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School districts working plans to get displaced tornado victims to classes

Published: Friday, July 12, 2019 @ 5:34 PM

School districts working plans to get displaced tornado victims to classes

Many residents affected by the Memorial Day tornado outbreak are still unable to move back into their homes. 

As a new school year approaches, several area school districts are facing challenges in putting together plans to get students who live outside districts to classes.

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“It’s very difficult,” Trotwood Transportation Supervisor Alicia Starks told News Center 7’s James Rider. 
More the 360 students in Trotwood were displaced by the tornado that hit the city. The district cannot finalize a plan until it knows where all of it’s students are living.

“We need to know where our students are. We’re willing to come get them,” Starks said. “My plan is to have two buses set aside. Send one out elementary time, the other out middle school, high school time and pick up the students where we know where they are.”

In Beavercreek, 43 families with anywhere from one to four children per household were displaced.

Greg Thompson, Beavercreek schools director of business services, called the dilemma a giant puzzle.

“Once we have those pieces we can start putting it together,” he said. “Can we pick up a couple of them on existing routes? How many of them are within Beavercreek, how many are not.”

In Brookville, the challenge of getting students to school is slightly different.

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A manageable number of students are living outside of the district, but some are scattered as far as Troy and New Carlisle.

“We’re taking each one of these situations individually and saying ‘let’s problem solve,’ ” Brookville Superintendent Tim Hopkins said. “When might you be able to bring them, when are we going to have to get them there. How do we help you with latch key services.”

Some alternatives do exist. 

Schools could reimburse the mileage to help get students to campus. They also could coordinate with bordering districts to get help bringing some students closer to the town where they can then be bused to campus.

Officials at all three of these school districts are continuing their work to finalize busing plans for the coming school year.