With Hurricane Dorian passing through the coast of Central Florida, most students have missed one or two days of school. For students, it may not seem like a lot of days, but for the school system, it’s less than ideal for teachers and students to miss those days. If classes get canceled because of hurricanes this year, the makeup days are chosen, and they’re plopped right in the Thanksgiving break. Will the school districts stick to those days? Nothing has been decided.
First off, officials said, they need to wait until the threat of Hurricane Dorian has passed. Then, they’ll likely ask the Florida Department of Education to waive the hours missed — something the department has routinely offered for a day or two, though not much longer. Gov. Ron DeSantis did declare a state of emergency for all 67 counties, after all, an action that could help make the case.
If it’s approved, nothing else needs to happen. But if the department doesn’t see making preparations for a storm that never arrived, then that’s when it changes. That’s when the next set of discussions would have to be made.
School board members and administrators could look into altering their existing school days. They could go about it by extending classes by a few minutes which can make up for the few hours of instructions missed. That was the approach they took after Hurricane Irma happened two years ago.
The school board could also take advantage of their early release days and cancel those days to recapture the time. At least one local teacher’s union has mentioned the possibility of giving up some planning time to avoid having to attend one day of Thanksgiving week. Pinellas County schools spokeswoman, Lisa Wolf-Chason, said her district leadership would consider the options once it’s clear how many days have been missed.
If it’s just the one missed day, Linda Cobbe for Pasco County schools Linda Cobbe said, the solution will be easier than if another hurricane day occurs. If there is more time off, it could lead to fixes that are felt more, such as full makeup days. All Central Florida public schools will remain closed on Wednesday thanks to Hurricane Dorian threatening the state, but the Orange and Seminole County school districts plan to resume classes on Thursday.
Lake County Schools officials have closed all of its public schools until Wednesday. Round Lake Elementary, Mount Dora High, Spring Creek Elementary, Lost Lake Elementary, Umatillia Elementary, and Leesburg Elementary, are serving as a refuge.
All area refuges are open to the public, however, Spring Creek, Round Lake, Leesburg, Umatilla, and Lost Lake also serve as pet-friendly facilities. Also, Umatilla, Leesburg, and Lost Lost are set up to help with special-needs residents.
Sumter County Schools will be in session on Wednesday. However, the school board meeting on Tuesday was canceled and it will be rescheduled, although no date has been set.
The Mount Dora Christian Academy will be closed through Wednesday. The home football game against Ocoee Central Florida Christian Academy for Friday has been moved to 7 p.m. on Saturday.
The First Academy of Leesburg is closed until Thursday.
As for Montverde Academy, officials at the school are monitoring the weather reports and they will make a decision concerning the classes on Wednesday when necessary and announce it on the school’s social media channels.
All Lake-Sumter State College campuses will be closed through Wednesday. Its classes and activities, including online courses, are canceled until further notice. There will be an update that will be provided by 6 p.m. on Wednesday through LSSC.edu and the school’s social media channels.
For updated news check news outlets and social media.
Image: Tampa Bay Times
Mike has more than 30 years of experience in marketing and public relations. He once owned his own agency and has worked with some of the largest brands in the world.