Bay area school districts prepare for new school year

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Yellow school bus on the blacktop on a beautiful sunny day.

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Eight counties across in our area will start school Monday morning. All of the districts have been working hard all summer, focusing on different areas and making changes where needed.

In Hillsborough County, the district was able to tackle 102 projects with the half-penny sales tax. One of the projects this summer was focusing on fixing the aging air conditioning systems.

“We’ve completed 21 air conditioning replacements, that’s the first phase of 203 air conditioning replacements coming in the next decade,” said Hillsborough County Superintendent Jeff Eakins.

In Sarasota County, the school district added a new cell phone ban which states elementary school students cannot use electronic devices at all, middle school students can only use them while supervised, and high school students can only use the devices between classes, during lunch or under supervision.

Safety remains a top priority for schools going into the new school year.

Students in Sarasota County will undergo 10 active shooter drills this school year, following a new Florida law, where students must have as many active shooter drills as they do fire drills.

“I’m truly sorry that we even have a need for active shooter drills but the society we live in today causes us to have to do it,” said Sarasota County School Board Member Eric Robinson.

Hillsborough County Schools are adding a new security system throughout the entire county, plus security vestibules to four area high schools.

“We’re assuring our families and staff that safety is always at the forefront of our minds. A student who feels safe, is ready to learn,” added Eakins.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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