Hurricane forces school cancellation Friday

Carleigh Walter, Student Publisher

Category 2 Hurricane Sandy had been expected to pass by Melbourne with minor impact, but due to the storm’s direction shift, Brevard Public Schools has decided to cancel Friday classes along with all-school related events.

“Things like this are freaks of nature. We just have to go with the flow,” Principal Rick Fleming said. “We were supposed to be looking at 25 mph winds.”

Events impacted by the decision include Friday’s middle-school dance, a district swimming meet and all other athletic practices. In addition, the Blue and Silver game scheduled for for Thursday also has been postponed. The district swimming meet has been rescheduled from Friday and Saturday to Saturday and Sunday beginning at 3 p.m.  Swimmers are to report to the pool by 1:30 p.m. and must provide their own own transportation because buses have been canceled. Members of the West Shore Thespians had planned to compete Saturday at the District 11 Individual Events Assessment Festival in Kissimmee, but the event has been rescheduled for Dec.1. However, the annual IE preview show will be held as scheduled Thursday in the auditorium at 6:30 p.m. Admission is a suggested donation of $5.

Information on the new dates for other activities is still being discussed by the administration and the school district.

“Unfortunately, alternate dates at this point during the year are difficult,” Fleming said. “We do all the planning for the entire school year — I’m talking about dances, Prom, games, sporting events, everything —  in July. You can’t predict this type of stuff.”

On Thursday, the Palm Beach County School District decided to close schools three hours early Thursday and all day Friday as weather conditions in South Florida continued to deteriorate. The Category 2 hurricane hit Cuba on Thursday morning, causing heavy wind and rain along Florida’s east coast. Flagler, Marion, and Orange have now also closed the schools.

Conflicts arising in past years with regard to scheduling a hurricane makeup day for the Wednesday before Thanksgiving led the district to move it to Feb. 18, previously a teacher workday.

“When something like this happens, its hard for us to squeeze a back-up day into our already busy schedule,” Fleming said.

The status of other student-related events including he District 3 Florida Scholastic Press Association Workshop and Jason’s Run fund-raiser for the Whitworth family will be determined by the individuals in charge of the events. The annual Holy Name Fair which was to begin Thursday will continue as planned, but organizers say they could choose to shut off all rides while still letting the public attend. The fair runs through the weekend and ends Sunday night.