Stretch It Out; Be Flexible

We returned to school this week after missing 11 days due to Hurricane Ike.  And we were immediately hit with the bad news.  No, I didn’t want it sugar coated, so I was glad to get it straight.

Our auditorium is semi-flooded, so it will be closed indefinately.  This means no photos of choir concerts, drama plays, etc. for the near future.  We also will have to find an alternate place for both individual and group photo days.

We lost our auditorium for remodeling five years ago, so we know the drill.  NEXT

A large number of our students’ parents work hourly wage jobs, so they haven’t been at work or gotten paid for more than two weeks.  I can’t even imagine that horror.  Ike costs most families plenty extra in gas for generators, wasted food from refrigerators, wet carpet, tarping materials for roofs, trips to the grocery store once power was back on to refill the fridge, ice, ice, ice and more ice. Now they will return to school for senior photos, yearbooks and more expenses.  We will do everything we can, but it is not going to be easy for anyone.  NEXT

Just as we are getting the power back on, we turn our TV sets on to see that while we were in the dark down in Houston, Washington and Wall St. were conspiring to ruin the national economy.  How this is going to affect cash strapped families is anyone’s guess, but it surely will not help yearbook sales. NEXT

Nearly every business in our area lost two weeks of productivity or about four percent of their yearly earnings.  I would not imagine that they will be advertising more this year.  NEXT

But, I am going to keep absorbing the hits because my kids, my school and our community need to hear some good news.  They need a return to normalcy.  We have to be flexible.

I know that we will eventually come out of this in a year or two.  We may run a deficit for a while.  (We just got out of the red this year after two years).  Who know what will happen to next year’s budget if housing values plummet?

We will just have to soldier on.  We can do it and we will keep our standards high in the mean time.

Silver lining:

There has been good news:

We will have a great yearbook story about how students manned the POD line and helped out others even when they did not have it so great at home either (flood, wind or tree damage and no power).

We have a much greater sense of community after the storm.  Neighbors helping neighbors.  It was great to see.

We won’t have to make up at least 10 of the missed days and our district won’t miss it’s payroll.

Most of our kids were in class this week and those still without power were able to enjoy both air conditioning and free breakfast and lunch.

Life is returning somewhat to normal, even if we are playing a football game tonight – on a Tuesday.

But, mostly we are thankful that it was not much worse.  We survived Ike and we will rebuild and hopefully in 2-3 years we will be stronger than before.  And in the meantime, we will be flexible and find new ways to do old things.