Press Releases

  • Hillsborough County Public Schools Moves the Needle for All Students as State Releases 2024 School Grades

    Posted by Tanya Arja or Debra Bellanti on 7/24/2024 3:13:00 PM
    For Immediate Release
    Contact: Tanya Arja or Debra Bellanti
    Hillsborough County Public Schools
    Office of Communications
    813-272-4060
     
    Tampa, Fl. (July 24, 2024) – The district is excited and proud to announce impressive school results with the release of the state’s 2024 school grades. Hillsborough County Public Schools increased our number of A, B and C schools by 19. The district has no Fs in our traditional schools and decreased the number of D schools by 20. This in a year when the state raised the bar for academic achievement and our students met the challenge. 
     
    To summarize, in one year, the district moved from 33 D and Fs to 9 Ds and no schools graded as an F.
     
    Highlights: 
    We have four elementary schools that moved two letter grades:
    • Desoto Elementary improved to an A from a C 
    • Potter Elementary improved to a C from an F
    • Shaw Elementary improved to a C from an F
    • West Tampa Elementary improved to an A from a C
    In HCPS middle schools,
    • Eisenhower, Sligh and Shields middle schools all improved to a C from a D.
    • Liberty and Progress Village middle schools improved to an A from a B.
    • Webb Middle improved to a B from a C.
     Eight of our high schools maintained or moved to an A, including Alonso High School which improved to an A from a B. The following high schools improved to a B from a C.
    • East Bay High 
    • Hillsborough High 
    • Leto High 
    • Spoto High 
    These improvements happened through the hard work of our students, teachers, support professionals and school administrators. It all starts with creating a culture for learning, where teachers want to teach, and students want to learn. We had a laser-like focus on high quality core instruction in every classroom with intentional progress monitoring.
    Schools received purposeful support from regional superintendents and district departments. Leaders ensured systems were in place that emphasized teacher planning. And our community partners aligned their work for our schools with our strategic goals.  
    “We couldn’t have done this without the Hillsborough County community, and all of our stakeholders who wrapped their arms around our schools, principals, teachers and students. We are excited with our momentum and are ready for the new year to start so we can continue our work,” said Superintendent Van Ayres. 
    Comments (-1)
  • Hillsborough County Public Schools Takes Legal Action After County Commission Refuses to Place Millage Referendum on the November 2024 Ballot

    Posted by Tanya Arja or Debra Bellanti on 7/23/2024 3:41:00 PM
    For Immediate Release
    Contact: Tanya Arja or Debra Bellanti
    Hillsborough County Public Schools
    Office of Communications
    813-272-4060
     
    (Tampa, Fla. - July 23, 2024) – At Tuesday’s Special Called School Board meeting, the Board voted to take legal action against the Board of County Commissioners, asking a judge to order the commissioners to follow through on their statutory duty and place the millage referendum on the November 5, 2024, ballot.
    “As Superintendent, it is my responsibility to put our students first. While a judge now considers our request, I encourage everyone in this community to become educated on the positive impact the millage will have on every student in Hillsborough County Public Schools,” said Superintendent Van Ayres.
    Information about the millage can be found on our website at www.hillsboroughschools.org/millage.
    Students in Hillsborough County go back to class on Monday, August 12, less than a month away.
    The millage would primarily fund increased pay for teachers, support staff, assistant principals and principals to make Hillsborough County Public Schools more competitive with surrounding counties. Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, Manatee, and Sarasota, plus 20 other school districts in Florida already have a voter-approved millage. Hillsborough County Public Schools is not on a level playing field when it comes to salaries, making it difficult to retain and recruit staff.
    A portion of the money would also be shared with every charter school in the county, based on student enrollment.
    The referendum would add one mill to property taxes in Hillsborough County. According to the Hillsborough County Property Appraiser’s Office, the cost to a typical homeowner in Hillsborough would be $281 a year, or about 75 cents a day.
    “Every child deserves the best classroom experience possible and that’s what this millage is about. We think it’s reasonable to allow that decision to be made by our local voters,” added Ayres.
    The district has asked for an expedited review by the court. The judge assigned will set the timeline for the Board of County Commissioners to respond and for the judge’s decision on the matter. The ballot language must be received by the Supervisor of Elections no later than August 20. 
    Comments (-1)
  • Hillsborough County School Board Members in the Community: July 20-27, 2024

    Posted by Tanya Arja or Debra Bellanti on 7/18/2024 2:17:00 PM
    For Immediate Release
     
    Contact: Tanya Arja or Debra Bellanti
    Hillsborough County Public Schools
    Office of Communications
    813-272-4060
     
    Tampa, Fla. – (July 18, 2024) – One or more Hillsborough County School Board members are scheduled to attend the following events or meetings:
    • 7/20/2024 - 9:00 AM
      West Tampa Back 2 School Health Clinic, 1315 W Spruce Street, Tampa
    • 7/20/2024 - 9:00 AM
      Backpack Build - Bullard Foundation, Sligh Middle Magnet School, 2011 E Sligh Ave, Tampa
    • 7/23/2024 - 2:00 PM
      Special Called School Board Meeting, School Board Auditorium, 901 E Kennedy Blvd, Tampa
    • 7/23/2024 - 4:00 PM
      School Board Meeting, School Board Auditorium, 901 E Kennedy Blvd, Tampa
    • 7/24/2024 - 10:00 AM
      Hillsborough County African American History Task Force, Virtual
    • 7/25/2024 - 8:30 AM
      Summer Graduation, Plant City High School, One Raider Place, Plant City
    • 7/25/2024 - 12:00 PM
      Summer Graduation, Jefferson High School, 4401 W Cypress St, Tampa
    • 7/25/2024 - 3:00 PM
      Summer Graduation, King High School, 6815 N 56th St, Tampa
    • 7/25/2024 - 6:00 PM
      2025 Teacher of the Year Gala, Rosen Shing Creek, 9939 Universal Blvd, Orlando
    • 7/27/2024 - 9:01 AM
      Bullard Family Foundation Back to School Bash, Raymond James Stadium, 4201 N Dale Mabry, Tampa
    • 7/27/2024 - 9:00 AM
      Back to School Health Clinic, Pizzo K-8, 11701 Bull Run Dr, Tampa
    Comments (-1)
  • Special Called School Board Meeting

    Posted by Tanya Arja or Debra Bellanti on 7/17/2024 4:17:00 PM
    For Immediate Release
    Contact: Tanya Arja or Debra Bellanti
    Hillsborough County Public Schools
    Office of Communications
    813-272-4060 
     
    Tampa, Fl. (July 17, 2024) – The Hillsborough County School Board will hold a Special Called School Board Meeting on Tuesday, July 23, at 2 p.m. in the board auditorium located at 901 E. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa.
     
    The Superintendent will ask Board Members to authorize school district attorneys to seek all appropriate legal action to ensure the millage referendum is on the November 5, 2024, ballot. 
     
    The Board will allow 30 minutes of public comment, limited to the agenda item only.
    Comments (-1)
  • Hillsborough County Superintendent of Schools Seeks Approval to Take Legal Action After County Commission Refuses to Place Millage Referendum on the November 2024 Ballot

    Posted by Tanya Arja or Debra Bellanti on 7/17/2024 3:35:00 PM
    For Immediate Release
    Contact: Tanya Arja or Debra Bellanti
    Hillsborough County Public Schools
    Office of Communications
    813-272-4060
      
    (Tampa, Fla. - July 17, 2024) - Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Van Ayres says he will seek approval from the School Board to take appropriate legal action after the Board of County Commissioners this morning refused to place a millage referendum on the November 5, 2024, ballot. The proposed millage is to be used to support students by paying teachers and staff a more competitive wage.
    The Hillsborough County School Board approved adding a millage referendum to the ballot during their April meeting. Today, the matter went before the Board of County Commissioners which, according to Florida Statute, has a simple administrative duty and “shall” place the referendum on the ballot. Instead, the Commission voted against doing that.
    "We are incredibly disheartened by the County Commission's decision," said Ayres.  “We believe our students, teachers and staff deserve better. I understand some individual commissioners are personally opposed to this millage and that’s perfectly fine. But we believe the voters should be the ones to decide this, not four County Commissioners. Local voters expect and deserve this right.”
    If approved, the referendum would add one millage to property taxes in Hillsborough County. The typical homeowner would see an increase of $281 a year. Funds would go primarily to increase pay for teachers, staff, assistant principals and principals to make Hillsborough County Public Schools more competitive with surrounding counties, most of which already have voter-approved millages. Charter schools would also receive funds from the millage.
    “Every child deserves the best classroom experience possible and that’s what this millage is about. We think it’s reasonable to put that question to our local voters,” added Ayres.
    Students in Hillsborough County go back to class on August 12, less than a month away. The School District anticipates starting the year with approximately 500 teacher vacancies.
     
    The superintendent has now scheduled a Special-Called School Board meeting for Tuesday, July 23 at 2 p.m. to authorize school district attorneys to seek all appropriate legal action to ensure the millage referendum is on the November 5, 2024 ballot. The district will be asking a judge to compel the County Commission to do their statutorily required duty. 
    Comments (-1)
  • Additional Hillsborough County Public Schools Students Honored with Prestigious College-Sponsored National Merit Scholarships

    Posted by Tanya Arja or Debra Bellanti on 7/15/2024 3:06:00 PM
    For Immediate Release

    Contact: Tanya Arja or Debra Bellanti
    Hillsborough County Public Schools
    Office of Communications
    813-272-4060
     
    Tampa, Fl. (July 15, 2024) – The National Merit Scholarship Corporation has announced over 800 additional winners of the National Merit Scholarships financed by U.S. colleges and universities, 3 of which attend Hillsborough County Public Schools. These Merit Scholar designees join more than 2,900 other college-sponsored award recipients who were announced in June – of which 36 Hillsborough County Public School students were honored.
    Officials of each sponsor college selected their scholarship winners from among the Finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program who will attend their institution. College-sponsored awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship.
    The National Merit Scholars were selected by a committee based on their academic records, Preliminary SAT scores, essays, and potential for success in college.
    The additional Hillsborough County Public School students added to the National Merit Scholars list include:
    • Katrina A. Lippert, Steinbrenner High School: University of Florida
    • Jacob R. Koenig, Sickles High School: University of Florida
    • Anthony Menold, Steinbrenner High School: Florida State University
    Congratulations to Katrina, Jacob, and Anthony for joining Hillsborough County Public School’s list of National Merit Scholarship recipients. It is a prestigious honor. The entire school district applauds their efforts as they begin this next chapter in their educational journey,” said Superintendent Van Ayres.
    These three students join Hillsborough County Public School’s National Merit Scholars announced in June included:
    • Jackson B. Simoneau, Bloomingdale High School: University of Central Florida
    • Brooke L. Tuttle, Strawberry Crest High School: University of Florida
    • Sean R. Evans, Newsome High School: Florida State University
    • Muyao Guan, Newsome High School: University of Florida
    • Michael P. Hemingway, Newsome High School: University of Florida
    • Savin Karki, Newsome High School: University of Florida
    • Caleb M. Hess, Steinbrenner High School: University of Florida
    • Aiden B. Smith, Strawberry Crest High School: University of South Florida
    • Sophia Orrego, Riverview High School: University of Florida
    • Sethumi T. Rajapakse, King High School: University of Florida
    • Anastasia Z. Achziger, King High School: University of Florida
    • Ananya Balla, Strawberry Crest High School: University of Florida
    • Julian R. Carvajal, King High School: University of Florida
    • Noah J. Cheong, Plant High School: University of Florida
    • Rohan R. Cheruku, Strawberry Crest High School: University of South Florida
    • Sonia N. Chillikatil, Strawberry Crest High School: University of Florida
    • Melanie A. Diaz, Robinson High School:  University of Florida
    • Evan C. Farnan, Sickles High School: University of Florida
    • Tanvi Garg, Strawberry Crest High School: University of Florida
    • Kevalin T. Gupta, Strawberry Crest High School: University of South Florida
    • Sarthak Gupta, Strawberry Crest High School: University of Florida
    • Vinesh Jarajapu, Middleton High School: University of South Florida
    • David Jin, King High School: University of Florida
    • Hannah K. Lockwood, Plant High School: University of Florida
    • James J. Marshall, Plant High School: University of Florida
    • Patrick J. Mateo, King High School: University of Florida
    • Julia L. Misiunas, Sickles High School: University of Florida
    • Joel Kyler Park, Alonso High School: University of South Florida
    • Cooper J. Priest, Wharton High School: Michigan State University
    • Vignesh Saravanan, King High School: University of Florida
    • Neha Senthilkumar, Strawberry Crest High School: University of Florida
    • Alessandra M. Skarshinski-Fred, Sickles High School: University of Florida
    • Daniel Takshi, King High School: University of Florida
    • Zachary J. Tomasello, Plant High School: University of Florida
    • Andres Vidovich, Plant High School: University of Florida
    • Rushik Mangavalli, Strawberry Crest High School: University of South Florida
    For more information on the 2024 National Merit Scholarship competition visit nationalmerit.org.
    Comments (-1)
  • Ribbon-Cutting for New Pre K-8 Magnet School in Hillsborough County

    Posted by Tanya Arja or Debra Bellanti on 7/15/2024 10:46:00 AM
    For Immediate Release
     
    Contact: Tanya Arja or Debra Bellanti
    Hillsborough County Public Schools
    Office of Communications
    813-272-4060
     
    Tampa, Fl. (July 15, 2024) – Hillsborough County Public Schools is proud to announce the grand opening of the Kenneth E. Adum Pre K-8 Magnet School – a beautiful new school campus in South Tampa. 
    To mark this significant milestone, a ribbon cutting and campus tour will be held on Tuesday, July 16, at 10:00 a.m. at the new facility located at 4210 W. Bay Villa Ave.
    The event will feature remarks from school officials and community leaders highlighting the collaborative efforts that made the new campus a reality. Attendees will have the opportunity to tour the school and see firsthand the innovative learning spaces designed to foster academic excellence and personal growth for our students.
    The new pre K-8 magnet school will have an international studies focus with plans to become an International Baccalaureate (IB) candidate school in the future. The school is slated for 1,800 students and 120 staff members. The first year will host students from pre kindergarten to grade 7, and then will expand to include 8th grade in 2025.
    “We are excited to open the doors of the Kenneth E. Adum Pre K-8 Magnet for our students and families as we start the new school year,” said Superintendent Van Ayres. “This beautiful new campus represents our dedication to creating an environment where every child can thrive.”
    To learn more about the new facility, visit https://www.hillsboroughschools.org/adum.
    Comments (-1)
  • Hillsborough County School Board Members in the Community: July 16-20, 2024

    Posted by Tanya Arja or Debra Bellanti on 7/11/2024 3:04:00 PM
    For Immediate Release
     
    Contact: Tanya Arja or Debra Bellanti
    Hillsborough County Public Schools
    Office of Communications
    813-272-4060
     
    Tampa, Fla. – (July 11, 2024) – One or more Hillsborough County School Board members are scheduled to attend the following events or meetings:
    • 7/16/2024 - 10:00 AM
      Kenneth E. Adum Pre K-8 Magnet School Ribbon Cutting, 4210 W. Bay Villa Ave, Tampa
    • 7/20/2024 - 9:00 AM
      West Tampa Back 2 School Health Clinic, 1315 W. Spruce Street, Tampa

    • 7/20/2024 - 9:00 AM
      Pre K & Kinder Summer Bash, Lamb Elementary, 6274 S. 78th Street, Tampa
    Comments (-1)
  • Ribbon-Cutting for New Pre K-8 Magnet School in Hillsborough County

    Posted by Tanya Arja or Debra Bellanti on 7/11/2024 12:16:00 PM
    For Immediate Release
     
    Contact: Tanya Arja or Debra Bellanti
    Hillsborough County Public Schools
    Office of Communications
    813-272-4060
     
    Tampa, Fl. (July 11, 2024) – Hillsborough County Public Schools is proud to announce the grand opening of the Kenneth E. Adum Pre K-8 Magnet School – a beautiful new school campus in South Tampa. 
    To mark this significant milestone, a ribbon cutting and campus tour will be held on Tuesday, July 16, at 10:00 a.m. at the new facility located at 4210 W. Bay Villa Ave.
    The event will feature remarks from school officials and community leaders highlighting the collaborative efforts that made the new campus a reality. Attendees will have the opportunity to tour the school and see firsthand the innovative learning spaces designed to foster academic excellence and personal growth for our students.
    The new pre K-8 magnet school will have an international studies focus with plans to become an International Baccalaureate (IB) candidate school in the future. The school is slated for 1,800 students and 120 staff members. The first year will host students from pre kindergarten to grade 7, and then will expand to include 8th grade in 2025.
    “We are excited to open the doors of the Kenneth E. Adum Pre K-8 Magnet for our students and families as we start the new school year,” said Superintendent Van Ayres. “This beautiful new campus represents our dedication to creating an environment where every child can thrive.”
    To learn more about the new facility, visit https://www.hillsboroughschools.org/adum.
    Comments (-1)
  • Hillsborough County Public Schools Celebrate Outstanding International Baccalaureate Graduation Results

    Posted by Tanya Arja or Debra Bellanti on 7/9/2024 2:54:00 PM
    For Immediate Release
     
    Contact: Tanya Arja or Debra Bellanti
    Hillsborough County Public Schools
    Office of Communications
    813-272-4060
     
    Tampa, Fla. – (July 9, 2024) – Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) is proud to announce the impressive achievements of our students who received an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma in the 2023-24 school year.

    Hillsborough County Public Schools currently has five high schools with an IB program: Robinson, Hillsborough, King, Strawberry Crest, and Alonso. Diploma rates at these schools saw a significant growth compared to last year, with increases ranging from 4% to 14%. This positive trend underscores the ongoing excellence and continuous improvement within our IB programs.
     
    In its first year offering the IB Diploma program, Alonso High School achieved an impressive 82% pass rate. Strawberry Crest High School, known for its consistent performance, once again achieved a 100% diploma rate.
     
    In total, 443 Hillsborough County Public School students earned their prestigious IB Diploma this year.
     
    Congratulations to all our IB students on these remarkable achievements,” said Van Ayres, Superintendent of Schools. “These results reflect their hard work and resilience but also the unwavering support from our teachers, administration, support staff, and families. It also underscores the high standards of academic excellence we strive for in Hillsborough County Public Schools.”
     
    The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) curriculum is a rigorous, pre-university course for the highly motivated student. The International Baccalaureate DP offers a comprehensive and integrated academic program in literature, science, language, and other curriculum areas. To learn more about Hillsborough County Public Schools IB programs visit hillsboroughschools.org.
    Comments (-1)