Thursday, February 22, 2018
Education

Pinellas schools closed at least through Wednesday

Pinellas County Schools will be closed through Wednesday, school district officials have announced.

Officials said they were still assessing the schedule for the rest of the week. They said in a statement: "Pinellas County has numerous power outages and we are still assessing the condition of our schools. A decision about when schools will re-open will be made as soon as possible and communicated to all families and employees."

Here is a look at the situation in other local school districts in the wake of Hurricane Irma:

Pasco and Hernando

School officials in Pasco and Hernando counties announced Monday that they plan to reopen schools on Monday, Sept. 18.

Their previous plans had been to reopen Tuesday.

The decision came after "reassessing the situation in shelters," Pasco officials said in a statement. "In an effort to prepare schools for the return of students, we still are mobilizing the return of custodians on Tuesday. Custodial staff that assisted with shelters will be given consideration when the clean-up schedule is developed. The plan is for all remaining staff to return to work on Friday, September 15."

Pasco officials said their plan was subject to change.

"If we are unable to restore schools to acceptable operational levels by Friday, we will not resume classes on Monday," the Pasco statement said. "We will notify everyone of any changes."

Friday would be the earliest day for resumption of practices for athletic teams, Pasco officials said.

Hillsborough

Before Irma, the district had planned to keep schools closed through Tuesday.

As of late Monday, however, the plan is for Hillsborough students to return to school on Thursday. But school superintendent Jeff Eakins will need to reassess that on Tuesday after speaking with TECO about the power outages and checking on some other building issues as well.

Monday morning, 130 schools were without power. But that number was likely to decrease during the day.

"We have a lot of people who are wanting their children to get back to schools," Eakins said. "We know that's important. So we're looking at everything right now." That includes staff who left town during the storm.

He said more than 40 schools were used as shelters. Compared to other districts he spoke to, he said, the staff did a great job cleaning up after the guests left.

"We're not facing what I know some of the other districts are facing, they're even worse off than we were," Eakins said. "We came out of this a lot better than what we even thought."

Stay with tampabay.com for updates.

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