Glynn County Schools facilities suffered no damage from Hurricane Dorian, allowing school system leaders to re-open schools quickly and return to normal operations.
College of Coastal Georgia’s campuses sustained minimal damage, and evacuated students who live on campus returned Thursday afternoon once the storm had cleared.
Students and teachers in the local school system lost three school days. School leaders, including the Glynn County Board of Education, have not yet decided if school make-up days will need to be scheduled to make up for the missed days, said Virgil Cole, superintendent of Glynn County Schools, on Friday.
The school board previously voted to approve a calendar this year that includes three potential weather make-up days around holidays, but Cole said he wasn’t sure yet if those will be used for the days missed due to Hurricane Dorian. He expected an official announcement will be made this week or next.
Th possible weather make-up days in this year’s school calendar are Nov. 25-26 and Dec. 19.
Every day of school, though, is critical, Cole said, which is why the school system prioritized resuming normal operations as quickly as possible and re-opening schools Friday.
“Every day, to me, is critical for our schools to be open,” Cole said. “It makes a difference academically and for the rest of our community, supporting them and getting back to work.”
School officials assessed the facilities Thursday and found no damage to any school buildings, said Al Boudreau, executive director of operations for Glynn County Schools.
“Absolutely nothing,” he said. “It wasn’t even as bad as a thunderstorm.”
There’s little that can be done to protect schools from hurricane damage, other than pick up outside items like trash cans and picnic tables, he said.
“Our big thing is getting back in time to check things out so we can make a call and get schools started again,” Boudreau said. “In this case, it didn’t take us long to figure out everything is fine … It was a non-event for us.”
College of Coastal Georgia’s Brunswick and Camden campuses sustained minimal damages from the storm, with some downed trees and scattered debris.
“We were extremely fortunate that the damage was not worse,” said Michelle Johnston, president of the college.
Some CCGA students who live on campus were evacuated by the college and transported to residence halls at South Georgia State College in Douglas.
“I can’t say enough about the warm welcome and hospitality we received from President Ingrid Thompson-Sellers, students and staff at SGSC,” Johnston said. “I can say firsthand, they made it a point to embrace us. They made us feel like we were a part of their family.”
Once the hurricane’s threat had passed Thursday afternoon, the college students and staff who traveled with them, including Johnston, returned to campus.
“It is comforting to know that, during times like this, sister institutions in the University System of Georgia are willing and able to rally support for each other,” Johnston said. “I am equally impressed with the diligence and care of my college team who made sure that our commitment to safety and to keeping everyone informed was unwavering.”