Schools in four Southwest Florida counties are still closed Thursday, a week after Hurricane Ian ripped across Florida.
In Northeast Florida, most school districts reopened Monday, but temporary closures because of Ian have forced the state to make some changes.
Ian forced school districts to close for two or three days. For example, Atlantic Coast was closed so it could be used as a special needs shelter. But the timing means some of the impacted districts need flexibility for reporting enrollment numbers.
Originally, State Department of Education officials told school districts to report their enrollment numbers for the time period of Sept. 30 to Oct. 14. However, many districts were closed for some of those days because of Ian. In response, education officials are allowing districts to report numbers from 11 days before the storm hit.
These numbers are important because the state uses the information to determine how much money schools and districts get.
Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. said he doesn’t want schools to face any additional pressure as they navigate the aftermath of the hurricane.
Another issue related to Ian for districts is how the storm affects their calendars.
Duval County Public Schools has several weather days built into its standard calendar. The district has decided to convert the days used for last week to instructional days. The St. Johns County school district is figuring out its plan for any make-up instructional days.