Biloxi Students Return To Class

Biloxi was among the school districts that resumed classes Monday.

The post-Katrina curriculum means several schools are sharing classroom space. Gorenflo Elementary in East Biloxi was among the facilities badly damaged by the storm. Gorenflo youngsters found a temporary home at Beauvoir Elementary.

"What's your favorite apple. Red, green or yellow?," said kindergarten teacher, Laurie Johnston.

Gorenflo's kindergarten gathered in Beauvoir Elementary's courtyard.

"Oh, that's a beautiful apple," said another teacher.

"A" is for apple and "I" is for improvise in the wake of the storm. While Beauvoir was expecting its Gorenflo friends, no one anticipated no lights.

"Evidently there's a power pole down and we're without power. But we're practicing our patience and our flexibility. And our teachers are rolling on just as they always do. They're troopers and so are our children. And they're doing well," said Gorenflo principal, Susan Patterson.

Laurie Johnston couldn't wait to see her students. The Gorenflo teacher knows many of her children suffered heartache from the hurricane.

"It's wonderful to see the children. They came in with their happy faces and we hugged them. The devastation at Point Cadet where our children are from, it's just wonderful to see these kids and get them back into some routine," she said.

"Lorenz, tell me about your picture. My trailer. That's your brand new FEMA trailer? And we bought a new car yesterday," said one youngster.

Like everyone else hit by the hurricane, recovery at school is one day, one challenge at a time.

Susan Brand is principal at Beauvoir.

"We didn't know exactly what buses students would arrive on. We didn't know exactly what time they might arrive. But we've made it just real well," she said.

Teachers and students will cope with whatever post-storm inconvenience they might encounter. The important thing is: they're back at school.

"We're happy to see the kids," said Johnston.

The first day attendance count showed just over half of Biloxi students returned to school Monday.

The district enrollment is just over 6100 students. About 3200 attended class.