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Superintendent: District will not need makeup days after Hurricane Irma

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HURRICANE IRMA UDPATE, 9 a.m., Monday, 10/2/17:
Superintendent Todd Bowden thanks the community for pulling together during Hurricane Irma and explains the decision regarding makeup time for the days schools were closed. Click Here to read his Herald-Tribune guest column.

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HURRICANE IRMA UPDATE, 5 p.m., Tuesday, 9/19/17: Superintendent Todd Bowden sent the following message via recorded phone call and email this evening: Hello, this is Superintendent Todd Bowden with a message for all parents and employees. I know all of you are wondering about make-up days due to the six days of instruction we lost during Hurricane Irma last week and the previous Friday.  

I’m happy to report that Sarasota County public schools will not need to make up any of these days. The reason is that we already have 30 minutes a day of additional instruction. The relevant state school board rule says Florida K-12 schools need to be in session for no fewer than 180 teaching days, or no fewer than 900 instructional hours.  

We have the extra half-hour of instruction each day because of the additional referendum dollars that have been approved by voters every four years since 2002. Our additional hours of instruction will make up for the extra storm days. We are so fortunate to have a supportive community that pulled together during Hurricane Irma and that makes public education such a priority in Sarasota County.

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HURRICANE IRMA UPDATE, 9 a.m., Monday, 9/18/17: Sarasota County public schools have reopened Monday, Sept. 18.

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HURRICANE IRMA UPDATE, 7 p.m., Sunday, 9/17/17. A message from Superintendent Todd Bowden: As previously announced, all Sarasota County public schools will reopen on their regular schedules Monday, September 18. All extracurricular and after-school activities will also resume tomorrow.   

Our employees have worked hard in the last week to prepare schools to reopen. However, we ask for everyone’s patience as we all readjust to normal routines. Some streets may still be blocked, affecting traffic for buses and private vehicles. There may be piles of debris on campuses. Parking lots will be open, but drop-off and pick-up areas may be affected. Please drive carefully and allow extra time at schools and bus stops.

I’m happy to report that the Florida Department of Agriculture has announced that BREAKFAST AND LUNCH WILL BE SERVED TO ALL STUDENTS AT NO CHARGE at public schools in select counties, including Sarasota County, on all school days THROUGH FRIDAY, OCTOBER 20. This will help families who lost power and those who are still without it. We’re also getting that word out on the district website, SarasotaCountySchools.net, Facebook, Twitter, the SCS mobile app, and local media outlets.

We wish everyone a safe and wonderful week! 

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HURRICANE IRMA UPDATE, 10 a.m., Thursday, 9/14/17: The school district is working with All Faiths Food Bank to provide emergency food and water at several locations today, Thursday, and tomorrow, Friday, 9/15. Click here for locations and times.

Click here to learn about or donate to the Education Foundation of Sarasota County's Hurricane Irma Classroom Relief Fund.

Post-Hurricane Irma Community Blood Drive, Thursday and Friday 9/14 and 9/15:

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, blood bank supplies are critically low, locally and statewide. Click here for more information, see below or visit the Sarasota Memorial Healthcare System Facebook page.

In an urgent effort to replenish platelet and other blood product supplies, Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is partnering with the Suncoast Blood Bank and Michael's On East to host a post-hurricane blood drive at the Michael's On East ballroom Thursday and Friday, Sept. 14-15.

WHERE:

The Michael's On East Ballroom is located at 1212 S. East Ave., Sarasota 34239.

WHEN:

Thursday, Sept. 14: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. 

Friday, Sept. 15: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. 

PLEASE DONATE IF YOU CAN, and HELP SPREAD THE WORD.

For more info and other local blood donation locations, please visit http://scbb.org/ or call (866) 972-5663.

HURRICANE IRMA UPDATE, 2 p.m., Tuesday, 9/12/17: Sarasota County schools to reopen Monday, Sept. 18

Superintendent Todd Bowden has announced that all Sarasota County public schools will remain closed the rest of this week and will reopen Monday, Sept. 18. This includes District offices and extra-curricular events.

In recorded messages to parents and district staff, Bowden thanked them for their patience as the district assesses the state of our schools and 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 assures 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 7 a.m. for the remainder of this week. 

In his message to staff, Bowden said, "Thank you to our staff members who worked in our shelters. Your efforts were appreciated by this community and your superintendent." 

PUBLIC HEARING RESCHEDULED: The School Board Public Hearing to adopt the final millage and budget is CANCELED for Tuesday, Sept. 12 and RESCHEDULED for 5:15 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 19.

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HURRICANE IRMA UPDATE, 10:15 a.m., Tuesday, 9/12/17: Superintendent Todd Bowden will speak to local media today regarding the state of Sarasota County schools at 12:30 p.m. from the Sarasota County Emergency Operations Center. Bowden will announce the date for classes to resume in Sarasota County. Sarasota County Administrator Tom Harmer will join him for additional announcements.  

The news conference will be broadcast live on the district Facebook page, as well as cable TV stations Comcast 19 and Frontier 32. Immediately following the news conference the district will notify families and staff at our website, sarasotacountyschools.net, Facebook, Twitter and the SCS Mobile app. A recorded phone message will also be sent to parents and staff immediately following the announcement. 

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HURRICANE IRMA UPDATE, 9:15 a.m., Tuesday, 9/12/17: Sarasota County public schools remain closed today as custodial and maintenance staff are prepared schools to be reopened. An announcement will be made via various communications channels at 1 p.m. today about when our schools will reopen.

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HURRICANE IRMA UPDATE, 12:15 p.m., Sunday, 9/10/17: Superintendent Todd Bowden has announced that all Sarasota County public schools in the district will be closed Tuesday, Sept. 12 due to Hurricane Irma. This follows Governor Scott’s directive to close all Florida public schools last Friday and tomorrow, Monday. We are also closing school on Tuesday as a precaution. We do not yet know the effects of Irma on our community.    

Details about Sarasota County Government’s preparation for Hurricane Irma, including public shelter information and citizen preparedness information, is available at scgov.net/government/emergency-services/irma-stay-informed.

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HURRICANE IRMA UPDATE, 10 p.m., Thursday, 9/7/17: Gov. Rick Scott has ordered all Florida public schools to close Friday, Sept. 8 through Monday, Sept. 11, including Sarasota County Schools.

Here is Gov. Scott's message: "Today, I am directing the closure of all public schools, state colleges, state universities and state offices for their normal activities effective Friday through Monday, to ensure we have every space available for sheltering and staging. Floridians are facing a life-threatening storm in Hurricane Irma, and every family must prepare to evacuate. Our state’s public schools serve a vital role in our communities as shelters for displaced residents and staging areas for hurricane recovery efforts. Closing public schools, state colleges, state universities and state offices will provide local and state emergency officials the flexibility necessary to support shelter and emergency response efforts.”  

Details about Sarasota County Government’s preparation for Hurricane Irma, including public shelter information and citizen preparedness information, is available at scgov.net/government/emergency-services/irma-stay-informed.

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HURRICANE IRMA UPDATE, 1:30 p.m., Thursday, 9/7/17:
The ACT college readiness test originally scheduled for Saturday, September 9th, at BHS, RHS and SMA will be rescheduled. Students who were scheduled to take the test at any district high school will be contacted about alternative dates to take the ACT test.

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HURRICANE IRMA UPDATE, 11:30 a.m., Thursday, 9/7/17: 
Fall College Night CANCELED for Thursday, Sept. 7. It may be rescheduled for a later date; if so, parents will be notified.

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HURRICANE IRMA UPDATE, 12 p.m., Wednesday, 9/6/17: 
Sarasota School District announces school closures Friday 

SARASOTA COUNTY, Sept. 6, 2017 – Due to the possibility of Hurricane Irma affecting southwest Florida, Superintendent Todd Bowden has announced that all Sarasota County public schools will be closed Friday, Sept. 8. The closure will affect the regular school day as well as all extra-curricular events that day, including football games and other sports events as well as after-school care. The district will operate on the normal school and business schedule on Thursday, including after-school events.  

“The safety of students, parents, our staff and the entire community is always our first concern,” said Bowden. “As a precaution and because some schools serve as emergency shelters, we are closing schools Friday. We will continue to keep a close eye on Hurricane Irma and will make any future weather-related decisions in close consultation with our partners at Sarasota County Emergency Management.”

Details about Sarasota County Government’s preparation for Hurricane Irma, including public shelter information and citizen preparedness information, is available at scgov.net/government/emergency-services/irma-stay-informed.

The Sarasota County Schools website, SarasotaCountySchools.net as well as Facebook, Twitter and the SCS app will have updates as the situation evolves. 

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HURRICANE IRMA UPDATE, 4 p.m., Tuesday, 9/5/17: 
School District monitoring Irma, Friday games to be rescheduled 
SARASOTA COUNTY, Sept. 5, 2017 — Due to the possibility of Hurricane Irma affecting southwest Florida, Superintendent Todd Bowden has announced that all after-school activities will be canceled on Friday, with the exception of after-school care. Games will be rescheduled; some may be played earlier this week. Players and fans should check with their team’s high school for specific scheduling information. 

At this time, no school closures are planned. However, this could change as the storm progresses. Some schools may open as shelters. 

The Sarasota County School District is working closely with emergency management officials to monitor the storm. 

“The safety of students, parents and the community is our primary concern,” Bowden said. “We are keeping a close eye on Hurricane Irma and will make any future weather-related decisions in close consultation with our partners at Sarasota County Emergency Management.” 

The district will provide updates through news releases, social media, the SCS mobile app, recorded phone calls, emails and the website SarasotaCountySchools.net

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HURRICANE IRMA UPDATE, 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, 9/5/17: 
School district staff are monitoring the storm and working with emergency management officials. Watch for further updates.

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Communications and Community Relations
Tracey Beeker, Director
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Kelsey Whealy, Media Relations Specialist
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Caroline Lee, Administrative Assistant;
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