3 Cheatham Co. schools will remain closed - WKRN News 2

3 Cheatham Co. schools will remain closed


KINGSTON SPRINGS, Tenn.-  Disaster relief crews were out cleaning in Cheatham County schools on Monday, but officials say it won't be enough to get students back in class at a few certain school by the end of the academic year.

Since so many of students were affected by the flood at Harpeth High School, Harpeth Middle School and Kingston Springs Elementary School in the southern part of the county, the schools have canceled classes for the rest of the year.

Instead of studying, many Cheatham County students are helping with flood relief efforts.

Kelsey Arrington, a sixth grader at Harpeth Middle, said, "Our basement was flooded, so we've been cleaning it out."

Kingston Springs Elementary was still one of the hardest hit schools in the county. Nearly eight feet of water flooded the building. No one is allowed into the school right now except for a disaster team who's working hard to save all they can.

About 500 students go to the school, and administrators say even more in the county had to flee their flooded homes.

Harpeth High Assistant Prinicipal Allen Collins said, "That's a lot of displaced kids that are going to be out of their homes for at least a month."

Melissa Martinez, a school counselor at Harpeth High, said, "It's emotional. It's physical. It's everything combined together."

Counselors and parents feel this time is important for students to have with family.

Martinez said,  "I can't imagine that they can even focus on anything outside what's going on right there with them in their houses trying to get their lives back together."

Parent Stacey Pate said, "I don't see how there's any way they can go in and concentrate on taking a test when they know their best friend has no shoes to wear."

Some students we talked to are actually looking forward to getting their lives back to some sense of normalcy and going back to school.

Arrington said, "I'm hoping soon that the day will come that we get to go back and clean out our lockers and turn in our library books."

Administrators are working with teachers to figure out a way to get students back into schools if they need to take end of year exams like the Gateway or AP exams.

Allen said, "Really I think that will hurt the high school a little bit more, of course you don't have alot of options at this time, because we still have some end of course tests to give. We still have some gateways to give."

"If they have to come back to take some tests, they'll do the best they can to get through and graduate," Martinez said.

School officials say the problem they keep running into is that many students who were displaced, are now staying with friends and family out of town.

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