Schools Open Monday and Student Assignment Stands Ready to Serve

Schools Open Monday and Student Assignment Stands Ready to Serve

 ST. LUCIE COUNTY – St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS) will resume normal operations on Monday, September 18. The bells will sound on time, normal transportation will pick back up, before- and after-school activities will continue, and the District’s Student Assignment Office will be open and prepared to support families from this community and from other areas who need to enroll students.  The Student Assignment Office’s temporarily location is on the Fort Pierce Westwood campus (1801 Panther Lane, Fort Pierce). Office hours are from 8AM to 4PM Monday through Friday.

“Making sure that we could open schools as quickly as possible for the safe return of our students and staff was our priority throughout this week of restoration,” said Superintendent E. Wayne Gent. “I cannot say enough about the can-do spirit of our team who continues to do whatever it takes to get everything back up and running. They have just been tremendous.”  He explained that one facility did not escape the wrath of Irma – the School District’s central office hub located at the Orange Blossom Business Center on Okeechobee Road in Fort Pierce.  Due to flooding at this location, all District offices will relocate to school and District annex facilities throughout the county.

Gent noted that the Student Assignment Office was one of the first areas to be relocated in order to be ready to serve the community and make certain that school-age children who were displaced from IRMA had the opportunity to enroll in school.  Other temporary office relocations include:

Business Services                                             Parkway Elementary

Career and Technical Education                       St. Lucie West Centennial High School

Child Nutrition Services                                     Garden City

Education Foundation                                       Fairlawn Elementary

Exceptional Student Education                         Dan McCarty Middle School

Human Resources                                             Parkway Elementary

Office of Communications                                  Allapattah Flats K – 8

Office of Teaching and Learning                        Allapattah Flats K – 8

School Security                                                  South County Complex

Student Records                                                Means Court Center

For a complete listing of locations, visit the St. Lucie Public Schools home page at www.stlucieschools.org.

About St. Lucie Public Schools

St. Lucie Public Schools is a B rated District with no failing schools proudly serving the students as the second highest ranking School District on the Treasure Coast.  The mission of SLPS is to ensure all students graduate from safe and caring schools equipped with the knowledge, skills and desire to succeed. For more information, visit, http://www.stlucieschools.org.

Schools Open Monday and Student Assignment Stands Ready to Serve

Schools Open – Student Assignment Stands Ready to Serve

St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS) will resume normal operations on Monday, September 18. The bells will sound on time, normal transportation will pick back up, before- and after-school activities will continue, and the District’s Student Assignment Office will be open and prepared to support families from this community and from other areas who need to enroll students.  The Student Assignment Office’s temporarily location is on the Fort Pierce Westwood campus (1801 Panther Lane, Fort Pierce). Office hours are from 8AM to 4PM Monday through Friday.

“Making sure that we could open schools as quickly as possible for the safe return of our students and staff was our priority throughout this week of restoration,” said Superintendent E. Wayne Gent. “I cannot say enough about the can-do spirit of our team who continues to do whatever it takes to get everything back up and running. They have just been tremendous.”  He explained that one facility did not escape the wrath of Irma – the School District’s central office hub located at the Orange Blossom Business Center on Okeechobee Road in Fort Pierce.  Due to flooding at this location, all District offices will relocate to school and District annex facilities throughout the county.

Gent noted that the Student Assignment Office was one of the first areas to be relocated in order to be ready to serve the community and make certain that school-age children who were displaced from IRMA had the opportunity to enroll in school.  Other temporary office relocations include:

Business Services                                                   Parkway Elementary

Career and Technical Education                             St. Lucie West Centennial High School

Child Nutrition Services                                          Garden City

Education Foundation                                             Fairlawn Elementary

Exceptional Student Education                              Dan McCarty Middle School

Human Resources                                                 Parkway Elementary

Office of Communications                                      Allapattah Flats K – 8

Office of Teaching and Learning                            Allapattah Flats K – 8

School Security                                                      South County Complex

Student Records                                                     Means Court Center

For a complete listing of locations, visit the St. Lucie Public Schools home page at www.stlucieschools.org.

 

 

 

Temporary Relocation Sites for District Offices

Temporary Relocation Sites for District Offices

Due to flooding at the Orange Blossom Business Center where St. Lucie Public Schools District offices were located, all District offices will relocate to school and District annex facilities throughout the county.

The list below indicates the temporary host sites:

 

21st Century Program                                          Northport K-8

Alternative Education                                          Dale Cassens Educational Complex

Assessment                                                         South County Complex

Business Services                                               Parkway Elementary

Career and Technical Education                         St. Lucie West Centennial High School

Child Nutrition Services                                      Garden City

Curriculum                                                          Allapattah Flats K-8

Education Foundation                                         Fairlawn Elementary

Exceptional Student Education                          Dan McCarty Middle School and Identified Schools

Federal Programs (Title 1, ESOL, Migrant)       Samuel Gaines Academy

Human Resources                                             Parkway Elementary

ITS                                                                     Remote Locations

Office of Communications                                  Allapattah Flats K-8

Office of Teaching and Learning                         Allapattah Flats K-8

Print Shop                                                           St. Lucie West Centennial High School

School Renewal                                                  Sam Gaines Academy

School Security                                                   South County Complex

Student Records                                                 Means Court Center

Superintendent’s Suite                                        Allapattah Flats K-8 and Lincoln Park (Satellite Site)

Talent Development                                            Allapattah Flats K-8

Volunteer Coordinator                                         Savanna Ridge Elementary

 

 

After Hurricane Irma Hits, Florida Schools Work to Get Back in Business

After Hurricane Irma Hits, Florida Schools Work to Get Back in Business

School Districts in Florida are working to get running again after Hurricane Irma caused widespread power outages, wind damage, and flooding.  Schools closed last week to prepare for the storm, which made landfall in south Florida on Sunday and swept through the state.

Hurricane Irma flooded St. Lucie Public Schools’ central office (seen in the background), which is expected to be uninhabitable for months.
Hurricane Irma flooded St. Lucie Public Schools’ central office (seen in the background), which is expected to be uninhabitable for months.

As was the case in Texas during Hurricane Harvey, school bus operations pitched in for Hurricane Irma evacuations in Florida.

At St. Lucie Public Schools on the Atlantic coast, several neighborhoods were flooded and became uninhabitable. That included the district’s central office (see photo above). A dozen of the district’s schools temporarily served as storm shelters, and the transportation department helped in a number of ways before and during the emergency.

“Transportation provided a call center for evacuees to call for help when the county system was overwhelmed,” said Don Carter, director of transportation for St. Lucie Public Schools, “and buses transported evacuees to shelters, including special-needs clients as well as pets to the pet-friendly shelter.”

St. Lucie Public Schools’ buses transported people as well as pets (seen here in kennels) to storm shelters.
St. Lucie Public Schools’ buses transported people as well as pets (seen here in kennels) to storm shelters.

St. Lucie Public Schools hopes to reopen on Monday. At one point, more than half of the district’s 38 schools were without electricity, but Carter said on Wednesday that the situation has improved and all of the schools are expected to have power restored by this weekend.While the storm shelters at the schools have been closed, Carter noted, “We’re feeding students at select schools for the next couple of days for any that want to come eat.”

Across the state on the Gulf Coast, Hillsborough County Public Schools was also closed this week, with plans to reopen on Monday. The Tampa-based district’s transportation department has also been helping to move people before and after Hurricane Irma.

“We assisted with about 50 buses for evacuation of special-needs residents in the state prior to the storm and are now working with emergency management trying to get them back home,” Jim Beekman, Hillsborough’s general manager of transportation services, said on Tuesday.

Hillsborough County (Fla.) Public Schools bus drivers helped evacuate residents before Hurricane Irma hit. Screenshot from Hillsborough County Public Schools video
Hillsborough County (Fla.) Public Schools bus drivers helped evacuate residents before Hurricane Irma hit. Screenshot from Hillsborough County Public Schools video

(Hear Hillsborough school bus drivers discuss their experience evacuating residents in this video.)The district’s transportation department takes part in various emergency response workshops and drills throughout the year. Those include reviewing evacuation procedures with county and municipal police and fire departments.

In emergencies like Hurricane Irma, Hillsborough County Public Schools supports county governmental agencies by dispatching school buses to transport residents in evacuation zones that transit buses might not be able to reach. When an emergency operations center (EOC) is activated, a dedicated transportation staff member is assigned to the EOC throughout the crisis.

This infographic from Hillsborough County Public Schools shows the district’s preparations for Hurricane Irma by the numbers. (Story continues below.)

Brevard Public Schools on the Atlantic Coast also made extensive preparations for Hurricane Irma. For the district’s 500 school buses, that included installing hurricane storm locks on service doors and securing roof hatches, windows, stop arms, and crossing arms. The transportation team also positioned buses as much as possible so that the forecast 100 mph winds would run parallel to them.

“A sustained 100 mph wind with higher gusts hitting a bus directly from the side can easily roll it over,” said Arby Creach, transportation director for Brevard Public Schools.

The prep work paid off. The district’s bus garages and parking compounds sustained only minor damage, mostly from water and debris, and the fleet stayed intact.

“Our buses made it through without any apparent damage,” Creach said. “We will know more as our staff members return to their homes and we begin the preparation to start school on Monday the 18th. I am convinced that the extra staff effort and long hours of preparation made the difference.”

Hurricane Irma also made its way into states north of Florida. In Georgia, for example, schools in Atlanta closed from Monday to Wednesday. Many schools lost power earlier in the week but are now back up and running.

John Franklin, executive director of transportation for Atlanta Public Schools, said that the storm didn’t damage any of the district’s buses, but it caused other obstacles for his operation as they worked to get back in business on Thursday.

“We had lots of employees with no power and trees down, prohibiting their return to work,” Franklin said. “Transportation did have to get out and review downed trees, inoperable traffic lights, and impassable roads as part of our preparation.”

Students Help Clean Up After Hurricane Irma

Students Help Clean Up After Hurricane Irma

Students from St. Lucie Public Schools visited the Norvell Ranch to clean up after Hurricane Irma. They worked all day removing debris and loading it onto trailers. Such a great representation of our future!
Pictured from left to right: Gavin Jay (Lincoln Park Academy), Hunter Miller (St. Lucie West K-8), Clark Emerson (Lincoln Park Academy), Landon Miller (Rivers Edge Elemntary), Kelsey Grace (Allapattah Flats K-8), Debbie Norvell, Alicia Miller (St. Lucie West K-8 Teacher), Brooke Miller (Ft. Pierce Central High School), Konner Grace (Allapattah Flats K-8), Rylan Jay (Ft. Pierce Central High School).