New Teacher Orientation

Led by Superintendent Jeff Eakins, school board members, and district staff, more than 600 new teachers were welcomed to Hillsborough County Public Schools during the annual New Teacher Orientation held last month at Armwood High School.

This year’s four-day orientation emphasized a fresh look in response to the needs of district teachers as well as their feedback from previous years.

The first two days aimed at familiarizing teachers with the district’s mission, vision, and goals through a comprehensive induction model.

Days three and four included CHAMPS/Discipline in the Secondary Classroom training to assist teachers with establishing classroom culture during the first few weeks of school.

Experienced teachers were invited to register for various courses offered during day three and four at the district’s main training facility.

For more information about Hillsborough County Public Schools, visit

FDE Releases School Grades

The Florida Department of Education released the 2015-2016 school grades based on the Florida Standard Assessments (FSA) in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry End-of-Course.

Hillsborough County Public Schools had 51 schools that were graded an “A” and 43 schools received a “B” grade.

Six schools within the district improved their grade from an “F” to a “C,” including Bryan, Desoto Elementary, Ruskin and West Tampa Elementary schools along with two charter schools.

“Our teachers, school administrators, and district staff have been working diligently preparing our students for these assessments, just as they have done in the past,” said Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) Superintendent Jeff Eakins.

In an online press release district officials acknowledged that, “teachers, leaders, and support staff know that there is much more work to do to ensure success for our students as they prepare them for life.”

For more information about Hillsborough County Public Schools, visit

WeatherSTEM, Instructure Partner Providing Real-Time Weather Data, Curriculum For Students

The Florida-based WeatherSTEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Math) joined forces last month with Instructure, a software company to benefit students with a new streamlined approach to weather education. 

Officials announced that WeatherSTEM’s interactive K-12 STEM atmospheric sciences and agriculture curriculum will now be integrated into Instructure’s award-winning learning management system, Canvas, which will allow students using to reference data from their local WeatherSTEM unit or any region’s station from within an online course.

The partnership will also allow teachers to incorporate WeatherSTEM, a division of Ucompass, a highly successful 20-year-old education technology company content into an online Canvas course.

“Our goal for WeatherSTEM is to be the leader in weather education and forecasting, and to encourage a new generation to learn how weather impacts major industries like tourism and agriculture,” said WeatherSTEM Founder Ed Mansouri, who added, “Instructure’s innovative approach and track record of superior design for the Canvas system is unmatched, and we are thrilled to be partnering with them for the benefit of students and educators nationwide.”

The experiences and activities are powered by live data derived from site-based scientific instruments and sensors in 182 locations in 12 states, including 155 in Florida, as well as Penn State, Florida State, and many other universities in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Approximately 2,000 universities, school districts, and institutions around the world currently use Canvas as their learning management system.

“We are very excited about the opportunities a partnership with WeatherSTEM brings to teachers and students using Canvas,” said Melissa Loble, vice president of Platform and Partnerships for Instructure. “Not only will they benefit from the rich, engaging STEM content, but they will also be able to tap into the data sets collected by WeatherSTEM to understand the impact of weather on their local communities.”

For more information, visit 

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