Hillsborough County public school students are heading back to school this week, and their counterparts in Pasco County public schools begin next week.
Whether they’re streaming to Lutz Elementary School, Steinbrenner High, Liberty Middle, an area charter school or to a private school — the beginning of a new school is a time that’s always marked with fresh starts and new enthusiasm.
Motorists need to remember that area roads will be busy, as yellow buses hit the streets to pick up children, high school students drive themselves and parents drop off their kids.
Adding to the mix are teachers, administrators and other school staff members who will be back on the roads again, too.
To help keep things safe, AAA advises that motorists slow down, come to a complete stop at stop signs, eliminate distractions such as using a cellphone or eating while driving, be careful when backing up and to watch out for bicyclists.
The motor club also urges parents to talk with their teenage drivers about being safe behind the wheel.
“Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, and nearly one in four fatal crashes involving teen drivers occur during the afterschool hours of 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.,” according to the motor club’s website. It offers tips to help teenage drivers on its website.
Students arriving this fall at Wharton High School, 20150 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., will find three new assistant principals, Principal Brad Woods announced in a letter to parents and students on the school’s website.
Changes also are in store for Denham Oaks Elementary, 1422 Oak Grove Blvd., in Lutz.
This school, in Pasco County, draws students living on the Pasco side of the county line.
This year, the school also will be picking up some students from Wesley Chapel neighborhoods, who have been reassigned there because of the opening of Wiregrass Elementary.
As a result of the boundary change, Pasco County Schools has added gifted education services at Denham Oaks. Parents of the Wesley Chapel students had complained their children would be losing those services, so the Pasco County School Board added them.
For parents wanting more information about Hillsborough or Pasco county public schools, they can visit the Hillsborough district website at SDHC.k12.fl.us or the Pasco district website at Pasco.k12.fl.us.
Students entering a Florida school for the first time at any grade level, will be asked to present the following items upon registration:
- Current immunization records (vaccination requirements vary by grade level)
- Proof of a physical examination dated and signed by a licensed health professional within the last 12 months
- Proof of age, through a birth certificate or other acceptable documents
- Social Security number, if one is available.
- Proof of Florida residency, such as water, gas, electric or other utility bill; a properly executed lease agreement; or some other evidence
- Copy of the student’s last report card, if applicable
- Legal guardianship records, if applicable
Students entering kindergarten for the first time must be 5 years old before Sept. 1. Prekindergarten and Head Start/Early Start programs are available to students who are younger.
Help for parents
Useful information often can be found on the websites maintained by Pasco County Schools and Hillsborough County Schools. Local schools also often provide practical tips to help parents help their children succeed in school.
For instance, Connerton Elementary School, in Land O’ Lakes, offered these pointers for parents to help foster school success:
- Ensure that your child is at school on time each day.
- Attend parent/teacher conferences and school events.
- Monitor your child’s homework daily.
- Expect and support positive behavior at school.
- Read with your child or encourage your child to read daily.
Published August 10, 2016