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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 1 p.m., in the School Board Auditorium, 901 East Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, with Superintendent Jeff Eakins, and Board Members Lynn L. Gray, Sally A. Harris, Tamara P. Shamburger, Melissa Snively, and Susan L. Valdes present.  Chair Sally A. 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

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

Communications and Media Officer – Grayson Kamm

Media Outreach, Department Manager – Tanya Arja

Administrative Secretary (Recording) – Marita Johnson

News Media Representatives:

      Tampa Bay Times – Marlene Sokol

Approximately 33 people were in the audience, including other school district personnel.

Chair Sally Harris called the meeting to order at 1:05 p.m.

(1)        Equity Update

This workshop was held to review the 2017/18 Equity Update Report and status of the District’s Equity Plan and School Board Policy 2260.03-Racial Equity Policy.

Superintendent Eakins made brief remarks about the equity update. 

The workshop was divided into two presentations.  The first presentation covered the compliance portion of the Equity Update Report and was given by Dr. Pansy Houghton, Patti Simmons, and Dr. Carla Sparks.

  • All districts in the state of Florida are required to submit an annual Educational Equity Update Report to the Florida Department of Education
  • Federal and state laws require each institution to adopt a policy of nondiscrimination
  • Annual notification of nondiscrimination for vocational education programs must be done
  • Continuous notifications of nondiscrimination must be done (Principal Weekly; popup emails; district website; and Hillsborough Schools TV)
  • Notice for availability of reasonable accommodations to applicants for employment
  • Action required items must be addressed and includes:
    • Application and interview process – publish the Notice of Reasonable Accommodations on the district’s employment website
      • Published on our district’s employment website and within the online employment application.
    • Student participation – review and update strategies to increase minority student enrollment
      • Progress toward increasing enrollment of black, Hispanic, black male, and Hispanic male students in AP/IB/AICE courses has been minimal.
      • While during the most recent year, our district has shown a 1% increase in the percent of ELL (English Language Learners) students enrolled in AP/IB/AICE (Advance Placement/International Baccalaureate/Advanced International Certificate of Education) courses, enrollment among blacks, black males, Hispanics, and whites has fallen.
      • Over the 5-year time period reviewed, enrollment of whites has increased 1% point, enrollment among white males has increased 1% point, enrollment among blacks has remained unchanged, enrollment among black males has decreased, enrollment among Hispanics has decreased 2%, and enrollment among Hispanic males has decreased 1%.
      • Progress toward increasing enrollment of students in these subgroups has varied.  Enrollment of black students remained consistent at 59%, while enrollment among black males increased from 51% to 54% in this time period.
      • Additionally, enrollment among Hispanics declined 1% during this time period, but enrollment among Hispanic males increased from 59% to 62% during this time period.
      • There has also been a 1% increase in enrollment of ELL students in all Level 3 courses.
    • Gender equity in athletics – athletic participation should not include cheerleading
      • All schools are compliant with gender equity in athletics
    • Employment equity – update strategies to address under representation of minority and male employees
      • Office of Teacher Recruitment (OTR) collaborates with other divisions to assist in identifying key individuals and processes to help recruit instructional personnel representing our student population.
      • The OTR team continues to monitor diversity data.
      • The highest need in teaching diversity – to continue to recruit and retain Hispanic educators.
      • Our district goal is to increase the number of African-American and Hispanic teachers, particularly men, by 4% and increase the number of Asian teachers by 2% during the 2017-2018 school year.
      • For the 2016-2017 school year, 32% of teachers hired in HCPS self-reported Hispanic, African-American, or Asian.
    • Pregnant and parenting students – ensure that pregnant and parenting students have access to the same curricular and extra-curricular activities
      • There are two basic models.  
      • Students can choose from one of three sites (D.W. Waters, Simmons, or South County) or they can stay at their attendance area school.

Dr. Carla Sparks provided a review of the information pertaining to single-sex schools.

  • Both the boys (Franklin) and girls (Ferrell) single-sex schools over the last seven years have demonstrated consistently high rates of attendance, low rates of behavioral incidents, character development, measured by perception surveys of students, parents, and teachers, along with strong achievement gains and proficiency rates as measured by FCAT (Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test), previously FSA (Florida Standards Assessment), and EOC (End-of-Course) exams.  Franklin and Ferrell students consistently surpass the students at co-gender schools in several areas measured on FSA and EOC exams. 
  • Both schools remain in compliance with the 2006 amendments to Title IX that govern the implementation of single-sex schools in public school settings.
  • Both schools remain in compliance with the guidelines of Florida House Bill 313 that took effect in 2014, promoting and providing guidance for single gender programs in this state.

The second presentation was given by Dr. Minerva Spanner-Morrow who introduced co-presenters, Tricia McManus, Debbie Cook, Dr. Michelle Fitzgerald, and Owen Young.

Dr. Spanner-Morrow provided an overview of the objectives for the second presentation of the workshop.

What work has been done in the Office of Diversity since the equity racial policy was passed in March 2017?

  • New York Leadership Academy (NYCLA) trained 548 district leaders in equity racial bias training
  • Online module was created to address the equity policy – 20,000 employees accessed the online module
  • All cabinet members participated in at least one equity training by NYCLA (including some board members)
  • A diversity inventory survey was administrated to district leadership regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Equity leadership institutes were held with Educational Leadership and Professional Development (ELPD) team
  • Members of cabinet attend bi-weekly meetings
  • Community engagement activities continue

What are the next steps?

  • Focus on personnel
  • Continue with the diversity, equity, and inclusion training
  • Analyze data by demographics and identify root causes of equity gaps
  • Institute committees involving community members to align district/school procedures to the Racial Equity Policy and recommend additional policy changes
  • Assist with the Achievement Schools
  • Continue to collaborate with each division to plan, discuss, and monitor equity efforts

What work has been done in ELPD (presentation provided by Tricia McManus)?

  • Targeted recruitment efforts for leaders of color
  • Tapped into diverse leaders to assist with recruiting
  • Provided training and support (Leading for Equity, Culturally Relevant Leadership, and Implicit Bias Training)
  • Held two leadership institutes (In Pursuit of Equity and Excellence and Advancing Equity…Leadership and Literacy)
  • Four webinars offered with authors of the book, When Treating Kids the Same is the Real Problem
  • Equity training for cabinet and area superintendents with NYCLA
  • Created equity look-for tool to support learning walks
  • Provided articles and resources to leaders
  • Provided training and support to employees 

What work has been done with Principals - (Area 5 was the example presented by Michelle Fitzgerald)

  • Work with principals to identify instructional priorities
  • Instructional Learning Walks – looking for equity focus in all areas of the school building and evidence of personalized learning
  • Participate in book studies and webinars
  • Review data for gaps (disaggregating data)
  • Unpacking the standards          
  • Principals were taken through personalization vs. differentiation vs. individualization
  • Principals and teachers have attended iNACOL and Knowledge Works Conferences
  • Began #whatsyourstory (challenged schools to get to know every student and employee)
  • Data analysis and continuous progress monitoring of data

What has been done in our schools – (Brandon High School was the example presented by Owen Young and Jennifer Sparano)

  • Focus on hiring teachers with equity mindset
  • Scheduling most effective teachers with struggling learners
  • Creating and promoting systems of support for all students
    • Grading practices (eliminating zeros)
    • Rewind (targeted students in second quarter were encouraged to attend eight sessions with math and biology teachers toward enhancing an F or a D grade)
    • Media center re-design (converted to a warm welcoming resource center with extended hours before and after school)
    • Co-curricular classroom expenses
    • Food pantry implemented
    • Using internal account funds for emergency meals for students
    • Schedule conference night child care for parents
    • Saturday meetings for parents
    • Interpreter added to morning show for deaf and hard of hearing students
    • Sustained and systematic focus on at-risk students at all levels
  • Equity walkthroughs were completed by school administration, area staff, and principals with focus around classroom evidence of equity. 

What work has been done in the Office of Teaching and Learning (presented by Debbie Cook, Corinne Johns, Daryl Saunders, Nicole Meyerson, and Monica Davidson?

  • Textbook Adoption Process
    • Equity policy and legislation – updated instructional materials evaluation tool to enhance the criteria when evaluating materials
    • Partnered with EdCredible
    • Elementary social studies adoption – committee members were trained by equity team, members reviewed materials using new rubric tool, and were charged to read every word on every page

Discussion by board members and staff to include:

  • Applauded efforts of equity team on the work done
  • What courses in AP, IB, and dual enrollment are offered to students to ensure equity? 
    • A pilot program is underway at Chamberlain, Leto, Lennard, Spoto, and Jefferson (Pre-AP Program) where AP strategies are being taught as early as 9th grade in regular courses
    • PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test) in grades 8-11
  • Identify barriers with transportation
  • What are we doing to address higher participation with our African American students (particularly black males)?  Can there be a random guidance audit done?
    • We need to build strong accountability for this type of work and be persistent with giving these students the supports they will need to be successful
  • How do we maintain a diverse workforce in lower performing schools?
    • Through our pipeline we are working towards a diverse workforce in our schools
  • With the recent reorganization, the outreach position has been incorporated into another position.  Why was this position eliminated?  Discussion to be held offline with Superintendent.
  • Why is the equity implementation plan not mandatory?
  • Do we use video technology to conduct parent conferences?
    • Phone conferences, Skype, and FaceTime are used to conduct parent conferences.
  • How have we been trending with our efforts in employment equity?
    • We are trending up in different groups (The data will be provided to board members)
  • What are we doing to recruit Hispanic teachers?
    • Information will be provided to board members
  • Do the target goals for employing black and Hispanics represent the goals for instructional teachers or all employees?
    • Information will be provided to board members and staff
  • Noticed a downward trend for kindergarten readiness.
    • There was a switch in the measurement instrument
  • What are we doing to reach out to our black community to inform them of the summer reading programs?
    • One thing we are doing with our partners is the summer reading challenge with myON.  Summer reading camps are available for level one and two students and retained students through grants and other programs
  • Proud of the work being done at Brandon High School
  • Challenge to communications department to start a #whatsyourstory on the district website about board members and district leaders
  • Excited to hear about expanding the Little Eagles program at Brandon High School
  • Excited to hear about every student having an individualized education plan
  • Look at Hispanic talent pool internally from non-instructional employees
  • If the adult culture in both instructional and non-instructional is not in line with the district expectations, the culture on the adult side will still challenge the work around student achievement.  Need to have balance in order to say our equity policy is working districtwide.
  • Chair Harris apologized for going over the scheduled time.  With no further discussion the workshop adjourned at 3:11 p.m. (Video 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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