Here is the text of the email Superintendent Eddie Tyler sent parents this morning:
I hope you and your children are well. I know that many of you are blocked in, without power or internet and may not get this message until sometime later this week. Please know you are on my heart.
I spent Sunday afternoon meeting with senior staff and I believe we will need some time to get our buildings safe for children to return. We live in a very large county. Power may be on in your area and your school may not have any damage, but we cannot open schools unless all schools can open. Our pacing guides, state testing, meal and accountability requirements are based on the system, not individual schools.
We began our assessments and repair work last week. Starting today we will bring in additional employees to make further property assessments, repairs and start the cleaning process. We are also dependent on outside contractors and supply stores, many of which have been closed, flooded or inventories depleted.
We have schools without power and for which we do not expect power until later this week. In this new age, we need internet and communications which are currently down so we cannot run many system tests. We have physical damage at our schools including some with standing water, collapsed ceilings and blown-out windows. We have debris on our properties and debris blocking our transportation teams from picking up students. All of this must be resolved before we can successfully re-open.
If everything goes as planned, I expect we will welcome back students on Wednesday, September 30. Prior to returning students to school, we will hold two teacher workdays to get our classrooms and our lesson plans back on track.
Parents, please know that we are focused on making this schedule. Many of us have put our own personal recovery needs on hold to make sure we are doing our best to get your children back in school where they need to be.
After a spring of COVID and our return-to-school plan under incredible pressure we now have this. There is a point of too much and I think we have found it! All we can do is take these things one step at a time.
Parents, we ask for your patience and understanding during all of this. Please be kind in your communications and help others in our community. Stay safe and remember we still have COVID actively throughout our community.
You will hear directly from me next week, or sooner, if necessary and please remember while there may be rumors, you can be assured that there will be no changes unless you hear about them directly from me.