"We will reopen once we can ensure the safety and wellbeing of all our students and employees in our schools," Craig Manglia, Sarasota County Schools' director of communications and community relations, wrote in an email.
Although Sarasota County did not take a direct hit from Ian, there is widespread damage throughout Sarasota, especially in South County, including power outages, downed power lines, flooding, Internet and cellular outages, water and plumbing issues and damage to school structures.
Additionally, several schools are still being used as shelters, including Tatum Ridge for medically dependent people and Phillippi Shores for the general population. More people are expected at Phillippi Shores today as South County continues to deal with dangerous flooding post-Ian.
In Manatee County, schools will remain closed on Monday, Oct. 3 as officials continue to assess damage. The 17 schools that served as shelters—which have now closed—also need to be thoroughly cleaned and prepared for classes to resume, the county says.