Archive for News & Updates

Johnny Cash’s Ragged Old Flag opens School Board Meeting

Johnny Cash’s Ragged Old Flag opens School Board Meeting

At today’s School Board meeting I had the privilege of having the opening exercises. I shared about my recent honor to attend the Citrus County Sheriff Office POW/MIA changing of the colors ceremony at the CCSO Inverness Headquarters and the privilege to accompany the CCSO’s POW honoree.  During the ceremony both the U.S. Flag and the U.S. POW/MIA flag were presented to former POW and former Citrus County teacher, Capt. Richard Tangeman, USN, (ret.).  As these flags were respectfully folded and handed to Capt. Tangeman I found the moment emotional. Hearing again the stories of his great sacrifice so that we may live in this great country and afforded its great freedoms.

With the help of Citrus Schools Assistant Superintendent (and former Army Captain), Mike Mullen I shared this short video.  I hope you all enjoy it as well.

USDA opens access to to FREE breakfast & Lunch to ALL Citrus School students due to Hurricane Irma

USDA/FDAC opens access to FREE breakfast & Lunch to ALL Citrus School students due to Hurricane Irma

Beginning tomorrow and ending October 20th  all of our students will receive free breakfasts and lunches. 

1504458810925In the wake of Hurricane Irma, The U.S. Department of Agriculture has decided to allow all students in 37 counties throughout Florida that have been designated as a FEMA Major Disaster areas access to free school meals.

To help accommodate Citrus County residents affected by Hurricane Irma, ALL students in Citrus County will be allowed to receive free school breakfasts and lunches, regardless of income eligibility status.  This temporary access to free school meals will begin tomorrow,  Tuesday, September 19th and end on Friday, October 20th.

If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact our Food and Nutrition Services Department at 352-726-1931, ext. 2402.

From Citrus County Schools Food Servives

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has accepted the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), Division of Food, Nutrition and Wellness (FNW) department’s request to allow all students in 37 counties designated in the FEMA Major Disaster Declaration access free school meals through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs.

To help accommodate Citrus County residents affected by Hurricane Irma and resume operations, ALL students in Citrus County will be allowed to receive free school meals, regardless of their income eligibility status.  This temporary access to free school meals will commence on Tuesday, September 19th and run through Friday, October 20th.  On Monday, October 23rd, your student’s regular Free and Reduced-Price Meal Eligibility status will resume.

Please understand that during this temporary access to free school meals, menus will be subject to change due to the availability of products.

If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact our Food and Nutrition Services Department at 352-726-1931, ext. 2402.

Schools to remain closed through Friday, Sept. 15th, 2017, Staff only return on Friday

Schools to remain closed through Friday, Sept. 15th, 2017,  Staff only return on Friday

Message from the Superintendent of Schools…

schools-closed1Good Afternoon,

I hope this message finds you and your family safe and well.

I am writing to update you on the status of the closing of our schools. After the continued assessment of our facilities and the ongoing loss of electricity both in our community and in our schools, the decision has been made to cancel school the remainder of the week for students from

Wednesday, September 13th through Friday, September 15th.

All staff will return to work on Friday, September 15th and schools we will reopen for both staff and students on Monday, September 18th.

Thanks and stay safe.

Sam Himmel
Superintendent
Citrus County Schools

​Post Hurricane Irma Monday afternoon Update

Post Hurricane Irma Monday afternoon Update

Capture1While there is still lots of evaluation to be done there is reason to be encouraged for both the community of Citrus county and our schools. At this time, no new official announcement on schools re-opening has taken place.  The Superintendent is meeting with other officials this afternoon and I look for additional information to be forthcoming.

There are several issues that as a school district we will be facing with regards to when School will return. One will be ensuring that the roads are safe for our buses and students to travel.  Another will be adequate time to restore the schools to a healthy and clean environment that were used to shelters have been restored. We also need to ensure that we have food for our students as many of those resources were used throughout the county to supply the shelters and many local families will have not been able to replenish their supplies either so our Food Service Department will be working to restore our supplies. That doesn’t begin to address the hundreds of other issues that our teams of district maintenance teams, administrators and staff will be addressed to ready our schools to re-open.

At this time, my personal prayers are directed for the protection of the Marine Science Station. The Station we believe faired okay flood wise during the storm. We’re hoping that this next high tide (around 8:00pm, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017) will still NOT be high enough to impact that facility. That facility is a true treasure for our educational system and vital for many students by positively impacting hands-on learning. The Academy of Environmental Science we feel is safe as those classrooms are on stilts.

I know many are interested in when school return and as soon as I know anything I will share with you.

Lastly, I know some will begin thinking about how these necessary days off will impact our school calendar.  While that is understandable, we will not know much right away.  The past practice of the Superintendent has been to apply for a waiver for some of the storm days.  After the information is known as to if and how many days may be excused by the state, then the district would then look at addition options. No specific days have been recommended yet, but there are options we do have in our calendar.  At this time, it is too early to have details on how or when we will make up the canceled days.

Thank you again for all the efforts for our community and schools!

#WeAreCitrus

Visited Shelters on Sunday

Visited Shelters on Sunday

#WeAreCitrus

ccsb_logo-COLLAGEToday I visited the Central Ridge Elementary, Forest Ridge Elementary, Lecanto Primary and Lecanto High storm shelters. I am just so proud of our many school district staff and administrators that are just doing an awesome job coordinating, cleaning, feeding and working to make things as pleasant as can be at these school shelters. The Florida National Guard and our local Sheriff’s Department have been exemplary and are a very warm presents and comfort at the shelters.  We are grateful to Gov. Rick Scott and Sheriff Mike Prendergast for ensuring that our community, evacuees and staff are safe.

We need to give a special thanks to the many individuals, churches, organizations and businesses that are bringing supplies and comfort to the evacuees at the shelters. I wanted to share just one example of the of positive things happening by our community.  When I was at Forest Ridge, the staff shared that they were down to their last pot of coffee.  During these long days and nights coffee can be important.  I posted on Facebook the need.  The community immediately responded and coffee began coming to the shelter.  Then through the effects of one of our Hernando Elementary teachers, Stacie Elliott-Lewis, reached our and contacted The Cattle Dog Roasters owner James Cook, and shortly afterwards large amounts of ground coffee was dropped off at the shelter. This is the type of remarkable community we live in.  I wanted to name just a few of the many groups, individuals and their families that have been helping today get supplies to our shelters; Ashley Gibson, Amanda Schaak, Tanya Sacris, Sandy Vetter Mo, Stacie Elliott-Lewis, Cattle Dog Roasters & owner James Cook, Seven Rivers Church, and many many others.

This is only the beginning.  Tomorrow begins another day and a new day, and our community will need help and helping of each other.  As I walked the campus today I had several people stop and talk to me about their great concern about after the storm, as many of the evacuees live in dwellings that they don’t know what will be of them when the storm has passed.  They are concerned who will help them? When help will start and when will FEMA personal be in our community to assist them?

Before leaving one of the shelters today, one of the administrator and I took a moment to pause and prayed for the needs of our evacuees, our community and our staff, guardsmen, and first responders. I encourage you to please lift our community up in your prayers.

I feel blessed and grateful that my family and I live in Citrus County, and our community will recover and we will persevere.
#WeAreCitrus

Hurricane Irma Closes Citrus Schools for Monday & Tuesday

Hurricane Irma Closes Citrus Schools for Monday & Tuesday

hurricaneThe impending storm has forced the closing of Citrus County public schools for Friday, Monday and now Tuesday (Sept. 9-12).  For information on the storms impact to Citrus County please visit the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office Web page and on even better on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sheriffcitrus/

Following call out went out Friday mid morning regarding school closure on Tuesday.

Good morning, this is Sam Himmel your superintendent of schools. Due to the uncertainty of hurricane Irma’s path and the impact on our community, school has been canceled for both Monday September 11th and Tuesday, September 12th. I encourage everyone to stay updated on the progress of the storm and take all precautionary measures as advised by our local EOC officials. Thank you and be safe.