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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, March 27, 2018

The School Board of Hillsborough County, Florida, met in Workshop Session Tuesday, March 27, 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, Sally Harris, Tamara P. Shamburger, Melissa Snively (arrived 9:17 a.m.), and Susan Valdes (arrived at 9:10 a.m.) present.  Chair Sally Harris presided.

Board Members absent from today’s workshop were: April Griffin and Cindy Stuart 

Others present:

Board Attorney – James Porter

Deputy Superintendent:  Van Ayres

Assistant Superintendents/Division Chiefs:

      Academic Support and Federal Programs –Tracye Brown

      Business – Gretchen Saunders

      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

Media Outreach, Department Manager – Tanya Arja

Administrative Secretary (Recording) – Kandee King

Approximately 15 people were in the audience, including other school district personnel.

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

(1)   Review the Proposed Changes to the District Wellness Policy

This workshop was held to allow select committee members to present their area of expertise and be available to answer questions regarding the implementation of this policy.

Mr. Porter indicated that a quorum is not declared and informed the board they can move forward with receiving information, however, you cannot take action.

Superintendent Eakins made brief comments and turned the workshop over to MaryKate Harrison, General Manager, Student Nutrition Services.  

Ms. Harrison opened the workshop with a video to showing the importance of embracing a Wellness policy.  She presented a PowerPoint with statistics showing:

  • National averages for obesity in various ethnic and cultural groups
  • More than half of our student population deal with some type of health issue
  • Students who are not properly cared for are typically not engaged in learning
  • Encourage wellness at a very early age
  • Healthy employees are more productive

July 1, 2006, the USDA required a wellness policy be implemented in every school district across the country. 

Our Wellness committee, consisting of parents, community and district experts met on four occasions to help construct a new wellness policy.

Steve Vanoer – Health Education, Physical Education and Physical Activity, and Recess

Health Education

  • This will positively impact student’s behavior and enable them to make informed decisions that will lead to lifelong healthy habits.

Physical Education and Physical Activity

  • Physical education will promote the benefits of a physically active lifestyle and will help students develop skills to engage in lifelong healthy habits.
    • Elementary students (grades K-5) receive instruction in physical education for 60 minutes per week with a certified physical education teacher
    • Middle students (grades 6-8) receive 250 minutes of physical education each week
    • High Students (grades 9-12) are required to take at least one full credit of physical education with the integration or health, which is the Health Opportunities through Physical Education (HOPE) course


  • Elementary students must receive at least 20 minutes of unstructured recess time each day as mandated by Florida Statutes 1003.455 (6)

Active and Safe Routes to School

·        Support active transport to and from school, such as walking or bicycling

Heather D’Ambrosi, Technical Coordinator, Production – School Meals and Other Foods on Campus

  • Smart Snacks in School is a list of requirements issued by the USDA
  • The following must meet smart snack guidelines:
    • Vending contracts
    • Food fundraising
    • Concession stands during the school day (does not apply to after-school)
    • Celebration and Classroom rewards
    • Over 16,000 allergies, 53,000 with other health issues

Maria Russ – Supervisor, Health Services

  • Health screenings are a crucial component in protecting the health of students
  • Vision, hearing, Body Mass Index (BMP), dental/oral, and scoliosis are mandatory for students upon first-time enrollment in a Florida school, and continue at specific ages and/or grades
  • Continue to foster community partnerships to provide oral health education, health screenings and services to students

Ann Townsend – Supervisor, Psychological Services

  • School psychologists are integral members of school-based teams
  • Define academic and behavioral difficulties
  • Develop and select evidence-based intervention
  • Monitor students’ response to intervention
  • Provide psycho educational evaluation
  • Short-term counseling
  • Professional development for educators
  • Resources for parents

Myrna Hogue – Supervisor, Social Work Services

  • Crucial in linking school, home, and community, to help facilitate student success
  • Ensure equitable education opportunities
  • Ensure students are mentally, physically, and emotionally present in the classroom
  • Promote respect and dignity for all students
  • Aid in overcoming barriers and identifying prevention and intervention services to promote social and emotional wellness

Tracy Schatzberg – General Manager, Employee Benefits, Insurance

  • Support the physical, emotional, social, and financial health of all employees and their families
  • All benefit-eligible employees are able to participate in all wellness efforts

MaryKate Harrison – Community Involvement

  • Community groups, organizations, and local businesses create partnerships to share resources, and volunteer to support student learning, development, and health-related activities.

General Discussion:

  • Inadequate activity plays a part in children not graduating
  • Wellness needs to be a part of our strategic plan
  • Working with safety office to ensure safe routes to school
  • Ensure fundraising opportunities are equitable among all schools
  • Work with PTA and clubs to encourage non-food fundraisers
  • Would like to see restrictions on food sent from home
  • Need to have a committee with parent input and a lot of discussion
  • Early Childhood currently has this procedure part of their licensing process
  • Concern regarding outside vendors on campus and not JLA approved
  • Principal should make decisions regarding celebrations, birthday, etc.
  • Hillsborough Health Schools Award – Survey window opened up – 154 of our schools have already completed the survey

Questions submitted in Member Stuart’s absence:

1) Can we clarify how 10-hour days are conducive to employee wellness?   Given the financial crisis ensuing in the district, wouldn't it be more appropriate to furlough these days and work 4, 8-hour days?

2) How has the teacher evaluation rubric (as well as supporting "look for" and "walkthrough" documents) been updated to allow teachers to incorporate movement, flexible seating, etc. into the learning environment without penalty?  This is affirmed through the language on page 6, but not sure the rubric and observation process really allow for this.

3) What tool will be used to evaluate the wellness policy (top of page 3)?  Who will design?  When was last evaluation done?

4) How are parents made aware of Healthy School Teams (top of page 3)?  I have been a parent of children in this district for 10+ years and have never received any information from any of the three schools my children have attend about these teams.

5) What, if any, language needs to be included in our Health Education section (page 3) about a parent's right to opt-out of this instruction?  Specific programs, etc.?  We have to do this now with our SEL and MORE Health, and Mendez type programs.  It is not addressed. 

6) Who is the "external evaluation committee" referenced in the Health Education section (page 3)?  What is their role and how will they influence Health Education in the district?

7) How is data from Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) being used, if we have not administered it regularly in many years and only did a local administration in Fall 2016?  (page 3)

8) Students who have permission to obtain flu shots never received these in many high schools this year due to lack of communication, timely coordination of schedules, etc. with teachers whose students would need to be sent to receive these shots.   We need to plan and communicate the logistics of these events better, particularly in high schools.  Plus, these students are not able to receive flu shots from their physicians or other clinics after permission forms are received from the district with insurance information on them because the insurance company thinks the shot has already been given.  This was discussed at length two years ago with administration, the logistics for making this a smoother process

9) Should there be a discussion of our disinfecting protocols when an outbreak occurs at a school?  Flu? Norovirus incidents last year?  And a conversation about how we handle this type of disinfection after our schools are used as a shelter?  Many of our own staff were required to do this type of work after this year’s hurricane season.

10) Is there any responsibility of the district to maintain a list of all outside agencies with whom we are working and with whom student information has been shared so that parents are aware?  There are HIPAA and FERPA implications that might be best managed by maintaining better records related to our data sharing practices.  I would like to see a composite list of all MOA/MOU’s with any health/mental health agency we are currently contracted with.  There are many crossover services and some services only provided to certain student populations.  Where are our gaps?

11) What small groups exist to address mental health services?  How are parents made aware of these opportunities?  How are students selected to participate? (page 10) With the new legislation and funding who and how will we manage the services that are going to be introduced to our students/ schools?

12) Should we clarify the supports available to adult employees when it comes to health/wellness?  What protocols are in place if a person is believed to be at risk of harm to self or others?  With the new Wellness position provided by Humana this seems to be an easy fit and insertion of that position to do this work.

13) How are 504 records maintained and cross referenced by student services/school health personnel?  At this time, information about students with 504 plans is not part of the allocation of resources formulas used to assign student services personnel to sites.

14) What plans are there to create Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) which have become a gold standard in health and wellness initiatives for most organizations?  Our HR team could be working on these efforts.

With no further discussion the workshop adjourned at 10:44 a.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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