Closed captioning transcript for the Hillsborough County School Board Meeting from February 18, 2016

>>Doretha Edgecomb: THANK YOU. PLEASE NOW JOIN ME IN THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE. [PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE]

>>Doretha Edgecomb: THANK YOU. YOU MAY BE SEATED.

>>April Griffin: THANK YOU, MS. EDGECOMB. THE STUDENT FORUM WILL BE REAIRED ON SATURDAY THE 20th AT 8 P.M. AND SUNDAY THE 21st AT 1 P.M. AND 8 P.M. AND AGAIN ON TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23rd AT 8 P.M. SO IF YOU WANT TO WATCH THE REPLAY OF THIS, THOSE ARE THE TIMES IT WILL BE AIRED ON THE EDUCATION CHANNEL. THIS FORUM WAS THE VISION OF FORMER SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER CECILE ESSRIG. THIS WILL BE OUR FOURTH YEAR WITHOUT HER AS SHE PASSED AWAY ON JUNE 29th, 2012. MS. ESSRIG HELD SEVERAL COMMUNITY POSITIONS THROUGHOUT HER OUTSTANDING CAREER OF SERVICE. THIS REMARKABLE INDIVIDUAL WAS THE FIRST WOMAN ELECTED TO A MAJOR POLITICAL OFFICE IN HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY. SHE SERVED ON THE HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY BOARD FOR 21 YEARS. TODAY'S EVENT IS A CREATION OF HERS ORIGINALLY NAMED THE TAMPA-HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY YOUTH COUNCIL. WE CONGRATULATE YOU FOR BEING SELECTED TO REPRESENT YOUR SCHOOLS AND IN DOING SO, HONOR THE MEMORY OF CECILE ESSRIG. I'M SO SORRY. I'M BATTLING A COLD RIGHT NOW. I'D LIKE TO ASK MY MEMBERS TO INTRODUCE YOURSELVES.

>> I'M SALLY HARRIS. I'M WITH DISTRICT 2.

>> GOOD AFTERNOON. I'M MELISSA SNIVELY. I REPRESENT DISTRICT 4.

>> DORETHA EDGECOMB, DISTRICT 5.

>> GOOD AFTERNOON, STUDENTS. MY NAME IS SUSAN VALDES, AND I REPRESENT DISTRICT 1.

>> HI, STUDENTS. I'M CAROL KURDELL, AT LARGE DISTRICT 7.

>> I'M APRIL GRIFFIN. I'M ALSO AN AT-LARGE DISTRICT, DISTRICT 6. AND OUR SUPERINTENDENT.

>>Jeffrey Eakins: HELLO, STUDENTS. JEFF EAKINS, YOUR SUPERINTENDENT.

>> MY NAME IS DR. ALBERTO VAZQUEZ, THE CHIEF OF STAFF.

>> GOOD AFTERNOON, STUDENTS. VAN AYRES, DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT.

>> GOOD AFTERNOON, LARRY SYKES, CHIEF OF SCHOOLS.

>>April Griffin: THANK YOU, EVERYONE. AGAIN, AS I SAID EARLIER, THIS FORUM IS NOW LIVE BROADCAST ON THE AIR AS WE SPEAK ON BRIGHT HOUSE CHANNEL 635 AND VERIZON FIOS CHANNEL 32. THERE'S ALSO A LIVE WEBCAST YOU CAN VIEW ON OUR WEBSITE. AND THEN YOU CAN FIND THE REPLAYS AGAIN ON SATURDAY, THE 20th AT 8 P.M., SUNDAY THE 21st AT 1 AND 8 P.M. AND TUESDAY THE 23rd AT 8 P.M. TODAY, WE WILL END THE FORUM BY 5 P.M. SO THE STAFF CAN GET READY FOR THE LIVE AIR BROADCAST OF THE MATH HOMEWORK HOTLINE, A SHOW THAT PROVIDES HELP TO STUDENTS WITH THEIR MATH HOMEWORK. MS. SHERRIE SIKES.

>> GOOD AFTERNOON. WE ARE SO PROUD OF THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF OUR STUDENTS. THREE IMPORTANT ACHIEVEMENTS OF OUR STUDENTS ARE: ONE, THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION RELEASED GRADUATION RATES FOR THE 2014-2015 SCHOOL YEAR. A HIGHER PERCENTAGE OF OUR STUDENTS ARE GRADUATING. WE ARE NOW AT A 76%, A 2.5 PERCENTAGE POINT INCREASE FROM LAST YEAR. WE ARE REALLY PROUD OF OUR STUDENTS. NUMBER TWO, CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION IS INCREASING THE NUMBER OF WORKFORCE CONNECTIONS FROM BEING MADE IN THE TAMPA BAY AREA. THIS MONTH, FEBRUARY 2016, THE FIRST-EVER BUILD TAMPA BAY TRADE SHOW AND JOB FAIR BROUGHT TOGETHER MORE THAN 600 JUNIORS AND SENIORS AND 50 BUSINESS PARTNERS AT THE AMALIE ARENA. ALL FOR THE PURPOSE OF PREPARING OUR STUDENTS FOR LIFE. NUMBER THREE, MANY OF OUR SCHOOLS HAVE IMPLEMENTED A SITE-BASED MENTORING PROGRAM TO EMPOWER STUDENTS TO MAKE POSITIVE LIFE CHOICES THAT ENABLE THEM TO MAXIMIZE THEIR POTENTIAL. STUDENT PERFORMANCE IS IMPROVED WHEN EVERY STUDENT FEELS SUPPORTED SOCIALLY, EMOTIONALLY, AND ECONOMICALLY. -- AND ACADEMICALLY. WHAT A PLEASURE IT IS TO HAVE YOU HERE TODAY. I WOULD LIKE TO COMPLIMENT YOU TODAY ON YOUR DRESS. THIS IS SUCH A PERFECT OPPORTUNITY FOR STUDENTS TO REPRESENT THEIR SCHOOLS AND TO ASK QUESTIONS SO THAT THE SCHOOL BOARD HEARS STUDENT CONCERNS, ANSWERS THEIR QUESTIONS, AND GIVES THEM A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS. THE ANNUAL STUDENT FORUM HAS GROWN IN IMPORTANCE OVER THE YEARS AS COMMUNICATION AND ADDRESSING CONCERNS IS ONE OF THE TOP PRIORITIES IN THE DISTRICT. YOU HAVE MET THE HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS AND THE SUPERINTENDENT, JEFF EAKINS. THEY ARE TRULY DEVOTED TO OUR STUDENTS AND WANT TO SEE EVERY STUDENT SUCCEED. WE APPRECIATE ALL THAT YOU DO FOR OUR STUDENTS, OUR TEACHERS, OUR PARENTS AND STAFF. WE REALLY APPRECIATE YOU ALL. I WOULD LIKE TO INTRODUCE DR. LARRY SYKES, CHIEF OF SCHOOLS AND WOULD ASK THAT YOU DISTRICT-LEVEL PERSONNEL STAND AND BE RECOGNIZED AT THIS TIME. [ APPLAUSE ] WE ARE SO GLAD TO HAVE YOUR SUPPORT. FINALLY, I WOULD LIKE TO ASK ALL OF THE PRINCIPALS TO STAND. WE ARE SO PROUD OF OUR PRINCIPALS. [ APPLAUSE ] THANKS FOR THE WONDERFUL JOB THAT YOU DO. OUR SUPERINTENDENT, THE AWESOME JEFF EAKINS, MAKES RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE SCHOOL BOARD AND THE SCHOOL BOARD RESPONDS TO HIM. THIS SCHOOL BOARD, THEY WANT YOUR INPUT. THEY WILL LISTEN TO YOU CAREFULLY, AND IF THEY DO NOT ANSWER YOUR QUESTION TODAY, THEY WILL MAKE SURE THE ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS ARE GIVEN TO YOUR PRINCIPAL IN WRITTEN FORM. YOUR PRINCIPAL WILL SHARE THE ANSWERS WITH YOU. SOMETIMES POLICY CHANGES ARE MADE AS A RESULT OF THE FORUM. THE STUDENTS IN TODAY'S FORUM REPRESENT 27 HIGH SCHOOLS, CAREER CENTERS, AND THE CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEE. I WILL BE ASSISTED BY STAFFERS FROM THE DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATION. REAL QUICKLY, I'M GOING TO EXPLAIN THE FORMAT. ROUND ONE, YOU MAY ASK A QUESTION OF YOUR CHOICE. AFTER ALL SCHOOLS HAVE ASKED ONE QUESTION, THE SCHOOL BOARD WILL ANSWER SOME OF THE QUESTIONS. THEN WE'LL MOVE TO ROUND TWO. EACH SCHOOL MAY ASK ANOTHER QUESTION OF THEIR CHOICE. THE SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS THEN WILL ANSWER THE QUESTIONS FROM ROUND TWO. THE SCHOOL BOARD WILL TAKE AND ASK QUESTIONS DURING THE THIRD ROUND. STUDENTS WILL SIGNIFY BY RAISING THEIR SCHOOL SIGN. IF THEY WANT TO ASK A QUESTION DURING THE THIRD ROUND. THE HONORABLE APRIL GRIFFIN WILL BE FACILITATING THE THIRD ROUND. THE ORDER, WE WILL BEGIN ALPHABETICALLY TODAY STARTING WITH ALONSO. I WOULD LIKE EACH SCHOOL TO SELECT ONE REPRESENTATIVE FOR EACH ROUND. WHEN YOUR SCHOOL IS CALLED ON, PLEASE STAND, GIVE YOUR NAME AND THE SCHOOL YOU REPRESENT. ASK ONLY ONE QUESTION. SPEAK CLEARLY INTO THE MICROPHONE. PLEASE BE RESPECTFUL AND COURTEOUS AS YOU ARE ASKING YOUR QUESTIONS. WE WILL PROCEED IN ORDER FOR TWO ROUNDS WITH HONORABLE APRIL GRIFFIN FACILITATING ANSWERS FROM THE SCHOOL BOARD AFTER EACH ROUND. AND WE'RE GOING TO GO AHEAD AND BEGIN ROUND ONE. STARTING WITH ALONSO HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HELLO. I'M ZACH SMAGOWICZ FROM ALONSO HIGH SCHOOL. IN THE DISTRICT THERE ARE MANY SPECIAL ATHLETES WHO HAVE TO DRIVE THEMSELVES TO VARIOUS SPORTING EVENTS BECAUSE NO TRANSPORTATION IS PROVIDED BY THE SCHOOL DISTRICT AND ALSO MANY ATHLETES WHO HAVE TO COMPETE AT VARIOUS ATHLETIC FUNCTIONS DURING EXAM WEEK. WITH THOSE TWO EXAMPLES IN MIND, ARE THERE ANY WAYS THAT YOU GUYS ARE CONSIDERING TO BE MORE CONSIDERATE OF STUDENT ATHLETES IN REGARDS TO TRANSPORTATION, TRAVEL HOURS, AND THE SCHEDULING OF EVENTS?

>> THANK YOU. ARMWOOD HIGH SCHOOL.

>> GOOD AFTERNOON. MY NAME IS ALLISON DAHL. I REPRESENT ARMWOOD HIGH SCHOOL. AT ARMWOOD WE UNDERSTAND STUDENTS ARE FINDING OPPORTUNITIES TO BE COLLEGE AND CAREER READY AS THEY FINISH HIGH SCHOOL. WE'RE WONDERING AS A DISTRICT HOW WE COULD INCREASE INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES AND DEVELOP COMMUNICATION WITH AREA BUSINESSES FOR UPPER CLASSMEN AS THEY EXIT HIGH SCHOOL. THANK YOU.

>> THANK YOU. BLAKE HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HI. I'M BRIANA MILLER REPRESENTING BLAKE HIGH SCHOOL. IN ORDER TO KEEP ABREAST OF THE CURRENT COLLEGE AND BUSINESS TRENDS AND PROPERLY PROVIDE ALL STUDENTS WITH A MARKETABLE SKILL SET AS A SUCCESSFUL GRADUATE OF HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, I WOULD LIKE TO SEE THAT THE DISTRICT ENCOURAGE ALL STUDENTS TO ENROLL IN COURSES THAT WOULD PROVIDE THEM WITH AN OPPORTUNITY TO GAIN COLLEGE AND CAREER READINESS SKILLS WITH EMPHASIS ON OFFERING THE STUDENTS VARIOUS WAYS TO OBTAIN FULL HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE FOR COLLEGE AND/OR BUSINESS WORLD. DOES THE DISTRICT FEEL THAT THIS REQUEST CAN BE IMPLEMENTED SUCCESSFULLY FOR ALL STUDENTS TO OBTAIN PRIOR TO GRADUATING?

>> THANK YOU. BLOOMINGDALE HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HI. MY NAME IS CAMERON ROBERTSON FROM BLOOMINGDALE HIGH SCHOOL. SOME STUDENTS ARE RAISED IN HOMES THAT ARE NOT EQUIPPED WITH THE TECHNOLOGY THAT OTHER PEERS HAVE, AND THEY HAVE LESS OF AN EXPOSURE TO THIS TECHNOLOGY. CAN STUDENTS HAVE A CHOICE OF ASSIGNMENT METHODS, LIKE WHETHER IT BE ON COMPUTER OR PAPER, PENCIL?

>> THANK YOU. BOWERS/WHITLEY CAREER CENTER.

>> GOOD AFTERNOON, EVERYONE. I'M JAMERA. I REPRESENT BOWERS AND WHITLEY. OUR SCHOOL WAS WONDERING IF IT'S POSSIBLE TO SUGGEST TO THE STATE THAT WE COULD EXTEND OUR TESTING THROUGHOUT THE SCHOOL YEAR SO WE ARE MORE FOCUSED DURING THE BEGINNING OF THE SCHOOL YEAR?

>> THANK YOU. BRANDON HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HELLO. MY NAME IS AVERY CLEMONS, REPRESENTING BRANDON HIGH SCHOOL. WHAT ARE YOUR SOLUTIONS TO THE OVERWHELMING AMOUNT OF STATE TESTING THAT CAUSE STUDENTS ANXIETY AND PRESSURES EDUCATORS TO ONLY TEACH TO PASS THE TEST?

>> THANK YOU. CHAMBERLAIN HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HI. MY NAME IS ANSLEY HALL FROM CHAMBERLAIN HIGH SCHOOL. CHAMBERLAIN SEEMS TO BE A LITTLE OUTDATED COMPARED TO OTHER SCHOOLS. WHEN IS CHAMBERLAIN SCHEDULED FOR A MAJOR RENOVATION?

>> THANK YOU. DURANT HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HI. MY NAME IS HALEY FABRIZIO FROM DURANT HIGH SCHOOL. MY QUESTION IS SENIORS ARE ALWAYS MOTIVATED TO COME TO SCHOOL THE LAST SEMESTER SO THEY CAN EXEMPT THEIR EXAMS, BUT WHY IS THIS INCENTIVE NOT GIVEN TO ALL THE GRADES?

>> THANK YOU. EAST BAY HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HI. MY NAME IS BRIA FROM EAST BAY HIGH SCHOOL. WE WERE WONDERING IF IT WOULD BE POSSIBLE FOR MIDTERM AND FINAL EXAM GRADES NOT TO BE FACTORED INTO THE FINAL GRADE OR FOR IT TO HAVE LESS OF A WEIGHT.

>> THANK YOU. FREEDOM HIGH SCHOOL.

>> GOOD AFTERNOON. I'M EMMA ERNST. WOULD THE SCHOOL BOARD BE WILLING TO CONSIDER A DEFINED DRESS CODE FOR TEACHERS BY DEFINING PROFESSIONAL ATTIRE?

>> THANK YOU. GAITHER HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HI. MY NAME IS DANIELA TORRES. I REPRESENT GAITHER HIGH SCHOOL. THIS GENERATION OF STUDENTS IS CONSTANTLY BEING TESTED. WHAT IS AN ALTERNATE OPTION BEING CONSIDERED REGARDING THESE STANDARDIZED TESTS WHICH CAUSE STUDENTS TO BECOME OVERWHELMED?

>> THANK YOU. HILLSBOROUGH HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HI. MY NAME IS AMBER PIRSON. I REPRESENT HILLSBOROUGH HIGH SCHOOL. GO BIG RED. WE WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WILL THE DISTRICT INCREASE TEACHER PAY TO ATTRACT MORE UNDERGRADUATE AND GRADUATE STUDENTS FROM LOCAL COLLEGES TO COME AND BE TEACHERS IN THIS COUNTY?

>> THANK YOU. JEFFERSON HIGH SCHOOL.

>> GOOD AFTERNOON. MY NAME IS VER ADVISE WILLIAMS. THE TEXTBOOKS -- VERLIZ WILLIAMS. THE TEXTBOOKS USED IN AP ARE OUTDATED. COULD THE BOARD CONSIDER ALLOCATING FUNDS TO KEEP THE AP TEXTBOOKS UP TO DATE THEREFORE INCREASING THE CHANCES OF BEING SUCCESSFUL IN THE AP EXAM?

>> THANK YOU. KING HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HELLO. ALVIN ALUMMOOTTIL FROM KING HIGH SCHOOL. STUDENT ATHLETES, WE ARE REQUIRED TO NOT ONLY PERFORM ON THE FIELD BUT IN THE CLASSROOM AS WELL. THE TIMING OF GAMES OFTEN AFFECTS STUDENTS' ABILITIES TO COMPLETE THEIR HOMEWORK ON TIME TO THE BEST OF THEIR ABILITIES. WE WANTED TO KNOW, WHAT WAS THE PROCESS OF SCHEDULING GAMES AND IF IT'S POSSIBLE TO SCHEDULE THEM EARLIER SO WE COULD PLAY BETTER OR SO WE COULD DO OUR HOMEWORK?

>> THANK YOU. LENNARD HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HELLO. I'M TAYLOR BERLIN FROM LENNARD HIGH SCHOOL. AND LUNCH PORTIONS ARE REALLY SMALL, ESPECIALLY FOR STUDENT ATHLETES. CAN THE SIZE OF LUNCH PORTIONS BE INCREASED POSSIBLY? [ LAUGHTER ]

>> THANK YOU. LETO HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HI. I'M MARK PARRY FROM LETO HIGH SCHOOL. THE STUDENT POPULATION HAS BEEN STEADILY INCREASING EACH YEAR AT LETO HIGH SCHOOL CAUSING MAJOR OVERCROWDING AND CAUSING MANY TEACHERS TO FLOAT. WHAT CAN BE DONE TO HELP RELIEVE OUR SCHOOL OF OVERCROWDING?

>> THANK YOU. MIDDLETON HIGH SCHOOL.

>> GOOD AFTERNOON. MY NAME IS DAVID ZAMORA REPRESENTING MIDDLETON HIGH SCHOOL. MANY STUDENTS FOR FINANCIAL OR OTHER REASONS HAVE TO OFTEN MOVE AROUND THE DISTRICT. I WONDER, WHAT IS THE DISTRICT DOING SO THAT ALL AP CLASSES ACROSS THE DISTRICT ARE TEACHING THE SAME SKILLS AT THE SAME LEVEL?

>> THANK YOU. NEWSOME HIGH SCHOOL.

>> KATELYN WOJTIUK FROM NEWSOME HIGH SCHOOL. IN THE TEACHER EVALUATION PROCESS, IS THERE A WAY TO INCLUDE STUDENT IMPACT? IF SO, CAN IT MAKE AN IMPACT ON THE TEACHER VETTING SYSTEM?

>> PLANT HIGH SCHOOL.

>> XAN MINAN. SENIORS GET FIVE ABSENCES BEFORE INELIGIBLE TO EXEMPT EXAMS BUT OFTENTIMES THIS COMES INTO CONFLICT WITH COLLEGE RELATED RESPONSIBILITIES AND OPPORTUNITIES. WOULD THE SCHOOL BOARD BE WILLING TO CHANGE THIS OR MAKE COLLEGE-RELATED OPPORTUNITIES SCHOOL BUSINESS ABSENCES?

>> THANK YOU. PLANT CITY HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HELLO. I'M JAQUASIOUS JOHNSON FROM PLANT CITY HIGH SCHOOL. MY QUESTION TO YOU IS, HAS THERE BEEN ANY CONSIDERATION GIVEN TO HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS STARTING SCHOOL AT A LATER TIME DUE TO THE FACT THAT MANY STUDENTS GET IN LATE BECAUSE OF ATHLETICS OR JOBS? THEY MAY HAVE HOMEWORK TO COMPLETE WITH ALL THE AP, HONORS AND/OR DUAL ENROLLMENT CLASSES THEY ARE TAKING CAUSES THEM TO GET INTO BED LATE AND THEN HAVE TO GET UP FOR SCHOOL EARLY BY 7:30 A.M.?

>> THANK YOU. RIVERVIEW HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HELLO. MY NAME IS SARA ROSARIO. WHY IS IT THAT IN AP CLASSES WE NEED TO TAKE A SEMESTER EXAM IN ADDITION TO THE AP EXAM?

>> THANK YOU. ROBINSON HIGH SCHOOL.

>> GOOD AFTERNOON. PETER CHAN. REPRESENTING ROBINSON HIGH SCHOOL. MANY IB STUDENTS DON'T FULLY UNDERSTAND HOW COMMON CORE COULD CHANGE OR HAS CHANGED OUR CURRICULUM. COULD THE BOARD MEMBERS ELABORATE ON ANY POTENTIAL CHANGES TO OUR CURRICULUM?

>> THANK YOU. SICKLES HIGH SCHOOL.

>> GOOD AFTERNOON. MY NAME IS CAITLYN RUSSELL FROM SICKLES HIGH SCHOOL. WHILE MENTORING ONE OF THE ELEMENTARY FEEDER SCHOOLS, I SAW A VAST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT AND EDUCATION RESOURCES THAN I EXPERIENCED GROWING UP AT MY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AND EVEN IN HIGH SCHOOL TODAY. IN WHAT WAYS COULD THE DISTRICT WORK WITH PTSA TO ASSIST SCHOOLS BY DIVIDING AND SHARING SUPPORT TO SCHOOLS THAT HAVE LIMITED PARENTAL SUPPORT. I BELIEVE THAT WITH THIS AVAILABLE SUPPORT, YOU COULD SEE HIGHER STUDENT SUCCESS. THANK YOU.

>> THANK YOU. SIMMONS CAREER CENTER.

>> GOOD AFTERNOON. I'M TIFFANEY HENRY FROM SIMMONS CAREER CENTER. WHAT IS THE COUNTY PLANNING TO DO TO HELP CAREER CENTER PROGRAMS COMPARED TO TRADITIONAL HIGH SCHOOLS?

>> THANK YOU. SPOTO HIGH SCHOOL.

>> GOOD AFTERNOON. HECTOR DIAZ. I'M REPRESENTING SPOTO HIGH SCHOOL. MY QUESTION FOR THE DISTRICT IS, MANY STUDENTS OFTEN HAVE TO TRAVEL LONG DISTANCES TO ATTEND THE SCHOOL THEY ARE ZONED FOR WHEN A SCHOOL IS OFTEN CLOSER TO THEIR HOUSE. ARE THERE ANY PLANS TO REEVALUATE THE SCHOOL BOUNDARIES IN THE FUTURE?

>> THANK YOU. STEINBRENNER HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HELLO. KYLE LANGIOTTI REPRESENTING STEINBRENNER HIGH SCHOOL TODAY. MY QUESTION IS, WHY DOES GRADUATION HAVE TO BE HELD AT THE FAIRGROUNDS? FOR EVERY HIGH SCHOOL INSTEAD OF A MORE GEOGRAPHICALLY CENTERED LOCATION? AND IS THERE ANY WAY THAT WE CAN IMPROVE THAT FOR THE FUTURE? THANK YOU.

>> THANK YOU. STRAWBERRY CREST HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HI. SHALINI JOSE REPRESENTING STRAWBERRY CREST HIGH SCHOOL. AS AN IB STUDENT, I'M ABLE TO RECEIVE COLLEGE CREDIT FOR THE IB EXAMS THAT I TAKE IN MAY. I ALSO UNDERSTAND THAT STUDENTS MUST SIT FOR A MINIMUM OF TWO AP EXAMS AS A GRADUATION REQUIREMENT, BUT THIS IS ALREADY COVERED WHEN WE TAKE AP EUROPEAN HISTORY IN 10th GRADE AND AP U.S. HISTORY IN 11th GRADE. WHY ARE IB SENIORS REQUIRED TO TAKE A MINIMUM OF TWO ADDITIONAL AP EXAMS WHEN SUCH EXAMS GIVE THE SAME COLLEGE CREDIT AS THE IB EXAMS WE TAKE IN MAY? THANK YOU.

>> THANK YOU. TAMPA BAY TECHNICAL HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HI. I'M ARIANA MADIR FROM TAMPA BAY TECH. WE ARE WONDERING, WOULD IT BE POSSIBLE TO EXPAND THE CURRENT SAT AND ACT WAIVERS SO THERE IS A HIGHER STUDENT BODY AND NOT JUST FOR THOSE ON FREE OR REDUCED LUNCH?

>> THANK YOU. D.W. WATERS CAREER CENTER.

>> GOOD AFTERNOON. MY QUESTION WAS, RESEARCH SAYS THAT HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS NOW REALLY WAKE UP AND PERFORM AT MENTAL BEST 10:00 IN THE MORNING. MY QUESTION IS, HAS THE DISTRICT CONSIDERED ALLOWING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TO ATTEND SCHOOL AT A LATER TIME IN THE MORNING. THANK YOU.

>> THANK YOU. WHARTON HIGH SCHOOL.

>> GOOD AFTERNOON. MY NAME IS LANEY ARMSTRONG -- ILENIA ARMSTRONG. ALL HIGH SCHOOLS HAVE VARIOUS TRAINING PROGRAMS, HOWEVER NOT EVERY PROGRAM IS OFFERED AT EVERY SCHOOL. IS THERE A WAY TO CREATE A PROGRAM THAT WOULD ALLOW STUDENTS TO ATTEND THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOL FOR ACADEMICS AS WELL AS ESSENTIAL SITE FOR VOCATIONAL TRAINING?

>> THANK YOU. CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEE.

>> GOOD AFTERNOON. MY NAME IS CYNTHIA BENCOMO. I REPRESENT THE CITIZEN ADVISORY COMMITTEE. AND ALSO JEFFERSON HIGH SCHOOL. I WAS WONDERING WHY STUDENTS IN UNDERCOURSE EXAMS DO NOT HAVE TO TAKE THE COUNTY EXAM AND COULD STUDENTS ENROLLED IN AP COURSES ALSO EXEMPT FROM THE COUNTY EXAM SINCE THEY TAKE AP EXAMS? THANK YOU.

>> THANK YOU. THE HONORABLE APRIL GRIFFIN WILL NOW FACILITATE SCHOOL BOARD ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS FROM ROUND ONE.

>>April Griffin: THANK YOU, BOARD MEMBERS. PLEASE PRESS YOUR BUTTON IF YOU WANT TO ANSWER ANY OF THE STUDENTS' QUESTIONS. MS. EDGECOMB.

>>Doretha Edgecomb: ARE YOU READY TO GO HOME YET? [ LAUGHTER ] WE'VE ANSWERED YOUR QUESTIONS. DID YOU KNOW THAT? NO, SERIOUSLY. I'M ALWAYS IMPRESSED EVERY YEAR ABOUT THE QUALITY OF YOUR QUESTIONS, HOW INSIGHTFUL YOU ARE. LET ME JUST TAKE A FEW MINUTES, AND I ALWAYS KIND OF START OUT BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE TO ANSWER THE QUESTION, IF I INTRODUCE IT SO MY FELLOW BOARD MEMBERS CAN JUMP IN. IT'S MY STRATEGY. SERIOUSLY, AS I LISTEN TO YOUR QUESTIONS, THEY SEEM TO FALL IN SEVERAL KINDS OF CATEGORIES. THERE ARE THOSE TRADITIONAL ONES THAT WE GET YEAR AFTER YEAR AFTER YEAR. YOU KNOW WHAT THEY ARE. FOOD, LUNCH -- THERE SHE IS. PROBABLY THE SMALLEST KID IN THE ROOM AND SHE'S ASKING FOR MORE FOOD. [ LAUGHTER ] YOUNG LADY, RATHER. ALWAYS ABOUT EXAM EXEMPTIONS. EVERY SINGLE YEAR. I THINK MS. KURDELL IS PROBABLY OUR LONGEST SERVING SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER. HOW MANY YEARS HAVE YOU HEARD IT, MS. KURDELL? 24 YEARS. OKAY. THE BUS TRANSPORTATION FOR ATHLETES HAS BEEN ONE THAT WE'VE BEEN HEARING IN THE MOST RECENT YEARS ABOUT HOW CAN WE ACCOMMODATE YOU? IT IS A VALUABLE QUESTION. TESTING, TESTING, TESTING. AND I SUSPECT THAT YOU FEEL LIKE THAT, THAT IT'S THIS TEST AND THIS TEST, AND WE FEEL FOR YOU, BECAUSE WE FEEL VERY MUCH LIKE THAT, TOO. BUT SOME OF YOUR OTHER ONES ARE PRETTY INTERESTING ABOUT CONCERN FOR -- ONE YOUNG LADY TALKED ABOUT HOW DO WE GET MORE PARENTS INVOLVED? WE HEAR ABOUT PARENT INVOLVEMENT ALL THE TIME, BUT SHE TALKED ABOUT IT AS A WAY TO EQUALIZE THE PLAYING FIELD SO THAT ALL SCHOOLS AND ALL CHILDREN HAVE THE SAME KIND OF SUCCESS AND SUCCESSFUL OPPORTUNITIES. THE OTHER ONES THAT YOU TALKED ABOUT THAT WERE REALLY HOT-BUTTON ISSUES. THEY ARE REALLY NOW BEING DISCUSSED AND ROLLED OVER AND ARGUED AT THE STATE LEGISLATURE. SO SOME OF OUR QUESTIONS, WE ARE GOING TO SAY, WE DON'T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT. THEY ARE DEMANDS THAT WE HAVE TO FOLLOW, TOO, THAT OFTEN MANY OF THE THINGS WE ASK OUR DISTRICT PERSONNEL AND YOUR TEACHERS AND YOU TO DO, WE ARE TOLD TO DO. SO SOME OF THESE THINGS I HAVE TO SAY TO YOU RIGHT NOW, WE WISH WE COULD CHANGE, TOO. MANY OF THEM HAVE TO DO WITH FUNDING AND MONIES. AND WE DON'T ALWAYS HAVE THAT KIND OF PLAY IN TERMS OF HAVING THIS BIG BUCKET OF MONEY THAT WOULD SOLVE SOME OF THESE PROBLEMS. THEY JUST AREN'T AVAILABLE. I'M JUST KIND OF INTERESTED NOT SO MUCH ABOUT HOW I FEEL ABOUT SOME OF THESE, BECAUSE I SUSPECT THAT YOU ALREADY HAVE SOME ANSWERS ON HOW WE COULD IMPROVE ON SOME OF THESE OR HOW WE COULD SOLVE SOME OF THESE. AND I AM AS MUCH INTERESTED IN HEARING YOUR RESPONSE TO SOME OF YOUR OWN QUESTIONS AS YOU PERHAPS WANT TO KNOW WHAT WE FEEL ABOUT IT. I'M REALLY PLEASED THAT SOME OF YOU ARE THINKING BEYOND YOUR HIGH SCHOOL YEARS, WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT OPPORTUNITIES FOR REAL-WORLD EXPERIENCES, WHERE YOU GET A CHANCE TO GO INTO INTERNSHIPS, HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO MENTOR AND SHADOW PEOPLE IN THE INDUSTRY OR IN THE FIELDS THAT YOU'RE INTERESTED IN, BECAUSE IT'S SAYING TO ME, WHAT I'M LEARNING IN SCHOOL IS IMPORTANT, BUT WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT FOR ME, AM I GOING TO BE READY TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN THE CAREER THAT I CHOOSE AND PERHAPS THE BEST WAY TO DO THAT IS HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE WHAT I'M LEARNING IN SCHOOL CAN REALLY APPLY IN THE REAL WORLD OF WORK. I THINK THAT'S REALLY ON THE PART OF YOU A VERY MATURE, VERY INSIGHTFUL, AND I THINK IT TELLS US AS A SCHOOL BOARD AND A SCHOOL DISTRICT THAT BEYOND THE CLASSROOM EXPERIENCES, WE'VE GOT TO FIND MULTIPLE WAYS TO GIVE YOU THE OPPORTUNITY TO APPLY WHAT YOU'VE LEARNED, TO SHADOW PEOPLE THAT YOU WANT TO MENTOR AND BE LIKE, AND TO SEE WHAT THE REAL WORLD IS LIKE IN TERMS OF IS THIS A CAREER EITHER THAT I WOULD LIKE TO CONTINUE IN OR MAYBE I WOULDN'T WANT TO. I JUST REALLY BELIEVE THAT WHAT WE DO IN THIS DISTRICT REALLY IS ABOUT TRYING TO PROVIDE THE VERY BEST FOR YOU. AND SO FOR SOME OF THE THINGS THAT YOU'VE ASKED FOR TODAY, I THINK WE'RE HINDERED IN A COUPLE OF WAYS. SHORTAGE OF FUNDS, LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS THAT AREN'T REAL, THAT AREN'T PRACTICAL, MADE BY LAWMAKERS WHO PERHAPS HAVEN'T BEEN IN SCHOOL IN A WHILE AND DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW SCHOOLS OPERATE. THE IDEA THAT SOCIETY HAS CHANGED SO MUCH THAT SOME OF THE THINGS THAT WE WOULD WANT FOR EVERY STUDENT IN OUR COMMUNITY IS JUST KIND OF IMPOSSIBLE BECAUSE ALL OF YOU COME FROM DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS. BUT THE COMMON THING THAT I THINK YOU WOULD SAY ABOUT -- THE THINGS I WOULD SAY TO YOU IS THAT WE ARE COMMITTED TO NOT ONLY PROVIDING FOR YOU AS PART OF OUR RESPONSIBILITY THE BEST EDUCATION POSSIBLE, BUT FOR ME AND I THINK FOR EVERYBODY AROUND THE DAIS, IT IS OUR PROMISE TO YOU THAT WE'RE GOING TO LISTEN TODAY, AND WE'RE GOING TO MAKE THOSE THINGS HAPPEN THAT WE CAN -- THAT WE HAVE CONTROL OVER. THE THINGS THAT WE DON'T, WE HOPE YOU WILL CONTINUE TO HELP US FIND A WAY TO DO THAT. YOUR STUDENT VOICE IS REALLY, REALLY POWERFUL.

>>April Griffin: THANK YOU. MS. HARRIS.

>>Sally Harris: VERY IMPRESSIVE QUESTIONS. VERY IMPRESSIVE KNOWLEDGE THAT YOU ARE THAT FAMILIAR WITH OUR DISTRICT AND WHAT'S GOING ON. I'M VERY IMPRESSED WITH MANY OF THE QUESTIONS AND HOW WELL YOU PUT THEM IN WORDS. I JUST WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK ON A COUPLE OF THEM. SICKLES HIGH SCHOOL, WHILE MENTORING THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, YOU SAW THAT THERE WAS NOT THE PARENT INVOLVEMENT. THAT IS DEFINITELY AN ISSUE IN A LOT OF OUR SCHOOLS, BECAUSE WHEN YOU HAVE TWO PARENTS WORKING OR A SINGLE-FAMILY, SINGLE PARENT IN A FAMILY, SOMETIMES THEY CANNOT DONATE THEIR TIME. OUR SUPERINTENDENT THIS YEAR PUT IN A PROGRAM ENCOURAGING AS MANY OF US AS WE COULD TO BECOME MENTORS. AND I HAVE VISITED A FEW SCHOOLS WHERE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ARE BECOMING MENTORS. SO I WANT TO CHALLENGE YOU GUYS, JUST LIKE MS. EDGECOMB MENTIONED, YOU HAVE SOME POWER, AND MAYBE YOU GUYS COULD BECOME MENTORS TO THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS IN YOUR AREA. WHAT BETTER OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU TO GET BETTER AT WHATEVER YOU'RE DOING AND BE ABLE TO HELP ANOTHER STUDENT? MAYBE WE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH ADULTS TO GO AROUND, BUT IF YOU GUYS, JUST IN THIS ROOM, IF EACH ONE OF YOU TOOK ON A MENTORING POSITION, CAN YOU IMAGINE THE EMPOWERMENT THAT WOULD BE IN OUR DISTRICT FOR THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS IN YOUR AREA? SO WE ARE DOING THAT, AND WE'RE SEEING MORE AND MORE PEOPLE ENTERING OUR SCHOOLS AT ALL AGE LEVELS. ELEMENTARY, HIGH SCHOOL, MIDDLE SCHOOL, WHERE WE'RE GETTING MENTORS COMING OUT AND WORKING WITH THE STUDENTS. DRESS CODE, I JUST WANT TO MENTION, I'M THERE WITH YA. I SUPPORT THAT 100%. I'M A LITTLE OLD-FASHIONED WHEN IT COMES TO DRESS CODE. I'D LIKE TO SEE THE GUYS IN COAT AND TIES AND THE GIRLS IN SKIRTS, BUT THAT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. I ALSO JUST WANTED TO MENTION ABOUT THE ATHLETICS AND THE BUSES. I THINK MS. EDGECOMB PUT IT QUITE WELL THAT FINANCES SOMETIMES DOESN'T ALLOW US TO BE ABLE TO DO ALL THE THINGS WE REALLY WANT TO DO FOR OUR STUDENTS. AND, YOU KNOW, I'M JUST REALLY AMAZED AT HOW WELL THE HIGH SCHOOLS WORK AROUND THAT ISSUE WHEN THERE ISN'T TRANSPORTATION AND HOW MUCH YOU POOL TOGETHER AND HELP EACH OTHER. UNTIL WE CAN FIX THAT PROBLEM AND GET MORE MONEY FROM OUR LEGISLATORS TO HELP US WITH TRANSPORTATION COSTS, YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT AS WE WORK AS A TEAM IN YOUR DISTRICT AND YOUR SCHOOLS, I CAN SEE YOU MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THAT. SO THANK YOU.

>>April Griffin: MS. SNIVELY.

>>Melissa Snively: THANK YOU, MADAM CHAIR. WELCOME THIS AFTERNOON. VERY HAPPY TO HAVE YOU HERE TO TAKE TIME OUT OF YOUR DAY TO COME HERE. VERY PROFESSIONAL QUESTIONS, VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE, AND WE PROBABLY WON'T GET AROUND TO ANSWERING EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOUR QUESTIONS, HOWEVER, I KNOW THAT WE HAVE A PROCESS, AND YOU PROBABLY ARE ALREADY AWARE THAT WE'RE GOING TO BE TAKING THAT INFORMATION AND GETTING AS MUCH INFORMATION BACK TO YOU AS POSSIBLE. A COUPLE OF THE QUESTIONS THAT STOOD OUT TO ME THAT I WANTED TO TALK ABOUT WERE FROM ARMWOOD HIGH SCHOOL AND BLAKE HIGH SCHOOL. ALLISON AND BRIANA ASKED ABOUT OPPORTUNITIES TO BE COLLEGE AND CAREER READY, INCREASING INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES, GETTING STUDENTS READY FOR SUCCESSFUL GRADUATION WITH MARKETABLE SKILLS, AND GETTING READY FOR COLLEGE AND GETTING READY TO HAVE CAREERS. SO THAT, I KNOW, IS ON YOUR MINDS AS YOU'RE FINISHING UP HIGH SCHOOL, YOU'RE THINKING, WHAT AM I GOING TO DO FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE? SOME OF YOU WILL BE OFF TO COLLEGE. SOME OF YOU WILL BE OFF TO WORK AND MAYBE VOCATIONAL OR TECHNICAL COLLEGES AND CAREERS. SO THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT TOPIC FOR OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT. OVER THE LAST YEAR, THE SCHOOL BOARD HAS CHANGED ITS VISION AND ITS MISSION, AND PART OF THE VISION, IF YOU MAY HAVE HEARD BEFORE IS PREPARING STUDENTS FOR LIFE. SO WE TAKE THE OPPORTUNITY TO PREPARE YOU FOR COLLEGE AND CAREER VERY SERIOUSLY, AND WE ARE IMPLEMENTING A LOT OF DIFFERENT PROGRAMS TO HELP YOU BE PREPARED FOR COLLEGE AND CAREER. MOST OF YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH AVID. RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU ARE AN AVID STUDENT? OKAY. SO AVID IS A GREAT PROGRAM THAT HELPS STUDENTS PREPARE FOR COLLEGE AND CAREER, BUT ALSO WE ARE IMPLEMENTING SOME PROGRAMS LIKE BUILD TAMPA BAY, WHICH WE JUST HAD RECENTLY, ABOUT 600 STUDENTS FROM HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY CAME TO THE AMALIE ARENA. JEFF VINIK AND THE BUILDERS ASSOCIATION OF TAMPA GOT TOGETHER AND CREATED A FORUM FOR STUDENTS TO COME AND EXPLORE OPPORTUNITIES IN DIFFERENT CAREERS IN THE BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY. AND SO WE ACTUALLY HAD A STUDENT GET HIRED FOR A POSITION WITH A COMPANY RIGHT ON SPOT AT THAT PARTICULAR FORUM. WE ARE TRYING VERY HARD TO MAKE THAT CONNECTION FOR YOU, AND TO GET YOU THOSE OPPORTUNITIES THAT YOU CAN SEE YOURSELF IN CERTAIN CAREERS AND YOU CAN ENVISION YOURSELF IN CERTAIN PROFESSIONS. ONE OF THE OTHER THINGS THAT THE COMMUNITY IS DOING -- AND THIS ONE IS PLANT CITY, ACTUALLY. THE PLANT CITY HIGH SCHOOL HAS A BUSINESS ADVISORY COUNCIL. AND WE MEET ABOUT ONCE A MONTH, AND WE TALK ABOUT DIFFERENT WAYS OF CONNECTING THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY WITH THE STUDENTS SO THAT IF A STUDENT HAS AN INTEREST IN A SPECIFIC CAREER AND THEY WANT TO SPEND TIME IN A PARTICULAR BUSINESS OR A PARTICULAR INDUSTRY, THAT WE AFFORD THOSE STUDENTS AN OPPORTUNITY TO DO THAT. AS A BUSINESS OWNER MYSELF, I THINK THAT'S A WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY. I WORK IN INSURANCE AND FINANCIAL SERVICES. I WOULD LOVE A STUDENT WHO COULD COME TO MY OFFICE AND SPEND SOME TIME LEARNING ABOUT THAT INDUSTRY, LEARNING ABOUT A CAREER IN THAT PROFESSION IF THAT'S SOMETHING THAT THEY WANTED TO PURSUE AS A CAREER. SO WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO DO IS BRIDGE THAT GAP SO THAT YOU HAVE THOSE OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN MORE ABOUT DIFFERENT CAREERS AND EVEN DECIDE WITH YOUR EXPERIENCE, IS THAT SOMETHING I WANT TO DO? BECAUSE SOMETIMES WHAT YOU THINK YOU WANT TO DO AND WHAT YOU ACTUALLY END UP STUDYING OR HAVING A CAREER ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. AND THE ONLY WAY YOU GET TO FIGURE THAT OUT SOMETIMES IS WHEN YOU HAVE ON THE JOB TRAINING OR YOUR FEET ON THE GROUND IN THAT PARTICULAR INDUSTRY. SO THOSE ARE SOME OF THE OPPORTUNITIES WE'RE TRYING TO CREATE SO THAT YOU CAN HAVE THOSE EXPERIENCES THAT WILL HELP YOU DECIDE WHERE YOU WANT TO GO AND WHAT YOU WANT TO DO WITH THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, BUT ALSO PREPARE YOU WITH THE SKILLS THAT YOU'RE GOING TO NEED IN ORDER TO HAVE GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT, LIKE A RESUMÉ. WHAT SHOULD A RESUMÉ LOOK LIKE? IF YOU COME SPEND SOME TIME IN A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER'S OFFICE THAT BUSINESS OWNER IS GOING TO MENTOR YOU, AND THAT BUSINESS OWNER WILL PROBABLY TELL YOU WHAT A RESUMÉ SHOULD LOOK LIKE AND WHAT YOU SHOULD PUT ON A RESUMÉ OR WHAT NOT TO PUT ON A RESUMÉ. HOW LONG SHOULD A RESUMÉ BE? WHAT IS VITAL INFORMATION EMPLOYERS WILL BE LOOKING FOR? THOSE ARE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW TO BE PREPARED FOR THE WORKFORCE. ANYWAY, JUST WANTED TO KIND OF EXPRESS TO YOU THAT THAT'S A PRIORITY FOR US AS A SCHOOL DISTRICT TO MAKE SURE WE'RE MAKING THAT CONNECTION FOR YOU, TO PREPARE YOU FOR LIFE. THE OTHER ISSUE WE JUST TALKED ABOUT AT OUR LAST SCHOOL BOARD MEETING, IRONICALLY. AND THAT WAS A QUESTION FROM PLANT CITY HIGH SCHOOL ABOUT SCHOOL START TIMES, AND I THINK D.W. WATERS CAREER CENTER MAY HAVE ALSO ASKED OR POSED THAT QUESTION AS WELL. WE KNOW THAT STUDIES HAVE SHOWN, THERE IS DEFINITELY EVIDENCE THAT HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS NEED MORE -- WELL, THEY HAVE A DIFFERENT SLEEP SCHEDULE. IF YOU EVER STUDIED SLEEP SCHEDULES, HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS HAVE A DIFFERENT SLEEP SCHEDULE THAT WOULD ALLOW THEM TO BETTER PERFORM IN HIGH SCHOOL IF START TIMES WERE A LITTLE BIT LATER. MAYBE NOT 10:00 IN THE MORNING. YOU CAN SAVE THAT FOR COLLEGE BECAUSE YOU CAN PICK YOUR CLASSES, RIGHT? BUT WE DO KNOW THAT THE MORE TIME THAT YOU HAVE TO GET TO SCHOOL, THE LATER IT STARTS, THE BETTER THAT YOU PERFORM. THERE ARE A LOT OF CHALLENGES THAT GO ALONG WITH THAT, TOO, LOGISTICALLY AS FAR AS TRANSPORTATION, AS FAR AS AFTER-SCHOOL ACTIVITIES, BEFORE SCHOOL ACTIVITIES, SO IT'S A LITTLE BIT COMPLEX, BUT IT'S CERTAINLY SOMETHING THAT THE BOARD, THE WAY WE HAD THE DISCUSSION AT THE BOARD MEETING THE OTHER NIGHT OR CAME UP, I KIND OF FELT LIKE MAYBE THERE'S SOME CONSENSUS THAT THERE IS SOMETHING WE COULD DO A LITTLE MORE RESEARCH ABOUT AND SEE IF IT'S A POSSIBILITY ABOUT CHANGING TIMES. I HAVE A HIGH SCHOOLER. I KNOW. I HAVE TO GET LIKE A FORKLIFT TO GET HIM OUT OF BED IN THE MORNING AND GET HIM TO SCHOOL BY 7:30 BY THE HAIR OF HIS CHINY CHIN CHIN. I HAVE A MIDDLE SCHOOLER, WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE? SHOULDN'T SCHOOL START FOR YOU EARLIER? IT'S LIKE 9:00. IT'S CRAZY. I THINK IT WOULD DEFINITELY BE SOMETHING THAT THE DISTRICT COULD LOOK INTO TO SEE BECAUSE I FEEL SORRY FOR YOU GUYS. NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO BE ANYWHERE AT 7:30 IN THE MORNING AND BE PREPARED TO LEARN. I HOPE THAT HELPS A LITTLE BIT TO SHED LIGHT ON WHERE WE COULD GO WITH THAT. CAN'T MAKE PROMISES BUT WE'LL SEE WHAT WE CAN FIND OUT FOR YOU GUYS. THANKS.

>>April Griffin: MS. VALDES.

>>Susan L. Valdes: THANK YOU, MADAM CHAIR. MEMBER SNIVELY, IT DEPENDS REALLY ON THE CAREER YOU CHOOSE, HOW MANY OF YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT GETTING INTO THE EDUCATION ARENA? ANYONE. GET READY FOR THOSE EARLY MORNING ONES, THOUGH. YES, HEROES ARE BEING CREATED. THAT'S AWESOME. WELL, I HAVE TO TELL YOU THIS IS BY FAR MY FAVORITE MEETING BESIDES THE RECOGNITION MEETINGS. THIS AN -- THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR US TO HEAR FROM YOU WHAT'S ON YOUR MIND, WHAT KIND OF QUESTIONS YOU HAVE. THROUGHOUT THE YEARS, THERE HAVE BEEN SIMILARITIES ON THE QUESTIONS ASKED. ONE, IT'S FUN NOT TO SEE HERE ANYMORE BECAUSE WE WERE ABLE TO FINALLY FIX THAT THROUGH THE STATE LEGISLATURE WAS BEING ABLE TO TAKE YOUR EXAMS, MIDTERM EXAMS BEFORE WINTER BREAK. THAT MEANS WHEN YOU COME BACK -- NOT THIS YEAR, NEXT YEAR. FOR NEXT YEAR. YOU GUYS ALREADY TOOK THEM, RIGHT? YOU GUYS ALREADY TOOK THEM LAST -- BUT FOR THE JUNIORS THIS YEAR, THE SENIORS NEXT YEAR, YOU'LL BE ABLE TO TAKE THEM BEFORE. THAT'S ONE QUESTION THAT'S NOT HERE ANYMORE. WHOO-HOO. SOMETHING WAS DONE, RIGHT? BUT THERE ARE SOME QUESTIONS HERE THAT HAS TO DO WITH TESTING AND THE AP TESTING AND THE END-OF-COURSE EXAM TESTING, IB TESTING AND WHY SHOULD WE TAKE ALL THESE OTHER TESTS IF THIS SUFFICES? THAT IS A VERY GOOD AND COMPLEX QUESTION. I'LL SEE IF MR. DANNY OEST -- I SAW HIM STAND UP. MR. OEST, I'M GOING TO PUT YOU ON THE SPOT REAL QUICK. IF YOU CAN COME UP REAL QUICK AND GIVE US A LITTLE FIVE-MINUTE TEACHING AND LEARNING ON -- NO, HE CAN'T HIDE. I SEE YOU WAY BACK THERE. I SEE YOU. AND GIVE US A FIVE-MINUTE TEACHING AND LEARNING -- OR LESS LESS, AS TO WHY ALL OF THESE DIFFERENT MULTIPLE EXAMS WHEN YOU MAY HAVE ONE EXAM THAT MAY BE ABLE TO SATISFY, WHY DO WE HAVE THE DISTRICT END OF COURSE EXAMS AND THEN ALL OF THESE OTHER EXAMS? PLEASE ENLIGHTEN US OEST OEST.

>> I DON'T HAVE THE QUESTION IN FRONT OF ME BUT I THINK I CAPTURED SOME OF THE COMMENTS. THE EXAMS GIVEN BY STATE STATUTE, THOSE ARE PART OF THE FINAL GRADE. I'M SURE YOU HAVE EXPLAINED THOSE IN YOUR PAST YEARS. THAT'S INCLUDED, AND IT HAS TO COUNT 30%. WITH THE AP EXAMS, AS YOU'RE VERY WELL AWARE IN YOUR PAST HISTORY, IF YOU'VE TAKEN THEM, YOU GET THOSE RESULTS WHEN? OVER THE SUMMER. SO IT'S VERY DIFFICULT TO INCLUDE ANYTHING FROM THOSE RESULTS INTO FINAL GRADES. THEREFORE, WE FEEL THAT THERE NEEDS TO BE ANOTHER GRADE INCLUDED WITH THE THIRD AND FOURTH NINE WEEKS SO YOU TAKE THAT SEMESTER EXAM AT THE END OF THE YEAR. SO THAT'S BEEN SOME OF THE RATIONALE IN THE PAST. THE DISCUSSION AROUND THE IB STUDENTS TAKING SOME AP EXAMS ALONG THE WAY, I KNOW THAT HAS BEEN BROUGHT UP BEFORE, TOO, AND WE KEEP ADDRESSING THAT EACH YEAR, JUST AS YOU BROUGHT IT UP THIS TIME, WE WILL GO BACK WITH THAT DIVISION AND TALK THROUGH THAT PROCESS AGAIN, BECAUSE I THINK IT HAS BEEN REDUCED -- I'M NOT SURE IF IT WAS LAST YEAR OR JUST THIS YEAR, WHERE IT HAS BEEN REDUCED DOWN THE NUMBER OF AP EXAMS THAT WE'RE ASKING OUR IB KIDS TO TAKE. A LOT OF THAT HAD TO DO WITH HOW THAT CURRICULUM OVERLAPPED AND THE PREPARATION THAT NUDE PLACE WITH YOUR IB COURSES IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE AP CURRICULUM AS WELL. THAT EXPLAINS A LITTLE BIT OF IT. I ALREADY TEXTED THE INDIVIDUAL THAT OVERSEES SOME OF THAT, THAT WE NEED TO HAVE SOME FURTHER DISCUSSION AROUND THAT. SO WE'RE ANTICIPATING SOME OF THOSE CONVERSATIONS TO TAKE PLACE AS WE MOVE FORWARD. BUT THERE ARE SOME GREAT QUESTIONS, AND, YOU KNOW, THE PIECE ABOUT THE AP AND THE EOC EXAMS, THAT COMES UP QUITE OFTEN OFTEN, BUT THERE IS A DISTINCT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT'S REQUIRED STATUTORY WITH THE EOCs AND THEN WHAT WE DO WITH THE APs OF REQUIRING SOMETHING TO COMPUTE IN WITH THAT FINAL GRADE.

>>Susan L. Valdes: THANK YOU, MR. OEST. FOR THOSE OF YOU, WHEN HE SAYS "BY STATE STATUTE," IT MEANS IT'S MANDATED BY THE STATE LEGISLATURE AND IT'S RULE THAT WE HAVE TO DO THAT. I'M HOPING WITHIN THOSE CONVERSATIONS THAT MR. OEST WILL BE HAVING WITH HIS STAFF AND SUPERINTENDENT AND CHIEF OF STAFF AND CHIEF OF SCHOOLS AS WELL AS THE DEPUTY, THAT THESE CONVERSATIONS, YOUR QUESTIONS FALL INTO THOSE CONVERSATIONS. AND HOPEFULLY REAL SOON WE CAN GET SOME RESULT. BECAUSE I DO AGREE THAT THERE'S A LOT OF TESTING GOING ON. AND IF THERE'S SOMETHING WE CAN DO TO ALLEVIATE THE STRESS OF TESTING, THEN THAT'S SOMETHING WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO AND HELP YOU HAVE A BETTER TIME IN HIGH SCHOOL AND NOT BE SO STRESSED ALL THE TIME. I'LL KEEP MY COMMENTS SHORT SO WE CAN MOVE ON TO ROUND TWO.

>>April Griffin: THANK YOU, M I'M GOING TO JUST ADDRESS A COUPLE OF TOPICS. ONE THAT I WISH MS. STUART WAS HERE TO TALK ABOUT BECAUSE THE QUESTION CAME FROM ALONSO IN REFERENCE TO ATHLETES AND TRANSPORTATION, AND WE ARE EMBARKING ON A PARTNERSHIP. AND THE SUPERINTENDENT AND I WERE JUST HAVING THIS CONVERSATION WITH SOMEONE YESTERDAY. WE'RE EMBARKING ON A PARTNERSHIP WITH HARTLINE RIGHT NOW. AND IT'S THE FIRST TIME EVER THAT WE'RE STARTING TO TALK ABOUT THE SCHOOL SCHEDULES AND WHAT CAN BE DONE, AND WE'RE GOING TO START LOOKING AT AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS AND AFTER-SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION WITH HARTLINE. SO THAT'S GOING TO BE A SLOW PROCESS BECAUSE WE HAVE TO FIGURE OUT ALL OF THE ROUTING. THEY HAVE TO KNOW WHEN OUR SCHEDULES ARE. IT'S VERY COMPLICATED, BELIEVE IT OR NOT. AS FAR AS THE START TIMES -- AND PARDON THE PUN -- BUT OUR TRANSPORTATION IS DRIVING OUR SCHEDULES, OUR SCHOOL SCHEDULES RIGHT NOW. AND I THINK THAT I'M PROBABLY ON A HIGH SCHOOLER'S SCHEDULE. I DON'T LIKE THE EARLY MORNINGS MYSELF. I'M NOT VERY PRODUCTIVE EARLY, EARLY IN THE MORNING. BUT IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT OUR TRANSPORTATION IS DRIVING OUR SCHOOL SCHEDULES, BECAUSE WE HAVE SOME BUSES THAT ARE TRANSPORTING ELEMENTARY STUDENTS, MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS, AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS, THE SAME BUS IS GOING TO TRANSPORT ALL OF THOSE STUDENTS. AGAIN, IT'S A VERY, VERY COMPLICATED FORMULA. OH, THE FAIRGROUNDS. THERE WAS A QUESTION FROM STEINBRENNER, WHY DOES THE GRADUATION HAVE TO BE HELD AT THE FAIRGROUNDS FOR EVERY HIGH SCHOOL INSTEAD OF SOMEWHERE GEOGRAPHICALLY CENTERED? WE USED TO HAVE OUR GRAWTIONZ AT HIGH SCHOOLS -- GRADUATIONS AT HIGH SCHOOLS MANY YEARS AGO AND THEY OUTGREW THE AUDITORIUMS. HIGH SCHOOLS ARE MUCH LARGER NOW THAN THEY USED TO BE, SO THEY OUTGREW THE AUDITORIUMS. THEY STARTED HAVING THEM ON THE FIELDS. WELL, WE LIVE IN FLORIDA. WHAT HAPPENS IN FLORIDA AROUND THE SUMMERTIME? LOTS OF RAIN, LOTS OF BAD WEATHER, LIGHTNING. SO WE HAD TO FIND A PLACE THAT COULD HOLD ALL OF YOU PLUS ALL OF YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS, AND WHAT YOU HAVE IN GRADUATIONS WHERE IT'S A LIMITED SPACE IS YOU END UP ONLY GETTING TWO OR THREE TICKETS PER GRADUATE TO INVITE YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS. THAT POSES ANOTHER PROBLEM IN AND OF ITSELF BECAUSE THEN YOUR WHOLE FAMILY AND YOUR FRIENDS CAN'T BE THERE TO ENJOY YOUR SPECIAL DAY. SO THEN WE MOVED THEM TO USF AND TO THE SUN DOME AND TO THE FAIRGROUNDS. AND FOR ALL OF US WHO ATTEND MANY, MANY GRADUATIONS, WE WERE RUNNING BACK AND FORTH AND BACK AND FORTH. THEN WHAT HAPPENED WAS USF UNDERWENT SOME CONSTRUCTION, AND WE COULDN'T DO GRADUATIONS THERE THAT YEAR SO WE ENDED UP HAVING ALL OF THE GRADUATIONS WE FAIRGROUNDS. AND IT ACTUALLY ENDED UP WORKING OUT REALLY, REALLY WELL SO WE DECIDED THAT WE WERE JUST GOING TO HAVE THEM ALL THERE. SO THAT'S THE LONG STORY OF WHY WE HAVE THEM AT ONE PLACE. AND THEN THERE WAS ONE MORE. IT WAS THE EARLY MORNINGS. WE ARE HAVING THAT DISCUSSION AND WHEN WE CAN GET ABOUT THE EARLY MORNINGS AND THE START TIMES FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS, WE'RE HOPING MAYBE WE CAN GET TO A PLACE WHERE WE ARE FOLLOWING BEST PRACTICES AND RESEARCH, AND WE CAN GET TO A PLACE LIKE THAT. THEN, TRANSPORTATION IS DRIVING DRIVING -- AGAIN, TRANSPORTATION IS DRIVING THAT BUS.

>>Jeffrey Eakins: OUR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS WANT TO START A LITTLE LATER. IS THAT WHAT I'M HEARING? HOW MANY OF YOU STILL WANT TO GET OUT AT 3? YEAH, THAT'S WHAT I THOUGHT.

>>April Griffin: HOW MANY HAVE JOBS OR SOMETHING AFTER SCHOOL? YEAH, SO IT'S, YOU KNOW -- IT'S A BALANCE. IT'S A BALANCING ACT. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. GREAT ROUND. MS. PSYCHS. MS. SYKES, THE FLOOR IS YOURS.

>> WE'RE GOING TO BEGIN ROUND 2. THOSE WERE REALLY WONDERFUL QUESTIONS AND GREAT ANSWERS. I THANK ALL OF YOU. WE'RE GOING TO GO AHEAD AND BEGIN WITH ALONSO HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HI. I'M AMANDA WETZEL REPRESENTING ALONSO HIGH SCHOOL. WHAT AUTHORITY COULD BE GIVEN TO TEACHERS AND FACULTY THAT WOULD ALLOW FOR BETTER DISCIPLINE IN SCHOOLS, ESPECIALLY IN SCHOOLS THAT HISTORICALLY HAVE POOR BEHAVIORAL RECORDS?

>> THANK YOU. ARMWOOD HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HI. I'M MARTAZ'SHIA GIBBS AND I REPRESENT ARMWOOD HIGH SCHOOL. I KNOW A TRADITIONAL SCHOOL SETTING HAS NOT BEEN OFFICIAL FOR EVERY SINGLE STUDENT. HOWEVER, WHAT CAN THE SCHOOL DISTRICT DO TO RAISE AWARENESS AND MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR POSITIVE ALTERNATIVE SETTINGS FOR THOSE KIDS AT RISK OF DROPPING OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL.

>> THANK YOU. BLAKE HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HELLO. I'M VICTORIA HOLLAND. I REPRESENT BLAKE HIGH SCHOOL. MY QUESTION IS MORAL VALUES AND EDUCATION SUCH AS RESPECT, HONOR AND LOYALTY SEEMS TO BE UTILIZED LATELY IN STATE EDUCATION ARENA. HAS THE SCHOOL BOARD CONSIDERED IMPLEMENTING SOME FORM OF REVITALIZATION TO ENCOURAGE THE IMPORTANCE OF TRAINING OUR STUDENTS IN THESE AREAS FOR THEIR FUTURE GROWTH WITHIN SOCIETY?

>> THANK YOU. BLOOMINGDALE HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HI. I'M CHRIS DESMOND FROM BLOOMINGDALE HIGH SCHOOL. MY QUESTION IS, HOW AND CAN FOREIGN LANGUAGE BE IMPLEMENTED INTO THE CURRICULUM AT AN EARLIER AGE, LIKE ELEMENTARY, PRE-K, K THROUGH 5 AND CAN YOU OFFER LANGUAGES LIKE MANDARIN AND ARABIC?

>> THANK YOU. BOWERS/WHITLEY CAREER CENTER.

>> GOOD AFTERNOON. I'M MIREYA HUNTER FROM BOWERS/WHITLEY CAREER CENTER. MY QUESTION IS, SINCE THE CAREER CENTERS ARE NOW 18-CREDIT PROGRAMS, COULD THEY BE PROVIDED AFTER-SCHOOL BUSES IN ORDER TO COMPLETE CREDIT RECOVERY CLASSES THAT ARE REQUIRED FOR GRADUATION?

>> THANK YOU. BRANDON HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HI. I'M SAMANTHA BOLTON FROM BRANDON HIGH SCHOOL. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST PRIORITY WHEN IT COMES TO SCHOOLS IN YOUR DISTRICT?

>> THANK YOU. CHAMBERLAIN HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HI. LAYNARDYIA ALEXANDER. I'M FROM CHAMBERLAIN HIGH SCHOOL. OUR QUESTION IS, CURRENTLY, THERE ARE S.A.T. PREP COURSES. IS THERE A PLAN TO ALSO OFFER A.C.T. PREP COURSES?

>> THANK YOU. DURANT HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HI. I'M OLIVIA GOTTMAN FROM DURANT HIGH SCHOOL. I WAS WONDERING HOW WILL THE DISTRICT'S BUDGET CUTS ENSURE THAT IT WILL NOT AFFECT THE STUDENT'S EDUCATION IN THE FUTURE?

>> THANK YOU. EAST BAY HIGH SCHOOL.

>> GOOD AFTERNOON. MY NAME IS PHYLLISITY WALTERS FROM EAST BAY HIGH SCHOOL. MY QUESTION IS, IS THERE AN ATTRACTOR PROGRAM THAT COULD BE PLACED AT EAST BAY HIGH SCHOOL?

>> THANK YOU. FREEDOM HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HI. I'M NASIR CORE FROM FREEDOM HIGH SCHOOL. MANY OF MY FRIENDS HAVE BEEN COMPLAINING ABOUT OVERCROWDING ON THE BUS. HAVING TO SEAT THREE TO A SEAT. WHAT IS THE BOARD DOING TO ADDRESS THIS SITUATION?

>> THANK YOU. GAITHER HIGH SCHOOL.

>> GOOD AFTERNOON. PAYTON HIDAY FROM GAITHER HIGH SCHOOL. MY QUESTION IS, GIVEN THE COMPETITIVENESS OF COLLEGE ACCEPTANCE REQUIREMENTS, WOULD YOU CONSIDER EMPLOYING THE COLLEGE BOARD TO LIMIT THE NUMBER OF AP CLASSES A STUDENT COULD TAKE DURING A SEMESTER AN EFFORT TO REMAIN COMPETITIVE AMONG OUR PEERS? AND WOULD LIKE TO INQUIRE WHAT THE REASONS WERE IN THE PAST TO ELIMINATE STUDY HALL FROM OUR DAY?

>> THANK YOU. HILLSBOROUGH HIGH SCHOOL.

>> MY NAME IS XAVIER PRICE WITH HILLSBOROUGH HIGH SCHOOL. WOULD IT BE POSSIBLE FOR A STUDENT TO BE ENROLLED IN TRADITIONAL HIGH SCHOOL AND THE CAREER CENTER SO THEY CAN LEARN A TRADE SUCH AS CONSTRUCTION AND STILL ATTEND TRADITIONAL HIGH SCHOOL?

>> THANK YOU. JEFFERSON HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HELLO. MY NAME IS ARACELI AGUILAR. AS CLASS PRESIDENT, IT'S VERY FRUSTRATING TO HAVE TO ONLY DO ONE FUND-RAISER PER SCHOOL YEAR. MY QUESTION IS IN REGARDS TO THE FUND-RAISING IF YOU GUYS WERE CONSIDERING TO DO THREE FUND-RAISERS INSTEAD OF ONE.

>> THANK YOU. KING HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HELLO. MY NAME IS KENNEDY WARE. I'M REPRESENTING KING HIGH SCHOOL. ONCE A STUDENT COMPLETES A FULL ATHLETIC PACKET, CAN IT COUNT FOR ALL FOUR YEARS THAT THE STUDENT ATTENDS THE SAME SCHOOL?

>> THANK YOU. LENNARD HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HELLO. MY NAME IS ANABEL RODRIGUEZ. I WAS WONDERING WHY OUR CLASS COUNCIL CLUB IS ONLY ALLOWED ONE FUND-RAISER. THANK YOU.

>> THANK YOU. LETO HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HI. JEREMIAH FUENTES FROM LETO. MANY SCHOOL CROSSWALKS ARE POORLY LIT OR POSE OTHER VISIBILITY CHALLENGES PUTTING STUDENTS WHO WALK TO SCHOOL IN DANGER. AFTER A NUMBER OF TRAFFIC INJURIES AND FATALITIES INVOLVING STUDENTS, WHAT IS BEING DONE TO ENSURE STUDENT SAFETY? AND WHY DOESN'T EVERY SCHOOL HAVE A LIGHT PEDESTRIAN CROSSWALK SAFETY SYSTEM.

>> THANK YOU. MIDDLETON HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HI. MY NAME IS AMAZINGGRACE ISIOMA EHIKIOYA. MY QUESTION IS, MANY STUDENTS ARE FINDING IT DIFFICULT TO MEET TRADITIONAL REQUIREMENTS BECAUSE OF THE INTENSE SCHEDULE WHICH ARE THEIR REGULAR CLASS STUDIES. IS THERE ANY WAY TO IMPLEMENT A PLAN THAT WOULD HELP STUDENTS AND TEACHERS PREPARE FOR EXAMS WHILE PROVIDING AN EASIER TRANSITION BACK TO NORMAL CLASS WORK?

>> THANK YOU. NEWSOME HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HI. MY NAME IS JAMIE TOMPKINS FROM NEWSOME. IN THE FACE OF A COUNTYWIDE ATTENDANCE ISSUE AMONG SENIORS, DO YOU THINK THAT BRINGING BACK THE FIRST SEMESTER EXAM EXEMPTION POLICY WOULD HELP TO DIMINISH SENIOR ABSENTEEISM ALL YEAR ROUND AS OPPOSED TO ONLY IN THE SECOND SEMESTER?

>> THANK YOU. PLANT HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HI. AVA LARSON FROM PLANT HIGH SCHOOL. IS IT POSSIBLE TO REQUIRE THE MORE SUCCESSFUL TEACHERS THAT USUALLY HAVE TO TEACH HIGHER LEVEL STUDENTS TEACH AT LEAST ONE INTENSIVE OR LOWER LEVEL CLASS?

>> THANK YOU. PLANT CITY HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HI. MY NAME IS DEANNA RODRIGUEZ. I'M FROM PLANT CITY HIGH SCHOOL. MY QUESTION IS, WHEN YOU SAY YOU CAN'T ANSWER ALL OF OUR QUESTIONS BECAUSE OF THE STATE, HOW CAN WE VOICE OUR OPINION TO THE STATE OR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ABOUT TESTING, FOR EXAMPLE?

>> THANK YOU. RIVERVIEW HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HI. MY NAME IS BLAIKE RATHBUN REPRESENTING RIVERVIEW HIGH SCHOOL. WHY IS OUR SCHOOL DAY LONGER THAN THOSE IN SOME SURROUNDING COUNTIES SUCH AS PINELLAS AND PASCO?

>> THANK YOU. ROBINSON HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HI. KAYLA KNOWLTON REPRESENTING ROBINSON HIGH SCHOOL. WHY ARE PRIVATE SCHOOLS ALLOWED TO COMPETE AGAINST PUBLIC SCHOOLS IF THEY CAN RECRUIT AND WE CAN'T?

>> THANK YOU. SICKLES HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HI. VICTORIA VITE FROM SICKLES HIGH SCHOOL. SEVERAL YEARS AGO, THE DISTRICT IMPLEMENTED THE AVID PROGRAM TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE AND SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS TO REACH THEIR POTENTIAL FOR COLLEGE SUCCESS. AS AN AVID STUDENT, I HAVE PERSONALLY EXPERIENCED THE BENEFIT OF OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT'S DECISION TO OFFER THIS OPPORTUNITY. WHAT PROGRAMS ARE BEING DEVELOPED BY THE DISTRICT TO ENSURE THAT THE STUDENTS WHO ARE STRUGGLING ACADEMICALLY BUT WHO ARE NOT INVOLVED WITH AVID BECAUSE THEY DO NOT MEET THE CRITERIA ARE GIVEN THE SAME OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN THOSE STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS WHILE EARNING CREDIT FOR THAT SUPPORT?

>> THANK YOU. SIMMONS CAREER CENTER.

>> HI. I'M SARA ANDERSON REPRESENTING SIMMONS CAREER CENTER. MY QUESTION IS, IS THE COUNTY WILLING TO GIVE TOP-OF-THE-LINE TEACHERS AN INCENTIVE TO COME TEACH AT CAREER SCHOOLS?

>> THANK YOU. SPOTO HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HI. MY NAME IS VANESSA GOODE. MY QUESTION IS, WHAT IS THE PLAN FOR STUDENT DISCIPLINE FOR THE 2016-2017 SCHOOL YEAR? WILL STUDENTS WHO BEHAVE BE IMPACTED ACADEMICALLY BY STUDENTS WHO MISBEHAVE AND ARE ALLOWED TO STAY IN SCHOOL?

>> THANK YOU. STEINBRENNER HIGH SCHOOL.

>>> HI. I'M ALEX SIKORYAK REPRESENTING STEINBRENNER HIGH SCHOOL. WHY IS OUR SCHOOL DAY SO LONG COMPARED TO OTHER DISTRICTS AROUND THE STATE? WE ARE ON TRACK TO GRADUATE WITH 28 CREDITS WHEN ONLY 24 CREDITS ARE NECESSARY. ARE THERE WAYS THAT THE SCHEDULE CAN BE ADJUSTED WITH THE EXTRA PERIOD IN MIND TO PROVIDE MORE TIME FOR AFTER-SCHOOL EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES AND JOBS? OR A LATER START TIME TO SUPPORT THE FINDINGS THAT TEENAGERS CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS ARE SHIFTED AND REQUIRE MORE SLEEP?

>> THANK YOU. STRAWBERRY CREST HIGH SCHOOL.

>> BRENDA IBARRA FROM STRAWBERRY CREST HIGH SCHOOL. SINCE WE ARE AN IB SCHOOL, I FEEL THAT TRADITIONAL STUDENTS SHOULD BE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE STUDY HALL PERIODS LIKE IB DOES. IF NOT ALL TRADITIONAL STUDENTS, THEN AT LEAST THE ONES TAKING AP CLASSES.

>> THANK YOU. TAMPA BAY TECHNICAL HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HELLO. I'M SHERNEKA STREATER FROM TAMPA BAY TECH HIGH SCHOOL. HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY PRIDES THEMSELVES IN INTEGRATING TECHNOLOGY IN THE CLASSROOM. WITH THAT IN MIND AS WELL AS THE NEW BRING-YOUR-OWN-DEVICE INITIATIVE, WHAT STEPS HAVE BEEN TAKEN TO UTILIZE ELECTRONIC TEXTBOOKS RATHER THAN OUR CURRENT PAPER-BASED TEXTBOOKS?

>> THANK YOU. D.W. WATERS CAREER CENTER.

>> HI. MY NAME IS MARIO DAVIS FROM D.W. WATERS CAREER CENTER. MY QUESTION IS, AS PRESENT TODAY, THE CAREER CENTER STUDENTS DO NOT HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO PARTICIPATE IN SPORTS OR BAND, ACTIVITIES LIKE THE TRADITIONAL HIGH SCHOOLS. NOW THAT THE CAREER CENTER HAS THE 18 CREDIT OPPORTUNITIES, WOULD THE DISTRICT CONSIDER THE POSSIBILITY OF ALLOWING THESE STUDENTS TO PARTICIPATE IN SPORTS AND BAND ACTIVITIES AS THE OTHER SCHOOLS?

>> THANK YOU. WHARTON HIGH SCHOOL.

>> HI. MY NAME IS JULIA MCKERNAN FROM WHARTON. WHARTON HAS ACTIVITY BUSES FOR STUDENTS PARTICIPATING IN ATHLETICS. I KNOW IT'S BEING WORKED ON. BUT I WAS WONDERING IF YOU WERE ALSO CONSIDERING PROVIDING BUSES FOR STUDENTS PARTICIPATING IN ACADEMIC AFTER-SCHOOL ACTIVITIES SUCH AS TUTORING AND CLUBS.

>> THANK YOU. CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEE.

>> HI AGAIN. MY NAME IS CYNTHIA BENCOMO AGAIN. THE OTHER QUESTION WE HAVE IS, WHY ARE THERE E-MARKS ACCOUNTS FOR SCHOOLS AND NO POSSIBILITY FOR PRINCIPALS? EXAMPLE, MORE MONEY NEEDED TO PUT IN ACADEMICS, THE SCHOOL ONLY HAS MONEY FOR MAINTENANCE, WHY DO THEY NOT HAVE THE FLEXIBILITY TO USE THE MONEY FOR WHAT IS NEEDED?

>> THANK YOU. THE HONORABLE APRIL GRIFFIN WILL FACILITATE THE SCHOOL BOARD ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS FROM ROUND TWO.

>>April Griffin: THANK YOU, MS. SYKES. MS. VALDES.

>>Susan L. Valdes: THANK YOU VERY MUCH. BLOOMINGDALE HIGH SCHOOL'S CHRISTOPHER, YOU BROUGHT THE QUESTION ABOUT FOREIGN LANGUAGES. YOU SAW ME GO NUTS OVER HERE WITH THE FOREIGN LANGUAGES. I'VE BEEN SINCE 2004 BEEN TALKING ABOUT INCREASING OUR LANGUAGE OFFERINGS TO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS, AND I THINK THAT WE ARE GETTING TO THAT POINT WHERE WE ARE GOING TO BE OFFERING MORE LANGUAGES. LET ME ASK YOU A QUESTION. BY A RAISE OF HANDS, IF YOU HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO GO TO A MAGNET-TYPE PROGRAM THAT MAYBE HAD THREE DIFFERENT TRACKS OF LANGUAGES, LET'S SAY ARABIC, SPANISH, AND MANDARIN, HOW MANY OF YOU WOULD BE INCLINED TO APPLY FOR THAT MAGNET? HMM. OKAY. THANKS. GOT THAT. THE OTHER QUESTION THAT I WANTED TO ADDRESS WAS THAT OF LETO'S HIGH SCHOOL QUESTION ABOUT THE PEDESTRIAN WALKING. AND THIS IS SOMETHING THAT IS EXTREMELY NEAR AND DEAR TO MY HEART. WE'VE HAD THIS YEAR JUST IN DISTRICT ONE ALONE SEVERAL FATALITIES OVER PEDESTRIANS AND A LOT OF STUDENTS BEING HURT ON THE ROAD. ONE IN PARTICULAR WAS A STUDENT FROM LETO HIGH SCHOOL A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO RIGHT THERE ON THE CORNER OF HESPERDIES AND SLIGH. AND I IMMEDIATELY SENT THAT IN TO THE COUNTY BECAUSE WE ARE AT THAT POINT COUNTY -- WE'RE NOT IN THE CITY. WE'RE IN THE COUNTY AREA. THEY CAME OUT AND DID A STUDY OF THAT PARTICULAR INTERSECTION. AND BELIEVE IT OR NOT, AS FAR AS THE LEVEL OF ITS INTENSITY OF CONTROLS IS NUMBER 6 IN THE COUNTY. SO IN OTHER WORDS, THERE ARE SIX OTHER AREAS THAT HAVE HAD HIGHER INCIDENCES THAN THAT PARTICULAR CORNER. BUT WHAT THEY DID DO -- AND I DON'T KNOW IF YOU ALL HAVE NOTICED, WHICH IN MY OPINION IS A LITTLE BIT OF A FIX BUT IS NOT A FIX -- THEY HAVE JUST ADDED SIGNAGE, A REMINDER THAT IN THIS PARTICULAR AREA, RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE SCHOOL, THAT IT IS 20 OR 15 MILES AN HOUR. THOSE SIGNS ARE NOT LIT. THOSE SIGNS ARE BRAND NEW. I DON'T KNOW IF FOLKS ARE STILL REALLY HONORING THOSE PARTICULAR SIGNS AND NOTICING THEM BECAUSE THERE'S SUCH A LONG STRIP OF ROAD THAT AFTER YOU PASS THE SCHOOL, PEOPLE FORGET THAT IT'S STILL 20 MILES AND STILL A SCHOOL ZONE. SO IT'S BEEN VERY, VERY DANGEROUS. BUT AT LEAST WE HAVE THOSE TWO SIGNS UP THERE. AND ONE OF THE BIGGEST THINGS THAT I WAS ABLE TO CHAMPION EARLY ON IN MY TENURE AS A SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER WAS TO MAKE SURE IN ALL OF OUR AREAS WE HAD FLASHERS. YEARS AGO, IN 2005-06, THOSE FLASHERS DID NOT EXIST IN THAT AREA, JUST THE SIGNS. AND NOW WE HAVE THOSE. SO WE'RE MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. THEY ARE VERY, VERY EXPENSIVE PIECES OF EQUIPMENT TO INSTALL, ALTHOUGH, IN MY OPINION, A CHILD'S LIFE IS WORTH A LOT MORE THAN THAT FLASHING LIGHT. SO WE NEED TO PUT OUR PRIORITIES IN PLACE, BUT WE'RE WORKING ON THAT DILIGENTLY. IN REFERENCE TO THE QUESTION OF HOW CAN WE HELP WITH THE STATE-MANDATED SITUATION AND THINGS THAT ARE OUT OF OUR CONTROL, I CHALLENGE OUR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS EVERY YEAR, RIGHT AROUND THIS TIME AFTER WE HAVE THIS FORUM -- HOW MANY OF YOU ARE 18 OR ABOUT TO BE 18? THERE YOU GO. HOW MANY OF YOU THAT ARE 18 OR ABOUT TO BE 18 HAVE REGISTERED TO VOTE? GOOD JOB. GOOD JOB. THAT'S AWESOME. [ APPLAUSE ] GUESS WHAT. YOU'RE GOING TO BE EXERCISING THAT RIGHT TO VOTE REAL SOON. AND THE LEGISLATORS WILL NEED YOUR VOTES. SO I ENCOURAGE YOU TO SHARE AND WRITE TO YOUR LEGISLATORS. YOU CAN SEND THEM AN E-MAIL AND MAYBE LABEL IT "STUDENT OF A HIGH SCHOOL IN HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY." FUTURE VOTER. SOMETHING THAT -- OH, WOW, LET ME SEE WHAT THIS IS ABOUT AND THEY WILL READ THOSE NOTES. THEY WOULD READ THOSE LETTERS. DO THAT CAMPAIGN IN YOUR SCHOOLS AND GET YOUR FELLOW CLASSMATES TO JOIN ON IN IN WRITING AND SHARING WITH THOSE POLICYMAKERS THAT ARE TELLING US HOW WE NEED TO DO OUR JOB, OKAY, TO KEEP YOU AND WHAT YOU NEED IN MIND. SO EXPRESS YOUR OPINIONS VIA E-MAIL, WRITE THEM A LETTER. GIVE THEM A PHONE CALL, LET THEM KNOW IF YOU ALL NEED HELP ON GETTING TO KNOW WHO YOUR STATE LEGISLATOR AND SENATOR IS, LET ME KNOW. WE HAVE A DIRECTORY WITH ALL OF THEIR CONTACT INFORMATION. AND THAT WILL BE A GREAT WAY TO HELP US WITH THAT. IN ORDER FOR US TO PARTICIPATE IN SPORTS, WE HAVE TO BE A PART OF AN ORGANIZATION CALLED THE FLORIDA HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION. AND THEY HAVE THEIR RULES, SOME OF WHICH A FEW OF US UP HERE DO NOT AGREE WITH THEIR RULES AND WE HAVE ACTUALLY CHALLENGED THEM AT TIMES. RECRUITMENT IS SOMETHING THAT SHOULD NOT BE GOING ON. IF YOU KNOW OF ANY RECRUITMENT, PLEASE REPORT IT TO THEM AND LET THEM KNOW, BECAUSE IT IS AGAINST THE RULES TO DO THAT. UNFORTUNATELY, WE DON'T HAVE A LOT OF JURISDICTION OVER THE FLORIDA HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION. SO I ENCOURAGE YOU TO TALK TO YOUR APA, IF YOU KNOW OF ANY RECRUITMENT GOING ON, AND LET THEM KNOW BECAUSE THAT IS UNACCEPTABLE. I KNOW THAT A FEW YEARS AGO, WE HAD A PROBLEM, AND WE WERE CHARGED WITH RECRUITING, AND ONE OF OUR HIGH SCHOOLS WAS HURT BY IT. AND WE HAVE TO STOP THAT. AND WHENEVER WE SEE IT, WE HAVE TO LET THEM KNOW THAT IT'S NOT ACCEPTABLE IN HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS. THINK ABOUT IT, WHEN YOU'RE PLAYING A SPORT, WE ALL HAVE TO PLAY BY THE SAME RULES. IF NOT, IT BECOMES AN ISSUE. IF WE KNOW THAT RECRUITMENT IS NOT ALLOWED AND IT'S PUNISHABLE BY THE ORGANIZATION, THEN IF IT'S HAPPENING, REPORT IT AND STOP IT FROM HAPPENING.

>>April Griffin: MS. EDGECOMB.

>>Doretha Edgecomb: THANK YOU. ONE OF THE BENEFITS OF HAVING THIS EXPERIENCE EVERY YEAR IS THAT WE LEARN AS MUCH ABOUT HOW TO SOLVE PROBLEMS AND PUT IN NEW INITIATIVES. FROM LISTENING TO YOU, THE ANSWERS THAT WE OFFER TO YOU, I'M GOING TO ASK ALONSO AND EAST BAY AND ROBERTSON TO GIVE ME THE ANSWERS TO ONE OF THE QUESTIONS THAT YOU ASKED, BECAUSE I SUSPECT YOU ALREADY KNOW WHAT IT IS THAT YOU WANT. WHO ASKED THE QUESTION ABOUT WHAT AUTHORITY COULD BE GIVEN TO TEACHERS AND FACULTIES THAT WOULD BETTER IMPROVE DISCIPLINE IN YOUR SCHOOL. ALONSO, WHERE ARE YOU? STAND UP, PLEASE. IF YOU WERE PRINCIPAL FOR THE DAY OR SUPERINTENDENT FOR THE WEEK, WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO IMPROVE DISCIPLINE IN YOUR SCHOOL?

>> THAT'S A TOUGH QUESTION, ACTUALLY.

>>Doretha Edgecomb: YOU ASKED IT OF ME, I'M GIVING IT BACK TO YOU.

>> CAN I PHONE A FRIEND? [ LAUGHTER ]

>>Doretha Edgecomb: YES, YOU CAN. COME ON, ZACH, YOUR NAME WAS BY THAT QUESTION.

>> MY NAME IS VERLIZ WILLIAMS FROM JEFFERSON HIGH SCHOOL.

>>Doretha Edgecomb: GO AHEAD, YOUNG LADY. I'M SORRY.

>> I THINK THE BIGGEST CONCERN IS STUDENTS BEING TAKEN OUT OF CLASS FOR, YOU KNOW, LET'S SAY ONE OF THE PUNISHMENTS IS TARDINESS. WELL IT WILL DEFEAT THE PURPOSE TAKING THEM OUT OF CLASS. NO ONE LIKES TO BE IN CLASS IF WE'RE BEING 100% HONEST HERE. SO I THINK IT WOULD BE NOT TAKING THEM OUT OF CLASS. YOU NEED TO SIT DOWN WITH THE STUDENT ONE ON ONE, WHETHER IT'S THE TEACHER OR THE PRINCIPAL, SIT DOWN WITH THEM AND TELL THEM WHAT'S GOING ON AND FIX THEIR BEHAVIOR IMMEDIATELY. I COULD GO ON ABOUT PSYCHOLOGY.

>>Doretha Edgecomb: ROBINSON, YOU HAD SOMEONE. YOU'LL STAND UP AND BE BRAVE. WHERE ARE YOU? WHAT IDEA DO YOU THINK WE REALLY NEED TO CONSIDER TO IMPROVE BEHAVIOR IN SCHOOLS? WASN'T THAT ONE OF YOUR QUESTIONS? OH, YOU ASKED ABOUT RECRUITING. HERE IS THE ANSWER TO THAT. NONE OF US LOOK GOOD IN ORANGE. GOING TO PRISON WEARING ORANGE. THAT'S WHY WE CAN'T RECRUIT. OKAY. IT WASN'T YOU, ROBINSON, WHO ASKED ABOUT BEHAVIOR?

>> MY QUESTION WAS, WHY IS IT THAT PUBLIC SCHOOLS CAN PLAY PRIVATE SCHOOLS IF PRIVATE CAN RECRUIT BUT PUBLIC CAN'T?

>>Doretha Edgecomb: WE'RE SUPPOSED TO FOLLOW THE SAME RULES, RIGHT? SOME ARE. I THINK MRS. VALDES ALLUDED TO IT MAYBE IN HER COMMENTS. WE TRY TO PLAY FAIR AND PLAY RIGHT AND FOLLOW THE RULES. I'M NOT SUGGESTING THAT OTHER PEOPLE AREN'T, BUT MAYBE THEY AREN'T LOOKING AT THE RULES AS STRICTLY AS WE ARE. WE ARE ALL SUPPOSED TO BE PLAYING BY THE SAME RULES AS I UNDERSTAND IT. WE JUST DON'T WANT TO ABUSE IT. WE WANT TO FOLLOW THE RULES, AND WE WANT TO BE GOOD MODELS FOR OUR STUDENTS. WE DON'T WANT TO DO ANYTHING THAT WE DON'T WANT TO ASK YOU TO DO. IF A RULE IS A RULE WE ARE SUPPOSED TO FOLLOW, WE'RE GOING TO FOLLOW THE RULE. I CAN LOOK AT YOUR FACE AND TELL YOU DON'T LIKE THAT ANSWER.

>> I KNOW WE'RE NOT ALLOWED TO RECRUIT. THAT'S WHAT I'M SAYING IS THAT PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE PUT UP AGAINST PRIVATE SCHOOLS IN SPORTS. AND BECAUSE THEY CAN RECRUIT, THEY HAVE A GREATER ADVANTAGE OVER POOLS PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

>>April Griffin: THIS IS WHY IT'S UNFAIR. YOU ALL ARE IN A SCHOOL -- YOU ARE IN A ZONED SCHOOL OR YOU ARE IN A MAGNET SCHOOL OR YOU'RE IN SOME SORT OF TRACTOR PROGRAM, RIGHT, BUT YOU'RE THERE NOT FOR ATHLETICS. YOU'RE THERE FOR ACADEMICS OR BLAKE FOR THE ARTS OR WHATEVER. IN PRIVATE SCHOOL, THERE ARE NO ZONES. THERE ARE NO BOUNDARIES. YOU PAY TO GET INTO THAT SCHOOL, YOU'RE IN THAT SCHOOL, AND YOU CAN PLAY. NOW THEY HAVE SPONSORSHIPS AT PRIVATE SCHOOLS WHERE SOME OF THE STUDENTS WHO ARE AT THAT SCHOOL BECAUSE OF THE ALUMNI SITUATION PAY FOR THAT STUDENT'S TUITION. THEY HAVE A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF MONEY PUT ASIDE FOR SOME STUDENT TUITION. SO WE'RE NOT PLAYING BY FAIR RULES THERE. IT'S NOT THE SAME RULES, EVEN THOUGH IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE THE SAME RULES AND NO RECRUITING, THE RULES ARE NOT THE SAME. BUT THAT'S ESSENTIALLY WHAT IT'S ABOUT. YOU'RE IN A ZONED SCHOOL WHICH MAKES IT VERY, VERY EASY TO PIN RECRUITING ON A PUBLIC SCHOOL ENTITY. IT'S VERY DIFFICULT TO PIN RECRUITING ON A PRIVATE SCHOOL THAT DRAWS THEIR STUDENTS FROM ALL OVER THE PLACE.

>> BUT JUST TO CLARIFY, MS. GRIFFIN. PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS, NEITHER OF THOSE TYPES OF SCHOOLS ARE ALLOWED TO RECRUIT.

>>April Griffin: THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED TO RECRUIT. SO THE POINT IS, WHEN IT HAPPENS AND IT DOES HAPPEN, IT'S NOT AS EASY TO PIN IT ON A PRIVATE INSTITUTION THAT HAS STUDENTS COMING FROM ALL OVER THE PLACE THAT ARE PAYING TUITION TO BE THERE. AS MY MOTHER USED TO SAY, LIFE IS NOT FAIR.

>>Susan L. Valdes: MEMBER EDGECOMB, JUST TO INTERJECT, THAT'S WHY I MENTIONED PLAYING A SPORT WITH DIFFERENT RULES. IT DOESN'T WORK.

>>Doretha Edgecomb: EAST BAY, WHERE ARE YOU? THIS CAME UP THE OTHER NIGHT AT OUR BOARD MEETING ABOUT ATTRACTORS THAT WOULD HELP FAMILIES MAKE THE DECISIONS ABOUT COMING TO AND STAYING IN OUR SCHOOLS. AND WHAT WOULD ATTRACT -- WHAT DO YOU THINK WOULD BE A GREAT ATTRACTOR FOR FAMILIES AND STUDENTS AT EAST BAY?

>> PERSONALLY, I THINK THAT WE SHOULD ALSO HAVE AN IB PROGRAM AT OUR SCHOOL BECAUSE THE NEWEST ONE WOULD BE STRAWBERRY CREST. IT'S NOT FAIR FOR KIDS WHO LIVE IN APOLLO BEACH AND ARE ZONED FOR THIS AREA OF EAST BAY TO HAVE TO DRIVE ALL THE WAY TO STRAWBERRY CREST JUST TO BE IN AN IB PROGRAM.

>>Doretha Edgecomb: OKAY. ALL RIGHT. THERE ARE TWO OTHER PEOPLE WAITING FOR COMMENTS. I'M GOING TO HOLD MINE TO THE THIRD ROUND. AND I'LL PUT THE BALL BACK IN YOUR COURT TO ANSWER SOME OF THE QUESTIONS.

>>April Griffin: MS. HARRIS.

>>Sally Harris: I LIKE THE WAY SHE TALKS. OKAY. I WOULD LIKE TO TALK ABOUT THE DISCIPLINE. ALONSO, THE QUESTION WAS, WHAT AUTHORITY CAN BE GIVEN TO TEACHERS AND FACULTY THAT WOULD ALLOW BETTER DISCIPLINE? I FEEL THAT THIS YEAR WE'RE REALLY EMPHASIZING DISCIPLINE AND NEW TECHNIQUES FOR DISCIPLINE BECAUSE ALL OF YOU KNOW THAT THE STUDENTS THAT ARE DISCIPLINE PROBLEM, WHAT THEY WANT IS TO BE SUSPENDED, AND WHAT THEY WANT IS TO BE OUT OF SCHOOL. JUST LIKE YOU SAID OVER THERE, WHO WANTS TO SIT IN A CLASSROOM? SO WHEN WE SUSPEND THOSE STUDENTS AND WE PUT THEM OUT OF THE SCHOOL AND ONTO THE STREETS, WE'RE GIVING THEM WHAT THEY WANT, AND THEY ARE NOT GOING TO HAVE THE EDUCATION THAT THEY NEED. AND THOSE ARE THE STUDENTS WHO NEED SOMEONE TO ENCOURAGE THEM TO STAY IN SCHOOL. SO THIS YEAR, WE'VE REALLY TRIED TO IMPACT ALL OF OUR PRINCIPALS AND SCHOOL LEADERS TO TRY TO FIND ALTERNATE WAYS TO ENCOURAGE THESE STUDENTS TO STAY IN SCHOOL AND STAY OUT OF TROUBLE. AND I WANT TO ENCOURAGE YOU AS THE PEERS, YOU WERE CHOSEN TO COME TODAY BECAUSE YOU ARE PEER LEADERS IN YOUR SCHOOL. THERE'S NO DOUBT IN MY MIND, YOU'RE THE LEADERS OF THE SCHOOL. YOU CAN TELL BY THE WAY YOU'RE DRESSED. YOU CAN TELL BY THE WAY YOU'RE SITTING. YOU CAN TELL THAT YOU ARE THE ONES THAT WILL HELP US TO ENCOURAGE THOSE STUDENTS THAT ARE CAUSING THE PROBLEMS IN THE HALLWAY THAT POSSIBLY JUST YOUR INFLUENCE, BY SPEAKING TO THEM IN SCHOOL, BY SAYING HELLO, BY TALKING TO THEM, BY OFFERING TO HELP THEM IN CLASS, IF YOU REALLY TAKE INTO ACCOUNT WHY A CHILD MISBEHAVES, IT'S USUALLY BECAUSE THEY ARE EITHER EMBARRASSED BECAUSE THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND THE ASSIGNMENT OR MAYBE THEY DIDN'T HAVE FOOD LAST NIGHT OR MAYBE THEY CAME IN AFTER AN ARGUMENT IN THEIR HOME. BUT THERE'S SOMETHING ELSE CAUSING THE ANGER OF THAT CHILD. AND YOU GUYS AS THE PEERS CAN REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE WITH THOSE STUDENTS. SO I WOULD LIKE TO ASK YOU FOR THE REST OF THIS SCHOOL YEAR, IF YOU KNOW SOME OF THOSE STUDENTS IN YOUR SCHOOL, REACH OUT TO THEM BECAUSE ALL THEY WANT IS A FRIEND. AND ENCOURAGE THEM. BECAUSE AS A COMMUNITY OF STUDENTS AND FACULTY, WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND WHAT I THINK THOSE STUDENTS AND TURN THEM AROUND. SO I JUST WANTED TO SAY THAT ONE. THE OTHER ONE I WANTED TO MENTION WAS, I WANT TO PIGGYBACK ON WITH MS. VALDES IN THE FACT THAT I LOVE THE IDEA OF STARTING FOREIGN LANGUAGE EARLIER. I THINK THAT -- I COME FROM AN EARLY CHILDHOOD BACKGROUND, AND I KNOW THAT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD, EVEN UP TO PRE-K-4, STUDENTS, THEY CAN LEARN SIGN LANGUAGE QUICK. THEY CAN LEARN ANY FOREIGN LANGUAGE QUICK. YOU COULD HAVE A CHILD SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE, SIGN LANGUAGE ALL AT THE SAME TIME AND THEY KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT. I THINK THE EARLIER WE GET THIS IMPLEMENTED IN THE SCHOOLS, THE BETTER IT WOULD BE. I LIKE THE IDEA, AND I HOPE THAT WE CAN IMPLEMENT IT. I THINK KEYBOARDING NEEDS TO BE ONE OF THOSE SKILLS IMPLEMENTING EARLIER, TOO. I THINK YOUR THUMBS ARE GETTING TIRED. IF YOU GUYS HAD HAD REAL KEYBOARDING, YOU MIGHT KNOW MORE AMPLE WAYS OF BEING ABLE TO TYPE FASTER. I THINK THAT'S A GREAT IDEA. AND THEN I LOVE THE QUESTION FROM BRANDON HIGH SCHOOL, WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST PRIORITY WHEN IT COMES TO SCHOOLS IN YOUR DISTRICT? UNFORTUNATELY, IN TODAY'S SOCIETY, AND I THINK I CAN PROBABLY SPEAK FOR ALL OF YOUR SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS UP HERE AND DISTRICTS, IT'S SAFETY. IT'S YOUR SAFETY. THAT IS OUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY. EDUCATION, YOU GUYS ARE LIKE SPONGES. YOU GUYS GATHER UP THE INFORMATION, BUT WE WANT TO ENCOURAGE SAFETY IN EVERY SCHOOL AND IN EVERY ENVIRONMENT, AND EVEN IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOODS. AND I WILL TELL YOU THAT EACH ONE OF US WORKS IN THE COMMUNITY AS HARD AND FAST AS WE CAN TO HELP IMPLEMENT SAFETY IDEAS. NOT JUST IN SAFETY, IT'S IN THE CROSSWALKS, IT'S IN THE SIDEWALKS. IT'S IN THE LIGHTING, LIKE MS. VALDES SAID, ALL OF THOSE THINGS ARE ENCOMPASSED IN THE IDEA THAT WE HAVE TO WORK HARDER TO MAKE YOUR ENVIRONMENT A SAFE ENVIRONMENT. THANK YOU.

>>April Griffin: MS. SNIVELY.

>>Melissa Snively: I WILL CONCUR WITH MS. HARRIS THAT THAT IS OUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT EVERYBODY -- I KNOW AS A PARENT, SPEAKING AS A PARENT, THAT'S EVERY PARENT'S PRIORITY IS TO MAKE SURE WHEN I DROP MY CHILD OFF AT SCHOOL IN THE MORNING OR IF MY CHILD TAKES THE BUS TO SCHOOL EVERY MORNING, I NEED TO FEEL CONFIDENT AND SECURE THAT THEY HAVE THE SAFEST, MOST NURTURING, CONDUCIVE ENVIRONMENT TO EDUCATION. WE ARE ALWAYS GOING TO KEEP SAFETY AS A NUMBER ONE PRIORITY FOR OUR STUDENTS, AND TAKE THE MEASURES THAT WE NEED TO TAKE TO ENSURE THAT YOU, NOT ONLY PARENTS, BUT YOU FEEL SAFE IN YOUR SCHOOLING. YOU FEEL SAFE, BECAUSE THERE'S NO OTHER DISTRACTION THAT COULD BE -- OR THERE'S NO OTHER CONCEPT THAT COULD BE MORE DISTRACTING, I THINK, THAN TO FEEL LIKE YOU'RE NOT IN A SAFE ENVIRONMENT. SO THAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT TO US. I THINK YOU ARE CORRECT IN SPEAKING FOR THE REST OF US, MS. HARRIS, ON THAT PARTICULAR ISSUE. FREEDOM HIGH SCHOOL, NASIR ASKED ABOUT OVERCROWDING ON THE BUS AND HAVING TO SIT THREE TO A SEAT. SO WHEN YOU WERE IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, THREE TO A SEAT PROBABLY WASN'T A BIG DEAL, RIGHT? THEN YOU GET TO MIDDLE SCHOOL AND SOME KIDS ARE BIGGER THAN OTHERS, AND THEN YOU GET TO HIGH SCHOOL AND IT'S LIKE, WOW, THERE'S NO WAY. I WAS ON A BUS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR, WHEN I WALKED ONTO THE BUS AND LOOKED AT THE SEATS, I WENT, WOW, THOSE ARE REALLY SMALL SEATS. AND THEY ARE. IT'S HARD FOR THREE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TO FIT IN ONE SEAT, BUT I KNOW THAT'S HOW THEY ARE DESIGNED. SO TO ALLEVIATE SOME OF THIS, WE ARE WORKING ON PURCHASING MORE BUSES. WE HAVE A TRANSPORTATION PLAN THAT WAS PRESENTED BY OUR FACILITIES DEPARTMENT TO THE DISTRICT. DOES ANYONE WANT TO GUESS HOW MUCH IT COSTS TO BUY ONE BUS? SAY IT AGAIN. NOT 12,000. NOT 16. $100,000. PER BUS.

>> THEY ARE MERCEDES BENZ MOTORS.

>>Melissa Snively: I KNOW IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE WHEN YOU GET ON A BUS THAT WE HAD TO SPEND -- I KNOW. SOME WITHOUT AIR CONDITIONING. SO WE KNOW WE HAVE A VERY OLD FLEET -- NOT ALL OF IT, BUT WE DO HAVE SOME BUSES THAT ARE AGING OUT, AND WE ARE CONSTANTLY REPLACING THOSE BUSS WITH NEWER BUSES. SO WHEN WE PURCHASE BUSES, IT'S A HUGE EXPENDITURE FOR THE DISTRICT, BUT WE KNOW THAT AS WE ARE TALKING ABOUT SAFETY, THAT IT'S VERY IMPORTANT FROM A SAFETY STANDPOINT THAT YOU'RE ABLE TO SIT DOWN AND BUCKLE IN AND HAVE A SAFE RIDE TO SCHOOL SO THAT NOTHING HAPPENS TO YOU, RIGHT? SO WE'RE CONSTANTLY PURCHASING MORE BUSES. SO THE MORE BUSES THAT WE HAVE HOPEFULLY WE CAN HAVE SOME LESS OVERCROWDING ON THE BUSES. IT'S A LITTLE HARD TO ADJUST TO BECAUSE WE DON'T KNOW HOW MANY KIDS ARE GOING TO RIDE THE BUS EVERY DAY. SOME KIDS RIDE THE BUS TO SCHOOL BUT DON'T RIDE HOME. SOME KIDS RIDE WITH THEIR PARENTS TO SCHOOL AND THEN THEY RIDE THE BUS HOME. THERE ARE DIFFERENT NUMBERS, AND IT'S A LITTLE CHALLENGING. WE'RE COMING UP WITH SOME GOOD IDEAS, HOW CAN WE LEVERAGE TECHNOLOGY OR USE TECHNOLOGY TO DO A BETTER ACCOUNTING SYSTEM OF WHO IS RIDING OUR BUSES AND THAT WAY WE HAVE A BETTER IDEA OF HOW MANY STUDENTS WE NEED TO SERVE. DID YOU KNOW THAT THIS TRANSPORTATION, THIS FLEET OF BUSES IS THE LARGEST FLEET OF VEHICLES IN THE COUNTY? DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW MANY STUDENTS WE TRANSPORT? ANYONE WANT TO GUESS APPROXIMATELY HOW MANY STUDENTS GET TRANSPORTED ON A BUS EVERY DAY? SAY THAT AGAIN. 100,000. THAT'S ABOUT RIGHT. A HUNDRED THOUSAND. IT'S A POPULAR NUMBER TODAY, APPARENTLY. SO WE TRANSPORT ABOUT A HUNDRED THOUSAND STUDENTS EVERY DAY IN THE COUNTY. WE'RE THE LARGEST FLEET. I KNOW MS. GRIFFIN, YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE MPO. THAT WOULD BE A GOOD TOPIC IF YOU WANTED TO SAY SOMETHING ABOUT THAT AFTER I FINISH THE OTHER TOPICS. BUT I'LL LET HER TALK ABOUT THAT. TRANSPORTATION IS VERY IMPORTANT TO US. IT'S CONSTANTLY BEING REVIEWED TO BE IMPROVED, THE STUDENT EXPERIENCE ON THE SCHOOL BUSES. THE OTHER ONES WERE -- I LIKE THIS IDEA, XAVIER FROM HILLSBOROUGH HIGH SCHOOL. WOULD IT BE POSSIBLE TO BE ENROLLED IN BOTH A TRADITIONAL HIGH SCHOOL AND A CAREER CENTER SO THAT STUDENTS COULD LEARN A TRADE, SUCH AS CONSTRUCTION, BUT STILL GET TO PARTICIPATE IN NORMAL HIGH SCHOOL ACTIVITIES? I LOVE THAT IDEA. I THINK THAT'S A GREAT IDEA, BECAUSE, I MEAN, HOW BETTER TO EXPAND YOUR EXPERIENCE THAN TO BE ABLE TO REALLY MEET THE NEEDS OF STUDENTS LIKE THAT IN BOTH SETTINGS. NOW, LOGISTICALLY, THAT MIGHT -- IT'S A LITTLE CHALLENGING, BECAUSE IF YOU HAVE TO BE TRANSPORTED FROM ONE LOCATION TO ANOTHER LOCATION, YOU KNOW, THERE ARE COSTS INVOLVED IN TRANSPORTING STUDENTS BACK AND FORTH, BUT I DO LIKE THAT CONCEPT, BECAUSE I THINK WE REALLY HAVE TO START THINKING OUTSIDE OF THE BOX IF WE'RE GOING TO PREPARE OUR STUDENTS AND GIVE THEM THE SKILLS THEY NEED IN ORDER TO FUNCTION AFTER HIGH SCHOOL IN SOCIETY, RIGHT? SO TO BE PRODUCTIVE. SO I THINK THAT IS A REALLY GOOD IDEA. ARACELI FROM JEFFERSON HIGH SCHOOL AND I THINK ANABEL FROM LEONARD WERE TALKING ABOUT CLUBS BEING LIMITED TO ONE FUND-RAISER A YEAR. I'LL DEFER TO THE SUPERINTENDENT FOR THAT AS TO WHY ONLY ONE FUND-RAISER IS ALLOWED PER YEAR.

>>Jeffrey Eakins: SO WE'RE WORKING ON SOME OF THAT. THERE ARE SOME DISCRETIONS THAT WE CAN PROVIDE THROUGH OUR AREA SUPERINTENDENTS WITH REGARDS TO SOME THINGS LIKE FUND-RAISERS AND ALSO THE OTHER QUESTION ABOUT EAR-MARKING OF FUNDS THAT WAS MENTIONED THROUGH AREA SUPERINTENDENT APPROVAL, PRINCIPALS CAN GO TO THEIR AREA SUPERINTENDENTS FOR AN ABILITY TO MOVE FUNDS ACROSS DIFFERENT ACCOUNTS IN CASE THERE IS A PRIORITY SOMEWHERE ELSE. SO WE'LL MAKE SURE WE MESSAGE THAT CLEARLY TO OUR SCHOOLS AND OUR PRINCIPALS ARE AWARE OF THAT, BUT THEY'LL WORK THROUGH THEIR AREA SUPERINTENDENTS.

>>Melissa Snively: THANK YOU FOR THAT.

>> JUST TO CLARIFY THAT, IT HAS BEEN CHANGED. THEY CAN HAVE MORE THAN ONE FUND-RAISER. THERE ARE NO LIMITS. IF THEY GO THROUGH THE AREA SUPES. SPEAK WITH THEIR PRINCIPAL, AND THEY CAN HAVE MORE THAN ONE. ONE IS NORMAL, BUT THEY CAN ASK FOR MORE THAN ONE. YES, IT HAS BEEN CHANGED. [ APPLAUSE ] IT CAME FROM YOUR PRINCIPALS. YOUR PRINCIPALS ASKED FOR THIS, AND IT WAS GRANTED. IF YOU'RE ASKING FOR MORE THAN ONE FUND-RAISER, SEE YOUR PRINCIPAL AND HE OR SHE WILL SEE THE AREA SUPE. IT HAS BEEN GRANTED. IT HAS BEEN CHANGED.

>>Melissa Snively: THAT IS GREAT NEWS. ESPECIALLY FOR THE ORGANIZATIONS OUT THERE THAT ARE VERY DEPENDENT ON THAT FUND-RAISER OR SOME OF THOSE FUND-RAISING DOLLARS. VERY GOOD. JUST TO DOVETAIL ON MS. VALDES, SHE ANSWERED A QUESTION EARLIER ABOUT HOW STUDENTS CAN HAVE A LARGER VOICE IN THE DECISIONS THAT AFFECT THEM, THAT NOT ONLY ARE MADE BY THE SCHOOL DISTRICT, BUT ARE MADE BY THE STATE LEGISLATURE. ABOUT A THIRD OF THE DECISIONS THAT AFFECT THE SCHOOL DISTRICT ARE MADE BY OUR LEGISLATIVE REPRESENTATIVES IN TALLAHASSEE. IN ADDITION TO COMMUNICATING WITH THEM VIA E-MAIL OR PHONE CALLS OR WRITING A LETTER, I WOULD ALSO RECOMMEND VISITING THEM IN PERSON AND VISITING -- REQUESTING A MEETING WITH US OR REQUESTING A MEETING WITH THEM OR ALL OF US TOGETHER, THAT HAPPENS. I SET STUDENTS UP FREQUENTLY WITH REPRESENTATIVES IN OUR AREA. IF THEY HAVE A CONCERN THAT DIRECTLY AFFECTS THEM AS A STUDENT AND THEY WANT TO TALK TO THEIR STATE LEGISLATOR ABOUT IT, THEN YOU SHOULD HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO GO MEET YOUR STATE LEGISLATOR, BECAUSE THEY ARE MAKING THE DECISIONS FOR YOU, AND THEY NEED TO KNOW HOW THEY IMPACT YOU ON A DAILY BASIS. SOMETIMES, LIKE MS. VALDES SAYS, MAYBE THEY HAVEN'T BEEN IN SCHOOL A WHILE OR DON'T HAVE CHILDREN IN SCHOOL, THEY ARE MAKING THESE DECISIONS BASED ON WHAT THEIR OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCE IS OR WHAT PEOPLE ARE TELLING THEM, AND IT SOUNDS REALLY GOOD WHEN IT'S AN IDEA, BUT THEN WHEN IT GETS DOWN TO THE SCHOOL DISTRICT, AND WE HAVE TO IMPLEMENT IT BECAUSE THE STATE LAW MANDATES US TO IMPLEMENT IT, SOMETIMES IT'S HARDER THAN WE THINK LOGISTICALLY HOW IT WORKS OUT. WHAT I CALL IN THE TRENCHES. WE'RE IN THE TRENCHES WITH THE DAY TO DAY. IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO VOICE THOSE CONCERNS THROUGHOUT YOUR LIFE. I MEAN, NOT JUST FOR SCHOOL CONCERNS. RIGHT NOW, SCHOOL IS PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING YOU DO ON A DAILY BASIS REVOLVES AROUND SCHOOL. GUESS WHAT, YOU'LL GET OUT ONE DAY AND HAVE A JOB AND BE IN SOME INDUSTRY AND THEN THEY'LL MAKE DECISIONS FOR YOU THEN, TOO. THEY'LL MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT YOU ARE MEDICAL INDUSTRY, CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY, IN THE FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, SO YOU WANT TO GO AHEAD AND GET YOURSELF PREPARED TO BE AN ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELF AND AN ADVOCATE FOR THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU SO THAT YOU'RE COMFORTABLE WITH THAT. WHEN THE TIME COMES TO GO TALK TO YOUR LEGISLATOR. AND THEN THE LAST ONE IS ABOUT THE AVID PROGRAM. VICTORIA, I THINK, FROM SICKLES YES. VICTORIA. I MENTIONED BEFORE A LITTLE BIT BEFORE ABOUT THE AVID PROGRAM. YOU ARE CORRECT. YOU ARE SO CORRECT, BECAUSE WE JUST LISTENED TO AN UPDATED AVID PRESENTATION AT OUR SCHOOL BOARD MEETING THE OTHER NIGHT. AND WE WERE HAVING THIS DISCUSSION ABOUT SOME OF THE SKILLS THAT YOU LEARN IN AVID, YOU KNOW, BECAUSE ORIGINALLY, I THINK PEOPLE PERCEIVE AVID AS JUST A COLLEGE READINESS TYPE OF PROGRAM, AND IT REALLY IS COLLEGE AND CAREER READINESS, BUT ONLY ABOUT 9,000 STUDENTS ARE ABLE TO ENROLL IN AVID ON AN ANNUAL BASIS IN OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT. WE HAVE A LOT MORE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS THAN 9,000, I THINK. HOW MANY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS DO WE HAVE IN OUR DISTRICT? WAY MORE THAN NINE. IT'S NOT A HUNDRED THOUSAND? DARN IT. [ LAUGHTER ] IT'S ABOUT 30,000. ABOUT 30,000, AT LEAST, RIGHT? ANYWAY, SO WE WERE TALKING ABOUT SOME OF THE COMPONENTS THAT ARE LEARNED WOULD BE SO HELPFUL TO STUDENTS, EVEN NOT ENROLLED IN THE AVID PROGRAM. THE STUDY SKILL COMPONENT. THE ORGANIZATIONAL SKILLS COMPONENT. SOME OF THOSE OTHER AREAS WOULD BE VERY HELPFUL. SO WE ARE GOING TO HAVE THOSE CONVERSATIONS. WE'RE GOING TO DISCUSS ABOUT HOW CAN WE PULL SOME OF THOSE CONCEPTS OUT OF AVID AND ALLOW EVERY STUDENT AN OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN THOSE SKILLS THAT WILL HELP THEM BE SUCCESSFUL STUDENTS? SO THANK YOU.

>>April Griffin: THANK YOU. YOU AND I ARE ON THE SAME WAVE LENGTH. YOU ANSWERED ALL THE QUESTIONS I WAS LOOKING AT, TOO. WE DID JUST HAVE A TEACHING AND LEARNING IN REFERENCE TO AVID. AVID WAS BROUGHT UP BY, WAS IT VICTORIA AT SICKLES? WE DID JUST HAVE THE TEACHING AND LEARNING, AND WE AS A BOARD O LOOK AT WHAT -- WHICH OF THOSE DISCIPLINES THAT AVID TEACHES COMMITTEE CAN WE START TEACHING BECAUSE THERE'S LICENSING ISSUES WITH SOME OF THE CURRICULUM AND THINGS LIKE THAT. WE HAVE TO BE CAREFUL THAT WE'RE NOT JUST STEALING THEIR IDEAS AND THEN TEACHING THEM. BUT IT IS SOMETHING THAT WE NEED TO TEACH OUR STUDENTS ACROSS ALL LEVELS IN OUR DISTRICT. THE ORGANIZATIONAL SKILLS, THE STUDY HABITS, ALL OF THOSE THINGS ARE VERY IMPORTANT FOR ALL OF OUR STUDENTS. AND IT'S NOT FAIR THAT SOME STUDENTS ARE EXPOSED TO THOSE BUT NOT ALL STUDENTS. THOSE CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS, THOSE ARE THE THINGS THAT WE HEAR FROM THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY THAT THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY WANTS SO WE'VE GOT DO A TO DO A BETTER JOB THERE. THAT TIES IN WITH THE QUESTION FROM BRANDON HIGH SCHOOL. I THINK IT WAS SAMANTHA THAT ASKED THE QUESTION ABOUT WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST PRIORITY WHEN IT COMES TO SCHOOLS IN YOUR DISTRICT? WE ALL REPRESENT ALL SCHOOLS IN THIS DISTRICT, BUT MYSELF AND MS. KURDELL ARE COUNTYWIDE REPRESENTATIVES. SO OUR TASK IS A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT FROM SOME OF THE DISTRICT REPRESENTATIVES BECAUSE THERE ARE VERY SPECIFIC NEEDS TO SOME OF THE GEOGRAPHIC AREAS IN THIS COMMUNITY. MY BIGGEST ISSUES, AND MS. HARRIS HIT ON IT, OF COURSE, SAFETY IS NUMBER ONE CONCERN BECAUSE IF YOU'RE NOT IN A SAFE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT, AND THAT DOESN'T JUST MEAN SAFETY IN WALKING TO SCHOOL OR THE SAFETY OF YOUR PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT, BUT SAFETY FROM BULLYING AND HARASSMENT, AND BEING IN A PLACE WHERE YOU FEEL SAFE AND COMFORTABLE IN YOUR ENVIRONMENT. AND THAT'S SOMETHING THAT I'VE SPOKEN ABOUT FOR YEARS AND YEARS, AND THAT'S ENSURING THAT OUR TEACHERS FEEL SAFE IN THE ENVIRONMENT THAT THEY WORK IN EVERY SINGLE DAY, THAT OUR STUDENTS FEEL SAFE, THAT THERE ARE ADULTS THAT ARE THERE THAT ARE YOUR ADVOCATES AND OUR SUPERINTENDENT HAS SPOKEN AD NAUSEAM AT GREAT LENGTH ON EVERY STUDENT HAVING AN ADVOCATE AT THEIR SCHOOL. AND I THINK WHAT MS. HARRIS WAS TALKING ABOUT, TOO, IS THAT WE THE ADULTS IN YOUR LIFE, WE'RE THERE FOR YOU. YOU NEED TO KNOW THAT EVERY SINGLE ADULT IN YOUR SCHOOL IS THERE TO ENSURE THAT YOU ARE GETTING A GOOD EDUCATION, BUT YOU ALL NEED TO BE ADVOCATES FOR ONE ANOTHER, AND I'M GOING TO ASK A QUESTION, AND I WANT A REAL ANSWER FROM YOU. HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE SEEN OR BEEN THE VICTIM OF BULLYING THROUGHOUT YOUR EDUCATION AT SOME POINT IN YOUR EDUCATION? SO I'D SAY THAT'S ABOUT A THIRD. WOULD YOU SAY THAT'S ABOUT A THIRD? THE BYSTANDERS THAT SIT BY AND WATCH ARE SOME OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PEOPLE IN THE ROOM WHEN BULLYING IS TAKING PLACE. SO YOU ALL NEED TO BE THERE TO ADVOCATE FOR EACH OTHER. AS FAR AS SAFETY, IT'S NOT JUST YOUR PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT, BUT IT'S FEELING SAFE AND WELCOME IN YOUR SCHOOLS, TOO. SO THAT'S VERY IMPORTANT TO ME. BUT ANYBODY WHO KNOWS ME AND HAS SEEN ME WORK FOR THE YEARS THAT I'VE BEEN ON THIS BOARD KNOWS THAT CAREER READINESS IS PROBABLY MY NUMBER ONE PRIORITY AS A SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER. BECAUSE I ALWAYS SAY NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO, WHEN YOU GRADUATE, WHEN YOU CROSS THAT STAGE, WHETHER YOU'RE GOING TO COLLEGE, A POSTSECONDARY CAREER IN TECHNICAL INSTITUTE, THE MILITARY OR WHAT, YOU WILL ULTIMATELY END UP IN THE WORKFORCE. SO IT'S OUR JOB TO ENSURE THAT YOU'RE READY FOR THAT WORKFORCE WHEN YOU GET THERE. AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE'RE GETTING READY TO EMBARK ON, AND I'M REALLY, REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THIS, IS WE ARE FORMING CLOSER CONNECTIONS TO OUR BUSINESS COMMUNITY, AND WE'RE GETTING READY TO DO A SKILLS GAP ANALYSIS, REACHING OUT TO SMALL, MEDIUM AND LARGE BUSINESSES, ENTREPRENEURS IN OUR AREA, AND FIND OUT WHAT THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY NEEDS FROM THE PEOPLE THAT THEY ARE HIRING SO WE CAN THEN INCORPORATE THAT INTO THE CURRICULUM THAT WE'RE TEACHING YOU. AND IT'S NOT GOING TO BE A LITTLE WEEKLONG COURSE HERE OR NINE-WEEKLONG COURSE, IT'S GOING TO BE SOMETHING THAT WE CREATE THE CURRICULUM AND WE INTERWEAVE IT INTO THE CURRICULUM FROM THE MOMENT THAT STUDENTS COME TO US FROM KINDERGARTEN ALL THE WAY TO 12th GRADE WHEN THEY CROSS THE STAGE. SO THAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT TO ME THERE. AND THEN FINALLY, THE BUS, THE OVERCROWDING. DID YOU GUYS KNOW THAT HARTLINE HAS WIFI ON THEIR BUSES? SOMEBODY ASKED ABOUT WIFI. DID YOU KNOW THAT HARTLINE OFFERS WIFI ON THEIR BUSES? THE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, THE PUBLIC BUSES. HOW MANY OF YOU GIVEN THE CHOICE BETWEEN RIDING A BIG YELLOW SNAIL, AS THE GENTLEMAN CALLED IT, OR A HARTLINE BUS THAT OFFERS WIFI, HOW MANY OF YOU WOULD RIDE A HARTLINE BUS IF GIVEN THE CHOICE TO RIDE A YELLOW SCHOOL BUS OR A HARTLINE BUS? HARTLINE. WHO WOULD RIDE HARTLINE? SO THAT WOULD HELP US. AGAIN, WE'VE JUST GOTTEN A MEMBER ON THE METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION. THE SCHOOL BOARD FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER HAS A MEMBER ON THAT. AND THEY ARE INVOLVED IN TRANSPORTATION IN THE AREA. SO WE ARE HAVING A MUCH GREATER VOICE IN THE CONVERSATION REVOLVING AROUND TRANSPORTATION IN HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY. SO, AGAIN, WE'RE STARTING TO THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX, LOOKING AT OTHER METROPOLITAN AREAS. THERE'S A LOT OF OTHER SCHOOL DISTRICTS THAT PARTNER WITH THEIR PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION AND THE STUDENTS WHO ARE OLDER LIKE YOURSELVES. NOW, I WOULD NEVER WANT THE LITTLE KIDS FROM ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ON PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION BECAUSE WE'RE THERE, AGAIN, TO ENSURE SAFETY. BUT AS FAR AS SOME OF OUR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS, TO BE ABLE TO PARTNER WITH OUR PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM AND ALLOW YOU ALL THE OPTION TO RIDE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION OR OUR SYSTEM, I THINK IS GOING TO BE A BIG HELP IN RELIEVING SOME OF THE TRANSPORTATION NEEDS. WE'RE HAVING A DIFFICULT TIME HIRING ENOUGH BUS DRIVERS. WE JUST BOUGHT 200 BUSES, AND WE'RE GOING TO HAVE ANOTHER RECOMMENDATION COMING FORWARD IN THE NEAR FUTURE FOR MORE BUSES, SO WE'RE WORKING TO RELIEVE THE ISSUES, BUT AGAIN, THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX AND WORKING WITH OUR PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM TO HELP RELIEVE SOME OF THAT. I THINK THAT AS WE START ADVERTISING MORE OF THOSE OPTIONS TO YOU, I THINK YOU GUYS WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT WE'RE GOING TO BE PRESENTING. SO THAT'S IT FOR BOARD COMMENTS. MR. SUPERINTENDENT, DID YOU HAVE ANYTHING YOU WANTED TO ADD? OKAY. I'LL TURN IT OVER TO MS. SIKES FOR ROUND THREE.

>> THANK YOU FOR YOUR OUTSTANDING QUESTIONS. AND THE SCHOOL BOARD, THANK YOU FOR YOUR WONDERFUL ANSWERS. I WOULD LIKE NOW AT THIS TIME TO TURN THE FINAL PART OF THE PROGRAM OVER TO THE HONORABLE APRIL GRIFFIN FOR THE THIRD ROUND OF QUESTIONS.

>>April Griffin: THANK YOU. AND THE WAY THAT WE'RE GOING TO DO THIS, AND I'M GOING TO CUT US OFF AT TEN TILL TO ENSURE THAT WE ARE OUT OF HERE IN TIME, SO WE HAVE 15 MINUTES LEFT. IF YOU WANT TO ASK A QUESTION, RAISE YOUR SCHOOL SIGN, AND I WILL CALL ON YOU, AND THEN THE BOARD MEMBERS CAN ANSWER THE QUESTION THAT YOU HAVE. AND IT'S GOING TO BE RAPID FIRE. SO LET'S GO. FREEDOM, YOU HAD YOUR SIGN UP. AND BOARD MEMBERS, PRESS YOUR BUTTON IF YOU WANT TO ANSWER THE QUESTION.

>> HELLO. MY NAME IS GISELLE HERNANDEZ FROM FREEDOM HIGH SCHOOL. MY QUESTION TO YOU IS, WHY IS SPRINGBOARD USED AS A TOOL TO TEACH STUDENTS WHEN MANY TEACHERS AND STUDENTS COMPLAIN ABOUT IT? [ LAUGHTER ]

>> WE HAVE A CONTRACT WITH COLLEGE BOARD. WE'RE REVIEWING THAT.

>> WE HAVE A WORKSHOP.

>> WE ACTUALLY DO HAVE A WORKSHOP COMING UP ON THAT THIS COMING TUESDAY. AND STAFF HAS BEEN PUTTING TOGETHER INFORMATION. WE'RE LOOKING AT GRADUATION RATES. WE'RE LOOKING AT THE RESULTS WE'RE GETTING BACK, AND IT IS UNDER REVIEW RIGHT NOW. LENNARD.

>> [NOT SPEAKING INTO A MICROPHONE]

>> NO, THERE IS NOT.

>> NOW YOU CAN DO SEVERAL FUND-RAISERS ALL YEAR LONG TO RAISE MONEY FOR --

>> [NOT SPEAKING INTO A MICROPHONE]

>>April Griffin: MS. HARRIS.

>>Sally Harris: I WAS GOING TO SAY, THERE WAS A TIME IN THIS DISTRICT THAT THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED IS THERE WAS -- IT WAS CALLED A PEP SQUAD. THE PEP SQUAD RAISED THEIR OWN FUNDS AND PAID FOR THEIR OWN BUSES AND WOULD GO TO ALL OF THE FOOTBALL AND BASKETBALL GAMES. SO IT IS POSSIBLE. IT DID HAPPEN IN THIS DISTRICT.

>>April Griffin: SICKLES.

>> HOW ARE YOU DOING? MY NAME IS CARTER MULROE FROM SICKLES. SINCE A GRADE OF A INDICATES KNOWLEDGE OF CONTENT, COULD THERE BE AN EXAM INCENTIVE IN THE FIRST SEMESTER FOR SENIORS WHO MAINTAIN AN A IN EACH OF THE NINE-WEEK GRADING PERIODS?

>> MR. SUPERINTENDENT?

>>Jeffrey Eakins: THAT IS UNDER REVIEW AT THIS MOMENT.

>>April Griffin: PLANT CITY.

>> THANK YOU. FIRST OFF, I WANT TO THANK ALL THE BOARD MEMBERS FOR HAVING THIS, BECAUSE A LOT OF TIMES STUDENTS ARE NOT SEEN AS RESPONSIBLE OR THEY DON'T HAVE THE INTELLECTUAL ABILITY TO MAKE DECISIONS. THANK YOU FOR HAVING THIS AND HEARING OUR OPINIONS. FIRST OFF, IT SEEMS THAT THE MAIN FOCUS OF HIGH SCHOOL IS TO ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO TAKE AP, IB, DUAL ENROLLMENT AND OTHER CHALLENGING CLASSES. HOWEVER, MANY STUDENTS LACK THE SKILLS THAT WOULD PREPARE THEM FOR LIFE, SUCH AS BALANCING A CHECKBOOK, COMPLETING JOB APPLICATIONS OR RESUMÉS OR RESOLVING CONFLICT. THE THEOREM IS GREAT BUT HOW DO WE PREPARE FOR LIFE? IS THERE ANYTHING THAT CAN HELP A STUDENT TAKE A COURSE THAT WILL PREPARE THEM FOR REAL-WORLD SKILLS? YOU HAVE BEEN READING MY.

>>April Griffin: YOU HAVE BEEN READING MY MIND THE LAST TEN YEARS. WE JUST CHANGED OUR VISION FOR PREPARING STUDENTS FOR LIFE. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? IT MEANS WHAT I TALKED ABOUT EARLIER, REACHING OUT TO THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY, REACHING OUT TO YOU GUYS AND ASKING THE QUESTIONS THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW OR ASKING THE QUESTIONS THAT YOU WANT THE ANSWERS TO, AND THEN TAKING THAT KNOWLEDGE AND GOING TO BE INTERWEAVING INTO AN ENTIRE CAREER OF A STUDENT FROM KINDERGARTEN THROUGH 12th GRADE TO TEACH THEM THOSE EXACT SKILLS THAT YOU MENTIONED. SO, YES, WE ARE WELL ON THAT PATH. YOU ALL ARE GETTING READY TO GRADUATE SOON, SO YOU WILL NOT BE THE BENEFACTORS OF THAT, BUT YOU'LL GET SOME OF THOSE SKILLS IN 12th GRADE, TOO. I THINK THERE ARE SOME LESSONS THERE IN 12th GRADE.

>>Jeffrey Eakins: REGARDING FINANCIAL LITERACY, JUST THIS WEEK, HOW MANY OF YOU WHEN YOU WERE IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL YOU WENT TO J.A. BIZ TOWN. SO, OBVIOUSLY THEY DO SOMETHING GOOD AT J.A. BIZ TOWN TO GET YOU EXCITED. JUST SO YOU KNOW, THIS WEEK, SUNTRUST IS DONATING $1.7 MILLION TO START A FUND-RAISING CAMPAIGN TO PUT J.A. FINANCE PARK FOR ALL OF OUR MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS. BY THE TIME THEY LEAVE 8th GRADE, THEY'LL BE ABLE TO ATTEND J.A. FINANCE PARK JUST LIKE THEY ATTENDED J.A. BIZ TOWN. IT IS THOSE KIND OF SKILLS THAT THEY WILL WORK ON, PERSONAL AND FINANCIAL LITERACY. HOW TO BALANCE A CHECKBOOK. WE START TO WEAVE THAT IN NOT ONLY IN ELEMENTARY, MIDDLE SCHOOL, BUT THEN, OBVIOUSLY, THROUGHOUT K-12. BUT THOSE ARE THE KIND OF THINGS THAT WE WANT TO MAKE SURE WE EMBED WITHIN OUR CURRICULUM, BUT WE ALSO LEAN ON OUR PARTNERS TO HELP US AS WELL.

>>April Griffin: GOING BACK OVER TO THE RIGHT. KING.

>> HELLO. I'M KENNEDY WARE. AS AN IB STUDENT, I WAS WONDERING, IS THERE A WAY TO INTEGRATE IB-SPECIFIC COMPUTER PROGRAMS SUCH AS MANAGE BACK WITH DISTRICT PROGRAMS SUCH AS EDSBY?

>>Jeffrey Eakins: I'LL JUST TAKE A STAB. MANY TIMES, SOME OF THE THINGS, ESPECIALLY STUDENT INFORMATION TYPES OF SYSTEMS WHERE THERE'S PROTECTED INFORMATION WITHIN, THOSE HAVE TO BE VETTED VERY CAREFULLY THROUGH OUR I.T. DIVISION. ANYTIME WE UTILIZE A SYSTEM THAT WE KNOW THERE'S GOING TO BE INFORMATION FLOWING AROUND STUDENT INFORMATION THAT POTENTIALLY COULD IDENTIFY STUDENTS, THERE ARE FEDERAL LAWS AROUND THAT, WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE SYSTEMS ARE VERY, VERY WELL PROTECTED. SO SAFETY IS NOT ONLY IMPORTANT FOR YOUR PHYSICAL SAFETY BUT WE ALSO WANT YOUR INFORMATION PROTECTED AS WELL.

>>April Griffin: THANK YOU. GOING BACK TO THE LEFT. MIDDLETON.

>> HI. MY NAME IS SAFIRA. STUDENTS ENJOYED BEING ABLE TO SEE THEIR PROGRESS TOWARD GRADUATION AND EVEN SCHEDULED TIME WITH COUNSELORS. THEY ARE TRYING TO TAKE THAT AWAY. IS THERE A PROGRAM THAT DISTRICT PLANS TO IMPLEMENT SO STUDENTS CAN WORK MORE HANDS-ON WITH COUNSELORS AND TEACHERS WHILE PROGRAMMING CLASSES AND CHECKING GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS?

>>Doretha Edgecomb: MY FELLOW TIGER, IT'S AN ONGOING CONVERSATION. WE RECOGNIZE THAT THE ROLE OF THE COUNSELOR HAS CHANGED OVER THE YEARS. AND MANY STUDENTS TALK TO US ABOUT THE INABILITY TO SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH YOUR COUNSELORS. THE REVERSE OF THAT, YOUR COUNSELORS SAY THE VERY SAME THING. SO WHEN WE TALK ABOUT ONGOING CONVERSATIONS, WE RECOGNIZE THAT IT IS A CONCERN. IT IS A PROBLEM. IT IS A NEED. WE DON'T HAVE THE EXACT ANSWER TO GIVE YOU AT THE MOMENT, BUT HERE'S WHAT WE DO KNOW. I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT WE HEAR YOUR CONCERNS BOTH FROM THE STUDENT PERSPECTIVE AND ALSO FROM THE COUNSELOR PERSPECTIVE. AND WE ARE TRYING REALLY, REALLY HARD TO BRIDGE THAT SO THAT YOU HAVE THE TIME TO PLAN, TO BE HEARD, TO GET THE COUNSELING AND THE SUPPORT THAT YOU NEED. SO DON'T GIVE UP ON US. YOU MAY NOT BENEFIT FROM IT, BUT I THINK STUDENTS IN THE FUTURE WILL BECAUSE WE ARE REALLY COMMITTED TO MAKING A CHANGE. SO IT REALLY BECOMES A RELATIONSHIP, NOT JUST HIT AND MISS, BUT THERE WILL BE A PLAN SO THERE IS THAT CONTINUED SUPPORT AND RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN YOU AS A STUDENT AND OUR COUNSELORS.

>>April Griffin: THANK YOU, MS. EDGECOMB. GOING BACK OVER TO THE RIGHT, SILL MONS. SIMMONS.

>> SIMMONS CAREER CENTER, I'VE HEARD A LOT OF THE OTHER CAREER CENTERS MENTION THAT THEY WOULD LIKE TO GET MORE INVOLVED WITH SPORTS. IS THERE ANY WAY CAREER CENTERS CAN HAVE ATHLETIC PROGRAMS? WE HAVE THIS, WE HAVE THAT, BUT A LOT OF KIDS WANT TO BE MORE INVOLVED IN SPORTS. IS THERE ANY WAY WE CAN BE INVOLVED IN SPORTS AS WELL AS THE OTHER HIGH SCHOOLS?

>>Susan L. Valdes: WE HAVE BEEN IN CONVERSATIONS IN THE PAST TO TRY AND SEE WHAT OTHER THINGS WE CAN BRING INTO THE CAREER CENTERS, INCLUDING, IN SOME CASES WE'VE BEEN ASKED IN THE PAST ABOUT BAND AND CHORUS AND THINGS OF THAT NATURE. AND WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THAT, AND HOPEFULLY WE CAN SEE SOMETHING DIFFERENT HAPPENING IN THE CAREER CENTERS.

>>April Griffin: WHARTON.

>> MY NAME IS EVAN TRICE FROM WHARTON HIGH SCHOOL. WHILE I KNOW THERE IS A NEED FOR MOUTH PIECES TO BE WORN BY FOOTBALL PLAYERS, WHY ARE HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY SCHOOLS REQUIRED TO WEAR MOUTH PIECES WHILE OTHER COUNTIES AND NONPUBLIC SCHOOLS DO NOT HAVE THESE REQUIREMENTS?

>> CAN YOU STAND UP AND SHARE YOUR SMILE TO US? SEE HOW PRETTY IT IS. WE WANT IT TO STAY LIKE THAT.

>>April Griffin: THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THAT ANSWER. LET'S GO TO SPOTO.

>> HI. HECTOR DIAZ. ARE THERE ANY PLANS TO -- POLICIES IN THE AMOUNT OF PAPERWORK AND THE PROCESS IT TAKES FOR A TRANSFER STUDENT TO GO THROUGH IN ORDER TO BE ELIGIBLE AND PARTICIPATE IN ATHLETICS?

>>Jeffrey Eakins: I THINK WE DEFINITELY ARE ALWAYS REVIEWING THAT PROCESS TO DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO EXPEDITE, BECAUSE WE KNOW SEASONS ONLY LAST FOR SO LONG, AND YOU WANT TO MAKE SURE YOU GET IN THE GAMES, RIGHT? I KNOW THAT IS SOMETHING MR. ROBINSON, HE IS OUR ATHLETIC DIRECTOR FOR OUR DISTRICT, SO HE LOOKS AT THAT. AND TRIES TO EXPEDITE AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. WE DO KNOW WITH THE ISSUES AROUND RECRUITMENT, WE WANT TO MAKE SURE EVERYTHING IS A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD BUT WE'LL DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO EXPEDITE.

>>April Griffin: D.W. WATERS.

>> HELLO. MY NAME IS CYNTHIA CROSBY. THIS IS MORE OF A STATEMENT. D.W. WATERS WOULD LIKE TO TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO THANK MS. SUSAN VALDES FOR ALREADY STEPPING IN AND CORRECTING THE SITUATION DEALING WITH OUR THIRD QUESTION. OUR SCHOOL HAS A SATELLITE LUNCH SITE, PREPARED, BOXED AND SENT FROM SOME OTHER SITE. THANKS TO MS. VALDES' WORK WITH THE DISTRICT, THE FOOD IS PREPARED RIGHT ON CAMPUS AND IS NOW VERY TASTY. TO YOU, MS. VALDES, WE ARE GRATEFUL. [ APPLAUSE ]

>> THANK YOU, STAFF.

>>April Griffin: ALONSO.

>> HELLO. MY NAME IS AMANDA PHAM. I REPRESENT ALONSO HIGH SCHOOL. ALTHOUGH I UNDERSTAND WHY AP CLASSES ARE GIVEN EXAMS, WE ARE WONDERING WHY CLASSES SUCH AS YEARBOOK, AP SUPPORT AND LEADERSHIP, WHICH ARE PERFORMANCE-BASED AND NOT CONTENT BASED ARE ADMINISTERED EXAMS.

>>Jeffrey Eakins: THAT IS A REALLY GREAT QUESTION. ONCE AGAIN, SOME OF THE THINGS THAT YOU'RE SAYING, I THINK YOU'RE READING SOME OF OUR MINDS, BECAUSE MANY OF THE THINGS YOU MENTIONED, THAT'S ONE OF THEM THAT WE ARE IN SOME SORT OF DISCUSSION AROUND. THANK YOU FOR KEEP VALIDATING WHAT WE'RE THINKING.

>>April Griffin: GOING BACK OVER TO THE LEFT, RIVERVIEW, HAVE I CALLED ON YOU ALREADY? RIVERVIEW.

>> HI. MY NAME IS KATHERINE BRUNET REPRESENTING RIVERVIEW. STUDENTS SPEND MORE TIME ACTUALLY PREPARING FOR STANDARDIZED TESTING THAN ACTUALLY LEARNING NEW CONTENT. WHEN WILL STANDARDIZED TESTING STOP OR AT LEAST SLOW DOWN?

>>Doretha Edgecomb: IT WILL NEVER STOP. BECAUSE THERE'S ALWAYS A LEVEL OF ACCOUNTABILITY, AND TESTING IS ONE WAY TO DO THAT, TO ASSURE THAT WHAT YOU'RE BEING TAUGHT, THAT YOU'RE LEARNING AND YOU'RE ABLE TO APPLY. BUT I THINK WE ALL AGREE ACROSS THE DAIS AND AROUND THE SCHOOL DISTRICT THAT THERE HAS TO BE SOME LIMITATIONS. THERE HAS TO BE A BALANCE ABOUT, GIVE YOU THE OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN IN MULTIPLE WAYS AND TO ASSESS THAT IN MULTIPLE WAYS. STANDARDIZED TESTING ISN'T THE ONLY WAY TO DO THAT. SO WE'RE GOING TO CONTINUE THE FIGHT. WE'RE GOING TO CONTINUE THE VOICE. REEMPHASIZE WHAT SOME OF MY COLLEAGUES HAVE SAID, VOTE, VOTE, VOTE. BE AN ADVOCATE. BE AN ADVOCATE, BE AN ADVOCATE. STAY INFORMED AND INVOLVED. IF YOU WANT TO CHANGE THE WORLD, AND THERE ARE THINGS THAT YOU DON'T LIKE ABOUT IT, THE ONLY PERSON WHO CAN -- HAS EVER MADE A DIFFERENCE IS A GROUP OF COMMITTED CITIZENS WHO REALLY WANT TO CHANGE THE WORLD, AND THAT'S YOU. I ADVISE YOU, DON'T EVER LEAVE IT TO SOMEONE ELSE TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM. YOU'RE SMART. YOU'RE CAPABLE. YOU'RE KNOWLEDGEABLE. YOU CAN CHANGE THE WORLD. ABSOLUTELY YOU CAN. [ APPLAUSE ]

>>April Griffin: SO WHAT I'M GOING TO DO NOW IS I'M GOING TO DO TWO MORE QUESTIONS IN SEQUENCE OVER ON THE RIGHT AND THEN TWO MORE QUESTIONS OVER ON THE LEFT. I'M GOING TO DO BLOOMINGDALE AND THEN HILLSBOROUGH. AND OVER ON THE LEFT, RAISE YOUR SIGNS IF YOU WANT TO SPEAK AND I'LL MAKE SURE THAT I'M CALLING ON SOMEONE WHO HASN'T BEEN CALLED ON.

>> HI. ARIANNA MARTINEZ FROM BLOOMINGDALE HIGH SCHOOL. GIVEN BENEFITS OF STUDY HALL OR PEER TUTORING PERIOD, WHAT MEASURES CAN BE TAKEN TOWARD INSTITUTING THE PRACTICE ACROSS SCHOOLS IN HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY?

>>Doretha Edgecomb: IT'S ONE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT'S GOALS. HE'S TALKING ABOUT HAVING A MENTOR FOR EVERY STUDENT OR AT LEAST ONE ADULT IN THE SCHOOL THAT STUDENTS CAN GO TO. SOME OF YOU HAVE ALREADY STARTED. I SAW SOME OF THE QUESTIONS, HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE SOME KIND OF PROGRAM WHERE THERE'S MENTORING RELATIONSHIP, PEER TUTORING, SOMETHING WHERE STUDENTS IMPACT THE LIVES OF YOUR PEERS? LET ME SEE YOUR HANDS. GREAT. ALL RIGHT. NEXT YEAR WE WANT TO SEE MORE HANDS BECAUSE THAT'S ONE OF THE WAYS YOU CAN DO THAT. IT'S FINDING THE TIME, HAVING A PLAN, GOING TO YOUR ADMINISTRATOR TO ASK ABOUT HOW CAN WE GET THIS DONE. SERVICE TO OTHERS IS PERHAPS THE NUMBER ONE WAY TO FIND HAPPINESS IN LIFE. AND SO IT'S A GOOD WAY TO START NOW TO DO THAT.

>>April Griffin: HILLSBOROUGH.

>> HI. MY NAME IS AMBER. THIS ISN'T REALLY A QUESTION BUT SOMETHING -- IT'S AN ANSWER FOR SOMETHING THAT THE HONORABLE DORETHA EDGECOMB ASKED EARLIER TO THE OTHER SCHOOLS, HOW WE CAN IMPROVE BEHAVIOR. AND SOMETHING THAT ALL OF US AT HILLSBOROUGH REALLY LIKE OUR NEW PRINCIPAL, MR. BRADY, IMPLEMENTED IS THE CHOICE ROOM. AND SO -- THE CHOICE ROOM. BASICALLY, IT'S LIKE IMMEDIATE, KIND OF LIKE CONSEQUENCE FOR EITHER BEING LOUD IN THE HALLWAY AND DISRUPTING CLASSES OR SKIPPING CLASS OR BEING OUT OF DRESS CODE OR ONE THING OR ANOTHER THAT'S NOT EXTREMELY SEVERE BUT STILL SHOULD BE ADDRESSED. WHAT HE DOES IS BASICALLY JUST SAYS, HEY, YOU HAVE THE CHOICE TO COME TO THE CHOICE ROOM WITH ME. YOU HAVE THE CHOICE TO DO WHAT YOU NEED TO DO OR COME TO THE CHOICE ROOM. WHEN YOU SAY NO, YOU LOSE THE CHOICE. SO THEN YOU'RE FORCED TO, LIKE, SIT IN THE ROOM AND BE BORED. AND IT'S NOT -- IT'S KIND OF TAKING KIDS OUT OF CLASS BUT NOT TO THE EXTEND THAT LIKE ISS OR OSS AND DOESN'T GO ON THE RECORD. NEXT TIME HE SEES SOMEONE, HE SAID, HEY, ARE WE GOOD? THE OTHER PERSON THAT WAS IN HIS LITTLE NARRATIVE THAT HE GAVE US. IT WORKS. HE CAN STILL MAINTAIN RELATIONSHIPS WITH STUDENTS THAT ARE POSITIVE, BUT GET KIDS -- KEEP KIDS IN THE CLASSROOM. I JUST WANTED TO BRING THAT UP.

>>April Griffin: YOU KIDS WHO WANT STUDY HALL, DON'T GET ANY IDEAS. JUST BECAUSE THERE IS A CHOICE ROOM.

>>April Griffin: ALL RIGHT. SO WE'RE MOVING OVER TO THE LEFT. BOWERS/WHITLEY, AND THEN WHO ELSE WANTS TO SPEAK?

>> GOOD AFTERNOON. MY NAME IS CHRISTIAN LEE. FOR STUDENTS WHO ARE STRUGGLING WITH COMPUTERS AFTER SCHOOL, WOULD IT BE POSSIBLE TO CREATE A POLICY FOR STUDENTS TO CHECK OUT LAPTOPS FOR AFTER-SCHOOL?

>>April Griffin: I'LL HAND THAT ONE TO THE SUPERINTENDENT.

>> HOW LONG ARE CHAINS THAT WE COULD PURCHASE FOR LAPTOPS?

>>Jeffrey Eakins: IN OUR PROJECT INNOVATIVE SCHOOLS AND SOME OF THE SCHOOLS THAT ALREADY HAVE LAPTOP COMPUTERS, THERE IS AN AGREEMENT THAT HAS TO BE SIGNED BY THE STUDENT FOR SOME THINGS LIKE THAT TO OCCUR. I THINK NOT OUTSIDE OF OUR PROJECT INNOVATIVE SCHOOLS, WE ALREADY HAVE A POLICY IN PLACE WHEN THAT OCCURS, WHEN WE HAVE LAPTOPS OR EXCESSIVE NUMBER OF LAPTOPS FOR CHECKOUT. WE CAN DEFINITELY REVIEW THAT ON HOW THAT CAN BE EXPANDED BEYOND OUR CURRENT PROJECT IN INNOVATIVE SCHOOLS.

>>April Griffin: WHO ELSE OVER ON THE LEFT? PLANT CITY, YOU'VE ALREADY SPOKEN, BUT NOBODY ELSE IS RAISING THEIR SIGN. SO STAND UP.

>> I'VE ALREADY SPOKEN, LIKE YOU SAID BEFORE, BUT MY QUESTION OR COMMENT AND CONCERN IS SOMETHING THAT'S PRETTY MUCH CONTROVERSIAL TOPIC THAT NOT MANY PEOPLE WANT TO SPEAK ON. BUT RECENTLY, OUR SCHOOL THAT WE'VE HAD DURING THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY, WHICH IS AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH, WE'VE HAD PROGRAMS AND DIFFERENT ACTIVITIES -- I'M SORRY. DIFFERENT ACTIVITIES THAT HAVE BEEN GOING ON TO HELP INCREASE AWARENESS TO AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY. THAT'S ONLY OUR SCHOOL. THAT'S ONLY THE PEOPLE LIKE ME THAT WANT TO TAKE INITIATIVE TO PUSH THAT TO THE SCHOOLS. WHY DON'T WE HAVE SOMEONE THAT IS HIRED BY THE SCHOOLS OR STAFFED BY THE SCHOOL TO HELP INITIATE AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY INTO THE CURRICULUM OR INTO THE SCHOOLS?

>>Doretha Edgecomb: ONE OF THE THINGS I ALWAYS SAY ABOUT AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY, THAT IT IS AMERICAN HISTORY. AND SO EVERY STUDENT OUGHT TO KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT HIS OR HER HISTORY AND IN THE SAME WAY THAT WE EMBRACE ALL OF THE THINGS THAT HAVE MADE THIS COUNTRY THE COUNTRY THAT IT IS AND THE NATION THAT WE WANT TO BE PROUD OF, AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY SHOULD BE PART OF THOSE EXPERIENCES, THE NEW KNOWLEDGE THAT YOU LEARN ABOUT THOSE ACTIVITIES. I THINK THE BETTER VOICE IN ANY SCHOOL TO GET THINGS CHANGED, WE'VE ALREADY SAID TODAY, IS YOUR VOICE. IF YOU AREN'T HAPPY WITH HOW IT'S BEING HANDLED, GO TO YOUR ADMINISTRATION AND TALK ABOUT IT, BUT NOT JUST CRITICIZE IT, BUT HAVE A PLAN WHEN YOU GO. YOUR VOICE IS IMPORTANT, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, THE HISTORY, THE SACRIFICES, THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF AFRICAN-AMERICANS IS ALL ABOUT WHAT HAS HELPED MAKE THIS COUNTRY THE COUNTRY THAT IT IS, AND WE SHOULDN'T EVER LOSE THAT OPPORTUNITY TO TALK ABOUT IT, TO RECOGNIZE IT, AND TO CELEBRATE IT. SO I'M GOING TO BE LOOKING TO YOU AND EVERYBODY IN THIS ROOM WHO BELIEVES THAT DIVERSITY IS IMPORTANT, THAT THE HISTORY OF THIS COUNTRY SHOULD BE TOLD IN A WAY THAT EVERYBODY HAS AN OPPORTUNITY TO FEEL PROUD ABOUT THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS, THAT YOU BE A PART OF THE MESSAGE THAT WE ARE GOING TO MAKE A CHANGE TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN. OKAY?

>>April Griffin: MS. VALDES.

>>Susan L. Valdes: THANK YOU VERY MUCH. AND TO ADD TO THAT CONVERSATION, THIS PARTICULAR EVENT FORUM IS ALWAYS HELD RIGHT AROUND THIS TIME. AND YOUR QUESTION AND YOUR COMMENT IS SO TO THE POINT, BECAUSE YOU SEE IN SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER WE ALSO HAVE HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH. AND BELIEVE IT OR NOT, THERE ARE AFRO CUBANS. THERE ARE INDIA HISPANIC ETHNICITY. EVERYONE IN THIS ROOM COULD BE A HISPANIC. AND IT'S IMPORTANT, AS MEMBER EDGECOMB HAS SHARED, THAT WE KNOW OUR HERITAGE AND WE KNOW WHERE WE COME FROM AND EMBRACE OUR ETHNICITY AND OUR DIVERSITY. SO AS WE MOVE ALONG AND I IMPLORE THE PRINCIPALS IN THE ROOM TO REALLY HELP BE COGNIZANT OF THE CULTURE IN YOUR SCHOOL SO THEN THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE SCHOOL YEAR, OUR KIDS, IN GENERAL, CAN BE CELEBRATED ALL YEAR LONG, AND WHILE WE'RE DESIGNATING CERTAIN TIMES OF THE YEAR TO FOCUS ON A SPECIFIC ETHNICITY OR RACE. BUT WE'RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER, AND IT'S IMPORTANT THAT EACH OF US KNOW OUR HERITAGE AND WHERE WE COME FROM, BECAUSE THEN WE'LL KNOW FOR SURE WHERE WE'RE HEADED.

>>April Griffin: MS. KURDELL.

>>Carol Kurdell: THANK YOU VERY MUCH. THING YOU MIGHT NOT -- YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW IS THERE ARE CELEBRATIONS ACROSS THE SCHOOLS AND ACROSS THE COUNTY, NOT JUST AT YOUR SCHOOL, FOR THE DIFFERENT CULTURES AND ETHNICITIES FROM ELEMENTARY UP THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL. AS MS. VALDES SAID, THOSE SHOULD BE CELEBRATED BECAUSE THEY CREATE WHO YOU ARE AND UNDERSTANDING WHO YOU ARE IS CRITICAL TO MOVING AHEAD IN LIFE. I WANT TO TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO THANK EACH OF THE STUDENTS. YOU KNOW, WE DO THIS EVERY YEAR, AND AS MS. EDGECOMB SAID, I'VE BEEN DOING THIS A REALLY LONG TIME -- 24 YEARS. AND EACH YEAR I THINK, WELL, THERE IS JUST NO WAY WE CAN GET A BETTER GROUP THAN THIS GROUP. BUT I WANT TO TELL YOU THAT EVERY YEAR YOU HAVE JUST SURPASSED EXPECTATIONS, NOT ONLY WITH WHO'S HERE AND WHO YOU REPRESENT IN TERMS OF YOUR SCHOOL, BUT IN YOUR QUESTIONS AND HOW YOU COMMENT AND SPEAK YOUR MIND AND YOU'RE ABLE TO INTERACT WITH US, THIS YOU, ARE THE BEST PART OF THIS JOB FOR ALL OF US. IT IS ABSOLUTELY THE REASON I'M HERE IS BECAUSE OF YOU. SO TO SEE SO MANY YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE COME THROUGH THE SYSTEM, THAT SOME OF YOU ARE FIXING TO GRADUATE, IS JUST A WONDERFUL THING FOR ME PERSONALLY BECAUSE THAT MEANS WE HAVE DONE THE JOB RIGHT ALONG THE WAY. THAT DOESN'T MEAN IT ISN'T WITHOUT CHANGES. WE HAVE TO GET BETTER EVERY YEAR, BECAUSE YOU CHANGE EVERY YEAR. WHEN YOU WERE KINDERGARTNERS, COMPUTERS PROBABLY WERE NEW THINGS, AND NOW THEY ARE JUST A FACT OF LIFE, AND SO WE DO CHANGE THE TECHNOLOGY AND MOVE THAT FORWARD. BUT I WANT TO PERSONALLY THANK EACH ONE OF YOU FOR TODAY. YOU HAVE ONCE AGAIN SURPASSED EXPECTATIONS ON YOUR PRESENTATIONS, BOTH PHYSICALLY AND HOW YOU PRESENTED YOURSELF WHEN YOU ASKED QUESTIONS, AND THE QUESTIONS THAT YOU DO ASK AND THE INTERACTION THAT YOU'VE HAD WITH THE BOARD TODAY. YOU SEEM COMFORTABLE IN YOUR SKINS AND THAT'S A WONDERFUL THING TO HAVE, TO BE ABLE TO MOVE THROUGH LIFE. SO I CONGRATULATE YOU TODAY. ON YOUR PERFORMANCE. [ APPLAUSE ]

>>April Griffin: THANK YOU. AND THANK YOU, MS. KURDELL. AND IT'S 5:00, SO I'M GOING TO MAKE THIS QUICK. AND KNOW THIS, WE HAVE CHANGED MANY POLICIES IN THE PAST BECAUSE OF THIS FORUM RIGHT HERE, SO YOUR VOICES ARE BEING HEARD. AND YOU SHOULD ALL BE VERY PROUD OF YOURSELVES. KNOW THIS WE ARE ALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES, EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US, SO PLEASE FEEL FREE TO REACH OUT TO ANY OR ALL OF US FOR FUTURE QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS. YOU WILL GET ANSWERS TO EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOUR QUESTIONS. I'LL ASK STAFF TO INCLUDE IN THE ANSWERS, IF YOU CAN, WHETHER IT IS A DISTRICT, WHICH IS US, A STATE ISSUE OR A FEDERAL ISSUE. SO WHEN YOU GET THOSE ANSWERS BACK, IF IT IS A DISTRICT, A STATE, OR A FEDERAL ISSUE, YOU KNOW HAD TO REACH OUT TO RESOLVE THE ISSUES THAT YOU'RE WANTING TO RESOLVE. AND FINALLY, PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT YOU TURN YOUR SIGNS IN BEFORE YOU LEAVE. DON'T TAKE THEM WITH YOU. AND EVERYBODY BE SAFE, AND THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR COMING. THIS MEETING IS ADJOURNED. [ SOUNDING GAVEL ] ∫