Education

Keys schools start rescheduling days lost to Irma

Marathon High School seniors Randy Culmer, 17, and Esteban Sainz, 18, are both happy that school is finally open in the Keys, but they feel that their time would have been better spent at home helping their family recover from the Hurricane Irma. In Marathon, school resumed Sept. 27.
Marathon High School seniors Randy Culmer, 17, and Esteban Sainz, 18, are both happy that school is finally open in the Keys, but they feel that their time would have been better spent at home helping their family recover from the Hurricane Irma. In Marathon, school resumed Sept. 27. El Nuevo Herald

Monroe County School District officials have begun figuring out how to make up for lost student instruction time due to Hurricane Irma, which caused a mass Florida Keys evacuation before slamming the islands Sept. 9 and 10.

Superintendent Mark Porter said students returning back to school over staggered start dates of Sept. 25, Sept. 27 and Oct. 2 based on the geography of the Keys, have missed 13, 15, and 18 instructional days respectively.

“Clearly we need to restore some of this valuable instructional time we have lost,” he said.

Porter said Oct. 16 is the first reinstated teaching day. It was initially a professional day for school staff, but will now serve as a full instructional day for students. Porter has also suspended early release days for elementary and secondary school students in traditional schools until further notice.

Porter said he and his team took two waived instructional days from Florida Department of Education Commissioner Pam Stewart into consideration when making the initial adjustment. Additional adjustments will be made after there has been further discussion with the School Board and others.

District officials will also assess the calendar for staff and payroll calendars. The last three of the 16 schools — Sugarloaf School, Big Pine Academy and Key West Collegiate Academy — went back to the classroom Monday.

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