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Hillsborough County Public Schools honored with RISE Award for innovative equity strategies

NSBA's National Black Council of School Board Members (NBC) presented its Recognizing Innovative Strategies in Equity (RISE) Award to Hillsborough County Public Schools, Tampa, Florida, during its Annual Conference in San Antonio, April 7-9.

In its inaugural year, the RISE Award honors a school board for its excellence in policies, practices, and strategies that promote and enhance equitable outcomes and career readiness for African American students.

The RISE award is sponsored by McGraw-Hill Education, a learning science company that delivers personalized learning experiences that help students, parents, educators and professionals improve results.

“Far too often students are deprived of equitable educational opportunities because of discriminatory practices, prejudices and beliefs," said Thomas J. Gentzel, NSBA Executive Director & CEO. “To bring about change, we must be intentional in our efforts.”

“We are pleased to recognize Hillsborough District for fostering change and instilling a culture of success to ensure that every child can gain access to the same opportunities as their peers, regardless of their background or where they live,” added Gentzel.

Hillsborough County is recognized for implementing several strategies and leveraging its resources to confront institutional racism and promote and enhance the academic outcomes and equitable conditions for African American students in the district.

In support of its commitment to equity, Hillsborough developed a district-wide racial equity plan and adopted a new vision, “Preparing students for life,” and a mission statement, “To provide an education and the supports that enable each student to excel as a successful and responsible citizen.”

Hillsborough instituted initiatives to increase educator diversity, foster community partnerships, and support a college-going culture in all its school sites. Mindful that climate and culture are key factors influencing student success, the district also adopted a multi-pronged approach to create an environment of respect and inclusion for each of its students.

“The leadership of National Black Council is extremely proud and pleased to develop and award the first Recognizing Innovative Strategies in Equity (RISE) Award,” said Dr. Emma Turner, Chair of the National Black Council. “This award focuses on the achievement of Black Students and all entries were very competitive. Congratulations to Hillsborough County Public Schools and thanks to all who entered the contest.”

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