Return to Headlines

Running Hurricane Irma Updates

12:00pm 9/12/17 Update

Tuesday Update:

 

We are well on our way to opening schools for staff tomorrow and students on Thursday.

 

District Impact Response Teams have been on our campuses since yesterday afternoon. LCS suffered very minimal damage from Hurricane Irma; no structural damage. There are a few trees down that will be cut and cleared prior to Thursday.

 

One school, Chaires Elementary, is currently without power. Crews are actively working to get the school back online. Some buildings on the Leon High campus are experiencing electrical fluctuations, crews are on scene working on a solution.

 

Power loss impacted some schools’ refrigeration systems. Nutrition services prepared in advance for this possibility and the impacted schools will be receiving fresh milk and other necessary meal products.

 

The Red Cross announced that all emergency shelters on LCS campuses will be closed by noon today. Our schools will begin cleaning the areas this afternoon and all locations will be prepared to welcome students back on Thursday.

 

Leon County and the City of Tallahassee report no major road closures. Transportation teams will begin driving routes today and bus drivers will drive routes tomorrow. We will be prepared to safely transport more than 12,000 students to and from school on Thursday.

 

Thank you to everyone who volunteered to assist our community during the past week. Please continue to stay tuned to our social media, website and email lists for updates.

 

6:45PM 9/11/17 Update

Good evening—

 

We can all breathe a collective sigh of relief as Leon County was spared from the worst of Hurricane Irma. Our team has spent tireless hours caring for evacuees from throughout our state and here locally. Last evening, 11 of our schools hosted 3,000 people in shelters. The administrators at those schools never hesitated to step up. Staff from throughout the school district volunteered their time and materials to ensure that things ran as smoothly as possible.

 

There are many issues that we are currently working on to ensure that our schools will reopen this week.

 

Tomorrow afternoon, in partnership with the Red Cross and Leon County, any remaining evacuees in the shelters will be transitioned from our campuses to a host shelter in one of three new area locations. Our administrators at those sites will immediately begin cleaning and preparing the facilities to welcome our students and staff back.

 

Currently, some of our schools do not have power. We are working with our partners at the City of Tallahassee and TalQuin to ensure that those schools are back online as quickly as possible.

 

Last week, our nutrition services department prepared to provide food for our students this week. We will have hot meals at as many locations as possible and we will have ready-to-eat meals if necessary.

 

Bus drivers will begin driving routes on Wednesday to ensure that the roads are ready to safely transport more than 12,000 bus riding students to and from school.

 

With this in mind, LCS has approved the following operations schedule for the remainder of the week:

 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017—ALL SCHOOLS AND DISTRICT OFFICES CLOSED. Only staff contacted by supervisors will be required to report in to work.

 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017—NORMAL WORKDAY FOR STAFF. All teachers, cafeteria workers, bus drivers and district staff should report to work. In those instances where someone is unable to make it in, they must contact their supervisor.

 

Thursday, September 14, 2017—ALL STUDENTS RETURN. We are working hard to get back to normalcy. We will be ready, prepared and excited to welcome all of our students back to school on Thursday. If students cannot make it back, absences will be excused. Please work with your school site to follow the standard procedures.

 

We want to thank you for your patience and support during this time. If you have any further questions please contact your school site administrator.

 

Sincerely,

 

Rocky Hanna

 

 

9:30am 9/11/17 Update

SCHOOLS ARE CLOSED TOMORROW.

Morning: Our District Impact Response Teams will head out to all of our campuses after the storm passes to evaluate power outages and any possible storm damage to our schools. They will also work with county officials to investigate bus route feasibility. We will continue to work with the Red Cross and Leon County Emergency Operations on the 10 active shelters in our schools. SCHOOLS ARE CLOSED TOMORROW. The superintendent and staff will meet to discuss all of the available information and will make a decision on school operations for the remainder of the week following those meetings--either late this evening or during the day tomorrow.

1:00pm  9/8/17 Update

Superintendnet Hanna has decided to close school for all students on Tuesday, September 12, 2017. Some employees will be asked to come in to work--those will be contacted by their supervisors. 

 

9:30pm 9/7/17 Update 

  • Gov Rick Scott has ordered all Public schools closed both Friday and Monday. 
  • Governor Scott said, “Today, I am directing the closure of all public schools, state colleges, state universities and state offices for their normal activities effective Friday through Monday, to ensure we have every space available for sheltering and staging. Floridians are facing a life-threatening storm in Hurricane Irma, and every family must prepare to evacuate. Our state’s public schools serve a vital role in our communities as shelters for displaced residents and staging areas for hurricane recovery efforts. Closing public schools, state colleges, state universities and state offices will provide local and state emergency officials the flexibility necessary to support shelter and emergency response efforts.

    For detailed shelter information, visit www.fldoe.org/irma and www.floridadisaster.org/info.

  • The first shelter will be opening in the morning.
  • Tallahassee remains in the "cone" and we are asking everyone to prepare accordingly. 
  • We will make an announcement about school operations for Tuesday (9/12/17) as soon as that information is available.

5:00pm 9/7/17 Update 

  • We have concluded our second call of the day with Leon Co. Emergency Management officials. 
  • The first shelter will be opening in the morning--not at a LCS school. 
  • Tallahassee remains in the "cone" and we are asking everyone to prepare accordingly. 
  • We will make an announcement about school operations for Monday (9/11/17) either late tomorrow or Saturday.
  • If your student will be out of school tomorrow, please remember to inform the school so the absence can be excused.  

 

10:00am 9/7/17 Update

Through our partnership with WeatherSTEM, we have access to a number of useful features they created to keep us informed and updated on the progress of dangerous Category 5 Hurricane Irma:

 

- Visit http://irma.weatherstem.com to see Irma's proximity to you as well as info from the latest advisory

- Send an e-mail to irma@weatherstem.com with your zip code as the subject and get a detailed e-mail reply a few seconds later

- Call the WeatherSTEM Leon County, Florida Hurricane Irma hotline at (850) 391-1444 to listen to the latest info on Hurricane Irma

- Text your zip code to (850) 391-1444 and get texted back in real-time with Hurricane Irma info

- Check out our Hurricane Irma tracker at http://leon.weatherstem.com/irma

- Read up on Hurricanes and other dangerous weather phenomena at our library at http://leon.weatherstem.com/learn

 

12:15pm 9/6/17 Update

Leadership just completed a conference call with the Leon County Emergency Operations Center. The information disseminated on that call—based on the forecasted path of Hurricane Irma now—leads us to agree with them that there is a low probability for severe weather in our area on Friday. With this information in hand we have made the decision to continue school operations as normal for the remainder of the week. (Including after school activities and events.)

 

Schools will be open on Thursday and Friday.

 

As the governor has released all state workers from their jobs in order to prepare for Hurricane Irma, our schools will accept excused absences on Friday, September 8, 2017. Please coordinate with your school site so they are aware if your child will not be at school that day.   

 

We will continue to monitor the storm and listen carefully to what the experts are predicting. We will update you on the status for Monday and Tuesday over the weekend via social media, email and local news outlets.  

 

If there are any changes we will update our social media first. Please follow us on Facebook by searching for Leon County Schools. You can also follow us on Twitter @LeonSchools.

 

8:00am 9/6/17 Update

 

Good morning, we have the first of two conference calls with emergency management  today at 10:30am. There have been no changes to school operations at this time. We will continue to update you here following our meetings throughout today and during the rest of the week. We understand the temptation to rush to an announcement, but we will continue to be thoughtful and respectful of the experts' opinions during this time. As always, absences can be excused for students--please work with your school administrators. More info around noon. 

 

11:15am 9/5/17 Update (Sent only to Principals & Staff) 

 

Superintendent Hanna participated in a conference call this morning with Governor Rick Scott and Commissioner Pam Stewart where they provided an update and discussed preparations. Chief Hunkiar and I then participated in a local emergency operations center call with the local governments, electricity companies, the Red Cross and more. 

 

As of this time we do not have any impacts to our school operations.

 

The forecast still anticipates the center of the storm to be near Key West on Saturday morning. The big question remains as to exactly when the storm will make its inevitable turn to the north...

 

Today we should be focusing on informing our communities about how we will communicate any changes or updates with them. It would be a great time to let your parents know:

  • we are in communication with the emergency management center and will continue to monitor the storm.
  • This is not a time to panic, but it is a time to prepare. Ask you parents to make sure their contact information is up to date at your school.
  • in case of school closure or schedule changes one of the first places they should check for information is on social media. You could provide them YOUR social media channels as well as the district’s. (Twitter: @LeonSchools, Facebook: Leon County Schools, Instagram: Leon County Schools)
    • Might want to mention that in the case of lost power, email will be harder to send than posting updates to social media.

 

We will continue to keep you in the loop with anything we are informed about.