Students in Beaufort and Jasper county public schools should return to school Monday after Hurricane Matthew.
Power has been restored to all Beaufort County School District schools except Daufuskie Island School, spokesman Jim Foster said. School buses should also be able to run their normal routes by Monday. The Jasper County School District also will reopen Monday, according to a news release.
American Red Cross shelters at Battery Creek High School and Bluffton High School are closing Friday in preparation for schools reopening.
About 11 people remained at the Battery Creek shelter on Friday morning, and all had somewhere else to go, according to shelter manager Jessica Brain said. The last of the residents at Bluffton High departed before 11 a.m. Friday. Food and water distribution centers at the Hilton Head Island schools complex and at St. Helena Elementary School will remain open until no longer needed, according to a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office news release.
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It’s not clear if or when students will make up the eight days of classes that have been missed since Wednesday, Oct. 5, the day the evacuation order for Beaufort County was issued by Gov. Nikki Haley.
“Our first goal is to get the schools open on Monday,” he said.
The first three makeup days are built into the district calendar, state Department of Education spokesman Ryan Brown said. Beaufort County already burned one of those days Sept. 2 for the storm Hermine.
The Beaufort County Board of Education can waive the next three days with a majority vote, but the remaining two days would have to be waived by the state Board of Education, Brown said.
Several county schools were damaged by the storm, including leaky roofs and some structural damage from fallen branches at Beaufort High School and H.E. McCracken Middle School. There was some water in the corridors of Hilton Head Elementary School and large trees down outside.
A Beaufort County crew is traveling to several schools today to cut up and remove remaining trees.
Schools also are trying to figure out their athletics schedules.
Because of games postponed by Hurricane Matthew, the S.C. High School League extended the football regular season by one week. Games postponed during the week of Oct. 7 will be played Nov. 4. Games postponed the week of Oct. 14 will be played Nov. 11.
Football games will continue as scheduled Oct. 21. Playoffs for all classifications begin Nov. 18.