Hurricane Information

Governor Rick Scott has activated the Florida Disaster Fund to support individuals who are impacted by Hurricane Irma. The Florida Disaster Fund helps provide financial support to Florida’s communities in times of disaster. To make a contribution, please visit or text DISASTER to 20222 to make a one-time donation of $10.

Hurricane Irma

Florida Virtual School Offers Assistance to Displaced Students

Florida Virtual School (FLVS) will provide remote access to educational resources to all Florida students who were displaced by Hurricane Irma. Additionally, FLVS will provide access to digital educational materials to help the hardest hit school districts as they work to return to normal operations.

Schools and districts interested in assistance should contact Larry Banks, Director of District and Franchise Solutions for FLVS, at 407-484-4031 or Individual students should visit to begin the registration process or email for special accommodations. Military families should reach out to Caprice Woodburn, Sr. Manager of Florida Services for FLVS, at 239-850-9366 or

Hurricane-Related Documents

DOE has waived statutory and rule requirements related to residency and student records to enroll students displaced by Hurricane Irma and authorize relief to facilitate the recovery of those students. Additionally, Commissioner Stewart has extended the deadline for eligible teachers to submit required documentation to for the Florida Best and Brightest Teacher Scholarship Program to their school districts to December 1, 2017. The deadline for school districts to submit documentation to DOE was also extended, to January 2, 2018.

The Florida Department of Education has received many questions about instructional hours in the wake of Hurricane Irma. Commissioner Stewart issued guidance to superintendents via a memorandum.

Testing windows for certain assessments were adjusted to provide scheduling flexibility for school districts impacted by Hurricane Irma. Once the department knows the full effect of this year’s hurricane season, it will address any needed changes to the statewide assessment schedule.

Hurricane Maria

Florida Virtual School Offers Assistance to Displaced Students

Florida Virtual School (FLVS) will accept 20,000 Puerto Rican students who were impacted by Hurricane Maria to ensure they are able to continue their education. Whether students are still in Puerto Rico or in Florida, they can take advantage of this program. Displaced Puerto Rican families who are interested in signing up for FLVS should contact Liz Chico at 863-606-8033.

Hurricane-Related Documents

On October 6, 2017, Governor Rick Scott directed the Florida Department of Education (DOE) to waive rules and regulations to ensure Puerto Rican students impacted by Hurricane Maria are able to continue their education in Florida. The Governor also directed DOE to waive the educator certificate application fee and other requirements to help Puerto Rican educators displaced by the storm more easily continue their teaching careers in Florida.

The Commissioner has reauthorized the following waivers to remain in effect as long as the underlying Executive Order (17-304) is in effect.

On November 17, 2017, Commissioner Stewart sent the following letter to Puerto Rico Secretary of Education Julia Keleher regarding her request for assistance related to students who come to Florida from Puerto Rico as juniors and seniors in high school. Any eligible, displaced student enrolled in a Florida school can seek to earn a Florida diploma; however, Florida schools will also provide a path for displaced Puerto Rican juniors and seniors to substantially complete the Puerto high school curriculum and earn their Puerto Rico high school diploma.

DOE issued a memo to district superintendents regarding an accountability exception for students who qualify as English Language Learners (ELLs) recently arriving from outside the 50 states or the District of Columbia. These students will not be included in the achievement components for the 2017-18 school grades and the school grades calculation will not include these students in the learning gains.