TUSD school adapts to challenges brought by monsoons - Tucson News Now

TUSD school adapts to challenges brought by monsoons

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

It's been a relatively trouble-free first day of class in the Tucson Unified School District.

More than 50,000 students and 3,000 teachers and staff starting off the 2013-2014 school year.

But day one brought more than the usual challenges for one school slammed by last week's monsoon storms.

You can see the roof of Van Buskirk is still is a mess and so are six classrooms that got flooded when the roof blew off in last week's storm.

Twelve classrooms, in all, are off-limits.

But after all that, school opened on time.

Hard to believe teachers and staff had only two days to make it happen.

They weren't allowed into the school until Tuesday.

They worked 12 hour days; Planning, boxing and hauling. Saul Galvan, the manager of Fry's near Campbell and Irvington, donated water. Just across the street, the FedEx donated boxes to carry all of the supplies. Also, Samuel Carrillo and Becky Kern  with Pantano Christian volunteered to help with the hauling process.

They turned the library and the computer lab into two classrooms.

A portable building was converted into a classroom.

Students are even in the teachers lounge. 

When the storm hit, teachers already had their classrooms ready to go.

Imagine then having to move desks, chairs, equipment from one end of the school to the other and boxing what wasn't needed right away, or wouldn't fit in the temporary space.  

You would never know what people at this school had gone through the past several days.

"We had a talk about what we were going to do and if something didn't work, we switched it and we just went with the next thing that we needed to do to be open today," said Van Buskirk Principal Sandra Thiffault. "They're so vested in the school because this is their school and it was never a thought to leave the school and go anywhere else."

We're told it could take a month or so to fix the roof and all the damage inside the classrooms.

One other thing to perk up spirits: Van Buskirk just found out the state of Arizona has rated it a "B" school, up from "C."

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