Hurricane Eta: Lee County schools to dismiss kids early today as Category 1 storm approaches

Pamela McCabe
| Fort Myers News-Press

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Video: Outer bands of Hurricane Eta lash Sanibel Island, Florida

Hurricane Eta moved toward Southwest Florida Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020.

Schools will dismiss three hours early in Lee County due to Hurricane Eta.

Citing the latest reports by the National Hurricane Center, district officials are concerned that parts of Lee County are under tropical storm warnings and a tornado watch.

“Hurricane Eta has the potential to bring heavy rain and high winds this afternoon that could exceed safe levels for buses to be on the road, as identified by the Florida Department of Education,” the district said in a message to families.

Eta now Category 1 hurricane: Florida’s west coast under hurricane watch, storm surge warning

Today’s early dismissals are as follows:

  • High schools will dismiss at 10:35 a.m.
  • Middle schools will dismiss at 1 p.m.
  • Elementary schools on the early bell schedule will dismiss at 11:10 a.m. The later schools will dismiss at 12:10 p.m.

Weather watcher: Weather radar shows rain, thunderstorms in Lee County, Collier County

Track Hurricane Eta

Bus services will still be offered, but families should be aware that children will be dropped off at their bus stops three hours earlier than normal.

“If the change in dismissal time presents families with a hardship, please contact your school site so we can assist you in ensuring the safety of your child,” the message states.

A list of schools and contact information can be found on the district’s website,

Students can also be picked up early.

All after-school activities, including athletic practices and competitions, are cancelled.

“We apologize for the inconvenience caused by the shift in forecasted storm effects,” the district reported. “We will continue to monitor the storm and bring you updates as they are available.”

Lee Home Connect students would also dismiss early because they follow the same bell schedule as the in-person learners.

Lee Virtual School students can continue their studies online uninterrupted, unless otherwise noted by an instructor. 

The school district, like others around the state, called off classes Monday due to the threat of the storm system. Students returned for classes Tuesday.

At the time, the district called up the use of a hurricane makeup day that had been scheduled for today to make up for the hours missed in the classroom.

Hurricane days act as placeholders in the school calendar to make up for days missed when a tropical storm prevents schools from operating.


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