District 4 Constituents,
It is so fulfilling to represent a community that is so caring, engaged and responsive.The past 24 hours have been trying for our administration, principals, teachers, faculty, staff and bus drivers as they worked to ensure our students were safe, warm and fed.
When I arrived at E Rivers today, the kids were unbelievable, handing out hugs with huge smiles on their faces. The team worked tirelessly to make this "Snowcation" a highlight of their 2013-2014 school year. The Chastain Park neighbors were on it, sending out emails encouraging those that could bring supplies to the school to do so. Granola bars, yogurt, water, cookies, box juice and more arrived in amazing quantity. Horseradish Grill brought a warm meal for the 21 staff members, 3 bus drivers and 7 parents that stayed with the students throughout the night. As I made my way to the cafeteria, I encountered our Jackson PTA leadership who rallied their parents and had "snack bags" and "to go bags" for the students as they got on the buses. They brought blankets and warm loving support to these students and tired employees.
At NAHS, the first teacher I encountered, while exhausted, raved at how well the kids handled this situation. The boys played basketball and soccer in the gym all night, the girls were in the media center and movies were being shown. Can you imagine cooking for, and feeding 403 teenagers (yikes) plus 51 adults? This a very large school and the administration, teachers and staff handled the situation with amazing calm and professionalism. They are all "True Warriors". The last bus rolled out about 2:30 pm. APD and APS officers were present at both schools. We should be so grateful and remember to thank them for the service they provide to us in an emergency, and on a daily basis.
I would be remiss if I did not mention Morris Brandon. I was informed late today that they opened up their main campus doors to community members who got stranded on Howell Mill and West Wesley. It is my understanding the administration was caring for a few students who could not make it home safely and the neighbors in Castlewood came to the rescue with food and water. These are just the schools in District 4 that were impacted yesterday. I can say with complete confidence that the same level of responsiveness would have occurred in any of the cluster schools.
There will be lessons learned from this situation and as a system and Board, we will improve our processes through policy and procedures. Tonight, as I recap my day, I am assured that we can never predict what Mother Nature has in store with 100% accuracy, but I am confident that we are blessed with AMAZING employees at APS, who truly care about the well being of each student and fortunate to have such an AMAZING supportive community.
ABE District 4
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