Hillsborough County Families,
The Hillsborough County Emergency Operations Center has declared a local state of emergency as Tropical Storm Eta continues its path towards the west coast of Florida.
Due to this declaration, several of our school sites have been designated as storm shelters for our community.
We have made the decision to close all schools on Thursday, November 12th and Friday, November 13th. Rest assured that we did not make this decision lightly as we understand this can create a hardship for our families. However, we must place the safety of our students and staff first and take many things into consideration that includes possible road closures, high winds, damage to school buildings, power outages and whether our schools are being used as shelters.
All after school activities are canceled for Thursday, however, games and after school activities on Friday will remain as scheduled.
Even if Hillsborough County receives minimal effects from the storm, please remember our district plays a vital role in supporting our community. Several counties in South Florida and on the west coast have already been declared a state of emergency and their residents will need shelter from the storm.
While schools are closed, teachers and students will be asked to engage in remote learning similar to our “Smart Start Week” back in August as a way to continue instructional momentum. Teachers will use Canvas and other online strategies they use on a regular basis for interacting with students. I understand that many students may not have accessibility to digital devices, so teachers will work with their learners and allow them adequate time to complete all assignments upon our return.
Today is Veterans Day and is already a scheduled day off from school. With this said, we will continue to monitor this storm over the next few hours and provide updates on its path and overall impact.
We encourage all families and employees to take all necessary precautions at their homes and plan for the possible effects of Tropical Storm Eta. You can stay up to date with the latest information on our district’s Facebook and Twitter pages and on our website at www.hillsboroughschools.org. At this time, we are projected to reopen on Monday, November 16th.
I appreciate everyone’s flexibility as we partner with our county leaders to ensure residents have a safe haven during this unpredictable time.