Classes in the Manatee and Sarasota public school districts are planned as usual on Tuesday, with weather expected to be close to typical summertime fare.
Local colleges, though, are a mixed bag, ranging from business as usual on Tuesday to classes closed through Wednesday.
Both Manatee Superintendent Cynthia Saunders and Sarasota Superintendent Todd Bowden, in consultation with emergency managers, school leaders in other Southwest Florida counties and the National Weather Service, decided classes would proceed as usual, based on these facts:
- Emergency Management Operations in both counties de-escalated activity on Saturday, 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 Tuesday because of 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 in a prepared statement. “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. We want to thank our neighboring school district partners for coordinating efforts and making the most informed decision possible.”
In a prepared statement, Saunders said: “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,” Saunders said. “In addition, not having school would place a lot of working parents in a difficult situation regarding what to do with their children during what is expected to be a regular work day for most area residents.”
State College of Florida will resume classes after the Labor Day holiday on Tuesday. University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee indicated on its website that classes would be closed on Tuesday. Ringling College of Art and Design, likewise, will close classes on Tuesday. New College is closed through Wednesday, according to a message on its website.