Lee County to open dozens of schools next week as Hurricane Ian recovery continues
Hurricane Ian may be blowing away middle income homeowners. Image via AP.

'We are committed to keeping that community of learners together.'

At least 60 Lee County public schools will reopen next week, nearly three weeks after Hurricane Ian slammed into the area as a Category 4 storm, bringing storm surges and damaging winds that devastated many schools.

Lee County Schools Superintendent Christopher Bernier said 13 schools will open Monday, 11 schools will open Tuesday and another 36 will open Wednesday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis was also on hand to announce that all school districts in the area hit by Ian will have schools operating again by Tuesday. Getting schools back online is a priority for DeSantis as part of recovery efforts.

“You’re never going to be back to normal until we have the kids in the schools,” DeSantis said.

But for some schools, such as those on Pine Island and Sanibel Island, where power is slowly returning and where temporary fixes to bridges leading to those areas have just reopened traffic, temporary structures will be put in place to accommodate students.

“We are committed to keeping that community of learners together,” Bernier said.

Lee County has 119 schools in total, including charter schools, and some schools are still undergoing air quality testing to see if it’s safe to return. Once those checks are complete, Bernier said, more schools will be up and running again.

Bernier pointed to a checklist of nine criteria for a school to reopen: reliable power; potable water; an assessment from a building inspector to ensure the structure is safe; no leaks; working air conditioning; a functioning fire alarm; passing air quality tests; debris removed; and the ability to serve food to children.

Another facet of normalcy returns Thursday, as high school athletics resumes for some sports in Lee County. Six volleyball games are set for Thursday and six football games are scheduled for Friday.

“This opportunity is available to all students and their coaches who desire and are able to participate,” District Athletic Director David LaRosa said in a released statement. “All of our fall sports athletes, especially the seniors who endured two years of COVID-restricted competition, deserve the chance to compete for district and state titles, and district tournaments start next week in two sports.”

Gray Rohrer

One comment

  • Impeach Biden

    October 13, 2022 at 4:17 pm

    Those schools being destroyed was good for America. Education is a tool of Satan.

Comments are closed.


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