No extra school days for Manatee County following Hurricane Ian, no decision from Sarasota

Sarasota Herald-Tribune | By Steven Walker | October 11, 2022

The Manatee County School Board approved small changes Tuesday to the district’s calendar to account for lost days from Hurricane Ian.

Because of a millage approved by county voters, Manatee schools will be able to account for some of the lost instruction time through the additional 30 minutes of instruction already in place, district spokesperson Mike Barber said. However, three early release days for high schoolers in December also will be converted to full school days: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Dec. 20-22.

Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks are untouched, according to the district.

Sarasota County Schools sign damaged from Hurricane Ian.
Sarasota County Schools sign damaged from hurricane Ian. Courtesy Of The Sarasota County School District

In Sarasota, the School Board and district have yet to announce any changes. 

Sarasota School Board Chair Jane Goodwin said she suggested the referendum dollars for extra instructional hours could apply, much like in Manatee County. However, no decision had been made as of Tuesday afternoon.

At a Monday press conference, Sarasota Schools Superintendent Brennan Asplen said conversations were happening surrounding hurricane days, but no decision had been made. District spokesperson Kelsey Whealy echoed the statement Tuesday morning, pointing to the district’s frequently asked questions webpage. The hurricane days question had not been updated since Oct. 5.

As Hurricane Ian threatened then ultimately struck Florida’s southwest coast, Manatee and Sarasota School Districts closed. In total, Manatee schools missed five school days. North Sarasota County schools missed nine school days, while south Sarasota County schools will have missed 13 when they open Oct 17.

Sarasota schools had no makeup days following Hurricane Irma in 2017. Manatee County chose to have a schedule of early-release and makeup days following the storm.

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