The Sarasota County School Board is scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday to consider an emergency resolution from Superintendent Brennan Asplen.
Sarasota County Schools alerted media on Monday to the meeting at the Landings Administration Building with an email that gave the date, time and topic, which referred to “Hurricane/Emergency Resolution.”
Documentation posted along with the agenda of the special meeting, to be considered by the school board, would grant Asplen emergency powers to act on behalf of the school board and district to "do any and all things necessary to provide for the fulfillment of the legal responsibility of the School Boad for the education of children in Sarasota County to protect, secure and if necessary, reestablish educational programs and to rebuild the educational facilities and infrastructure without the need of formal resolution and without the need of formal School Board action or quorum."
The resolution said Ian's storm damage is an "immediate danger to the public health and safety, presenting a significant loss of public property and an interruption in the delivery of essential education programs and services."
On Sunday, the school district delivered a statement saying schools, which closed last week in advance of Hurricane Ian, would “remain closed until further notice while we continue to assess, clean, and repair extensive damages to our facilities. We will reopen once we can ensure the safety and wellbeing of all our students and employees while they are in our schools & facilities throughout Sarasota County.”
The school district in the same statement acknowledged that:
- Some schools have power and minimal damage and debris;
- Some have no power;
- Others are affected by floods or are extensively damaged;
- Two schools are still operating as evacuation shelters and are still occupied.
“Communication is still unstable throughout the county, not only local connectivity but within our own school district capabilities,’’ the Sunday evening statement said. “We appreciate your patience and understanding during this time of recovery, and will be sure to share updates as soon as information becomes available. Please continue to follow us on social media (@sarasotaschools) and be sure to visit SarasotaCountySchools.net/hurricane for the latest updates."
In an interview with WUSF public radio, communications director Craig Maniglia said: "Virtual learning will become quite difficult for the county because there are families, there are teachers, there are places in our community that no longer have any kind of power. Heck, there are some people who don't even have a home anymore."
The School District of Manatee County announced on Sunday that it would resume regular operations on Tuesday.
That includes all bus operations, after-school activities and athletics.
The district credited Manatee County Administrator Scott Hopes for a fast turnaround allowing the 17 schools that acted as shelters during Hurricane Ian to return to being schools.
The district, which had 16 schools and two support sites lose power due to the hurricane, also thanked power company workers.