The gym at Jinks Middle School where my daughter, Emma, played basketball is no more. Hurricane Michael caused millions of dollars in damage to schools in the area.

A few days after the storm, a video shot with a drone flying all the way through the destroyed Jinks Middle School Gym went viral.

Superintendent Bill Husfelt says plans are underway to resume school no later than November 12. Portable buildings are being placed on campuses that are still viable. Students from all grade levels will be sharing space for awhile in an effort to get them back in the classroom as soon as possible.

In a recent interview with WJHG, Husfelt explained, “Hurricane Michael has created millions of dollars in damage to the district. So Bay High for a few weeks will be sharing Jinks’ campus, Everitt will be going to Rutherford and sharing their campus. We’ll have some split sessions going on, a morning session and an afternoon session.”

In preparation for school to resume, the District has announced the following provisions in order to make the transition easier for families impacted by the storm.

My Panhandle.com posted the following earlier this week on their website:

We know that many of our families lost everything in the storm and we don’t want you to worry about school-appropriate clothing or supplies. Please know that we are:

  1. Temporarily waiving the colors of the dress code and just asking that students come dressed appropriately for school each day.
  2. Collecting donations from around the country and setting up Donation Stations at two of our schools.
  3. Making plans to connect students who have needs with our Donation Stations so their needs can be fulfilled. We hope to be able to provide school-appropriate clothing, backpacks and supplies for those students who need them by the first day of school. Please follow us on Facebook for information about how your student can access these services.

Praying for all the teachers, students, and their families as they begin the arduous task of finding some normalcy amid all the chaos Michael left in his wake.

As a former Bay District School teacher, my heart goes out to all the teachers working so hard to provide a safe place for their students to resume their education. May God continue to bless and strengthen them daily.

©️ Jennifer Nelson Fenwick