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School makeup days due to Hurricane Ian in the greater Tampa Bay region

A school bus
Hillsborough County Schools

Some school districts are shifting their schedules to make up for time lost due to Hurricane Ian, which made landfall Sept 28. Others are not changing their plans.

Here is a list of local district plans:

Hillsborough County: Monday, Oct. 17 is no longer a teacher planning day; it is a full day for students, not early release.

The following school days are now full days instead of early release:

• Nov. 7
• Nov. 14
• Nov. 28
• Dec. 5
• Dec. 12
• Dec. 19

Manatee County: No changes to fall or winter breaks. For public school students in grades 9-12, Tuesday, Dec. 20 through Thursday, Dec. 22 will be full days, instead of half-days as originally decided.

“Thanks to the millage referendum approved by voters in 2018 and renewed in 2021, the added 30 minutes of instructional time, each school day, will cover most the time missed during Hurricane Ian and its aftermath,” Superintendent Cynthia Saunders.

Pasco County: No changes to the Thanksgiving Break, but additional time is being added in 2023:

Jan. 3, a Tuesday, will be a regular school day for students and staff. That means students will return on Tuesday, a day early after the two-week Winter Break.

Feb. 20, a Monday, will be a regular school day for students and teachers. It is currently on the calendar as a non-school day for students and teachers, and is Presidents Day.

All Early Release Days in Semester 2 will be full school days. That includes Jan.11, Feb. 1, March 8, and April 12.

By shifting those days to full school days, we are able to make up the equivalent of two school days. The Early Release Days in Semester 1 will remain unchanged.

Pinellas County: Even with four days missed due to the hurricane, the state Department of Education has decided Pinellas County does not require any hurricane make-up days.

Monday, Oct. 17 is still a non-student day in Pinellas County schools.

Polk County: No changes to the school calendar due to Hurricane Ian.

“We are fortunate that our instructional schedule exceeds the state’s requirements. As a result, we will not have to make up any of the five days we were closed due to the hurricane,” said Polk district spokesman Jason Geary.

Sarasota County: Plans for makeup days are still under consideration by the district, which has launched a phased reopening plan, with most schools opening Oct. 10, and those in the southern part of the county on track to open Oct. 17.

I cover health and K-12 education – two topics that have overlapped a lot since the pandemic began.