Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash
On Feb. 22, MISD announced classes would start again after a week off because of low temperatures and winter weather. Alongside city damages, the arctic-like conditions also caused issues for schools.
For Texas schools, winter storm damage does not happen often which leaves them vulnerable compared to other schools in northern states. The schools impacted by the winter weather include Legacy, Summit, Mansfield and Lake Ridge. Legacy Principal Shelly Butler sees Legacy as one of the lucky ones.
“I do know that several schools experienced more damage than Legacy. The district worked to resolve those issues quickly, so students could return to school,” Dr. Butler said.
Dr. Butler stated that the damages at Legacy did not exceed a simple burst pipe. The water from the damage exited the back of the school and MISD maintenance resolved the issue immediately which prevented any extreme water damages.
“I was impressed by the work our district maintenance department does in such a short amount of time,” Dr. Butler said.
Aside from the maintenance department’s quick response to repair the damages caused by the winter storm, Dr. Butler also appreciates the hard work they put in daily to make sure everything in the school works well. Dr. Butler also thinks the district will do a plus/delta to improve their response to events like the storm.
“Our state government and the federal government have already started talking about ways to support school districts with repairs and other weather-related needs,” Dr. Butler said.
Although she does not know much about the cost of the repairs for weather-related damages Dr. Butler believes the district might have a budget in place for these circumstances. Similarly, Summit Assistant Principal Ashley Alloway whose school also dealt with damages does not know the cost but does know the damages will not cost much.
“I know that the district can file for FEMA relief, but I am not part of the decision-making team for this process,” Ms. Alloway said.
Ms. Alloway believes applying for FEMA relief will help with the cost of damages for the school district but she does not have the power to make the decision to apply for government aid.
“I am really glad to be back at school and have enjoyed seeing students. I missed seeing everyone and interacting with students and staff, Ms. Alloway said.
At her school, maintenance crews worked hard to repair damages, however, Ms. Alloway believes damages did not have prevention. In preparation for future weather events, Ms. Alloway will continue to prepare the same other years with the inclusion of extra time in the school calendar to cover bad weather days. On a similar note, Dr. Butler also plans to make efforts to prevent damages from other weather events.
“I’ll work with our APs to make sure our campus emergency procedures are still viable for future weather events,” Dr. Butler said.
Dr. Butler understands the importance of emergency drills and will continue to practice them as a campus to ensure preparedness in case of emergency.
“I watched the news and saw the damage in other districts. I am incredibly thankful to work in MISD,” Dr. Butler said.