2013-03-07 / Front Page

Gas issue fixed, students return to Rosco Elementary

When Roscommon Elementary School Principal Kathy Rees was notified of the gas pressure problem at the elementary school building Feb. 27 no time was spared getting the students to the middle school.

Rees said she was advised that the situation was “probably fine,” however, she explained that “probably was not good enough” to ease the staff’s mind.

When emergency assistance arrived Rees said the elementary school students were “long gone” and already evacuated to the middle school.

Since Feb. 27 was an already scheduled early release day, Rees and the staff used the afternoon to prepare for class at the middle school building. She said the staff was given about an hour to gather needed materials and plan for their Feb. 28 and March 1 classes in the middle school.

“It was quite the adventure,” Rees said of having the elementary students at the middle school.

Teachers utilized partitioned classrooms and worked together to maximize classroom instruction. Rees added teachers also used the middle school smart boards and their classroom iPads to supplement their lessons.

Rees said by Friday the students settled into the middle school and were working as if they were in their “normal” routine. She said having the elementary students at the middle school was not an issue as students were never unaccompanied.

“They were always in the company of a teacher,” Rees said.

She said students were escorted from room to room and teachers ate lunch with their students to ensure that all students felt comfortable in their new surroundings.

“They were incredible,” Rees said of the RES staff’s ability to adapt.

She added the staff also handled the entire situation well as far as taking on an emergency situation.

“It was a really good review for us to go through,” Rees said of the evacuation.

She added there were not any “glaring” issues that she saw that was a concern during the situation.

Michigan State Police Trooper Harold Terry called the situation “a good exercise” for police, fire and school officials.

Students were able to return to the elementary school on March 4 as all gas pressure problems were fixed on March 2.

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