Ever since the storm hit Florida, Pine View and the Sarasota County School District have had to reschedule several events. Due to the preparation of turning schools into shelters and the wreckage caused by Hurricane Irma, students and staff had an extended amount of canceled school days, with school reopening Sept. 18.
Even though six days of school were set aside for preparation, evacuation and recovery, there will be no make-up days added to the school year, according to Superintendent Todd Bowden. The state requires learning facilities to have a minimum of 900 hours for school days each year, which is still being fulfilled despite the missed school days. This is attributed to the extra 30 minutes of school students spend each day in Sarasota County Schools.
“We have the extra half-hour of instruction each day because of the additional referendum dollars that have been approved by voters every four years since 2002. Our additional hours of instruction will make up for the extra storm days,” Bowden said. “We are so fortunate to have a supportive community that pulled together during Hurricane Irma and that makes public education such a priority in Sarasota County.”
Along with school being canceled from Sept. 8 to Sept. 15, many events hosted by the county and by Pine View had to be rescheduled as well. The annual Sarasota County college fair was originally planned to be held Sept. 7 at the Robarts Arena from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. However, the event was canceled and Sarasota County is in the process of getting this event rescheduled. Along with the college fair, the volleyball game at Pine View, originally supposed to happen Sept. 18, has been rescheduled in October due to players not having the opportunity to practice; as of now, the date of the game has not been determined yet. School pictures and underclassmen head-shots likewise have been moved to take place in October, but the date is currently unknown.
“Due to Hurricane Irma, my motivation for academics has decreased because it is a natural disaster and terrible things are happening to our community. I’m not motivated to do work. I also have an increased workload as some teachers are trying to get back on track with where they are supposed to be so we can still have the same amount of information covered before our exams,” eleventh-grader Erin Chen said.
Lunches until Friday, Oct. 20 are free at all Sarasota County District Schools in order to assist families of students in the recovery of the hurricane. Registration for the SAT Nov. 4 has also been declared free by the CollegeBoard in Irma-affected areas.
If the Sarasota County School District has to close its schools on account of another hurricane in the future, the assigned make-up days will be Nov. 22 and May 25.