PRINCIPAL/ADMINISTRATOR: Michelle McClellan
Phone: (813) 757-9321
Fax: (813) 757-9500
Student Hours: 7:40 AM to 1:55 PM
Uniforms: No Uniforms
Before School Program: Yes
After School Program: Yes
Location: We are located on the far East edge of Hillsborough County in Plant City, Florida.
Mascot: The Springhead mascot is the Pioneers.
Springhead’s teachers are committed to meeting and contributing to professional learning communities to better understand and teach the Florida Standards. They are given the autonomy to teach the standards, but use their own expertise to meet student needs. They value the "whole child" and the uniqueness of the individual student, recognizing that not everyone learns the same way, but that we all have gifts and talents that can be recognized. They focus on students' strengths to increase academic achievement.
Open-ended communication is vital to the success of any organization. At Springhead, it comes in a variety of forms – parent conferences, "Remind" messages, school-wide weekly calls, individual classroom and school-wide newsletters, school-wide texts and school events/programs designed to not only showcase students but to enlighten stakeholders regarding issues that are crucial to their child’s success (technology nights, reading and math nights, SAC and PTA meetings, etc.).
Teachers have made an extra effort to give students a voice in their own learning. This is evident in student-created rubrics as well as projects and assignments that are geared towards students' interests and relevant current events. This continual collaboration not only helps to keep all stakeholders informed, it unites the effort to ensure that every child has the opportunity to reach their personal best. The result is a positive culture and environment that is built and maintained through building relationships with parents and other community stakeholders.
Business partners are valued at Springhead as they take an active role on the School Advisory Council. The group meets monthly to discuss data trends on school-wide assessments, attendance concerns, and upcoming community events. Volunteers and business partners provide us with a strong community bond that helps teach our students the power of giving through service projects on and off campus. They are an integral part of helping our school to function effectively and efficiently.
Culture involves many facets, but it is the relationships between teachers and students AND teachers and stakeholders that has to happen first. Relationships build trust. Parents are made to feel welcome and their input is not only valuable; it is crucial. We do this not only by continually seeking their input but by acting on it. When stakeholders begin to view themselves as an actual partner in their child’s education, and can see when their ideas are implemented and their concerns are addressed, they become more invested, which, in turn, supports a positive school culture, where students not only learn, but thrive.
The Springhead community is located in eastern Hillsborough County near the Polk County line. This area was settled before the Civil War, but more growth occurred after 1865. It received its name because the water was carried from a spring that was dug nearby (Davis, 1914). The early pioneers who journeyed mostly from Georgia were George Hamilton, Joseph Howell, W.M. Clemons, and William M. English. As more settlers arrived they settled on unclaimed property, built log cabins, and began farming. These families raised cattle and drove their cattle to Fort Myers, where they were shipped to Cuba. The main cash crop was oranges until the dreadful freezes of 1894 and 1895. After that time most families began truck farming, raising strawberries and poultry (“Hillsborough County Historic Resources Survey Report,” 1998).
The first Springhead School was attended by only a few students whose parents were able to pay a fee, and the school term was for three months each year. Mr. Belton taught these students in a one-room schoolhouse with seats made from cedar logs. Then, in 1876 the residents of Springhead petitioned the county for a public school which would include grades one through eight, and the request was granted on September 2, 1876. William English, Nathaniel C. Bryant, and William Clemons were selected as the first Trustees. The school was moved several times, and in 1914 a new school was built on its present site on Nesmith Road (“Hillsborough County Historic Resources Survey Report,” 1998). Pauline Davis (1914) wrote, “We have today in place of our old antiquated wooden building; this beautiful modern brick building for which we are justly proud. We are not only proud of our building; we are more proud of our school. The past is interesting. Now wish with me that the future may be more so.”
From 1928 through 1956 Springhead School was a “strawberry school”, which meant that students were out of school from January through March. During these three months, parents depended on their children to help with the strawberry harvesting. Children picked, watered, and covered the berries with Spanish moss when the weather turned cold. A series of articles written in the Tampa Tribune by J.A. Murray in 1946 called the “strawberry schools” inferior schools. He felt the system was exploitative and academically deficient (“The Florida Memory Blog,” 2016). Leland Hawes (1995), a Tampa Tribune writer, published an article in 1995 about the end of the strawberry schools. Farmers were angry and felt threatened because they depended on their children to make a living. In 1956 the county school board abolished the “strawberry schools” in Hillsborough County. Superintendent Farnell felt it was one of his greatest accomplishments in education because it resulted in tremendous improvements in rural education. After the close of the “strawberry schools” many little farms were phased out and migrant workers were used to harvest berries on the larger farms (Hawes, 1995).
The Springhead community is still a rural area that is not incorporated by Plant City. The population of this community, according to the U.S Census in 2010, is around 4,000 people with 66 percent being not Hispanic or Latino and 34 percent being Hispanic or Latino. 58 percent are White, 25 percent are Black, 0.5 percent are American Indian or Alaska native and 0.75 percent are Asian.
The school, churches, and farms still play a prominent role in the lives of many Springhead families, but the area is slowly changing. In the past five years subdivisions have been built and many families from other areas are moving to Springhead where they can enjoy the rural life with the advantages of being close to Plant City, Lakeland, and Tampa.
Springhead Elementary is now comprised of Head Start through grade five. The original auditorium was built in 1928 and is still in use today as the Sandra E. Black Media Center. We have grown from the one teacher that began teaching at the Springhead School in 1876 to sixty-eight instructional personnel, one assistant principal, and a principal. We also have thirty-seven instructional support personnel that help to make our school run efficiently and effectively. Currently, our school enrollment is 750 students.