New changes coming to Hillsborough schools

Tampa, Florida -- The first day of school is less than a week away!

While many of you are preparing for a new school year, so are teachers and staff, making sure the 2014 school year is best one yet.

A new school year means new changes, and that especially goes for Hillsborough County schools, where this year's focus is security, transportation, and testing.

"The time is here," says MaryEllen Elia, Hillsborough County School Superintendent.

In front of a group full of teachers, Superintendent Elia made sure everyone knows that their main priority is the students.

"We have a renewed focus on students' success."

To get to that success, Elia talks about new security measures in place. "We've implemented our first crew of school resource officers and they'll be in our elementary schools on a rotating basis."

Another thing implemented this year: the purchase of new school buses. And although those aren't hitting the roads the first day of school, Elia says the buses they have are ready to go.

"We are confident the buses are safe," says Elia.

See Also: School buses hit the road in Pinellas County test run

4th grade teacher Jeff Kalmin says the biggest change he's looking forward to is inside the classroom.

"We're looking forward to challenges," says Kalmin.

This year, students in Florida will no longer be taking the FCAT but the Florida Standards Assessment, a test that's said to be longer and tougher then the FCAT.

"With anything new, there will obviously be challenges but we'll be able to see and determine how kids are doing," says Elia.

The first day of school for Hillsborough County is Tuesday.


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