BACKGROUND AND PHASING
Approved by the Hillsborough County Public Schools in February 2015, the former Sulphur Springs Elementary School will become a neighborhood Community School, ultimately serving Head Start thru 8th grade students. With this approach, students can remain together with their classmates and teachers from pre-kindergarten at age 3 through middle school. The transition will be phased beginning with the 6th grade for the school year 2015-2016. Additional teachers, staff resources, and facilities improvements will be added to meet student needs. (It is noted that the Florida School Choice program is available for any student who wishes to attend another school).
KEY FEATURES OF THE COMMUNITY SCHOOL
The Community School will provide a rigorous academic program and a full range of support services for students and families.
In academics, the STEM curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) will be offered in addition to the required classes on math, science, language arts, reading and social studies. Expanded technology and leadership options will be provided. Students in 6th grade will be given their own portable computing device to use at school. Students in 5th and 6th grade can participate in a Leadership Academy offering mentoring, community service and enriched learning experiences.
An expanded After School Program will be provided and managed by the Sulphur Springs YMCA with one program for kindergarten thru 4th grade and one for 5th and 6th grades. Additional sports, recreation, and health and nutrition programs will also be provided. (See section on Student Programs and Family Support Services for a complete list of activities).
For the school year 2016-17, the Community School implemented the "house system" to bolster learning.
MANAGEMENT AND COLLABORATION
The Sulphur Springs K-8 Community School will be managed and operated by the Hillsborough County Public Schools. To allow for increased collaboration, a Community School Advisory Committee has been created which will include involvement of parents, residents, school leadership and community leaders. The Advisory Committee will provide recommendations for implementing and continuing to improve the school. SSNOP will be another key partner that will work with the Community School to bring together after school and summer programs for students and various housing, jobs and health and safety activities for the Sulphur Springs community.
In September 2016 Lakema Massey was appointed the new full time Sulphur Springs K-8 Community School Director. She is responsible for strengthening the community and business partnerships, overseeing community and student outreach programs, fundraising, improving parental engagement, social media and other duties. Lakema Massey can be reached at 813-924-4207.