Thursday, August 25, 2011

Forty-five playing football for East

Forty-five East Middle School seventh and eighth graders are playing football this year.

Seventh grade- Ethan Armstrong, Trinton Cole, Tony Consier, Dustin Detherage, Mark Duley, Matthew Dumas, Dante Foote, Carson Hopper, Joshua Hulsey, Colby Kimbrough, Walker Lutes, Contrae Rogers, Kerry Stadler, Joseph Thomas, Abraham Velasco, Colton Williams.

Eighth grade- Justin Armstrong, Taran Augustosky, Natal Bay, Nate Canales, Josh Cole, Marcus Damrill, Tajee Fantroy, Dantee Figueroa, Mason Finnell, Eddie Garcia, Josiah Garcia, Haden Garten, Alex Garton, Colton Harbin, Ricky Hedrick, Tristen Howell, Andrew Lara, Denver Lantz, Darius Lewis, Eli Lounis, Omar May, Zach Phillips, Kennan Robinson, Alejandro Santillan, Justin Schneikert, Austin Still, James Tupper, Jesse Walls, Ishman Wilson

School beginning accompanied by safety, disaster drills

School began last week at East and so did required safety and disaster drills.

Students toured the new tornado shelter building, then had an opportunity to try it out during a walk-through Monday. The first tornado drill will be held Friday during Encore.

The first combination fire drill/reverse evacuation drill, and lockdown drill was held Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ribbon cutting held at East Middle School

School opening helps healing process in Joplin

In this video, East Middle School Principal Bud Sexson and Irving Elemenetary teachers talk about reopening school after the May 22 Joplin Tornado.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Eighth grader Maddie Fichtner: Tornado brought me a lot closer to my mom

An Associated Press article on the return to school in Joplin featured a quote from East Middle School eighth grader Maddie Fichtner:

At East Middle School, which was relocated to a converted warehouse on the outskirts of town, students agreed that some things were unchanged: Cafeteria food still tasted terrible. Kids got lost on their way to class. And the odor of pet food from the factory across the street was gross.

Younger students, too, said they relate differently to each other — and to their parents — after surviving the disaster.

"It brought me a lot closer to my mom," said Madeline Fichtner, 13, who described riding out the storm without initially knowing whether her mother was safe.

School officials brought in additional counselors and trauma workers to help students and families who may still be struggling in the storm's aftermath.

"We can build buildings, but the emotional damage that this storm has caused is of a very significant concern and something we're going to be watching closely for months, if not years," Superintendent C.J. Huff said.

Gov. Jay Nixon visits East Middle School on first day

In this photo, taken by the state photographer, Gov. Jay Nixon talks with East Middle School students as they held the first day of school in their temporary facility.

CNN program examines opening of school year in Joplin

This CNN Student News video examines the first day of school in the Joplin School District and includes an interview with Joplin High School, and former South Middle School, student Yainer Oviedo. The part about Joplin comes near the end of the video:

The transcript from CNN is featured below:

Sound Check

RACHEL NEFF, JOPLIN TORNADO SURVIVOR: You could hear the home shaking. Everything busting out. We got down. He was between me; Zach was hunched over us and we were just, you know, praying, screaming and, you know, it was very loud and it all happened so fast. It seemed like forever, but it happened very fast.

Learning in a Disaster Zone

AZUZ: Those folks were talking about this massive tornado that tore through the city of Joplin, Missouri in May. It was the deadliest single tornado in the United States in more than 60 years, and it left huge parts of the city in ruins. Joplin and its residents are still recovering, but life for some is slowly returning to normal. For example, today's the first day of school for Joplin's students. But even that -- going to school -- has changed drastically since the storm. Shannon Travis was in Joplin recently. He took a look at what it's like to learn in a disaster zone.


SHANNON TRAVIS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They hope to be typical kids again after an unimaginable hell. Children and teenagers coping after the country's single deadliest tornado.

LYDIA MCALLISTER, SENIOR, JOPLIN HIGH SCHOOL: Every time I drive by it, it's still really sad. All the memories and all the friends that I made in these halllways.

YAINER OVIEDO, SENIOR, JOPLIN HIGH SCHOOL: Sad knowing that you won't be able to spend your last year of high school here.

SHANNON TRAVIS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: School surveillance video shows the tornado reducing two schools to virtually nothing. In minutes, 10 school buildings were damaged or destroyed, including Joplin's only high school.

DR. C.J. HUFF, JOPLIN SCHOOLS, SUPERINTENDENT: That next morning we came to the realization we had 54 percent of our kids who had no place to go, about 4,200 out of 7,747.

TRAVIS: This new school year, high school students will split up. Ninth and 10th graders will go to an existing middle school. The upper-classmen will attend classes at this mall. Yes, it's a mall. Ninety-five thousand square feet, a cost of $5.5 million to convert an old retail store. Officials say it was the only place big enough. Rising seniors Yainer Oviedo and Lydia McAllister accompanied me to their new, 21st century school. It has open spaces, walls that move.

CHAD GREER, LEAD ARCHITECT, CGA ARCHITECTURE PLANNING DESIGN: The entire space can be opened up into one larger, collaborative space.

OVIEDO: That's really cool how they have it as a dry erase board as well.

TRAVIS: A fitness center, and a coffee shop run by the students. Every one of these kids will get laptops. But how will students focus on learning? Doctor Syed Husain is a professor at the University of Missouri. A child psychologist, he's been to over 80 disaster zones. He helps children learn, even when death and disaster surround them.

DR. SYED A. HUSAIN, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI HEALTH CARE: When that kid or person is saying, "I don't want to hear about it anymore," what is going on there? Avoidance! We are training teachers as therapists.

TRAVIS: Husain says children learning in any disaster zone can suffer declining grades, depression, flashbacks and nightmares. They will get help.

OVIEDO: I don't know how someone my age goes through something like this without having problems.

TRAVIS: And yet, this entire community wants the children to be children again.

So, this is it. This is the moment right here that a lot of these children have been waiting for. This is the freshman kickoff. A lot of these kids are right here; you'll hear them kind of rallying right now. They're excited and, basically, they want to put the memory of the storm behind them, although a lot of their personal lives may still be in turmoil. For Education Overtime, I'm Shannon Travis.

Friday, August 12, 2011

First East Middle School Family Reunion is a success

East Middle School students and parents received their first look at their temporary facility Thursday night during a family reunion held on the school grounds.

Student Council members provided tours, while food, entertainment, and carnival games were set up in the parking lot and across the street.

School is scheduled to begin Wednesday, August 17.

The temporary facility, located at 26th and Prigmore in an industrial park, is a spec building paid for by the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce to attract business to the city.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

East Middle School prepares for new year in new facility

After the May 22 tornado destroyed much of our school, Joplin R-8 officials worked to secure new facilities for East. Beginning next Wednesday, we will have sachool in our temporary facility in the industrial park at 26th and Prigmore.

An open house will be held from noon to 8 p.m. Monday, August 15.

All of the East family is invited to a reunion 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, August 11, at the school. Tours of the school wiil be given, dinner will be served, and entertainment will include Mr. Turner's band, Natural Disaster.