Sarasota, Manatee Schools Closed Until Monday

Hurricane Irma


Sarasota Superintendent Todd Bowden announced all Sarasota County public schools will remain closed the rest of this week and will reopen Monday, Sept. 18. Manatee Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene announced Manatee District Schools will also be closed to students until Monday so that school facilities and grounds can be restored and rehabilitated for students and staff.  

Bowden thanked parents and district staff for their patience as the district assesses the state of schools and the community after Hurricane Irma. He noted that 14 district schools served as shelters, welcoming almost 19,000 evacuees. These and other campuses have cleanup and maintenance issues. Some schools still do not have power. 

Bowden assured everyone that district employees and Sarasota County Government partners are working hard to prepare our schools to reopen and reminded custodial and maintenance staff to report to their assigned work sites at 7am for the remainder of the week. "Thank you to our staff members who worked in our shelters,” Bowden said. “Your efforts were appreciated by this community and your superintendent." 

Officials noted 26 Manatee District Schools were without power. Almost all campuses need debris cleaned and damage repaired. In addition, 24 schools served as shelters since last Friday to more than 25,000 evacuees and thousands of pets. Those schools need extensive cleanup and restoration to have them ready for students next week.

“This has been an extraordinary ordeal for our community and our schools,” said Greene. “I am incredibly proud of our employees for the amazingly positive and affirming way they responded to those in need at our school shelters. They, and the many volunteers who helped, gave above and beyond. I also want to thank all of the law enforcement personnel, National Guard troops, First Responders and Emergency Management officials who gave us aid, comfort, and protection in the face of this historic storm. We will be closer as a School District and community because of this experience.”

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