Coast Students Displaced By Hurricane Return

School was back in session for Harrison County Schools on Monday with a lot of familiar faces. Superintendent Henry Arledge estimates that 100 students who had left the district after Katrina re-enrolled. He expects more students to return on Tuesday.

Bay-Waveland's superintendent believes her district's enrollment will increase when school starts back. Before the storm there were 24-hundred students in the district. Schools officials say Katrina cut enrollment in half. Dr. Kim Stasny expects the student population to increase by as much as nine percent.

"We will have some new students we lost during the storm to return this week," she said. "I know they've been waiting for a break if they were enrolled in another school district, it's a break for them to make that transition."

Bay Middle School teachers got some help in their getting their spirits up for the start of the new semester at a pep rally for teachers. Motivational speaker Terry Johnson talked about the importance of leadership, commitment and a positive attitude. Johnson put on today's seminar free of charge. The goal was to boost teachers' confidence at a time when many of them are trying to juggle the pressures of home and work.

"They're going home at night trying to work on their homes and then they're coming to school trying to work on the school so I know right now they need the motivation," said Johnson. "I'm excited to be down here to do it, and I can tell you right now with encouragement they'll make it through it."

Dr. Kim Stasny said "The teacher sets the mood in the classroom and he or she will help the kids by having a positive attitude. The kids have been through a lot emotionally as well so when they come back to a happy classroom, it's going to make them feel at home and happier and it's just the best thing for everybody."