All About the Children

5-day weekend now may mean school Thanksgiving week

The "Peace Garden" at Anna Maria Island Elementary is submerged as schools are closed for a second day due to Tropical Storm Hermine.
The "Peace Garden" at Anna Maria Island Elementary is submerged as schools are closed for a second day due to Tropical Storm Hermine. hemorse@bradenton.com

The first three days of the Thanksgiving week are designated hurricane makeup days, so the Manatee County School District will need to decide if it will need to use two of those days after canceling classes Thursday and Friday because of Hurricane Hermine.

“At this point, we’ve just been dealing with what we’ve had to do the last two days. We’ll be dealing with that issue once we get back,” district spokesman Mike Barber said Friday. “If we need to make up those days it could be those days, there’s just been no decision yet.”

In Florida, students are expected to attend 180 days of school, according to state statute and rules laid out by the Department of Education. The hourly equivalent for kindergarten through third grade is 720 instructional hours a year and 900 instructional hours a year for students in grades 4-12.

That’s part of where the decision making could get tricky. It may be the case the Manatee County School District doesn’t need to make up the days because it has enough hours built into the schedules.

It also may be the case that Gov. Rick Scott steps in and says districts don’t need to make up the days, either.

“All that will be figured out,” Barber said.

Regardless, the district typically designates a few hurricane makeup days in the calendar.

For the 2016-17 Manatee calendar, students and classes aren’t scheduled Nov. 21 through Nov. 25, the entire week of Thanksgiving. The calendar also notes that Nov. 21 through Nov. 23 of that week, Monday through Wednesday, could be used at hurricane makeup days.

Most nearby school districts, including Pinellas, Hillsborough and Polk, canceled classes because of Hermine. Sarasota County schools canceled after-school activities but kept schools open both Thursday and Friday.

Meghin Delaney: 941-745-7081, @MeghinDelaney

Related stories from Bradenton Herald

  Comments