As Hurricane Irma continues on a path toward Florida, classes for hundreds of thousands of students have been canceled as many school districts and colleges brace themselves for the potentially devastating storm.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that the Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade county school districts will be closed Thursday and Friday.
"Tropical storm and perhaps hurricane force winds produced by Irma are possible in portions of Miami-Dade County beginning Friday," Miami-Dade Superintendent said in a statement. "Since [the district] does not operate school buses during sustained tropical storm force winds and families need time to prepare, the two-day closure is warranted."
In addition, Lynn University, Broward College, Palm Beach State College and Miami-Dade College will close Thursday and Friday. Florida Atlantic University already had canceled classes beginning Wednesday.
Schools in the Archdiocese of Miami, which includes Miami-Dade and Broward counties, also will close Thursday and Friday. Classes and activities at St. Thomas University are canceled from Thursday through the weekend.
In Central Florida, Osceola County district public schools will be closed on Friday and Monday, WESH-TV says, as will Marion County district schools. Polk County schools will be closed on Friday.
Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach has canceled classes until further notice.
In the Tampa Bay region, the Hillsborough, Pinellas and Hernando county districts also will be closed Thursday and Friday, The Tampa Bay Times reports. The Pasco and Sarasota county districts will be open Thursday, but plan to be closed on Friday.
Other school districts are monitoring the forecast of the hurricane's path and may decide to cancel classes as the storm gets closer to Florida.