in Hillsborough County,’’ Elia said.

A $10,000 college scholarship will be presented in the name of the 2015 AASA National Superintendent of the Year to a deserving high school student.

The other finalists are Philip Lanoue of Clarke County School District, Athens, Ga.; Patrick Murphy, Arlington Public Schools in Arlington, Va.; and Patrice Pujol, Ascension Public Schools in Donaldsonville, La. The winner will be announced at the National Conference on Education in February in San Diego, Ca.

For more information on the American Association of School Administrators, go to

Students Donate to HCSO Homeless Initiative

December 16th, 2014 Comments off

Who:     Ben Hill Bear Patrol (Crime Watch Students)

What:    Students have been collecting clothing and other items for the homeless

When:  Thursday, December 18, 11:00 a.m.

Where: Ben Hill Middle School, 5200 Ehrlich Rd., Tampa

Why:     The students, who are part of the Ben Hill Bear Patrol, have been collecting clothing and other items to assist the homeless during the winter months.

How:     On Thursday, deputies from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Homeless Initiative will pick up the items from the school. This is already the second truckload of items the sheriff’s office has collected from the students. The items will go directly to the homeless in our community as the deputies meet with these men and women on the street. The students say they are concerned about the needs of the homeless and are hoping this contribution will help during the cold winter months.