Press Conference on Student Success and the Cost Benefits for Families

July 16th, 2014 Comments off

Who:     Superintendent MaryEllen Elia invites parents, students, and principals to discuss the cost benefits to students and families involved in successful academic programs.

What:    Press conference to highlight AP exam results, IB diplomas, FCAT school grades, and Career and Technical Education certifications

When:  Thursday, July 17, 10:30 a.m.

Where: School Board Auditorium, 901 E. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa

Why:     Last year alone, Hillsborough County families saved more than $10 million dollars in college credits their children won’t have to take at a university. Each AP class a student successfully completes and scores at least a 3 on the AP exam, saves a family roughly $900 a course at a 4-year Florida university.  Career and Technical Education offers students industry certification to prepare them for a career once they graduate high school.

How:     Parents and students will give first-hand accounts of the benefits of these academic programs.

Hillsborough County Schools Earn More A Grades

July 11th, 2014 Comments off

Hillsborough County Public Schools experienced an impressive increase in the number of schools earning A grades during the just-completed school year. This year, 63 elementary schools earned A grades, compared to 40 the previous year. Also, 20 middle schools earned A grades, compared to 14 the previous year. Both of the K-8 combination schools earned A grades.

Overall, with 85 A grades and 19 B grades, more than half of the elementary schools and middle schools earned an A or B grade.

“We know that our students and teachers have been working hard this year, and it’s great to finish the school year and get these kinds of results,’’ said Superintendent MaryEllen Elia. “During this transitional time, it’s gratifying to see our students performing at such high levels. Our students, teachers, principals – and parents – should be very proud.”

The impressive showing by Hillsborough County students comes during the last year that Florida students took the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT), the test that largely determines school grades. In the coming school year, students will take an entirely different test (the Florida State Assessment), based on the new Florida Standards.

The grades released on Friday include elementary and middle schools only. The high school grades include several other components that still must be factored in, such as the graduation rate. High school grades are expected to be released in the fall.

There were several highlights in the school grades this year:

·               Bailey Elementary School improved three letter grades from D to A.

·               Seminole Elementary School improved three letter grades from D to A.

·               Several elementary schools improved two letter grades, from C to A.

·               Both of the single-gender middle schools earned A grades for their work this past year. The Ferrell Girls Preparatory Academy earned an A grade for the second year, after several years of C grades. The Franklin Boys Preparatory Academy improved to an A, after earning a B the previous year, and a D the year before that.

·               Roland Park K-8 Magnet School improved to an A grade after earning a B the previous year and a C the year before.

The positive trend was reflected across the board, as the total number of schools earning a D or F decreased.

For a list of the school grades go to the Florida Department of Education website at

Hillsborough Students Have Access to Educational Game Software

July 3rd, 2014 Comments off

Hillsborough County students now have free access to educational games software as a result of a partnership with educational video-game developer DimensionU, Inc.

The educational software includes math and literacy games for students in grades 3 through 8, and students can access the games using their district student ID. The district’s HOST (Hillsborough Out of School Time) program recently expanded access of DimensionU Games to all Hillsborough County elementary and middle school students and educators as a supplemental digital learning resource for math and literacy classrooms, after school and summer programs, and for home use.

The expanded access is timely for parents seeking ways to help prevent summer learning loss and keep their children engaged with academics this summer and throughout the school year. Students who attend the 2014 HOST Summer Program will have an opportunity to participate in the HOST Annual Academic Gaming Competition where HOST sites and students compete virtually across Hillsborough County.

DimensionU has also opened registration for its National 2014 Great Summer Chill Competition, a five-week Ed-Gaming tournament for students across the nation, to compete for prizes, keep them current with academics and prevent the summer brain drain.

Parents can learn more about how to access DimensionU Games by logging into mySPOT on the district website at