Students were to return to classes in the Clinton Community School District next Monday, but that’s been pushed back to next Wednesday.
“Most schools in Iowa are starting on August 24,” Superintendent Gary Delacy told Radio Iowa. “We took advantage of the flexibility that was given by the state to move ours up a week to the 17th and now unfortunately because of the storm we’re not going to be able to start on the 17th, but hopefully we’ll get started on the 19th.”
Two of the district’s buildings were still without power yesterday afternoon. Clinton teachers were originally scheduled to return to their classrooms yesterday, but DeLacy said teachers will start on Friday.
“I don’t want to have any teachers in the building if we don’t have power,” DeLacy said. “First all, what can they do? And secondly, it is a safety issue.”
Fire alarms do not function when the power’s off, plus communications and security systems wouldn’t work if an intruder tried to get into the school. DeLacy said he’s been assured by Alliant Energy that all district facilities will be connected to the power grid some time today.
The district has purchased clear plastic face shields for all staff and students and DeLacy is anxious to get started.
“We’re planning on bringing all pre-K through 5th grade students every day,” DeLacy said. “It’s so important. They’re dependent on their teachers a lot more at a younger age and they need routine as much as anyone.”
DeLacy said the storm and its aftermath have created another hurdle for teachers and students preparing for the start of the school year.
“The year 2020 has been one that we’ve never seen in our lifetime,” DeLacy said. “We keep getting challenge after challenge and hopefully it’ll make us better.”
A few Iowa schools have started classes already. In northwest Iowa, Sheldon held a flag ceremony outside to mark yesterday’s first day of school. Officials in other districts in counties like Marshall, Tama, Benton and Linn are still assessing storm damage that ranges from downed power lines to roofs ripped off buildings. A couple of districts in the hardest hit areas have had their websites knocked off line.