SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The School District of Manatee County and Sarasota County Schools will have schools open as regularly scheduled on Tuesday.
School District of Manatee County Superintendent Cynthia Saunders and Sarasota County Schools Superintendent Todd Bowden have been in communication and closely monitoring forecasts about Hurricane Dorian from the Tampa Bay-Ruskin office of the National Weather Service and they determined on Monday that conditions will be safe enough for all regular scheduling to continue at least through Tuesday.
Both superintendents ultimately came to this agreement for the following reasons:
- Emergency Management Operations in both counties de-escalated activity on Saturday, August 31, 2019, without opening a shelter in either county.
- Forecasts from the National Weather Service office in Ruskin since Saturday have consistently stated that the expected impact on southwest Florida counties is expected to be “minimal.”
- While wind levels may be elevated, they are not expected to come close to standards required to impact school bus transportation services.
- Thunderstorm activity in both counties is expected to be typical for this time of year.
- Students in either county who are kept home tomorrow due to Hurricane Dorian will be able to receive an excused absence.
“The safety of our students and staff is fundamental to all we do when considering altering school operations,” Bowden said. “Given what we know about the projected impact and wind force of Hurricane Dorian in our community on Tuesday, we believe it is safe for our schools to operate as previously scheduled, including after school events and activities.”
Saunders agreed and also added how the schools are built to be shelters of protection and that they are really the safest places for the students to be. “Our schools are built to be shelters so there really is no safer place for the almost 100,000 students who attend our schools to be tomorrow."
Schools will open and close at their regular times, transportation will function as usual and after school activities, athletics and aftercare will operate as previously scheduled.