Private schools begin opening in South Florida following Hurricane Irma

By Erica Rakow - Reporter, Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor

MIAMI SHORES, Fla. - Schools are beginning to open their doors and welcome students back into the classroom following Hurricane Irma.

Local 10 news reporter Erica Rakow spoke to teachers and students at St. Rose of Lima in Miami Shores, where school was back in session Thursday morning.

Only a handful of private schools in Miami-Dade County are currently open following the storm.

St. Rose of Lima was out of session for a week, and students and staff were excited to return to normalcy at the school as some of them are still living without power at home.

One parent told Rakow that they have their three children and family staying at a hotel for the time being, so the children were excited to get back to school and see their friends.

"(I'm) very excited the school's back open, because the kids have been stuck in a hotel room and they're going crazy, so it's good that school's open," Jeremiah Herron said. "Let them go have fun, run around and then we can get our stuff done and get work and the house situated."

Students inside one classroom told Rakow that it was "dark and boring" at home without power, so they were excited to learn and play with their friends.

"I went to my grandma's and she had air," second grader Stella Young said. "She never lost power, and I was like, we should've stayed at her house because we lost power in the morning, and we were like, 'Dang it.'"

Stella and her classmates wrote a journal entry about their experiences during the hurricane for their first assignment after the storm.

"My sister's friend's house had a whole tree on their roof," one boy said. 

The principal said almost all of the school's employees were able to make it to work Thursday. 

"By considering our large faculty and staff, only about four or five couldn't make it out today. Everyone else was just committed to the kids and to the families, and excited to help out," Dr. Stephen Brown said.

The principal said they decided to open up Thursday because the electricity and AC are working at the school and they know that a lot of parents are dealing with a lot right now at home.

Public schools in Miami-Dade and Broward counties are not yet open, but are hoping to reopen next week.

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