By Tamas Mondovics

Hillsborough Schools Enrollment Up Nearly 4,000 Students

Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) officials have recently reported that the district’s first day enrollment is up nearly 4,000 students this year compared to the first day of school last year.

Schools reported enrollment of 190,814, up 3,997 from last year.

According to school officials, the annual growth—although slow—has been ongoing, as last year on the first day of school the district reported an enrollment increase of 2,863 students compared to the previous year.

After several years of relatively flat enrollment or slight decreases, Hillsborough County Public Schools, the nation’s eighth largest district, has seen three years of growth, and this year appears to be continuing that trend.

In a press release HCPS said that historically, it has taken several weeks before the district hits its peak enrollment.

This year, the projected enrollment is approximately 205,000.

The district will make several student counts over the next weeks, ending with the 20th day count, which is expected to give a true reading of how much the district has grown, school officials said.

Starting this year, Kelly Services provides substitute teachers for the district. The reported “fill rate” (the percentage of substitute teacher openings that were filled) for the first day was 99.6 percent. Historically, the school district has had a fill rate of less than 80 percent.

Nearly one-in-three Florida High School Seniors in Danger of Not Graduating

It’s been three years since Florida passed the Digital Learning Act requiring high school students to take an online course as part of their graduation requirements, but according to a recent estimate by Florida Virtual School (FLVS), about 30 percent – nearly one-in-three – of

Florida seniors are still missing the online course requirement.

With an estimated 200,000 rising twelfth grade students who were freshmen when the law was enacted looking at graduation in 2015, missing the course puts them at risk of not graduating.

“Anecdotally we have heard from school districts that some students have procrastinated a bit, while other students were not clear about the mandate,” said Polly Haldeman, director of Florida Services for Florida Virtual School.

To help students avoid failing to complete all their high school requirements including their online courses, Florida’s official online public school district, Florida Virtual School (FLVS), that serves Kindergarten through twelfth grade, is mobilizing to provide a number of options.

“Students can satisfy the graduation requirement by taking one of more than 140 courses offered by FLVS, a statewide public school district,” Haldeman said, adding that courses include core academic courses; 14 Advance Placement (AP) courses; new Career and Technical Education (CTE).

FLVS enrollment is open 365 days a year, with access to courses 24/7.

To learn more about Florida Virtual School, please visit

Bloomingdale High School Receives First Academic Foundation Donation

Bloomingdale High School Academic Foundation was pleased to start the new school year with its first donation to a Bloomingdale High School classroom.

Totaling $2,000, the math department received five graphing calculators as well as student-tutoring scholarships to Mathnasium of Brandon.

“I can’t tell you how incredible it was to watch the faces of the teachers as the calculators were presented,” Principal Sue Burkett said. “The entire faculty was in awe that the community was rallying behind them in support of what they do in the classroom with kids. It’s not always easy to fund the out of the ordinary requests for teachers, but with the help of the academic foundation, the community is finding a way to make it happen.”

The Foundation was incorporated in June to donate technology, equipment, and other educational opportunities back to Bloomingdale classrooms. Their current business partners include TECO Energy, Mathnasium of Brandon and Romero Insurance Company.

“We have tried to make the Foundation more business friendly by giving businesses plenty of exposure and opportunities to have face to face time with our Bloomingdale parents and other business partners at Bloomingdale events,” said Foundation President Michelle Hernández.

“We’re all so excited about the direction the Foundation is going,  and feel that it also brings our community even closer as we work together for this great cause.”

The foundation is currently seeking more business partners to help fulfill the needs of Bloomingdale classrooms. For more information, visit www.bloomin gdaleacade

School Board to Consider Five-Year Construction Plan

As part of its regularly scheduled School Board meeting last month, the Hillsborough County School Board considered the district’s tentative five-year construction plan.        

The five-year construction plan, presented annually, is available online as item 7.04 on the July 29 School Board agenda.

Contingent on available funding, the plan includes regular maintenance, such as interior and exterior paint, roofing, asphalt, irrigation to name a few, as well as some new construction projects such as a $5 million addition to Lennard High School, scheduled to open 2015.

School officials said that the plan will come before the Board at the Tuesday, September 30 School Board meeting for a final vote.

For a full list, please visit

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