“Welcome to our classroom! Please treat our classroom like it is your home! Be safe and enjoy your stay!”
Those words were written across a whiteboard in an elementary school classroom over Labor Day weekend—a message of love to anyone who would have to use the school as a shelter from Hurricane Dorian.
Friday afternoon, after meeting with emergency officials, Superintendent Jeff Eakins made the call to cancel school for Tuesday.
Many of our schools are used as shelters, not just for us in Hillsborough County, but also for anyone who might need to evacuate from the east coast.
Immediately after the superintendent made the call, staff at those shelter schools jumped into action. They started moving desks, putting all their supplies into cabinets and making their rooms as homey as possible for anyone who might have to stay.
Fortunately, the unpredictable Hurricane Dorian made a turn and our schools were not needed.
But the rooms were not ready for students.
So, on Tuesday, teachers, staff and PTA’s gathered again—this time to revert the shelters back into schools.
They did this with a smile, and a sigh of relief that the storm missed us.
At Collins Elementary in Riverview, the mood was upbeat… And the process was organized. They’d been through this before, two years ago with Irma. They knew the drill.
For the teachers who couldn’t make it in on Tuesday, volunteers teamed-up to revert those rooms back to the way they had been. Even staff from other schools showed up to pitch in. It was the definition of teamwork.
After just a couple hours, the schools were back to pre-Dorian normal.
A true testament to the passion our staff has, not just for their students… But also for the entire community.