Kanawha teachers return to school following flooding

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Kanawha teachers return to school following flooding
By Carrie Hodousek, WV MetroNews

ELKVIEW, W.Va. — Teachers are back in Kanawha County Schools Wednesday, but for some, it will be the first time they’ve seen their classrooms since the historic June flood.

“Some of them haven’t seen their rooms since they left back in June, so they don’t really totally understand what they’re going to be coming in and facing, a lot of them,” said Melissa Lovejoy, principal at Elkview Middle School.

The school sustained minor damage, unlike Herbert Hoover High School which had about 70 percent damage and Clendenin Elementary School at 97 percent damage, according to recent county assessments.

“They have to come back in and reclaim their items,” Lovejoy said of Elkview teachers. “For some that’s going to be an emotional time for them.”

Hoover students will begin the new school year on a half-day schedule with Elkview Middle students at the Elkview school building.

Lovejoy said although the year is very different compared to previous school years, her and her staff will do their best to operate “as normal as possible” along with Hoover Principal Mike Kelley.

“We’ll just set up things together and work together as a team and use the building in the morning, they’ll use it in the afternoon,” she said. “He’ll meet with his staff at one location. I’ll meet with my staff in a location. We’ll start the school year off like we always do.”

School counselors have been made aware of the current situation, Lovejoy said, and will available to help students cope with any stress they may have from the devastating floods.

“Our counselors have been part of understanding the issues that kids will be going through — the after affects of the flooding. Our staff will be having some in service sessions,” she said.

Portable buildings will be constructed on the football field at Elkview Middle to house Herbert Hoover students in the future.

Clendenin Elementary will travel to Bridge Elementary to be on split schedule with students and teachers there. Portable classrooms at Bridge are also being built.

The first day of school for students in Kanawha County is Monday.