03/13/05 — Wayne Country Day teachers prepare for classes

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Wayne Country Day teachers prepare for classes

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on March 13, 2005 2:09 AM

Teachers do more than just stand in front of a classroom. Sometimes they also make sure the classroom is still standing.

When a storm swept through Wayne County last week, it caused extensive damage to the roof at Wayne Country Day School and destroyed the contents of three classrooms and two other rooms. School has not been in session since Tuesday.

When the staff was given the go-ahead to return on Friday after the buildings were inspected, headmaster Eddie Radford said the joint effort was a sight to behold. Staff and teachers showed up ready to work as if it was the first day of school.

They sorted through furniture, books and papers in the damaged areas, throwing out things that could not be used, stacking items in "storage pods" the school rented for the occasion.

Most of the storm damage occurred in the school's main building, Radford said. While the roof was most affected, a teachers' lounge and a counseling and tutoring room were also ruined. Three classrooms, a fourth-grade room, a room for Latin and theater classes, and the Spanish classroom, will be relocated until repairs are made.

The school's gymnasium was quickly converted into two classes, half for the Spanish classes and the other side for Marsha Compton's fourth graders. Desks and chairs were neatly arranged in preparation for students' return on Monday and a tarp was carefully taped down to protect the gym floor.

"The kids will come in Monday morning and I'm going to let them do the rest so they'll be comfortable with it," Ms. Compton said.

She said she had already seen a few students who stopped by the school to pick up some belongings. She said despite water damage to funiture and loss of some books and files, she believed the children would adjust and be fine.

"They're excited," she said. "They think this is an adventure."

Middle school science teacher Sonia Price said, "We have been fortunate to only have three classrooms that have been damaged. They say within three weeks we'll have those running again."

In spite of the disastrous events, though, teachers say it has been wonderful to see everyone working together.

Cindy Holloman, preschool director, said on the day of the storm, "Older students saw the teachers trying to clear out rooms. They helped us carry the little kids across to the big building."

Then again on Friday, Ms. Price said, "Everyone came together and within two hours we had put rooms together in the gym."