Schools out till Monday


SARASOTA COUNTY- Manatee and Sarasota County Schools will open next Monday, and all after school and athletic activities are cancelled until then.

Sarasota County Schools are assessing the damage to schools from Hurricane Irma.

“There is a period of time that we’re going to need to make sure that those facilities are ready for the return of students,” Bowden said.

Superintendent Todd Bowden says some schools sustained minimal damage that need to be repaired before they turn into bigger problems.

“As we look through buildings quite honestly we’ve got some that we could open school tomorrow in,” Bowden said. “And we’ve got other buildings that it’s going to be a pretty steep hill to climb to be ready for Monday morning, so our commitment is that we will reopen Monday Morning.”

Most of the damage comes from the fact 14 schools housed almost 19 thousand evacuees and about a thousand animals during the storm and need to be sanitized.

“It’s really a clean-up effort that’s being hindered somewhat by the unavailability of power at 11 of our school sites. So we’re able to go in and do kind of a cursory clean, but to be able to go in and do kind of a deep cleaning.”

They are glad they were able to provide critical services to the community and look forward to helping it get back to normal.

“We understand the very important role that schools play in our community,” Bowden said. “And that returning to normal means the reopening of schools and so we are working as hard as we can on our end to make sure that we are ready to serve students.”

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Samantha Sonner
Multimedia Journalist Samantha Sonner comes to the Suncoast from Las Cruces, New Mexico, where she worked as a reporter and host for KRWG TV/FM reporting on local politics, immigration, and border issues. Samantha grew up on Long Island, New York. She received her Bachelor of Science in Broadcast and Digital Journalism from Syracuse University. At Syracuse, she worked at WAER, the campus NPR station and interned at television stations in Central New York. Samantha is excited for the Florida Sunshine, and to be living so close to fantastic beaches. Feel free to follow her on Facebook and Twitter for story updates and news, or to send her story tips and ideas. You can also email her at