Garland ISD makes changes for tornado victims returning to school

- It’s back to school Tuesday for hundreds of kids whose homes and apartments were destroyed by the tornadoes the day after Christmas.

The Garland Independent School District said students who live in the hardest hit areas in Garland and Rowlett attend a number of schools in the district because it is a school choice district.

“In a standard district schools are guided by the transportation zones within the area and neighborhoods. Garland is a school choice district and we have students that were impacted at up to 60 campuses that we have identified,” said Chris Moore, the Garland ISD spokesman.

An estimated 3,500 students lived in the tornado’s path, but the district has been able to identify them.

“We’ve given that information to our principals so they can begin reaching out to those students who were directly impacted by the storm. So that’s just another way that we’re going to be able to reach out and help those directly,” Moore said.

The schools will bring in grief and trauma counselors to talk to the kids. Area businesses and members of the community have donated new uniforms and school supplies for them.

Also, bus routes were also temporarily re-drawn to avoid streets still covered in debris.

“It’s going to be a long-term healing process. They’re not going to show up to school tomorrow on a Tuesday and then all of a sudden this thing is resolved. For teachers, for students, it’s going to be ongoing. And we know that and we’re prepared to help them on down the road,” Moore said.

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