Pinellas County public school students are likely to lose a day of their spring break.
They can blame the threat posed by Hurricane Nicole, which prompted officials to cancel classes for a day on Nov. 10.
The loss of that learning time, combined with four days missed because of Hurricane Ian in September, pushed the district below the state-mandated minimum for instructional minutes. So where Ian did not lead to makeup days, Nicole will.
The School Board on Tuesday will discuss a calendar committee recommendation that day be March 20, the Monday after spring break that had been scheduled as a non-student day.
Spokesperson Isabel Mascareñas said the district did not want to interfere with Thanksgiving break, which also appeared on the calendar as potential hurricane makeup days. Neither did officials want to shorten winter break, which is set to begin on Dec. 23, another potential makeup day on the calendar.
The upshot was to turn to the first day of spring, when most employees were already supposed to return to work, though without students present. Board member Carol Cook said she expected the committee will have fully vetted the proposal and will make a clear presentation.
“I’m hoping we talk about it and it’s done,” Cook said.
The Pasco County school district, which scheduled two makeup days after Ian, will not add any more because of Nicole, spokesperson Steve Hegarty said. Instead, the administration is tweaking daily bell schedules to account for the lost minutes, he explained.
The Hillsborough County school district truncated its winter break by one day for students after Nicole. Students are now scheduled to return to classes on Jan. 9 instead of Jan. 10.
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