Sarasota County schools to be closed on Friday, Sept. 8, and all extracurricular activities cancelled

Superintendent says district will keep everyone updated via social media, phone messages and the district website

The school district offices are located at The Landings in Sarasota. File photo

Because of the possibility Hurricane Irma could affect Southwest Florida, Sarasota County Schools Superintendent Todd Bowden has announced that all schools will be closed on Friday, Sept. 8, and all after-school activities will be canceled that day, including after-school care.

During a Sept. 6 press conference at the Sarasota County Emergency Operations Center, Bowden said he had been in contact with the superintendents of the Manatee and Charlotte county districts, as school leaders sought to make the best decisions for student safety. He added that parents would receive updates over the next couple of days through recorded district phone messages. Bowden encouraged the public to keep up with the latest district news through Twitter, Facebook, the district’s new app and the district website.

Friday football games will be rescheduled, a news release pointed out. “Players and fans should check with their team’s high school for specific scheduling information,” it said.

“The safety of students, parents and the community is our primary concern,” Bowden said in the news release. “We are keeping a close eye on Hurricane Irma and will make any future weather-related decisions in close consultation with our partners at Sarasota County Emergency Management.”

Hurricane Irma was shifting to a more easterly track, Ed McCrane, Sarasota County’s emergency management director, pointed out during the Sept. 6 press conference. However, he cautioned, the possibility exists for the track to change again. If Southwest Florida appears to be threatened, schools hardened as hurricane shelters will be used for evacuees, county staff has reported.