FishHawk Creek Hosts Health and Bike Safety Fair and Bike Raffle
It is estimated that, each year, thousands of children are seriously injured in bike-related accidents, many involving brain injury.
In an effort to ensure that such statistics do not include its student body, FishHawk Creek Elementary School, led by its committed PTA and with the help of local businesses, was pleased to host its annual Health and Bike Safety Fair last month.
The event gave parents and students a chance to learn more about bike and scooter safety, health and wellness. With support from local businesses, the focus is making sure that children’s bike seats are adjusted, brakes work, tires are properly inflated and helmets fit as they should. All of these, according to FishHawk Creek Elementary Guidance Counselor, Carmela Pizzichetti, should be on the top of every parent’s safety checklist.
“Whether your kids ride their bikes to school every day or for an occasional family outing, learning about bike or scooter safety is a must,” Pizzichetti said, and added, “Properly fitted helmets shouldn’t be optional for anyone, especially kids.”
Pizzichetti emphasized that, out of the approximately 1,030 students attending FishHawk Creek this year, only 300 will be riding the buses to and from school each day, leaving about 70 percent of the children to be either dropped off, walk or ride their bikes and scooters.
“With such a high number of students using their own transportation, safety is extremely important,” she said.
Thanks to the support of all involved this year’s safety fair was once again a great success.
For more information about FishHawk Creek Elementary, please visit or call the school at 651-2150.

Hillsborough County Taking Part In National School Lunch And Breakfast Program
Following in the pattern set during the summer to be sure that all children living in Hillsborough County will be fed properly, the county’s Department of Family and Aging Services will once again sponsor the National School Lunch Program for the 2012-13 school year.
According to officials, eligible children will once again receive meals at no cost thanks to a program administered through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The program meets nutrition standards as reflected in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans under The Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act.
As part of the free and reduced meal policy, an official with the Hillsborough County Department Family & Aging Services will review applications and determine eligibility.
The guidelines are available at

District Announces Dates and Locations of ACT and SAT Exams
Hillsborough County Public School officials recently announced the dates and locations of ACT and SAT exams for the 2012-2013 school year.
Eligible students from any school in Hillsborough County can register to take the exams at any of the listed locations, regardless of the school they attend.
Students can register online for the ACT at, or call 1-319-337-1270.
SAT registration is available online at or by calling 1-866-756-7346.
Registration is $50 for the SAT. Registration for the ACT is $50.50 or $35 without the writing exam.
Late registration for the ACT is an additional $22 and an additional $27 for the SAT.
Test dates and locations can be found on the district calendars page.

School District and Unions Tentatively Agree to Settlements
Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) officials recently announced that negotiators for the school district and the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association (HCTA) and the Hillsborough School Employees Federation (HSEF) have reached tentative agreements on contracts that include salary increases.
According to HCPS spokesman Stephen Hegarty, the agreements still must be ratified by employees and approved by the School Board.
Under the agreements, eligible teachers and other employees represented by HCTA would receive one level increase on the salary schedule, plus a one-and-a-half percent cost of living increase, Hegarty said.
Eligible employees represented by HSEF, which includes most instructional support employees such as bus drivers, student nutrition services workers and maintenance workers, would receive two level increases and forgo the cost of living increase.
Since last year, neither bargaining group received a raise, though both received small cash payments intended to at least partially offset the state’s requirement that public employees pay three percent of their salary into their retirement fund, according to school officials, the agreement is considered to be a positive outcome.
“Negotiators for the district and the unions characterized the settlements as perhaps the best in the state during these difficult economic times,” Hegarty said.
In addition to the salary increases, there are no increases in any of the health insurance premiums and the district continues to offer a fully paid health insurance option.
If the agreements are ratified by employees and approved by the School Board, they would be retroactive to July 1, school officials said.

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Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.