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No school for students at Ray Childers, Hildebran elementary schools; remainder of BCPS district on a 2-hour delay Tuesday, Oct. 24

posted Oct 23, 2017, 7:00 PM by Cheryl Shuffler

            The campuses of Ray Childers Elementary School and Hildebran Elementary School suffered some damage in the storm that blew through the area on Monday afternoon. Due to that damage and uncertainty of power, there will be no school for students at Ray Childers or Hildebran on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017. The before- and after-school programs at both schools are closed to students as well. For the reminder of the school district, Burke County Public Schools will operate on a two-hour delay on Tuesday for students and staff. Faculty and staff of Ray Childers and Hildebran are to report to work on the two-hour delay.   

Burke County Schools Superintendent Dr. Larry Putnam and other school officials were out surveying storm damage and its impact on Monday afternoon to school campuses in the eastern end of Burke County. Full damage reports are not yet in, but Ray Childers Elementary sustained damage to the roof of the cafeteria and gymnasium, which led to water damage. Hildebran Elementary had trees and its greenhouse damaged. The two-hour delay is due to downed trees and debris remaining on some secondary and private roads, and for the safety of our staff, buses and especially student drivers.

Officials with Serve Pro are assisting in cleaning up the water damage at Ray Childers. School officials will assess the situation on Tuesday and make a decision at that time regarding the reopening Ray Childers as well as Hildebran to students.

Dr. Putnam said, “With only the Ray Childers and Hildebran school campuses being affected by the storm, it is important that school is in session for all other students in the system. These two elementary schools account for only 847 out of 12,476 pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade students. We need to be reminded that for many of our students, the two meals they receive at school are the only two they get during the day. Also, many of our parents work multiple jobs and don’t have daycare options for their children when school is canceled. The safest place for our students is at school.”

Putnam continued, “We are grateful to all of the principals, after school workers, the teachers who stayed over and the bus drivers who got kids safely home or back to school at the time of the storm on Monday. Any damage to buildings, though an inconvenience, can be repaired, but thankfully we have no injuries to report. We thank everyone for their patience and for being flexible with this arrangement to close Ray Childers and Hildebran to students on Tuesday and for all of our other students and staff to be on a two-hour delay on Tuesday.”

As a reminder, Burke County Public Schools remains in contact with Burke County Emergency Management, the N.C. Department of Transportation, the N.C. Highway Patrol and area law enforcement agencies and is continually receiving updates related to road conditions and power outages.

Further information and updates will be released as available. 


The roof at Ray Childers Elementary School. 

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