The Port Aransas (Texas) school district, one of the areas hardest hit last month by Hurricane Harvey, says it will be able to reopen schools on Oct. 16, seven weeks after the storm struck.
Port Aransas School Superintendent Sharon McKinney announced the reopening date in a Facebook post.
"Most classes (if not all) will be held in portable buildings which have been ordered and will begin arriving in the district in the next several days," McKinney says. "Bringing in portables to house our classrooms will allow us the time to get our buildings repaired correctly and safely without having to rush."
The district has three schools—Port Aransas High, Brundrett MIddle and Olsen Elementary. Before the hurricane its enrollment was about 540 students.
In a Sept. 9 letter to the community, McKinney said the district's most critical need is monetary donations.
"Every building and every outdoor facility is damaged," she said. "It is still unknown what the final costs will be, but there are insurance deductibles as well as expenses that may not be covered by insurance."
The schools cannot donated supplies or equipment at this point because they have no place to safely store donations.
McKinney says that she anticipates district staff members will return to work by Oct. 9.
"Until we re-open, we'll continue to be working hard to get portables set up, get our facilities repaired, and get prepared for the return of students," she says.
In the meantime, displaced students who have enrolled elsewhere since the hurricane should remain at those schools.
"It is very important that our students continue to attend school somewhere until we re-open," McKinney says.