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School Board

HCPS publishes minutes of School Board meetings after Board approval. Although the online minutes do not include signatures, citizens may arrange to review the official documents by completing a public records request with the Communications Department.

901 E. Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa
Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The School Board of Hillsborough County, Florida, met in workshop session August 16, 2016, in the Staff Conference Room #283, 901 East Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, with Superintendent Jeff Eakins and Board Members Doretha W. Edgecomb, April Griffin, Sally Harris, Carol Kurdell, Melissa Snively, Cindy Stuart, and Susan Valdes present. Chair Griffin presided. 

Others present: 

School Board Attorney – Jim Porter 

Chief of Staff – Alberto Vázquez, Ed.D.
Chief of Schools, Administration – Harrison Peters 

Assistant Superintendents/Division Chiefs:
            Business – Gretchen Saunders
            Diversity – Minerva Spanner-Morrow 
            Teaching and Learning – Elizabeth Agresta                       

Chief Community Relations Officer – T.G. Taylor
External Communications Manager – Tanya Arja
Senior Administrative Secretary (Recording) – Patti McBride 

News Media Representatives:

Approximately three people were in the audience, including other school district personnel. 

Chair Griffin called the workshop to order at 1:08 p.m.  Discussion continued with Chief Newman’s morning workshop session on Civil Citations.


Superintendent Eakins commented on law enforcement’s side of Civil Citations as well as consequences in the district, reentry into school after arrest (expectations for student/school), and level of support from the district.


Chair Griffin discussed the district working on Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Julie Holt for support from her office to act as advocates for children when they don’t have a level of support from a parent, etc.


Mr. Porter commented that a meeting was scheduled with Jeff Gibson, Dr. Vázquez, and himself for Friday, August 19, 2016, for further discussion. 


Overview of Existing Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) Security and Emergency Management Department (Security Services & Emergency Management) 


This workshop was held to provide an overview of the existing Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) Security and Emergency Management Department.


Chief Newman provided a Power Point presentation, discussion included:

  • Current status and jurisdiction of HCPS security personnel (authority and prerequisites)
  • Comparative analysis between Security and Emergency Management with law enforcement personnel (Community School Officers) assigned to our school sites.
  • Law enforcement partnerships -- HCPS annual costs for:
    • Tampa Police Department (TPD)/ MOU:  $1,550,000 for 12-month contract
    • Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO)/MOU:  $3,300,000 for 12-month contact (not including grant officers).
  • Future deployments and expansion of the HCPS Security and Emergency Management Department – five-year forecasting to include:
    • Year One:  Reconcile function and duties of Security and Emergency Management with salary structure; 12-month and 10-month assignments (cost savings); attrition of elementary school site officers; leverage technology for efficiency; market lockdown protocols for all stakeholders; emphasize, through Professional Development, the role of the administrator when dealing with campus behavior, not engaging law enforcement or security to prematurely.
    • Years Two through Five: Sunset or sustain law enforcement grant officers (next three years); increase or maintain HCPS security staffing (next three years).
  • Exploring other options and deployment strategies for HCPS Security and Emergency Management to include identify and centralize all communication dispatchers/technicians in HCPS; unified communication/call-taker hub (centralize); central hub to triage all calls.


There was general discussion to include:

  • Substantial cost savings going from 12-month to 10-month assignments; savings that could go toward student support in the classroom
  • We were short $8.4 million in "safe schools categorical” that was not funded; thus, funds came from Part One of the budget.
  • Evaluations of Community School Officers - We do not do anything formally to evaluate these officers – evaluated by Sheriff’s Office/Police Department; principals should be able to provide some evaluation input of program and officers (evaluation/feedback addendum from the principal).
  • Disparity in resources of what areas can afford and others cannot – need to talk about providing the same resources other schools may have with the cost savings.
  • The grant officers get to choose the area they are assigned. Important we talk about the role of the grant officers other than just policing – their presence in the school, building relationships, etc.
  •  We do need to go back and look at our contracts and reevaluate – show value of having the contract year after year, etc.


In discussing length of officer assignments - there was consensus by the Board to direct (by October) the Superintendent and Chief Newman to begin discussions regarding 10-month contracts/assignments opposed to 12 months, to include evaluative piece in contract. 

We are not sacrificing safety of our kids by going to a 10-month contract – the district already covers the summer. 

In discussing existing grants (sunset/sustainability), there was consensus by the Board to start conversation on "sunset” of grant – transition from Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (Community School Officers) to our own officers. Conversation for Superintendent and Chief Newman with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and Tampa Police Department.


In other discussion:

  • Consider workshop on the Communications Department -- better understanding of communications (T.G. Taylor, along with Chief Newman’s communication piece).
  • Provide realistic timeline when board asks for something at board meeting – After board meeting, Dr. Vázquez sends request to appropriate staff member for response.

With no further discussion, the workshop adjourned at 2:33 p.m.  (Audio recording on file.)

HCPS publishes minutes of School Board meetings after Board approval. Although the online minutes do not include signatures, citizens may arrange to review the official documents by completing a public records request with the Communications Department.

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