EKY school districts affected by flooding working to get students back in the classroom
KNOTT COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - School districts in Eastern Kentucky are looking forward to the start of school. However, for some, it could still be a while before kids are back in the classroom.
Perry County and Breathitt County schools will open up on August 29, while Knott County Schools is looking at the middle of September before they could start.
Throughout the clean-up process, we’ve heard from school leaders and some college students affected by the flooding. Tuesday morning was really the first time we’ve been able to hear from a K-12 student impacted by the floods.
Knott County Central High School student Hunter Combs told the Kentucky Education Department’s Student Advisory Council that, right now, he’s still unsure when he’ll be back in a classroom.
“No earlier than September 19. That’s kind of been the date that we’ve had for a couple weeks. I’ve heard from some people we may be pushing more towards October 1,” said Combs.
Combs said the school district hasn’t shared many details with students and families.
Officials said during the meeting that there appears to be trouble getting the wastewater system back online near Hindman, which is just one factor delaying the start of the school year.
“One thing we’re worried about is our laptops that the school is providing is inside of a conference room and there was two foot of water in that conference room. So, no one knows the state of that,” Combs said.
Combs said that, for him, school is a safe place. A place to get away from outside worries, but until classes start back up, he, his friends and family and his community are still fully focused on the devastation left behind.
“Everyone I know was impacted in their own little way,” Combs said.
“You know, you lost a couple things or some friends of mine lost everything, lose houses, and have had to move. They don’t know what the future is looking. They don’t know if they’re going to try to salvage the house. If they’re going to just move away from here. It just really, there’s a lot of ‘what ifs’ and we’re really just waiting to see how the future pans out with that,” said Combs.
Education Commissioner Jason Glass said that he believes the governor and legislature will call a special session soon to allocate more funding for the recovery effort and give districts some flexibility on how long they have to be in school this year, similar to what they did for Western Kentucky after the tornado outbreak last year.
If you’re looking for a way to help, the Kentucky Department of Education will be hosting a book drive to restock the Knott County Library. You can drop off donations at the KEDC Lexington branch from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. There are also two more drop-off locations in Ashland and Barbourville.
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