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Achievement Schools: Why #WeAchieveTogether

December 19, 2018 - Partners in Education

Our district leaders, teachers and students share Why #WeAchieveTogether in our Achievement Schools.

This school year, our district launched a new initiative – Achievement Schools – to help level the playing field for all students in our 50 highest needs schools.

“Our students deserve greatness, and they deserve to be surrounded by the very best teachers and leaders. The Achievement Schools model is about having a system and a district that is fighting for equitable practices in order to achieve equal outcomes for students,” said Tricia McManus, Assistant Superintendent for Leadership, Professional Development and School Transformation.

Our 50 Achievement Schools have been working hard to close the achievement gap. The initiative provides targeted resources for schools and training for teachers and leaders to help ensure sustained student success.

“Most important, it’s key for us to continue to build relationships with the students so they know they can count on us, and we will be here every day no matter what they need,” said Regina Gordon, Forest Hills Elementary Assistant Principal. “Getting to work with students is truly the most rewarding aspect of the job. When students know they can rely on you, it makes a huge difference in improving the level of learning.”

“Ultimately, that’s the goal, to make sure we are doing everything in our power to ensure every kid on campus makes the learning gain, makes the years’ worth of growth, and can begin moving toward that proficient level by the time they go to the next phase of their education – the next phase of their learning,” said Memorial Middle School Principal April Gillyard. 

Our 50 Achievement Schools have 3 main goals:

  1. Dramatic increase in the number of students performing at or above grade level in reading and math within 3 years of implementation.
  2. The number of Achievement Schools will decrease from 50 to 0 by 2025.
  3. Every school will achieve sustained success: 
  • Three years of a "C" grade or higher
  • High school graduation rate exceeds 85%
  • Be considered a "model school"

“We need our very best teachers and leaders in schools that have been struggling to improve academic performance,” said McManus.

District leaders say it’s imperative to have strong and influential teachers and staff who will not only guide students through lesson plans, but also motivate and help them navigate through obstacles they might encounter in their lives.

“We want kids to know they’re coming to a safe environment where they can maximize their potential to learn and grow and be successful,” Gillyard said. “It makes us get up every morning and be able to do what we’re doing, because we know that we’re changing at least one kid’s life every day that we come to our schools.”

“All of our schools and all of our students deserve a quality education, and our entire society will be changed as a result,” McManus said.

This is Why #WeAchieveTogether.

Do you know a dedicated Achievement Schools leader, teacher or community member who you would like to see featured in Why #WeAchieveTogether? To nominate someone, contact Kendra Oestreich, Communications:

To see the latest events happening in our Achievement Schools, follow us on Twitter:

 For more information about Achievement Schools:

Are you ready to lead, teach and inspire in our Hillsborough County Achievement Schools? Come join us, Teach in Tampa! For more information and to apply, visit