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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, February 13, 2018


The School Board of Hillsborough County, Florida, met in Workshop Session Tuesday, February 13, 2018, at 9 a.m., in the School Board Auditorium, 901 East Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, with Superintendent Jeff Eakins, and Board Members Lynn L. Gray, April Griffin (arrived 9:15), Sally Harris, Tamara P. Shamburger, Melissa Snively, Cindy Stuart (arrived 9:14), and Susan Valdes present.  Chair Sally Harris presided.

Others present:

Board Attorney – James Porter

District Attorney – Jeff Gibson                   

Deputy Superintendent:  Van Ayres

Chief of Schools, Administration:  Harrison Peters

Assistant Superintendents/Division Chiefs:

      Academic Support and Federal Programs –Tracye Brown

      Business – Gretchen Saunders

      Diversity – Minerva Spanner-Morrow

      Educational Leadership and Professional Development – Tricia McManus

      Human Resources – Marie Whelan

      Operations – Chris Farkas

      Outreach – Larry Sykes, Ed.D.

      Educational Access, Opportunity, and Alternatives – Wynne Tye

      Teaching and Learning – Debbie Cook

      Workforce Connections – Scott Brooks

Communications and Media Officer – Grayson Kamm

Media Outreach, Department Manager – Tanya Arja

Administrative Secretary (Recording) – Kandee King

News Media Representatives:

      Tampa Bay Times – Marlene Sokol

      Fox 13

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

Chair Harris called the meeting to order at 9 a.m.

(1)   School Board Policies

This workshop provided the Board with new and revised Board Policies.

Kristen Davis welcomed everyone and introduced Mr. Porter.  Mr. Porter outline the workshop and indicated this will be a discussion, no policies will be voted on today.

Mr. Porter presented on behalf of Board Members bringing new and revised Board Policies forward.

Policy # 2800                Elevate Schools                                                           Revision
Revisions proposed by Member Gray

  • Add line 21 – Parent involvement is less than 20 percent
  • Update lines 27 & 28 to read – A principal at an Elevate School must have at least two years of experience as a principal at a high needs school and one year as an assistant principal in a high needs school.

General Discussion:

  • Parental involvement
    • Actual parent involvement is more important than a number
    • Adding a percentage would give the impression we are micromanaging
    • It would be difficult to measure parental involvement
    • Some parents are very involved, just not at school
    • Are we talking parent involvement or community involvement?
  • Staffing
    • Experience is important in high needs schools. 
    • There are principals currently doing amazing work, at high needs schools, who would not be eligible due to updates on lines 27 and 28
    • This would limit options for the superintendent to place leaders in these schools
    • The superintendent should be given an option to override this clause after proper vetting has taken place
    • Working to build a cohort with both assistant principal and principal experience
    • Concerns about having a policy and not following it
    • During the next policy cycle, consider aligning everything, with respect to DA and turnaround schools
    • Consensus to not take this policy forward at this time

Policy # 5111.01           Homeless Students                                                      Revision

  • Update line 17 to read – are abandoned in hospitals

Myrna Hogue, Supervisor Social Work Services, provided updates on this policy.

There was no discussion

Policy # 5610                Removal, Suspension, and Expulsion of Students       Revision
Revisions proposed by Member Shamburger

  • Add line 65 – No student in grades kindergarten through second grade shall be suspended.

General Discussion: 

  • More age appropriate discipline
  • Learning classroom behavior
  • Targeting African American and Hispanic students
  • Do students at this age understand what this punishment is?
  • Senator Rouson is working on a pilot program as an alternative
  • Goal is to keep students in class
  • Majority of our schools have zero K-2 suspensions
  • Sixty-one percent of K-2 students suspended are African American
  • What were students suspended for?
  • Some counties have a separate code of conduct for K-2
  • Have decisions been well vetted?
  • Would like to have a broader conversation, look at numbers, and reason for suspensions before we make this a policy
  • Some states and counties do not suspend elementary students
  • Consensus to not move forward, have a conversation and bring back on the next round of policy approvals

Policy # 6320.03           Apprentices                                                                  New
Proposed by Chris Farkas, Chief Operations Officer and Scott Brooks, Workforce Connections

  • Add the following verbiage – Any contract for maintenance or construction approved by the Board shall provide for the option of allowing twenty (20 percent) use of apprentices.
  • How do we increase the workforce in this region?  How can we promote this?
  • Inclusive not exclusive
  • We have partners with HCC and ABC, want to be sure we support both groups
  • Must be a full-time employee
    • Work during the day
    • Attend school at night
    • We have a skilled person on the job
  • HCPS will be an employer and trainer
  • Not a lot of specifics in this policy, this allows flexibility in the beginning

General Discussion:

  • Twenty percent use of apprentices is the industry standard, currently we have zero
    • o    Do we want to cap at 20 percent?
  • Financial impact is a big part of this policy.  Staff will have next steps conversation with vendors
  • There will continue to be unanswered questions until we start the formal process
  • Provide a cost differential of union vs non-union data collection for the first year

Policy workshop will continue at 1 p.m., followed by the Dress Code workshop.  After consensus, the workshop recessed at 11 a.m.

Chair Harris called workshop to order at 1 p.m., all members present with the exception of Member Shamburger.

Policy # 6321                Lobbyist Activities Guidelines                         New
Policy proposed by Member Stuart

  • All persons acting as lobbyists must register with the District annually and disclose the identity of the principal whom they represent at the beginning of every communication, when the intent of the communications is to lobby.  This includes such communications with the School Board, School Board Members, Superintendent, the Deputy Superintendent, Cabinet and Assistant Superintendents and Officers.
  • For purposes of this policy, a lobbyist is defined as any individual, firm, corporation, or other business entity who engages in lobbying for the economic gain of a principal, regardless of whether they are compensated for lobbying or not.  The term lobbyist specifically includes the principal, as well as any agent, officer, or employee, of a principal regardless of whether or not the employee’s normal scope of employment includes lobbying activities.
  • The fee for annual registration shall be $150.00 to be used for recording, transcribing, administration, and other costs incurred in maintaining these records for availability to the public.

General Discussion:

  • Anyone lobbying as defined in the policy would be required to register and pay appropriate fees
  • Mirror procedure and fees the County Commission has in place
  • Board Members cannot get into trouble, the burden is on the lobbyist
  • Look at neighboring districts to see what their procedures and fees are
  • We are one of the few districts who do not have a policy in place

Policy # 6550                Travel and Per Diem                                                     Revision
Revisions proposed by Member Snively

  • Add lines 26 – 46 with the following verbiage:
  • Maximum Expenses
  • Board members and the Superintendent, or designee, may approve travel expenses up to a maximum of $3,500 annually, excluding registration fees and tuition.
  • Administrators reporting directly to the Superintendent may approve travel expenses for personnel under their jurisdiction up to a maximum of $2,500; however, the Superintendent retains the sole authority of approving the reimbursement of actual expenses exceeding the $2,500 limit to the maximum of $3,500, excluding registration fees and tuition.
  • Out-of-country trips estimated to exceed $3,500 must be approved by the Superintendent and the Board before travel commences if reimbursement is expected for the full amount.
  • If the business of the school system requires the employee to visit more than one city, such as with District recruiters, the total travel expense reimbursement shall not exceed the maximum allowed per trip for each city visited.
  • Most Economical Means
  • It is the responsibility of the traveler to utilize the most economical method of travel for each trip.

General Discussion:

  • Ensure we are transparent and physically responsible
  • Board Way of Work is a guide, not the law.  Policy is the law
  • Some organizations reimburse 100 percent of travel cost
  • Would like to see breakdown with purpose for out of county travel
  • Superintendent needs flexibility to maintain grant compliance

Policy # 7250                Commemoration of School Facilities                           Revision
Revisions proposed by Members Shamburger and Stuart

  • Addition to lines 10 and 11 – No candidate for public office shall be considered.  No school site or facility shall be named for a living person.
  • Lines 22 and 23 now read – Suggested names shall be submitted in writing to the Superintendent.
  • Lines 37 – 40 now read – Once adopted by the Board, the name of a new or existing school shall be considered permanent.  If the Board subsequently initiates or is called upon to consider a name change, the Board shall allow for community involvement, deliberation, discussion, and debate prior to its taking action.
  • In the event of a merger or consolidation of two or more schools, sites, or facilities, the criteria found in this policy will be used for the naming of such school site facility.

No discussion

Policy # 8510                Wellness                                                                      Revision
MaryKate Harrison, Director of Student Nutrition Services, presented changes to the current policy. 

  • Remove the following from lines 82 – 84 In addition, students will receive an additional 90 minutes of physical activity per week as required by State Senate Bill 610.
  • Lines 147-150 to now read – All students in grades K-5 shall be provided with an additional 100 minutes of supervised, safe, and unstructured free-play recess each week so that there are at least 20 consecutive minutes of free-play recess per day.

General Discussion:

  • Current policy will be replaced by a draft policy and will be ready for the Board in May
  • If we wait until July, we will be out of compliance
  • Policy will be very broad, you can notice and remove, however, you cannot add
  • Would like to have a workshop in late March/early April for a more in-depth conversation
  • Have in solid draft form immediately following spring break

With no further discussion the workshop adjourned at 3:10 p.m.  (Audio recording on file.)




Sally A. Harris, Chair













Jeff Eakins, Superintendent

And Ex-Officio Secretary





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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