Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Local News

May 19, 2013

CISD students head back to class on Monday

Teachers prepping for end of year

"The morning after the tornado, he said, 'I hope my school box is OK,'" Gerard Elementary School mom Stephanie Franklin said of her son, Corbin. 

The kindergartener is among 23 who will be attending Jill Crook's class in the school's first-grade annex on Monday. 

Crook said she found Corbin's pencil box unharmed and has put it in a safe spot for his return  to school. After seeing what was left of her classroom for the first time on Friday, Crook said she can finally go through the remnants of the room — one of two at Gerard that was heavily damaged by Wednesday's tornado — without crying. 

Still, she said, it's not easy. 

"I was worried about the kids coming and seeing it," she said. "But [Belfor Property Restoration] has been wonderful. The district has been amazing." 

Mary Poteet, whose two oldest daughters attend Gerard, said her children are having some fears about the possibility of more tornadoes. 

"They are quite upset," she said. "Our house is still standing, but our fence blew down. I had my oldest daughter write her feelings and the other I had draw pictures." 

Crook teaches Poteet's youngest daughter and said she expects many students to harbor unease about weather for some time. 

Gerard and Smith Middle School students will return to their campuses on Monday after being out of school on Thursday and Friday. 

Superintendent Tim Miller said at a parent information meeting on Sunday that buses will run on schedule and each of the campuses will be able to serve lunch as usual. 

"I'm very thankful to see all of you here well," Gerard Principal Joel Blalock said. "That's awesome. Almost to the point of it being a miracle. 

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