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Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
Email: pmurphy@wwltv.com | Twitter: @pmurphywwl

NEW ORLEANS -- There is another milestone in the River Region's recovery from Hurricane Isaac.

Monday was the first full day of classes for students at East St. John since the storm flooded out their high school in August.

'Our school is coming back as a unit,' said ESJ senior and star basketball player Devin Barnes. 'Everybody's doing what they're supposed to be doing.'

Students told Eyewitness News they like the new normal, although one sophomore said it's hard getting used to all of the kids in the hall again.

'With everything now, it's like all chaos and everybody's bumping all over each other and we don't know where our classes are and it's all confusing,' said Stephanie Richardson.

'It feels good,' said ESJ sophomore Phil Adams. 'Feels like we're getting right back on schedule.'

Since the storm, East St. John students have been attending classes in two shifts at the old Leon Godchaux Junior High School building on River Road.

Principal Patricia Triche said it was important for the school and the kids to get everybody back together again.

'It was good to see them back on one shift,' said Triche. 'It's one step back to the process of getting back to East St. John High School. This is a big step for us as far as getting the kids back in our 90-minute block classes where they have more instruction.'

While this is the first day back for East St. John students under one roof, at the same time, they will have to wait until next fall to return to their permanent high school building on Airline Highway.

'They're suppose to start demolition at the high school for all the surfaces and structures that need to come down on February 1,' said Triche. 'We look forward to that.'

'It's been hard,' said Adams. 'I was one of the victims. I lost my house. I just moved back and it feels good. So, back to normal.'

East St. John installed 30 trailers at the Leon Godchaux site to be able to accommodate all of its students on one shift.

Despite the disruption, test scores at the high school have actually improved.

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