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Joplin School District Planning to Resume Classes in Fall;May Hold Summer School

While Joplin School District officials continue to hope staff and students they haven’t yet heard from are OK, they’re working to make sure school starts next fall as scheduled. KSMU’s Michele Skalicky has more…

Joplin School District officials continue to ask students and staff to let them know that they’re OK. Zac Rantz, communication coordinator for Nixa Public Schools is helping the Joplin district with communications following Sunday’s tornado. He says 3400 of the district’s 7800 students were in the path of destruction…

"and so this is continuing to be an ongoing effort that we're trying to find where all of them are, their status, and then also we have many who have left the area and so we're trying to make contact out into the surrounding areas, into Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, over into Springfield, other parts of the state just so we can figure out the status of all of our students."

While the number of staff and students who are known to be OK continues to change, Rantz says he can say that 100% of Irving Elementary’s 275 students and staff have been accounted for…

"This is just a huge milestone in our efforts, and we're looking forward to being able to report more data out as soon as we can get it available."

You can let the Joplin School District know that you’re OK by calling 625-5270 or 625-5290 or post on their Facebook page— officials are looking ahead to what to do now that several school buildings have been heavily damaged by the storm. Four schools were destroyed and six other buildings were damaged.Rantz says engineers are checking all the school buildings and officials are reviewing plans, but Rantz says, somehow, classes will resume in the fall…

"We are starting school in 84 days--that's the plan, and we're going to try to have as many buildings up. We have FEMA who have pledged support, the governor has pledged support, and we have so many agencies pledging their support to get as many buildings, you know, where they need to be for the first day of school. We know not all buildings are going to be there, but we're going to try to get as many buildings there as possible so that way our students can come back home and have a place here in Joplin schools."

Rantz says, though plans aren’t finalized, the district is still hoping to hold summer school to provide sense of normalcy and a routine for students.