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Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016

Anastasia Dawson

Tribune Staff

Parents fear Tampa school's boundary proposal will hurt diversity

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— Proposed changes to the attendance zones at Stowers Elementary are meant to alleviate overcrowding, school district officials say. But parents whose students will be displaced...

Parents of 14-year-old killed by car outside state fair in 2014 sue district, sheriff

- Attorney Barry Cohen filed the lawsuit on behalf of Andrew Joseph III’s parents, seeking damages and attorney’s fees for the “unjustified arrest and detention of a nonviolent and non-resistant juvenile.&#...

High school students land trade jobs at first Tampa fair

- The Build Tampa Bay technical career fair paired more than 50 local companies looking to hire with more than 750 juniors and seniors enrolled in career technical courses in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas schools.

USF taps grant for pedestrian, cyclist safety

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White riderless bicycles and tiny wooden crosses mark where pedestrians and bicyclists have lost their lives around the University of South Florida, and university police hope...

Armwood, Middleton high schools face similar academic hurdles

- The two schools have the lowest graduation rates in the Hillsborough County school district. Administrators at both schools are working to reverse the trend.

Cambridge Christian may sue FHSAA over prayer refusal before title game

- The school has asked for an apology for unlawfully censoring the school's private speech, as well as formal recognition that students have a right to pray in public. If the FHSAA doesn't respond in 30 days, the school will ...

USF targets gender gap with more women than men graduating

- They’ve brought up graduation rates among minorities and low-income students, and improved the academic profile of students across the board. Yet there’s one puzzle USF leaders are trying to solve.

Billy Joel takes requests from packed house at Amalie Arena

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If working too hard can give you a heart attack (ack-ack-ack), then Billy Joel should have dropped dead 10 seconds into his opening number Friday at Amalie Arena.

Helped by Tebow, churches hosting proms for special-needs youth

- The event, which is being held at various churches in the Tampa area, has grown from 44 to 200 churches in 48 states and eight countries this year, all hosting dances on Feb. 12 during Valentines Day weekend.

Some Hillsborough teachers get raises, others just bonuses

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TAMPA — As Hillsborough County School Board members marched through downtown Tampa, throwing beads and smiles to onlookers in the annual Martin Luther King Jr Day parade, Susan Valdes was distracted by a chant hea...

Early Learning Coalition, school board both want control over applications

- School leaders dug in their heels last week for a tug of war over who processes voluntary pre-kindergarten and subsidized school readiness program applications in Hillsborough.

Hillsborough school officials hope new buses address safety issues

- Officials checked out one of the new buses that should hit the road in about two weeks as part of a 10-year plan to replace one of the oldest, and some argue dangerous, fleets in Florida.

High school juniors ‘guinea pigs’ for new SAT test

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TAMPA — He has taken the online practice tests, bought College Board workbooks, even signed up to spend weekends and afternoons in prep courses with a tutoring company.

School board approves application for new charter high school in south Hillsborough

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It took a two-year legal battle for the Hillsborough County School District to settle its contracts with Kids Community College’s Riverview elementary and middle school, but Tuesday night those contracts and an ap...

Growing number of international students diversifying USF campus

- The first day at the University of South Florida for more than 300 international students began with a roll call.

New standards set for grades given Florida schools, students

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TAMPA — The state Board of Education approved a new benchmark for school grades and students’ test scores today despite concerns it may be too easy on them.

Florida reports rise in high school graduation rates

- Graduation rates for Florida’s class of 2015 are the highest in 12 years, according to data released by the state Department of Education. The percentage of students who completed high school within four years increa...

State education leaders to decide on this year’s school grades

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TAMPA — With students already preparing for the first round of standardized tests for 2016, state officials are set to finally decide what to do with 2015’s test scores.

Jury’s out on WUSF-TV’s future as college weighs selling airwaves

- All options remain on the table, USF officials insist, but they hold their broadcast TV station in such low regard that they seem open to cashing it in, judging from emails obtained by the Tribune and interviews with those ...

Florida Poly defends itself against audit findings

- Florida Polytechnic University officials say they are working to address recommendations made by the state auditor general in a report released this week on the university’s operations.

Audit at Florida Poly shows lapses in tracking spending

- An audit of Florida Polytechnic University’s operations last fiscal year faulted the school for some of the ways it operates — including delays telling students what textbooks they need and showing poor oversigh...

Temple Terrace couple survive house fire with son’s help; feel thankful on Christmas

- It was about 6 a.m. Dec. 15 when Bobby Wheeler walked out to his patio to drink his morning coffee and happened to glance through the bushy trees that line his yard over to his childhood home, where flames were leaping from...

Family, friends mourn Seffner brothers, cousin killed in Polk crash

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Family members of two Seffner brothers and their Tampa cousin spent Christmas morning leaving heart-wrenching messages on their Facebook pages after the three died in a fiery collision Wednesday night in Fort Meade. They...

USF medical students taking talents to Tampa streets to care for homeless

- Before they ever don white coats and roam the halls of the nation's hospitals, some budding doctors at the University of South Florida say they are learning the most important lessons of their careers on the streets of down...

Friends gather to mourn teens found dead in St. Pete garage

- Two teenagers died from carbon monoxide poisoning Sunday night while they sat in a running vehicle parked inside a closed St. Petersburg garage in what police said appears to be “a tragic accident.”

HART may expand free bus rides for middle, high school students

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TAMPA — Officials with the school district and the bus system will be taking a closer look at how many middle and high school students ride HART buses over spring break with an eye toward expanding its student bus...

Education bills include changing commissioner to elected job

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TAMPA — Lawmakers will consider legislation next month to move toward the selection of a state education commissioner through election by voters rather than appointment by the governor, reversing a change made 13 ...

Change.org petition ends Wilson’s ‘smart kids first’ lunch line

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TAMPA — For more than two decades, students at Woodrow Wilson Middle School have known what it means when students are in the back of the lunch line – bad grades or bad behavior.

Hillsborough board clarifies proper texting with students

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TAMPA — Just weeks after the former Freedom High School girls track coach was arrested for having an affair with a 17-year-old student, Hillsborough County School District officials approved revamped guidelines on...

Tragedy on Courtney Campbell Causeway worsened by poor decisions

- A crash that killed a Tampa woman and seriously injured an unsecured 2-year-old was caused by text messaging, police said. A passer-by transported the child to a hospital before emergency personnel arrived.

Greco Middle reduces suspensions by getting students more involved

- Elizabeth Simpson was explaining how computer coding works to her seventh-grade engineering class when two students pushed a dolly of oversized, unmarked boxes through the classroom door.