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
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!


Visited Shelters on Sunday

Visited Shelters on Sunday


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.

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:

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.

Citrus ESE Parent Advisory Group

Citrus ESE Parent Advisory Group

Helping students have ‘grit’

ese4Last week ESE parents, grandparents and educators gathered for the first school year’s quarterly Citrus Schools ESE Parent Advisory Group.

Stephanie Crosier, Parent Services Specialist for FDLRS,

Stephanie Crosier, Parent Services Specialist for FDLRS,

This group brings together stakeholders of ESE students to help support one another. Resources are shared, guest speakers present and parents have opportunities to share with one another and the district.

This meeting’s guest speaker was Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources System (FDLRS), Parent Services Specialist, Stefanie Crosier.  Ms. Crosier gave a personal and passionate presentation on the importance of “Grit”, and how developing grit is critical to student’s success.  During the presentation, she shared a wonderful TED TALKS video on Grit by Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth. Follow this link to Dr. Duckworth video:

Ms. Crosier shared the wealth of resources that FDLRS offers free to students, families and educators.

During the meeting, I had an opportunity to share about my personal connection to ESE.  These ESE students and families are always very special to me and I am grateful for the work our educators and the community does to make our kids more successful.

The next quarterly Citrus Schools ESE Parent Advisory Group meeting is scheduled for Oct. 17, 2017 from 4:30pm to 6:00pm.

Citrus Schools message on solar eclipse happening on Monday, 8/21/2017

Citrus Schools message on solar eclipse happening on Monday, 8/21/2017

District-MesssageImportant message from Superintendent of Schools, Sandra “Sam” Himmel regarding the partial solar eclipse occurring over Citrus County on Monday, August 21, 2017.


If you have specific concerns please contact your student’s school and visit