WAVERLY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Waverly students headed back to class Wednesday, walking into buildings they didn’t originally plan to learn in.

Almost one year ago, flood waters rushed into Waverly, killing 20 people and destroying Waverly Elementary and Waverly Junior High.

“Some of our teachers, they lost their classrooms and their homes,” Richard Rye, Director of Humphreys County Schools said. “We’re such a small community, everybody is affected. Everybody knows somebody. If they weren’t directly affected, they know somebody, their friends that were or their families.”

Humphreys County Schools will rebuild the two destroyed schools. Leaders hoped to move into a temporary school, located in the old Acme boot factory by August 2022, and stay there until the two new school buildings are complete. However, because of supply chain issues and labor shortages, the temporary school won’t open until December.

“It would be nice to say that we could snap our fingers and be back to a better situation, but this is going to take time,” Rye said. “That’s the main thing, community and parents, be patient. We’re working hard to try to get into that temporary school and then looking at building the new schools.”

In the meantime, some Waverly students are scattered in different buildings throughout the county. Pre-k, kindergarten, and first grade students will be located at McEwen Elementary, and second graders will learn in McEwen High School’s auditorium. Third graders will report to Nashville State Community College’s Humphreys County campus for school.

Despite all the challenges students and staff have faced, test scores are back up to levels they were prior to COVID-19.

“It’s not the physical environment that helps the kids, it’s the teachers in that room,” Bryant Brink, Principal of Waverly Elementary said. “I hope this county and the community of Waverly sticks it out with us instead of transferring their students out. We would love to have their kids, because I believe we can give them the best education.”

Rye told News 2 the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will cover 95 percent of the recovery costs for the district.

He said obtaining the funds was a long, complicated process, which is why he has reached out to the superintendent in the flooded parts of Eastern Kentucky to help the district recover if needed.