Hurricane-hit Florida school districts are getting back to class

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state
Aerial photo of damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian on Thursday, September 29, 2022, in Sanibel. The school there was decimated, forcing students to relocate while the campus is rebuilt.
Aerial photo of damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian on Thursday, September 29, 2022, in Sanibel. The school there was decimated, forcing students to relocate while the campus is rebuilt. [ JOE CAVARETTA | South Florida Sun-Sentinel ]
Published Oct. 17, 2022

The big story: Florida communities hardest hit by Hurricane Ian continue to get their schools back on track, as they aim to provide a degree of normalcy and routine to children.

Sarasota County is set to reopen the majority of its schools today, with two delayed one more day because of unforeseen circumstances, WTSP reports.

An aggressive cleanup plan will allow nine more Lee County campuses to open by Wednesday, the Fort Myers News-Press reports. But the elementary schools in Sanibel and Fort Myers Beach were totaled, forcing students to attend different schools for the remainder of the year during the rebuild, the News-Press reports.

Port Charlotte Middle School won’t open for months, with students attending virtually until a portable campus is erected, the Port Charlotte Sun reports. A North Port father is working as a recovery project manager to oversee the reopening of Charlotte County schools, The Sun reports.

Other school news

The Broward County school district has had consistent problems with its maintenance department. A new audit uncovered even more troubles, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

Marion County schools set a new attendance record. The district’s 44,500 students also was above its projections for the year, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

The Nassau County school district provides free cardiac screenings for all high school students. Participation has drawn scrutiny as some people claimed without proof that the district was planning to force students to get COVID vaccines with the screenings, Florida Politics reports.

Dozens of Florida school districts have slow internet speed. An organization rated the slowest 10 by megabits per second. Here’s the list, from the Islander.

From the court docket ... Prosecutors in the Parkland school shooter case called for an investigation into allegations that one juror threatened another during deliberations, the Associated Press reports.

In higher education

Florida Republicans are reshaping the state’s higher education system. They’ve adopted legislation on curriculum, tenure and accreditation, and placed friendly officials in top posts at key institutions, Politico Florida reports.

The Republicans also required an ideology survey of faculty and staff to ensure conservative values are not ignored. The results indicated that more who answered considered themselves conservative than liberal, Fresh Take Florida reports. Response to the student version of the survey was so small as to render their results statistically insignificant.

A University of Miami fraternity got kicked off campus for its behavior. Members have apologized for a misogynistic chant, but denied allegations of drugged drinks, the Miami Herald reports.

Before you go ... All the recent stories about the lawsuit against Andy Warhol’s Prince portraits had to get you in the mood for some Prince music, right? This 2017 tribute popped up in the feed right around the same time. You’ll be glad you did.

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