Greensboro students from tornado-damaged schools return to class

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — Hundreds of Guilford County students went back to class Monday, more than a week after a tornado damaged their schools.

Students from Hampton Elementary, Peeler Elementary and Erwin Montessori relocated to new schools.

Today, our FOX8 crew stopped by Bluford Academy. Around 300 Peeler Elementary students started class there.

Principals of both schools said the transition went smooth, everyone was where they needed to be and school started on time. The only hiccup was a small delay in the lunch line.

“It has been an awesome day,” said Andy Gann, the principal of Peeler. “We started with hugs and good mornings. We have a lot of people on staff ready to meet everybody and as a school we met this morning for a meeting and really connected back together. It’s been an awesome day.”

“You almost wouldn’t of thought this was the first time we were together, in a lot of ways honestly it was quite amazing how quickly the kids became acclimated,” said Gradesa Lockhart, the principal for Bluford Academy. “You could see in their faces first thing in the morning it was different, after time went by it kind of felt like ‘That’s what we do.’”

Student will remain in their new schools until the end of the school year.

The Guilford County school system is still trying to figure what it will do this August.

On Monday, the school board approved a resolution to allow the damage at Hampton Elementary, Peeler Elementary and Erwin Montessori be declared a special emergency.

GCS Superintendent Dr. Sharon Contreras said at the school board meeting that the system is working with contractors and its insurance to figure out what is next for the damaged buildings. The system hopes to let teachers back inside those buildings soon to pick up belongings left behind.

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