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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, June 12, 2018

The School Board of Hillsborough County, Florida, met in Workshop Session Tuesday, June 12, 2018, at 9 a.m., in the Superintendent’s Staff Conference Room 212D, 901 East Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, with Superintendent Jeff Eakins, and Board Members Lynn L. Gray (left at 9:28 a.m.), April Griffin (arrived 9:44 a.m.), Sally A. Harris, Tamara P. Shamburger, Melissa Snively, Cindy Stuart, and Susan L. Valdes present.  Chair Sally Harris presided.

Board Member absent from today’s workshop:  Cindy Stuart 

Others present:

Board Attorney – James Porter

Deputy Superintendent:  Van Ayres

Chief of Schools, Administration:  Harrison Peters

Assistant Superintendents/Division Chiefs:

      Academic Support and Federal Programs –Tracye Brown

      Diversity – Dr. Minerva Spanner-Morrow

      Educational Leadership and Professional Development – Tricia McManus

      Human Resources – Dr. Marie Whelan

      Operations – Chris Farkas

      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

Senior Administrative Secretary (Recording) – Marita Johnson

News Media Representatives:

      Tampa Bay Times – Marlene Sokol

Approximately 23 people were in the audience, including other school district personnel.

Chair Harris called the meeting to order at 9:05 a.m. with a quorum present.

(1)        2018 Annual Strategy Workshop (Office of Strategy Management)

This workshop was held to review performance results for the five-year Strategic Plan; review current strategic priorities and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs); and discuss potential modifications that may be needed for the current five-year planning cycle.

Superintendent Eakins made brief remarks regarding the board workshop. 

Deputy Superintendent Van Ayres provided an overview of the development of the strategic plan beginning in July 2015 to present (July 2018).

Board members were asked to provide feedback to seven reflection questions:

  • Where are we?
  • How far have we come?
  • What do we have left to do?
  • What have we done well?
  • What have we not done well?
  • What do we need to do more of?
  • What do we need to do less of?

Board members shared their thoughts to include:

What we are doing well:

  • Ahead of the results in some areas
  • Making great strides in increasing graduation rates
  • District will reach 95 percent graduation rate by 20/20 if we continue with the way we are going 
  • Good outreach 
  • Paying attention to the needs of the community and demographic groups
  • Wynne Tye has done an exceptional job with marginalized students and making sure they are kept in the game to graduate
  • Teachers and principals are well trained
  • Financial stewardship – Superintendent has done a phenomenal job getting us back on track
  • Communications has improved significantly
  • Doing a good job in mind shift with principals to see themselves as CEOs and having more empowerment and autonomy of their sites and equipping them with the leadership skills necessary to have that mentality
  • Getting stronger

What we need to do more of:

  • Dig deeper into the withdrawal codes and find out why we have students coded W26 (withdraw to adult education) in some schools right before testing.  Need to get to the root of the problem with these students.  There were 433 students coded W26 – that equals a 2-1/2 percent graduation rate
  • Build strong school culture - cultural octagon is like circuitry - in order to meet strategic plan, it must work like perfect circuitry.  The circuitry does not always flow along smoothly and we have a few hiccups
  • Concentrate on third grade reading scores and goals (begin early on in PreK)
  • Improve behavior management (huge for teaching and learning)
  • Increase the social/emotional culture - changing the culture of the schools is critical.  The learners of today are not the same as in the 80s or 90s
  • Work on relationship building
  • More marketing – we are in a deficit of marketing the great things we are doing
  • Do a better job with Achievement Schools
  • Need improvement in talent management
  • Focus more on literacy
  • More emphasis on achieving a competitive edge
  • Testing children too much.  Find a way to get the results without so much testing
  • Put in place an individualized learning base so that every student feels their education is individualized to their needs
  • Missing final career path for every student

Julie McLeod, Manager, Strategic Data and Evaluation, presented a PowerPoint on KPI (Key Performance Indicators) data results and explained how schools monitor data in EdConnect using a program developed by IT and tailored around the board’s strategic plan. 

There was general discussion regarding the data by board members and staff to include:

  • Graduation summary reports
  • Kindergarten readiness   
  • Third grade ELA (English Language Arts)
  • Attendance
  • Behavior and suspensions
  • Course performance in grades 6-9

Jessica Swere, Department Manager, Strategic Planning, presented an overview of the data slides on communication and cultural relationships from the SCIP (School Climate and Perception Survey):

There was general discussion regarding the data by board members and staff to include:

  • Family engagement – need to take a look at parents/volunteers who are turned away from schools (for various reasons)
  • Student connectedness – how many students responded to survey?  What is the target response rate? Are we considering different ways to administer survey for better response rates? 
  • Student pride
  • Support staff pride
  • Parent pride
  • Employee engagement
  • Number of volunteers – does the total include every volunteer who has registered or does the number represent actual volunteers who have helped in the schools?
  • External resources – can we get a breakdown by group?
  • Mentor hours – have increased considerably

Dr. Joe Cochran, General Manager, Strategic Planning, provided an overview of strategic planning best practices and processes.

Board members were asked to form two groups along with cabinet members in the room to discuss mid-point considerations to determine if the current strategic priorities aligned with our strategic direction. 

Board members provided feedback to include:

  • Perception can change based on way priorities are listed
  • More focus should be on culture and relationships
  • Finances should be primary focus over next five years

Jeff Eakins tasked the strategy management team to develop a new graphic capturing the board’s feedback from the activity.

With no further discussion, the workshop adjourned at 10:54 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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