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“Building a better school back:” Hearne ISD starts school on Tuesday

Published: Aug. 13, 2021 at 3:34 PM CDT
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HEARNE, Texas (KBTX) - Unlike the previous year, students at Hearne ISD will not be starting off their first day completely virtual. Instead, students will be attending school in person, and district personnel say they are looking forward to having students back on campus, especially at their high school, which has undergone major renovations.

After such a tough year and a half, Adrain Johnson, Hearne ISD Superintendent, says the district is focusing on the social and emotional needs of its students, families, and faculty.

“We’ve hired two new social workers,” said Johnson. “We’ve hired a registered nurse. We’ve increased our administrative team and increased our teaching team, so we can really deliver a quality educational program that is balanced with social-emotional areas of concern also being addressed as well.”

“We don’t want to ignore the social-emotional side of students and families as we move into this next year,” said Johnson. “We won’t just come back normal.”

And the campuses won’t look completely normal for Hearne ISD.

Johnson said in regard to COVID protocols, hygiene, and social distancing practices will continue. Masks will not be required, but strongly encouraged.

Over at the high school, Tuesday’s first day just means more.

For high school principal, Bruce Hill it marks the start of a new chapter.

“We want this to be not only a new building in a sense with new furniture, but we want our staff, we want our students to come in with a new attitude- one of excitement, one of pride. We are hoping to instill pride in our staff, in our students, in our school community.”

Bruce Hill, Hearne ISD High School Principal

Since March, crews have been working to renovate the high school after the winter storm caused a pipe to burst and flood most of the school. Several inches of water caused extensive damage to the school.

Hearne ISD Curriculum Director Jay Davis was one of the first on the scene to see the building after the pipe burst.

“We just opened the doors and water ran out,” said Davis.

Now in place of the water is new branding, new classroom furniture, and new touch screen TVs. See the video above for a look inside one of the classrooms.

Davis believes these renovations will give students a renewed outlook.

“Our kids deserve the very best, and we are going to be able to offer them the absolute best we can give them,” said Davis. “I think they will be excited to be here. I think it [the renovation] will give them a new energized way of coming to school.”

Johnson hopes the renovation leaves a lasting legacy on the community.

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