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Sarasota County Schools to Open as Scheduled Tuesday, Sep. 3

(Sarasota, FL – September 2, 2019) Following intensive deliberations and based on forecasts from the Tampa Bay – Ruskin office of the National Weather Service, the School District of Manatee County and Sarasota County Schools will hold school as regularly scheduled tomorrow, Tuesday, September 3, 2019.

School District of Manatee County Superintendent Cynthia Saunders and Sarasota County Schools Superintendent Todd Bowden have been in communication with each other through the weekend as well as with superintendents in other southwest Florida school districts. Both Bowden and Saunders ultimately agreed that schools should be open for the following reasons:

  •  Emergency Management Operations in both counties de-escalated activity on Saturday, August 31, 2019, without opening a shelter in either county.
  • Forecasts from the National Weather Service office in Ruskin since Saturday have consistently stated that the expected impact on southwest Florida counties is expected to be “minimal.”
  • While wind levels may be elevated, they are not expected to come close to standards required to impact school bus transportation services.
  • Thunderstorm activity in both counties is expected to be typical for this time of year.
  • Students in either county who are kept home tomorrow due to Hurricane Dorian will be able to receive an excused absence.

“The safety of our students and staff is fundamental to all we do when considering altering school operations,” said Bowden. “Given what we know about the projected impact and wind force of Hurricane Dorian in our community on Tuesday, we believe it is safe for our schools to operate as previously scheduled, including after school events and activities. We want to thank our neighboring school district partners for coordinating efforts and making the most informed decision possible.”

Saunders agreed.

“Our schools are built to be shelters so there really is no safer place for the almost 100,000 students who attend our schools to be tomorrow,” Saunders said. “In addition, not having school would place a lot of working parents in a difficult situation regarding what to do with their children during what is expected to be a regular work day for most area residents.”

Schools in both Manatee and Sarasota Counties will open and close at their regular times, transportation will function as usual and after school activities, athletics and aftercare will operate as previously scheduled.