PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Some Pinellas County schools will have early dismissal on Monday so the county can prepare to open them to the public as special needs shelters ahead of Tropical Storm Ian.

The following Pinellas County schools will release students at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 26:

  • Palm Harbor University High School
  • Dunedin Highland Middle School
  • John Hopkins Middle School

Other schools will remain open during their normal hours on Monday. After-school activities will be cancelled so families can prepare for the storm and school staff can staff the shelters.

All Pinellas County Schools will close on Tuesday, Sept. 27 and are tentatively scheduled to remain closed until Thursday, Sept. 29. The school district plans to keep students and families updated via email, text message and recorded phone messages, as well as information posted to the district’s website and social media pages.

The special needs shelters will open Monday, Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. Anyone who needs transportation to those shelters is asked to contact the county information center at 727-464-4333. Residents who are deaf or hard of hearing can contact the information center via chat.

Two other shelters will open to the public on Monday at 6 p.m.:

  • Ross Norton Recreation Center (1426 S M.L.K. Jr Ave, Clearwater, FL)
  • Lealman Exchange (5175 45th St N, St. Petersburg)

Additional shelters will open Tuesday morning. The county said residents should finalize their sheltering or evacuation plans and are encouraged to begin evacuating on Monday.

More information is expected to be released at a press conference on Monday.