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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, December 13, 2016

The School Board of Hillsborough County, Florida, met in Workshop Session Tuesday, December 13,

2016, at 9:00a.m., in the School Board Auditorium, 901 East Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, with Superintendent Jeff Eakins, and Board Members Lynn L. Gray, April Griffin, Sally Harris, Tamara P. Shamburger, Melissa Snively, Cindy Stuart, and Susan Valdes present. Chair Cindy Stuart presided.

Absent: April Griffin arrived at 10:00 a.m. Others present were:

Board Attorney – James Porter

Chief of Staff:Alberto Vazquez, Ed.D. Deputy Superintendent: Van Ayres

Chief of Schools, Administration: Harrison Peters

Assistant Superintendents/Division Chiefs:

Academic Support and Federal Programs –Tracye Brown

Educational Leadership and Professional Development – Tricia McManus

Teaching and Learning – Elizabeth Agresta External Communications Manager – Tanya Arja Superintendent’s Secretary (Recording) – Linda Fernandez

Approximately 25 people were in the audience, including other school district personnel.

With only Members Stuart and Shamburgerpresent, Mr. Porter advised they could start hearing the presentation. Member Harrisarrived at 9:05am with Members Snively, Gray, and Valdes arriving at

9:07 am followed by Member Griffin arriving at 10:00 am.

Topic: Textbook Review: Middle School and High School LanguageArts and Mathematics (Office of Teaching and Learning)


Mrs. Stuart welcomed everyone and turned workshop over to Elizabeth Agresta.

Elizabeth Agresta, Chief Academic Officer, gave an overview of how the workshop will be presented. She said this workshop presentation was a team effort and will be presented by the team, and introduced them.

Eric Bergholm, General Director, Advanced Academics
Mary Navar, Supervisor, Middle School English
Elizabeth Brown, Supervisor, High School English
Michael Smith, Supervisor, High School Math
Janet Spence, Instructional Leadership Director for Middle School
Nicole Binder, Manager, Assessment and Accountability
Tammy Deary, Supervisor, Middle School Math
Leslie Granich. Instructional Leadership Director for High School

Each Team Member presented as follows:

Eric Bergholm - Springboard Implementation
Mary Navarre - Curriculum more than a textbook
Elizabeth Brown - Alignment to ELA (English Language Arts)
Mike Brown - Alignment to Mathematics
Janet Spence - Teacher Voice
Mary Navarre – District’s Response to Teacher Voice
Nicole Binder - Data Review
Mary Navarre - Instructional Material Review ELA
Tammy Deary - Instructional Material Review Mathematics
Leslie Granich – Recap of presentation and options for moving forward
Eric Bergholm - Financial Considerations



  • Elizabeth Agresta reassured the Board that we all want the same outcome. We all want students to reach their full potential.
  • Made recommendation from the discussions she has with her team
  • Elizabeth Agresta and her team brought forth a recommendation for the Board’s discussion and consideration.
  • Two years left with ELA and Springboard.
  • The team doesn’t feel we should gowith a book that does not align with the new state standards, Our recommendation is to stick with Springboard for ELA until the next adoption cycle, with specific professional development in place to start in January 2017.Some teachers need assistance with supplementing.
  •  New book for ELL – continuing to provide training. Training on how to teach grammar and vocabulary building.
  • The math team’s recommendation is that we allow the schools to make decision as to what’s best for their teachers and students.Use springboard as a supplemental piece.
  • We are required to meet the needs and standards keeping in mind our instruction is always more than the book.
  • In response to Mrs. Snively’s comment cards.  She has heard the same things from students and has spoken withMr. Bergholm. She never wants students to be bored. Has read and seen material with that context, to have meaningful conversations. This should be used as a teachable moment, with a lesson to be learned. How was the material used? Will personally contact springboard developers to align with the philosophy inour district.
  • There is always an opportunity to explore the gap/bridge.
  • Decision would need to be school widenot individual teacher.It would be too hard to collect data if teachers were able to choose vsschool wide.



  • Will have team do research regarding sites that are not using and respond to the Board
  • We have preliminary scores shows our graduation rate up 3% in 2015-2016 and our gaps are closing.
  • Connecting the dots shows that we are on track to possibly exceed our graduation rate goal.
  • Would welcome a workshop on dual language. Thanked the team for their presentation and he will rely on this team to move forward. These are the experts in this field. We want great instruction and not noise. Provide professional development and resources.


  • As a teacher, recognizedhow the teacher is the make or break. Understands what the team went through andappreciates their hardwork...
  • Any tool has to be useful and used by the instructor, both basic and AP. Professional development, pilot, test, then modify. There is no magic bullet. We as educators must changes as our student population changes.
  • Must have alignment with FSA.  Springboard seems to be consist.
  • Fiscal responsibility. This must be data driven. Would like to know if it is effective. Life skills
  • Like the plan and will be an advocate
  • Bring on positive perception of our school district. We need to share with the public the positive and have them onboard with us.
  • Our staff has years of experience.


  • We have graduation rates, from in house has state released?
  • Asked if we are on track for 2020?
  • Focusing on middle kids. Talking to teachers – focusing on those middle kids. The recommendation she understands. Feels we were back into a corner in the past and here we are. Is supportive due to increased graduationrates.
  • We need to put more human interaction. Start working on the middle kids and doesn’t believe this curriculum works for those students.
  • Concerned about the ELL aspect of this. We want to create policies based onbarriers. Tampa is a hub for immigration.We need to support this. Do not use training as an excuse..
  • Money is driving everything.  Feels like people are too invested in this.
  • Asked Mrs. Agresta to restate the team’s recommendation
  • For some teachers this is great, others, not so much. Will besupportive, be more agile in our conversations. Professional development is not an option, it is a requirement.


  • Exciting to know that you heard us at the last meeting. Something is wrong when every parent has hired a tutor the first week of school.
  • Had a number of email supporting however, more email not in support. Students need more repetition. Encourage teachers to slow down, make sure students are grabbing the concept.
  • Your presentation meet all of our learning needs. Very valuable workshop, we are on the right path.


  • Thank you for an easy to comprehend presentation.
  • Email from a teacher with suggestion – Create a committee of middle school teachers and let middle school teachers to vote on professional development
  • Concern – ability to choose. Teacher comment – too many school do not use the springboard, are they not being used and just collectingdust. Is there a processorpolicy requiring them to use this?


  • Mrs. Gray made some very good points with respect to curriculum and learning style. Appreciated the fact the team reached out to teachers. Would like to include, feedback from students as well. Janice Short CAC collected comment cards from students at great American Teach In.
  • Read a few comment cards from students.
  • Supports the recommendation of the team and would like it in writing for her constituents. Supports recommendation with professional development. What will the professionaldevelopment look like?
  • If we are going to keep it, to be fiscally responsible, how are we going to make it work for students and teachers?
  • Request that we focus on middle school, algebra and our effectiveness.


  • Had all three of her questions answered during Elizabeth Agresta’srecommendation
  • We are not in the mastery of skills, this creates issues. Not enough practice and repition. Tutoring burdens families to have students to school earlier. Spend a little money to make a little gain. Think about, is thiswhat the kids need.  Sitting through the adoption process is grueling. Our job is to fill the gaps.
  • Agrees we need to talk to students, possibly making them a part of the committee.
  • Professional development and accountability need to work hand-in-hand.
  • We appreciate the expertise sitting with you. Mrs. Agresta. Took the original conversation we had back in the spring and built on it.



  • Team gave the Board a lot to think about
  • Instrument we are using – are we meeting the needs of our students.
  • If this book is not meeting expectations, What is the return on the investment? Is there something else to help boost student achievement? What would total package look like?
  • Why isn’t Diversity Officer here or a representative?
  • Question – Are we working with our elementary schools on the transition from elementary to middle?
  • What are we doing in fourth and fifth grade to transition?  In math, if the school is given the option, would it be school wide or individual teacher?
  • Maybe we need to have a workshop on dual language.


  • The state standard is the minimum requirement. There is no correct textbook, what best fits the needs. Students vary from year to year, with respect to learning styles.

Adjournment – with no further business the meeting was adjourned at 10:55 a.m. 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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