Tampa Bay Academy

SCHOOL BOARD STEPS IN TO OVERSEE HILLSBOROUGH CHARTER SCHOOL; April 6, 2011; St. Petersburg Times (FL) 
TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School Board terminated a Riverview charter school's contract Tuesday after a majority of the school's directors resigned.

District officials said they would step in to oversee Tampa Bay Academy for the rest of the year before deciding what to do with its 63 special-needs students…

The move followed weeks of efforts to stabilize the school, which was founded more than 15 years ago to serve students with emotional and behavioral problems.

In December, a residential treatment center and group homes for youths next to the school were closed, and in January officials say the school's management company abandoned it.

Officials said the Tampa Bay Academy charter school was not directly connected with the neighboring residential treatment facility, which shared its name and supplied many of its students.

But it was a state inquiry into reports of violence and runaways at the treatment facility — as well as the loss of Medicaid funding — that prompted the management company to close it, throwing the charter school into jeopardy.

The charter's four board members stepped in to run the school but quickly became overwhelmed…

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's about time this place closed. The future of the school should have been clear 10 years ago when a bunch of teachers (including myself) all left at the same time to move to the public schools, the education director left to pursue her own consulting firm and they left the school in the hands of a principal who had no training as a teacher but got the job anyway because of her last name! The place was a pit of despair and its closing was as long overdue as the RTC programs.

Linda said...

Anonymous - will you contact me at Lhurtado@wfts.com? tks

Anonymous said...

anonymous
will you contact me at lhurtado@wfts.com or 813-294-8138

tks

Linda Hurtado

Just Sayin said...

Anonymous, Funny that you listed yourself as "anonymous". The principal that you are speaking of had a Master's degree in special education and had been a classroom teacher for 10 years before being promoted. Not sure hat you mean that she never had training as a teacher. That is what she was. That principal worked very hard to climb the ladder there regardless of her last name. The principal was handed a school that lied and manipulated what they needed in an effort to maximize the amount of money that the management company was making. Bonus motivated. The new principal refused to sign off on those types of things. Refused to do things the wrong way. You should learn a little more about your facts before you blast people on here. Funny how the new principal was immediately recruited by the district because of her commitment to doing things ethically. The former principal was not welcome to even attend discussions by the district. There is a right way and a wrong way for schools to operate. It was the former principal that was doing it the wrong way and as a result caused most of the heartache that followed.

Anonymous said...

i went to the school when i was younger. had to totally stop talking and even responding to anyone for 4 months to get out of there. shit was crazy.

Heather D said...

I was in the residential treatment program 1993-1994. I have never in my life been so scared. Girls would cut themselves. A staff member heard me singing in the shower, so that meant I heard voices. So, I got more medication. I would go to class and just sleep. The staff members would take kids down for no reason. Not to mention being cursed at. There are few staff and house mates I have good thoughts about.

jessica lozano said...

I was there too more like a prison and made me more violent and depressed which made me stay there longer no matter if I followed rules and did what was asked they thought I was lying ro get out instead of genuinely getting better so my eating disorder got so bad I was transfered to an eating disorder hospital where I got better eventually ...I have made lifelong friendships with a few and have fond memories of two staff members who genuinely cared ....

Anonymous said...

i Was There From 6 years ago i fought everyday everyone got hurt i didnt want to but they insisted the staff didnt do anything its so sad i had one friend his name was jacob we eloped and got 2 miles away before mr.chad and his crew cought us im not being that word but im saying some kid would get jumped every other day i moved to Cfbh when i was 13 that place is 10 times better than tbh if tbh opens again umm god help everyone there. And Putting this out there someone was raped

Anonymous said...

Was there from fall 98-summer 99. I never got in trouble while I was there. I lost my mom to lung cancer in 97 and had depression and suicidal tendencies which got me sent there. I got better but not from the treatment I did whatever they had me do but getting over depression comes from within you and you alone looking back I learned from the mistake my family made with me sending me here. That's the problem we have in this country is medication and treatment facilities will correct the problem. My staff most of whom were wonderful often asked me why I was at TBA. I was never depressed or misbehaved or anything.

Unknown said...

I was there from '01-'05 and it was what made me the man i am today. I have suffered from bipolar disorder, OCD, aspergers syndrome and a right frontal lobe difficiency since i was there from age 5-11. The shit you all say is a load of bullcrap. I was well cared for and learned to be more attentive, further my education as a youngster, and was put on medication which stabilized me completely. I now hold a steady job making 13.85/hour as the night manager at walmart, have an IQ of 125 and graduated high school. I owe special thanks to some people in particular. Those people are 5th grade teacher Mr. Ed, staff members Mr. Eric, Ms. Smith, Mrs. Jessica, all the therapists and the pricipal at the time. We hear more of the negative of Tampa Bay Academy than we do of the greater success stories. Well i happen to be living proof of that success. I am only 19 and i have accoplished so much because of their help. Did i mention i am also soon to be a father of a beautiful baby girl. By the way if that first anonymous comment was from Mr. Ed or any of the teachers that was there when i was please contact me at 813-531-3702 ask for David Lanier Cox.

Anonymous said...

I was there when I was 13 and I must say the things I'm reading is not the way it was when I was there. Yes things was wild here and there but that was to be expected considering the place it was built for. I tend to have good memories about this place. Love the staff that was there when I was there. Ms. Hopel,ms.Nancy, Mr,max, ms,anne. I don't really know what happen to the place after I got my mind together and was able to go back home to my family. I kinda miss the place.

alyssa said...

I went there from 09-10 and honestly it wasnt as bad as everyonr else is making it out to be. Yeah everywhere is different but the staff were really nice and boundaries was a BIG deal. we couldnt do anything to them but a fist bump. I honestly miss the school there. The teachers were awesome. The staff couldn't really control the kids though. I dont think it was the places fault. I think that it was the court system for placing the kids in a place that wasnt meant for them

Kaylynn said...

I was there at the age of 12. I turned 13 there.spent 7 months there. It was nice, nobody was mistreated, nobody got too crazy. We put ourselves there due to our own behaviors and sometimes we acted out towards each other and the staff had to intervene....but again that was OUR fault. It's sad to know such a nice place went down the drain. I met a couple of awesome people there whom I still talk to today. If anyone else gets curious of former residents I hope you find what you're looking for. My name is Kaylynn D'Agostino, madien name is Kaylynn Pewo. I used to hang with Nicole & Doneshia....dated "Lucky" (rest in paradise babe) 2001-2002

Anonymous said...

Hi kaylynn �� I went to Tba 04-11 Mr. Lucky was my favorite staff member i miss him so much when he passed away nobody told me when we had a report using newspapers nobody let me near them because his name was in it I totally lost it in class but i will always remember everything he taught me