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School Board

HCPS publishes minutes of School Board meetings after Board approval. Although the online minutes do not include signatures, citizens may arrange to review the official documents by completing a public records request with the Communications Department.

901 E. Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa
Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The School Board of Hillsborough County, Florida, met in regular session Tuesday, February 3, 2015, at 3 p.m., in the School Board Auditorium, 901 East Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, with Superintendent MaryEllen Elia, and Board Members Doretha W. Edgecomb, April Griffin, Sally Harris, Carol Kurdell, Melissa Snively, Cindy Stuart, and Susan Valdes present. Chair S. Valdes presided.

Others present were:

Board Attorney – James Porter

Deputy Superintendents: Jeff Eakins and Cathy L. Valdes

Assistant Superintendents/Division Chiefs:
      Academic Support and Federal Programs –Larry Sykes
      Administration – Lewis Brinson
      Business – Gretchen Saunders
      Curriculum and Instruction – Vacant
      Facilities – Chris Farkas
      Governmental Relations – Connie Milito - absent
      Human Resources – Stephanie Woodford
      Information and Technology/Empowering Effective Teachers Grant – Anna Brown
      Student Services – Wynne Tye

Communications Officer – Stephen Hegarty
External Communications Manager – Tanya Arja
External Communications Assistant Manager – Kristin Davis
Senior Administrative Secretary (Recording) – Linda Fernandez

News Media Representatives:
      Tampa Bay Times – Marlene Sokol
      Tampa Tribune – Erin Kourkounis
      Camera Crews – Fox 13, Channel 29, Bay News 9, Channel 10, Channel 8, Univision, and Telemundo

Approximately 175 people were in the audience, including other school district personnel.

Call to Order: meeting called to order at 3 p.m.

Moment of Silence and Pledge of Allegiance: Moment of silence followed by Vice Chair Edgecomb leading in the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States Flag.

Withdrawn Items – 4.05 and 4.06

Adoption of the Agenda:

Motion by Ms. Edgecomb, second by Mrs. Snively, to adopt the agenda. Motion unanimously carried.

Board – Roll Call:  Chair S. Valdes declared a quorum with all Board Members present.

Approval of Minutes

Motion by Mrs. Stuart, second by Mrs. Griffin, to approve the: January 20, 2015 – regular meeting. Motion unanimously carried.

Board Guidelines – Public Comment Announcement

Vice Chair Edgecomb read the guidelines into the record.

Chair S. Valdes acknowledged Shaun Jacobs, Blake High School junior, and his teacher John Parris. She thanked Shaun for providing entertainment before the meeting. Shaun was one of six Blake High School guitar students to make it into the Florida All-State Guitar Ensemble.

Speakers to Agenda Items

Speaker Item No.
Corey Felton 10.05
Bishop Michelle B. Patty 10.05
Alpheria Lee Wright 10.05
Kelly Garcia 10.06
Kathleen Shanahan 10.06

Chair S. Valdes said Agenda item 10.06 is an information item, not an action item. Mrs. Griffin said she will make a motion to move the item up for discussion so speakers can hear the conversations.

Mark Klutho 7.02, 7.03, and 7.04
Linda Tossoonian G01
Andrew Joseph, Jr. Audience Comments
Jason Mims Audience Comments

Suspended Agenda


Suspended Agenda

Jeff Eakins highlighted the suspended agenda.

  1. On January 23, 2015, the African-American/Hispanic Task Force held a student session at Jefferson High School. They received a lot of good information. The next task force meeting is scheduled for Friday, February 6. Between the student input and task force discussions they are formulating their recommendations.
  2. Closed Captioning update – January 20, 2015, the final phase was implemented. We will continue to research the concerns mentioned regarding translations discrepancies.
  3. State Fair update – Dr. Brinson provided an update and explained procedures to be implemented. We are controlling the distribution of the tickets. tudents will need their student ID or student number. Our goal is to get the children inside. Students who are suspended will not receive a ticket. We will have employees monitoring entrances. Les Miller, Ms. Edgecomb, and I have met with community members to encourage their presence to help with supervision. We have been working with the Sheriff’s Department to make sure it is a safe environment. There will be an increase in law enforcement to protect not arrest He encouraged parents to come to the fair with their children.
  • Chair S. Valdes recognized the Sheriff’s Department members present in the audience.
  • Mrs. Stuart asked what is the district’s plan to communicate the strategy to parents.
  • Jeff Eakins said a video has been sent to schools to be played all week on the morning show. The information is printed on the back of the tickets as well. A ParentLink will go out to the parents.
  • Mrs. Harris addressed foster care homes, group homes, and cottage parents who will have a large number of students under their care at the fair and how will that be addressed. They will be handled with individually.
  • Ms. Edgecomb stressed safety first and thanked Curtis Stokes and the members WTMP for continuing to air the message.
  • Chair S. Valdes asked Mr. Porter about the guns in the mix at the Fair. Mr. Porter said that the board has no jurisdiction on guns at the fair.

Motion by Mrs. Griffin, second by Mrs. Stuart, to move agenda items 10.05 and 10.06 after the appointments before the 1.00 items. Motion carried six to one, Mrs. Kurdell opposed.

Teaching and Learning


Hillsborough County Public Schools 1:1 Initiative

Joe Cochran, General Manager highlighted the item. A computer for every student is the goal.

Stacy Zuppa, Math Teacher at Robinson IB shared how she is using technology in the classroom. She introduced Isabella Ruiz, IB freshman at Robinson High School, who shared how technology is helping her in her studies.

Sherri Cerni, Franklin Preparatory Academy AVID Instructor shared her use of technology in her classroom. She introduced 8th grader Francisco Garcia, who shared what technology, has meant to him.



Adoption of Proclamation - Black History Month, February 2015 (Curriculum and Instruction Division)

Dennis Holt, Supervisor, Secondary Social Studies highlighted the item at the request of Ms. Edgecomb and presented the proclamation.

Comments by Ms. Edgecomb and Mrs. Snively.


Adoption of Proclamation - Career and Technical Education Month, February 2015 (Curriculum and Instruction Division)

Christopher Jargo, Assistant Director, Career and Technical Education presented the proclamation.

Administrative Appointments

Chair S. Valdes asked to move up agenda item 9.02 and it was moved up on the agenda.


Approve the Administrative Appointment for the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction

Superintendent Elia presented her recommendation.


  • Mrs. Griffin said the discussion has nothing to do with an individual being recommended, but rather the timing of the agenda item. At the last board there was a vote to terminate the superintendent’s contract effective June 30, 2015. It is her understanding that there were discussions with the attorneys that there would be no more cabinet appointments made to the cabinet. She expressed her continued concern with the secrecy surrounding appointments and lack of succession planning. Would like to hold appointing this position to the March 24, 2015 meeting.

Motion by Mrs. Griffin, second by Mrs. Stuart, to continue this item to the March 24, 2015, board meeting. Motion withdrawn after discussion.


  • Mrs. Stuart said there were conversations at the termination of the contract regarding this topic.
  • Mrs. Harris said with the changes this Board has placed on our district we must be strategic and timely placing our administrators. Tabling this position leaves a void in our administration’s staff. We need to support who we have in charge.
  • Mrs. Kurdell cannot support the motion. This is about student achievement and we are entering a new testing season. We need to have experienced people in place. Curriculum and Instruction is the heart of what we do regarding student achievement. Whoever comes in as superintendent or acting superintendent has to have the ability to move forward. She outlined the possible length of the superintendent search.
  • Ms. Edgecomb said it would be a disservice to our community, district, and our students. Even though the superintendent’s contract has been terminated she is still superintendent of this district until June 30, 2015? Mr. Porter said there is only one superintendent until June 30, 2015, and after March 5, 2015, she will be using unused vacation time and will not physically be present. We do not have the right to limit her responsibilities as superintendent. It is not fair for Mrs. Tye to have to support two divisions. We need to move forward and Mr. Oest has all the qualifications to support the children of the district.
  • Mrs. Griffin said considering that it has been made personal; it was her understanding there were specific conversations with the superintendent’s attorney that no appointments would be made once the decision was made. Is that incorrect? Mr. Porter said when he, the superintendent’s representative, and superintendent met regarding the termination, there would be no cabinet level appointments brought to the board. However, there was an agenda item for the January 20, 2015, board meeting and at his request was removed. He thought other appointments would go forward but not cabinet level positions. He clarified that as superintendent; she has the power to do that. Mrs. Griffin withdrew her motion and stressed this discussion had nothing to do with the particular appointment before the Board.
  • Mrs. Elia said at Mr. Porter’s request the appointment was withdrawn from the January 20, 2015. At no time did she agree to not bring any further appointments. We have an instructional division opening that is critical for the success of this district and appreciates board members that understand.
  • Chair S. Valdes said when we know we are going to have vacancies due to retirement, what is the sense urgency? She supports student achievement, moving forward, and providing the resources for our kids.  However, where is the succession plan or shadowing opportunity? How appointments are brought forward is a concern.

Motion by Mrs. Kurdell, second by Ms. Edgecomb, to appoint Denny Oest, currently General Instructional Leadership Director, to the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum Instruction, effective February 4, 2015. Motion unanimously carried.

  • Mrs. Kurdell suggested as we move forward, and the board works with Human Resources this can be added to the list to be addressed.

Recommendations and Reports of Superintendent Requiring Board Approval

Motion by Ms. Edgecomb, second by Mrs. Griffin, to vote on the consent agenda with the following items pulled for discussion. These items will be voted on all together at the end of discussion.

     C01, Consent Agenda 1.02, 6.09, 6.10, 6.11, 7.02, 7.03, 9.02 and Information items 10.04, 10.05, and 10.06

Motion carried with Mrs. Kurdell and Mrs. Stuart absent for the vote.

An information item 10.04 was heard at this time.


Humana Vitality Activity and Rewards Program (Human Resources Division)

Michael Millett highlighted the Reach for Silver Program at the request of Mrs. Stuart and recognized John Montgomery, Humana Medical Director and Ashley Kusczynski, Vitality Coordinator. The Silver Program has the potential of a $4.5 million savings to the district.

Comments by Mrs. Snively and Superintendent Elia. Mrs. Snively challenged her fellow board members to reach the silver first.


Discussion of Transition and Future Leadership of the District

Chair S. Valdes shared the questions she would like to see answered.

  1. What is the board’s pleasure for selecting a new superintendent?
  2. Who will be acting superintendent beginning March 6 through June 30, 2015?
  3. Does the board want to select an interim superintendent effective July 1, 2015?

Mr. Porter said Mrs. Elia will be the official superintendent until June 30, 2015, but will be on vacation from March 6 through June 30, 2015. Legally there can only be one superintendent at a time. It is good and appropriate for consistency that there be an acting superintendent. Because Mrs. Elia is still superintendent that decision has to be hers. The board does not have the power to make that appointment. You have the power to hire a new superintendent. You need to determine how you want to proceed but if you choose to do a national search and the process cannot be completed with a person in place by July 1, 2015, you would have to hire an interim superintendent.

  • Ms. Edgecomb said Mrs. Elia continues to be our superintendent until June 30. What is she able to do or not do when she is not physically here?

    Jim Porter said she would be on vacation and out of touch and not actually running the district.

    What impact would she have in terms of operating the school district? What would the relationship be between the superintendent and the acting superintendent?

    Jim Porter said none. She would not be running the district. The board does not have the authority to hire an acting superintendent that is the responsibility of the superintendent.

    Traits to be considered:
    Qualifications, attributes, competencies to help the board make the transition.
    Must understand the urgency, this is about children, and have a commitment to our vision.
    Able to understand, beyond anything else how what we do impacts every child and employee and employees feel valued.
    Brings stability, calm, and confidence.
    Has to understand the ongoing challenges and complexity of this district.
    Be able to tap resources.
    Inspire and motivate for positive direction and bring confidence back to the community.
    Problem solver – ability to listen with head and heart.
    Relationship with Board is crucial.
    Actions must speak louder than words.

  • Mrs. Griffin asked to have the superintendent speak on who she sees in that role.
  • Mrs. Stuart asked Mr. Porter if it is appropriate for the superintendent to name an acting superintendent and the board does not have a vote. Jim Porter – yes.
  • Mrs. Elia said she has a great staff of people who work with this district. They have done incredible work. She would hope that the board will keep those agendas moving. Jeff Eakins has been the Deputy for a while. He came down during the transition with Mr. Otero and Mr. Valdez retiring. She feels that Mr. Eakins has a strong hold on what the district needs to move forward. It is extremely important to have continuity and he will bring continuity to the district and has been the board’s go to person and has done an excellent job. We have asked staff to step up and provide support when Cathy Valdes and I leave in March. She expressed the importance to Mr. Eakins that he has the ability to apply for the position and encouraged the board to encourage Mr. Eakins to do so.
  • Chair S. Valdes clarified the effective period is March 6, 2015 to June 30, 2015; and the acting superintendent has been designated by Mrs. Elia to be Jeff Eakins. She asked Mr. Eakins if he was ready for March 6. Absolutely.
  • Mr. Porter said as you discuss selecting the next superintendent you need to determine if you are going to allow or not allow an acting or interim superintendent to apply.
  • Mrs. Griffin thanked Mrs. Elia for making the recommendation and Mr. Eakins accepting the position. She has had conversations since November, off the record, asking who they would see in the position. Time and time again Mr. Eakins’ name was brought up as a candidate for the position. All her constituents that he has helped have been pleased with him. He will be supported and helped by a lot of people.
  • Mrs. Kurdell confirmed the appropriate title is Acting Superintendent and told Mrs. Elia, "You could not have appointed a better person.” Your senior staff can continue to do their jobs and Mr. Eakins can step into the position. This gives stability to the district.
  • Mrs. Stuart thanked the Superintendent for bringing on board a deputy that has worked well with the board and thanked Mr. Eakins for his work and support.

Chair S. Valdes asked what is the boards’ pleasure on selecting a Superintendent? Do we want to conduct a national search? Do we want a search firm to conduct it? How do we want to engage the community to get their input on the qualities for the next superintendent? The last search cost approximately $46,000. We would have to do an RFQ?


  • Mrs. Griffin
    Community input is a large conversation for the selection.
    Need to have a "needs assessment” and include a number of chambers and get board members engaged in areas of familiarity.
    Schedule town hall meetings for community input.
    Need to look at the local needs of the community.
    Create questionnaires.
    Discuss qualifications.
    Type of search - external or internal with community input.
    Mr. Eakins should be able to apply for the job.
    Give Mr. Eakins a contract for a year and let him work as superintendent providing continuity. If he is succeeding why do a national search.
    I don’t want to spend the money if we have the in-house talent to do it.
  • Chair S. Valdes asked what the effective date of the contract would be.
  • Mrs. Kurdell said 2015 brings us to five months as acting superintendent, then offering a one-year contract as superintendent (now 2016). So in 2017 we would access his performance and decide if we want to do a national search.
  • Chair S. Valdes suggested while he is serving in the capacity for one year we could have town hall meetings for community input.
  • Mrs. Kurdell
    Process comes to mind. Process has to be clear.
    Committed to community meetings.
    With national search all the candidates meet with the community.
    Do a community survey.
    Concern about a one year contract, she could see a multi-year contract.
    Put off a national search now.
    The last three times the search was handled through Human Resources. When you get candidates here who are not from Florida they are shocked by the Sunshine Law and financial disclosure, etc.
  • Chair S. Valdes suggested the workshop scheduled next week to discuss the superintendent’s evaluation tool, be changed to continue the conversations on the process.
  • Ms. Edgecomb
    A one year period would allow for community input on what a superintendent should look like, get input from all of our stakeholders by using technology, and give the board and Mr. Eakins time to work together.
    What the community wants may look like Jeff Eakins and we may not have to go beyond.
    Talking about the contract – is it realistic that one year is adequate and appropriate.

    Mr. Porter said the board has the ability to offer a one year contract. Mr. Eakins would have to agree.

  • Mrs. Harris
    We have had a huge outpour from our community.
    We could do a national search almost on our own because everyone in the United States knows what we are doing in Hillsborough County now.
    We have to reach out to the community regarding a national/internal search.
    If we did a national search and turn around and come back home, it would say a lot about his abilities with the community.
    We need to put something on our website quickly to receive input.
  • Mrs. Stuart
    Has information she will share with the board for the workshop.
    National searches have not bode well for candidates in the state of Florida. All appointees have been local.
    Would like to see a two-year contract. One year is not enough time to put things in motion.
    Workshop needs to talk about timelines, salary, and type of leader.
    Jeff Eakins has some great qualities and ideas and she would like to have those conversations at the workshop next week.
    Florida School Boards Association can also provide information.
    We need to take our time and be thoughtful on where we are going.
  • Mrs. Griffin
    Hears what you are saying about a two-year contract.
    There is something to be said for stability.
    Wants a national search. What we can see is maybe we have the cream of the crop right here in-house.
    Need to have discussions on qualifications, our mission, and vision.
    We have been focused on the national agenda because this board set a goal to be at the top 1% in the nation. We need to recraft the mission and vision to draft where we want our district to be.
  • Mrs. Snively
    Thanked Mrs. Elia for selecting Mr. Eakins and thanked Mr. Eakins for accepting the position for the designated time.
    Has confidence in the board to move swiftly.
    Asked Gretchen Saunders what a time line would look like. How long does it take to get the RFP? Six months from start to finish.
    Need to do due diligence with a national search because it will give us credibility.
    Comfortable with acting swiftly because we need to meet the needs of our students and public perception. For consistency she feels comfortable putting a motion into place for that to happen this evening to name an interim superintendent for one year.

  • Mr. Porter said this is an information item and it could be brought back to the next meeting for a vote. However if that is the consensus of the board it could be brought to the next board meeting as an agenda item.
    She would like this brought back to the next board meeting as an action item.

    Would you anticipate the recommendation to be an interim or a permanent superintendent with a finite timeline? The discussion has been both and we would need consensus.
    It would be an interim position with a timeline in place.
  • Mrs. Harris asked if other districts have done RFP, are we allowed to use their data and not do our own RFP. If it is an active RFP we can, but we do not have an active RFP at this time.
  • Ms. Edgecomb said she would like to hear from Mr. Eakins at the workshop on Tuesday. This to be an intense discussion between the board, attorney, and Mr. Eakins. He needs to be able to talk about his hopes and dreams.
  • Chair S. Valdes asked board members if they had information to bring to the workshop, to please get it to their secretaries.
  • Mrs. Stuart asked if Palm Beach County has an active RFP. As of last Friday they did not have one. She said Volusia County’s superintendent has retired.
  • Chair S. Valdes congratulated Mr. Eakins on the appointment as the acting superintendent. In reference when we name our interim, is there a difference between an interim and acting superintendent?

    Jim Porter said an Interim would be for a finite period with an ending date but have full powers to act as Superintendent. At what point in time would conversations begin regarding the terms of the contract. The terms would have to be agreeable to both parties and Florida State Law.

    Looking forward to next Tuesday’s workshop to get a more clear process and asked board to consider if they want to appoint an interim superintendent.


Information Requested by the School Board Concerning Additional Support Staff Assigned to Board Members and Renovation of Board Office Space

Mrs. Griffin said her thoughts were to be in a school or a district office, she did not expect to see what was presented and recommended throwing it in the trash. It was not what she was looking for.

Mrs. Snively said she asked for the cost analysis and thanked staff for providing the information.

Ms. Edgecomb said this is an information item. We can use it as information as requested and not take any action or discussion. You can talk about it and have it come back at a future board meeting as a vote.

Superintendent Elia clarified that Mrs. Griffin asked to keep the current secretaries and add seven policy aides. She read the motion from the previous meeting. The information item before you is $180,000 short because we were only adding four secretaries. We provided information from other boards.

Mrs. Griffin said the office tear out was not part of her request. She is looking at a revenue neutral office space. She does not use her cubical because of concerns of violating the Sunshine Law. She was not looking at tearing out the superintendent’s suite and displacing the communications office. That is not what was requested. She is looking for a space which offers privacy.

Mrs. Stuart, maker of the motion, said it is not a conversation for tonight and should be held with the acting superintendent. She spends a lot of hours in her district because most of her information is at home and is looking at how to best support board members that do not live near ROSSAC. She was surprised at a half million dollar cost. Other districts provide their board a service budget for travel, training, additional aides or help. Orange County has that in place and she would like to explore that when we have further conversations.

Mrs. Kurdell said there is no additional office space in schools or district building. She suggested using your staff differently. Originally board members home offices were recognized by IRS and to her knowledge that has not changed. She does not use her cubical and has a good working relationship with her secretary. Our jobs are part time. Would the secretary be part time as well? She would never agree to spend money on this.

Ms. Edgecomb asked for clarity. Are we talking about the secretary as we know now or are we talking about a policy aide? If this comes to a vote she is going on record as saying it can be reduced it by one.

Mrs. Snively said there is a need for field office locations. She has a location in her office where she can meet in private and would like to look at business partners in the community to see if they can make offices available to meet with constituents in private.

Chair S. Valdes mentioned conflict of interest when using community partners.

1.00 Curriculum and Instruction Division (Vacant)
1.01 Request for Authorization to Proceed – none
1.02 Approve Renewal of Affiliation Agreements for Health Science Education, 2014/2015

Scott Brooks, General Director highlighted the item at the request of Mrs. Griffin. Ms. Edgecomb made comments.



2.00 Instructional Support (Wynne Tye)
2.01 Request for Authorization to Proceed – none



3.00 Student Services and Federal Programs Division (Larry Sykes)
3.01 Request for Authorization to Proceed – if any
3.02 Approve the Memorandum of Understanding By and Between St. Petersburg College Board of Trustees and The School Board of Hillsborough County, Florida, for the Tampa Bay Educational Partnership



4.00 Human Resources Division (Stephanie Woodford)
4.01 Request for Authorization to Proceed – none
4.02 Approve Personnel List #1033—Instructional
4.02a Approve Administrative Appointments/Transfers
  • Douglas Carmichael, currently Student Planning and Placement, to the GIS Research Analyst, Information Services, effective February 16, 2015
4.03 Approve Personnel List #889—Instructional Support


Approve Teachers Considered Out of Field—Subject Area and English Language Learners
4.05 Approve Disciplinary Action—Instructional Withdrawn
4.06 Approve Disciplinary Action—Instructional Support Withdrawn



5.00 Information and Technology Division (Anna Brown)
5.01 Request for Authorization to Proceed – none



6.00 Business Division (Gretchen Saunders)
6.01 Request for Authorization to Proceed – none
6.02 Accept the Renewal of the Highest-Ranked Proposal Submitted by Superior Uniform Group—Request for Proposal #11036-DST Work Uniforms (Business Division)
6.03 Approve the Recommendation Regarding the Purchase of International/Navistar Parts and Labor from Sun State International Truck, LLC (Sole-Source Provider) (Business Division)
6.04 Approve   the Purchase of Venstar Thermostats and Related Parts from Baker Distributing   Company, LLC (Sole-Source Provider) (Business Division)
6.05 Approve the Agreement for Technical Services with Tidwell and Associates, Inc. for the Evaluation of the GEAR UP Grant (Information and Technology Division)
6.06 Approve Accepting Match Dollars from United Way Suncoast for the Early Childhood School Readiness Programs (Academic Support and Federal Programs Division)
6.07 Approve Amendment #0007 to Contract #LK170 Between the State of Florida, Department of Children and Families, Refugee Services, and The School Board of Hillsborough County, Florida (Academic Support and Federal Programs Division)
6.08 Approve Budget Amendments for the Period Ended December 2014 (Business Division)
6.09 Approve the Agreement for Technical Services with Prismatic Services Inc. for the Evaluation of the School Climate Transformation Grant (Information and Technology Division)
6.10 Approve the Agreement for Technical Services with Prismatic Services Inc. for the Evaluation of the Project Prevent Grant (Information and Technology Division)
6.11 Approve the Agreement for Technical Services with Prismatic Services Inc. for the Evaluation of the Project AWARE Grant (Information and Technology Division)
6.12 Approve the Agreement for Technical Services with Pacific Research and Evaluation, LLC for the Evaluation of the Math and Science Partnership Grant (Information and Technology Division)



7.00 Facilities Division (Chris Farkas)
7.01 Request for Authorization to Proceed – none
7.02 Approve Proposed Attendance Boundary for Jack R. Lamb Elementary School and the Accompanying Boundary Adjustments to Frost and Ippolito Elementary Schools

Lorraine Duffy-Suarez, General Manager highlighted the item at the request of Ms. Edgecomb, Mrs. Stuart, and Mr. Farkas.
7.03 Approve Permanent Utility Easement Agreement with Tampa Electric Company at East Bay High School for Transportation Modular Building

Mrs. Griffin made comments.
7.04 Approve Acceptance of Project for Building Envelope Renovation at Memorial Middle School
7.05 Approve Acceptance of Project for Roof Replacement at Young Middle School



8.00 Administration Division (Lewis A. Brinson)
8.01 Request for Authorization to Proceed – none
8.02 Approve the Recommendations for Change of Placement of Regular Students
8.03 Approve the Recommendations for Change of Placement of Exceptional Student Education Students
8.04 Approve Out-of-County/Out-of-State and Overnight In-County Student Field Trips
8.05 Approve Waiver of Rental Fees



9.00 Unclassified
9.01 Request for Authorization to Proceed – none
9.02 Approve the Administrative Appointment for the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction (Moved up on the agenda.)
9.03 Approve Change to Florida School Boards Association School Board Legislative Liaison   Alternate

Motion by Mrs. Stuart, second by Mrs. Griffin, to vote on the items pulled from the consent agenda. Motion unanimously carried.

10.00 Information
10.01 Request for Authorization to Proceed – none
10.02 Approved School Activity Requests for October 1, 2014—December 31, 2014 (Business Division)
10.03 Monthly Financial Position Reports as of December 2014 (Business Division)
10.04 Humana Vitality Activity and Rewards Program (Human Resources Division) Moved up on the agenda.
10.05 Discussion of Transition and Future Leadership of the District – moved up on the agenda.

Ms. Edgecomb and Mrs. Stuart asked for highlight and made comments.


Information Requested by the School Board Concerning Additional Support Staff Assigned to Board Members and Renovation of Board Office Space Moved up on the agenda.

Ms. Edgecomb asked for highlight and made comments. Mrs. Griffin asked to withdraw the item.

Scheduled Hearings on Policies and/or Business Items - None

Other Business and Board Comments

Ms. Edgecomb

  • Applauded partnerships that continue to support our schools. She attended the East Tampa Community Revitalization. She attended the 3rd annual Super Bowl event at Delia Sanchez Center and thanked community partners: SEEDS Program, Idlewild Baptist Church, and the Derrick Brooks Youth Charity Program
  • Visited Freedom High School to see how they support their students beyond the classroom. There is a commitment to bridge the gaps between the communities and a commitment between faculty and staff to get support for students. Partners do make a difference and you are changing lives. They add to the places where we can’t fill in the gaps.
  • Thanked the Supervisor’s council school board appreciation breakfast hosted by Steinbrenner High School who showcased their student talent.

Mrs. Stuart

  • Thanked Hillsborough CTA for hosting the MASE/Florida Turn Conference. Thanked Stephanie Baxter-Jenkins and Jean Clements who brought people to address partnerships.
  • Thanked TOBA who hosted the Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast. The speaker was very engaging.
  • Thanked Anderson Elementary for hosting First Lady Anne Scott.
  • Attended the Berkley Prep Art Exhibit. Berkley is one of our partners with Willis Peters Exceptional Center.
  • Thanked the Alliance for Public Schools for the work they are doing in our community and sharing how parents can become involved locally and in Tallahassee.
  • Thanked Jefferson High School and Van Ayers for allowing us the opportunity to have robust conversations with students.
  • Fair – Student Day is Friday she encouraged families, parents, and students to take responsibility for actions.

Mrs. Kurdell

  • Congratulated Ted Hope for the All County Music Festival. Dr. Lamb, former school board member was honored. Dr. Lamb donated his campaign funds to the music department.
  • Thanked West Tampa Chamber of Commerce Optimist Club who presented the George Guida Memorial Outstanding Citizen Award. This year Louis Garcia was bestowed the award. Mr. Garcia has been a long time partner of the district.
  • She is the Board’s representative for EET. The Gates Foundation was in town January 21 through 23 and we participated in a joint Stock Take with Denver. She shared the slide presentation and complimented our staff on an outstanding job. There was a great exchange with Denver.
  • Asked Chair S. Valdes to enforce the Way of Work that was adopted by the board. We have a way of work that was adopted and we need to use it.

Mrs. Snively

  • Thanked TOBA for the Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast.
  • She attended the Leadership breakfast hosted by Plant City.
  • She attended the advocacy training. It was a great opportunity to show how community members can cultivate relationships with leadership and legislators.
  • She toured the Plant City High School ESE program. It is a wonderful program.

Mrs. Harris

  • Attended Gorrie Elementary School’s 125 year anniversary. There were graduates from the early years in attendance.
  • Has been touring schools in the south county area. We have one of the most outstanding South County Career Centers.

Chair S. Valdes

  • Said there would not have a CAC meeting in March and asked the reasoning behind no meeting scheduled.
  • Interesting piece of information shared on an agenda item. There are 35 different trades that require state and county licenses in order to perform work. All of these trades can make a decent and honorable living.
  • She would like to see a lot more support for our career centers. They do not necessarily have media centers and the students cannot play sports.
  • She is ready for the Humana challenge.
  • Thanked Student Government Association. When she asked the students of their experience at the student forum, they said the board did not appear to be engaged with them. She explained what we were doing in getting information. The students would like more opportunities to engage with them in possibly an extended time.
  • Congratulated Lizbeth Menendez, Leto High School student recipient of the Boys and Girls Youth of the Year.

Superintendent’s Comments

Financial Management
We purchased100 new buses last year and expected them to come in incrementally over the following months. The first 20 buses arrived to considerable fanfare, and they are now on the road. We recently received 54 new buses and they too are on the road. She thanked Mr. Beekman and the Transportation Team for getting the new buses ready and on the road.

Health and Safety
We are all very looking forward to a safe and family friendly Florida State Fair this year for our students. She commended Chief Newman, Dr. Brinson, and staff members who have worked collaboratively with the Fair Authority and the Sheriff’s Office in this effort.

Measles outbreak has been reported in California. There has been no such outbreak in Florida or in Hillsborough County. We are in constant conversations with Dr. Holt from the Health Department in being proactive. We have a great working relationship to help protect the members in Hillsborough County.

Student Achievement
Reminder of the "Discipline Chats” will be taking place throughout the county. There will be eight Discipline Charts in the areas throughout the county for parents and community to review and provide input on first semester in-school-suspension, and out-of-school suspension, and alternative to out-of-school suspension data. General session, then school site breakout sessions.

Senator John Legg, Chair of the Senate PreK-12 Education Committee has filed Senate Bill 616. This is the first bill that has been filed in the Senate this year that addresses school assessment and accountability. This is a complex bill and we have some concerns. Anna Brown and Sam Whitten are reviewing the bill to provide input to Connie Milito.

One of our biggest concerns:

  • There is a provision that reads: "A school district may not schedule more than 5 percent of total school hours to administer statewide, standardized assessments and district-required local assessments.” We want to make sure our teachers’ ability to monitor student progress is not adversely limited.
  • Another provision that we have questions about is new language that provides an opportunity for the district to report a catastrophic technical failure during testing and – if that failure can be substantiated – receive relief from the consequences as approved by the Commissioner of Education. The relief will primarily come in the form of using the results "for diagnostic and baseline purposes only”

Adjournment – with no further business the meeting was adjourned at 7:16 p.m. (Audio recording on file.)

HCPS publishes minutes of School Board meetings after Board approval. Although the online minutes do not include signatures, citizens may arrange to review the official documents by completing a public records request with the Communications Department.

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