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Students returned to school Friday amid tornado debris

Johnson County educators tried to provide students a sense of normalcy and stability by returning to classes on Friday, a day after school was cancelled when a powerful storm system, which spawned several tornadoes roared through the area in the early morning hours of April 28th.
Administrators said it was important for schools to get back to a regular schedule as soon as possible in order to help students and their parents cope with the storm’s aftermath. “It was important to get the kids back in school as soon as possible after the storm,” explained Morris Woodring, Director of Schools for Johnson County. “It is important to improving the strength and resilience of our community that families can get kids back to school as soon as possible, children can be with their friends, and parents can get on with all the jobs associated with rebuilding.”
With less than a month of the school year remaining, many students are also preparing for exams and the Class of 2011 is preparing for graduation and all the programs associated with the momentous occasion.
Paula Norton, Johnson County Schools counselor supervisor, also agreed schools should have reopened as soon as possible after the tornadoes. I concur that it helps children to get back into a normal routine as quickly as possible after a natural disaster or any crisis event,” said Norton. “It is important for children to feel safe and secure with normal routines. Plus, schools provide warm and nutritious meals that might not be otherwise available in crisis situations. School counselors and classroom teachers are phenomenal at reassuring students and helping them process their questions and fears.”
According to Barry Bishop, transportation supervisor, modified bus routes were utilized on Friday after a two-hour delay with buses not attempting to travel the roads still strewn with storm debris. Students personally affected, such as those whose family lost their home, were excused from class.
“The community has really come together on this one,” said Woodring. “Our spirits and sense of community could not be stronger and our job is to help guide students through the tough times.”