TAMPA -- If seven struggling Hillsborough County Schools don't improve from Fs and Ds to at least Cs by the end of the 2017-2018 academic year, external consultants with proven track records of improvement will be brought in to boost academic performance.

Foster, Mort, Oak Park, Potter, Sheehy and Booker T. Washington elementaries, along with Memorial Middle, are the schools that would be impacted.

Choosing external consultants was one of several state-mandated options the district was ordered to choose by Friday. Other options included closing the schools and reassigning students, closing the schools and reopening them as charters, or creating district-managed charters.

Under the external consultant option, leaders would have the power to make decisions ranging from staff changes to curriculum alterations.

Hillsborough County Schools spokesperson Tanja Arja said the district will sign contracts with one or more external operators by January.