Henryville Junior-Senior High School students return to class
SCOTTSBURG, Ind. (WDRB) -- About 500 Henryville Junior-Senior High School students were cheered on as they entered the Mid-America Science Park, their temporary school facility since their school was severely damaged in a March 2 tornado.
The business complex in Scottsburg is about a 10-mile drive from Henryville. Storerooms and conference rooms have been made over into classrooms, computer labs, and a cafeteria.
Students entered the building beneath a banner reading, "Welcome Henryville Hornets."
West Clark schools assistant superintendent John Reed says getting students back to class is a priority. "Just wonderful, everything ran real smoothly," Reed said Monday morning. "We're so excited, this is a terrific day."
Students say it's great to be back and are thankful to have escaped unharmed after their school was destroyed.
"I lost my car," said Evan Embry, a senior at Henryville High School. "My car was parked at the school. Other than that we were pretty lucky."
Attending class at the Mid-America Science Park means making a few adjustments.
"It's different," Embry said. "It's not what we expected, but we're making it. And we'll get through it. It's not the ideal situation but the administration is doing a great job and everything's running pretty smooth."
"I feel very confident that the kids have made it through the class schedules," said Henryville High principal Troy Albert. "We've changed from a 4-period day to an 8-period day. They're in classes for about 40 minutes and then we switch."
School officials say the 8-period day allows for 200 minutes of instruction each week. It also helps students move around because the classrooms are small.
"We're going to work with the kids, make sure emotionally they're ready to go, and then academically we'll look at where they stand and what we need to do to get them ready to graduate," Reed said.
Embry says he and other students are already looking forward to prom, and they're very excited about the upcoming performance by Lady Antebellum.
"Lady-A -- everybody's excited about that," Embry said. "We were just talking about it not too long ago with our prom sponsor. We're just very lucky and fortunate they're coming. We're very excited -- we can't wait."
The school district has applied for a waiver so students won't have to stay in school an extra month to make up for the missed days.
Elementary students resumed classes on March 21 at Graceland Baptist Church in New Albany.
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