Florida Department of Education Announces 68 of 75 School Districts are Open for In-Person Instruction Less Than One Week After Hurricane Ian Made Landfall

Florida Department of Education | By FDOE Press Office | October 4, 2022

October 4, 2022

FDOE Press Office

~ 70 districts are expected to be open by Thursday, October 6, along with nearly all state colleges and universities ~

Tallahassee, Fla., October 4, 2022 – Today, the Florida Department of Education announced that 68 school districts are open for in-person instruction less than one week after Hurricane Ian made landfall on Wednesday afternoon, September 28, 2022. Two additional school districts are expected to reopen this week as recovery efforts continue in hardest-hit areas of Southwest Florida.

Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr. has been in constant communication with district superintendents, assessing needs and facilitating support for the safe return of all students as quickly as possible. Commissioner Diaz also visited affected school districts in Southwest Florida over the weekend to assess damage to schools, elevate district needs and coordinate recovery efforts with state and local officials.

Commissioner Diaz and the Florida Department of Education are committed to offering all available resources to assist in the safe and timely reopening of all schools. School buildings also represent 98% of all hurricane shelters in the state, with 247 schools serving in this vital capacity during and after Hurricane Ian.

To expedite recovery, the department has triaged support to heavily affected school districts and facilitated connections to chief financial officers and staff from districts that are able to provide effective guidance based on prior hurricane recovery experience. The department has also coordinated with partner districts to deliver professional crisis services to storm-devastated areas.

As of Tuesday morning, October 4, 2022, the following K-12 school districts are scheduled to reopen this week, bringing the total number of open districts to 70, as power-related issues are prioritized by the Florida Emergency Operations Center and utility companies:

  • Collier County Schools 
  • Volusia County Schools

The following K-12 school districts are closed until further notice:

  • Charlotte County Schools 
  • DeSoto County Schools 
  • Hardee County Schools 
  • Lee County Schools 
  • Sarasota County Schools

The department is actively engaged in assisting these districts through coordinated activities with state emergency management officials and providing support for temporary staffing, educational staging facilities, infrastructure and operational needs, as well as logistical support for transportation and basic resources like generators and fuel.

In addition, 16 Florida College System institutions have reopened as of Tuesday, October 4, 2022, including College of Central Florida, Daytona State College, Eastern Florida State College, Florida Gateway College, Hillsborough Community College, Lake-Sumter State College, North Florida College, Pasco-Hernando State College, Polk State College, Santa Fe College, Seminole State College, South Florida State College, State College of Florida, St. Johns River State College, St. Petersburg College, and Valencia College.

Six state universities have reopened as of Tuesday, October 4, including Florida A&M University, Florida Polytechnic University, Florida State University, New College of Florida, University of Central Florida, and University of South Florida.

The Florida Department of Education is closely monitoring school district, state college and state university reopenings, as well as on-the-ground recovery efforts in Hurricane Ian-affected areas. Updated information can be accessed at the department’s “Hurricane Ian Information” webpage: Hurricane Ian Information.

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