Hillsborough, Pinellas schools to reopen Thursday
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The school districts are quick to restart following Hurricane Idalia.

Families received clarity late Wednesday afternoon on whether students would be able to return to public schools Thursday following Hurricane Idalia.

Hillsborough County Schools updated the public shortly after 4:30 p.m. that classes would resume as normal Thursday, including after school sports and activities. Pinellas did the same at 4:45 p.m.

Both districts worked closely with their respective county emergency managers to determine a reopening timeline, which was contingent on when emergency shelters would close.

Public school facilities are often used as shelters during storms and there was some question about whether the counties would leave shelters open due to ongoing flooding issues in coastal and low-lying areas.

In an update from Hillsborough Schools, the district said shelters were being cleared Wednesday afternoon.

“Once the shelters are cleared this afternoon, our maintenance teams will clean and sanitize those schools, so they will be ready for students tomorrow morning,” a press release read.

Similarly, the Pinellas district said they decided to re-open Thursday after consultation with Pinellas County Emergency Management regarding shelter needs and closure timing.

The district also noted on its website that “portions of our county are prone to flooding” and asked families to “please assess your situation and decide what is in the best interest of your family’s safety.”

They said any student absent due to weather-related circumstances would have that absence excused.

The Hillsborough district asked families to notify their child’s school of any weather-related absences, but did not specifically state that they would be excused.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of FloridaPolitics.com, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


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