Culloden Elementary School opens with alternative water plan

[image] Students return to Culloden Elementary

It's not every day teachers find their students eager to return to the classroom.  

"I'm am excited to be back," Desaree Call, a fifth-grader at Culloden Elementary School. "I get to see all my friends and I'm excited to learn new things."   

Classes at Culloden have been out since the chemical leak began last Thursday. Although the school is still under the "do not use" ban, Cabell County administrators have developed an alternative water plan to open the school again.  

"We wanna get back on schedule and I think out of the seven days we've been back this semester, we've missed four," said Debbie Smith, the principal of Culloden Elementary.  

To prepare the school for students and staff, maintenance crews had disabled water foundations, sinks, and emptied ice makers. Meals were made at the Milton Pre-K Center and then driven back to the school cafeteria.  

"It took about half an hour to an hour more time," said Marry Carr, who is a cook at Culloden Elementary. "But it's very important that the kids still meet all of their nutrition guidelines."  

The school also transported water from a water buffalo for cleaning and mopping purposes. Large cases of water were also purchased to keep students hydrated. Administrators say they understand not all parents were comfortable sending their kids back to school, but they wanted classes open for those who did.  

"I know we are concerned with raising our test scores here," said Deanna Lawson, who has three children in the school district. "I know that the more time out of the classroom, the more difficult it will be to raise those scores."  

It's not clear when the "do not use" ban will be lifted for Culloden. Teachers say they're prepared to continue the current operation to serve the kids.   .

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