In all of the storms and hurricanes that have hit Florida in the past 100 years, never has there been one with such widespread damage and power outages that completely shut down towns, schools, businesses the way hurricane Irma did. Even the areas that were not hit by too much physical damage or flooding seemed like an apocalypse had occurred with no power, no internet, and lots of empty shelves at the food stores that were able to open with generators.
Never in the history of the Florida school system have so many districts cancelled school for so many days with a good number of them out of school 5 or more days.
The main reason was the enormous amount of power outages. With over 6 million without power in the state of Florida, Schools were no exception and could not open without power. In areas like Miami that were hard hit, there still is no estimate of when school will re-open. While parents are frustrated by this, schools in Florida school districts share closing dates. So if one school is still not ready, all of the schools have to wait to re-open. Most of the schools from Jacksonville to Central Florida to the Palm Beaches are re-opening September 18th, 1 week after the storm. Collier county (Naples area) and Monroe county (Florida Keys) have both announced that the earliest return date is September 25th, a full 2 weeks after the storm.
If you are still unsure of the re-open date of the schools in your district, click here and visit your districts home page or go directly to your schools website where information is being provided to keep students and parents informed. School Districts in Florida typically have scheduled Hurricane makeup days in the event the students miss school due to a hurricane. But in this case, there were more missed days then the allocated make up days so schools will have to decide what days to use. We will update our school districts calendar dates here, with makeup days for each district as they become available.
Private schools often closely follow the districts closing dates however, there are many private schools who have their own damage to deal with and have different re-opening dates scheduled.
While most kids love to have time off of school, this time, most students and parents were frustrated by not being able to return to school. Athletics, homecomings, and other school events have been cancelled with re-scheduling becoming a big project for school administrators. The Florida High School Athletic Association put out this Hurricane Irma (Football) Bulletin with FAQs about missed games and makeup games.
One thing Hurricane Irma has done is brought communities together in the recovery efforts and schools will be no different. As students head back to school, there may be some adjustments to be made, but as life teaches us, we have to roll with it and move forward as Dory (of Finding Nemo) would say "Just keep swimming".