LIVINGSTON PARISH - It has been one month since rising flood waters closed schools in Livingston Parish but school officials hope a platoon schedule will make things easier while many schools are repaired.
At Springfield middle school, the new normal for now is a split schedule with middle schoolers going to class from 6:30 to noon and high schoolers taking over from noon to 5:30 pm.
Springfield High School Principal Spencer Harris said heading back to school is a sign that recovery is underway.
“It gives our kids a sense of hope,” Harris said.
School administrators said every student was impacted by the flooding in some way. Like many high schoolers, when the flood waters receded, Sophomore Sadie White was left with nothing.
"We had five feet in our house and we lost everything,” White said. “But we're coming back from it."
Returning to school is one of the first steps in the right direction.
"It's a change, but it's a relief because now we finally have a path we can set for ourselves,” White said.
While the first day had its challenges, high schoolers are happy to be back, even if they're returning to their old middle school.
"It's better than sitting at home and not getting your education and having to wait an extra year to graduate,” Junior Damariae Claiborne said.
When the school closed on August 12th due to severe weather, no one imagined it'd be weeks before they'd return.
"On that day it was just a lot of rain, it was going to be a dangerous situation there might be some bridges out but in the end we're dealing with the worst tragedy that we've ever faced in this area,” Middle School Principal Dwayne Dykes said.
And no one imagined they would be walking back into the building better people than when they left.
"We all got stronger we all got tougher we all got a little kinder we all got a little more patients,” Dykes said. “And that's what's really shined about this whole parish. The works, the students, everyone has really come together."
School administrators say the shared school situation is temporary. They hope to reopen the Springfield High School in at least a month.
(© 2016 WWL)