Hurricane Ian prompts school closures in western Florida

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state
Hurricane Ian formed overnight Sunday, according to the National Hurricane Center. Forecasters say the storm could be a major hurricane by Monday night.
Hurricane Ian formed overnight Sunday, according to the National Hurricane Center. Forecasters say the storm could be a major hurricane by Monday night. [ The National Hurricane Center ]
Published Sept. 26, 2022

The big story: Maybe you forgot it was hurricane season?

Whether Ian blasts the Tampa Bay area or skirts by, the schools have to prepare for the worst. They serve as shelters not only for the immediate vicinity, but also for evacuees coming from other places.

That means shutting down their usual operations so they can ramp up the spaces. By 6 p.m. Sunday, area districts had announced their plans for the week. Hillsborough schools and the major universities are most immediately affected, with classes canceled starting Monday. Read our story for the details.

The Florida Department of Education is tracking school closures across the state. Visit the site for the listing. Most central Florida school districts had no immediate closing plans, WKMG reports.

For the latest updates on Hurricane Ian, head to

Hot topics

Race relations: A Bay County teacher was no longer employed after complaints arose that she read a book containing racial slurs aloud to her class, the Panama City News Herald reports.

School board politics: Indian River County voters have a stark choice in a School Board race that features a candidate backed by Gov. Ron DeSantis and a candidate supported by Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Charlie Crist, TC Palm reports.

School safety: Florida state education officials have continuing school safety concerns in Orange, Duval and Palm Beach counties based on recent grand jury findings, Politico Florida reports. • long-standing problems with elevator safety in Broward County schools have been mostly fixed, the Sun-Sentinel reports. • Leon County students are working on an art project designed to bring awareness to traffic safety outside their schools, WFSU reports.

Taxes: Brevard County voters will decide in November whether to increase their local school property tax. The money will go primarily to improve employee pay, Florida Today reports.

UF ranking: Someone is stealing the banners celebrating the University of Florida’s Top 5 national ranking, WUFT reports. The school is making light of the situation.

Other school news

A Catholic high school education is returning to Key West. The area has not had a Catholic high school since the 1980s, Keys Weekly reports.

Tom Brady’s physical education curriculum is debuting in Pinellas County schools. Some experts have questions about some of the advice, the Associated Press reports.

From the police blotter ... A Pasco County elementary school teacher was arrested on accusations of assaulting a student.

Before you go ... Hurricane, by Bob Dylan. What else?

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