NAPA (KCBS) – It’s back to class Wednesday for thousands of Napa school kids, who have been off the last two days so officials could inspect classrooms and buildings and make sure they are safe following Sunday’s 6.0 earthquake.
At Napa High School, students and teachers were a bit anxious for the first day back since the quake. Paul Gassner’s U.S. History classroom was mostly neat and tidy, save for a few missing ceiling panels, which cracked when they crashed to the floor.
But the 40 computers and monitors, which toppled over during the quake, are all back in place. Gassner said the emotional toll may take longer to recover from than any physical damage to buildings.
“This is only our second full week of school, so this is the eighth day I’ve met with the class. I’m still trying to put names and faces together with the kids that I don’t know,” Gassner said. “We’ve had a few assignments and I’m going to let them finalize that. But the academic portion is going to take a back seat to the psychological and anxiety.”
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Gassner said kids, especially high schoolers, are good about hiding their feelings, so he wants to make sure they get a chance to talk if they want to. Some students have already had to step out of his classroom to get a handle on their emotions, after a trying few days.
“Many kid’s families lost a lot. You have family businesses, so you have a lot of kids that had been working for 10-12 hours on Sunday, they’re sleep deprived, their body clocks need to get readjusted,” Gassner said. “I think getting back to a sense of structure is going to be very helpful.”
Many schools throughout Napa Unified School District are having students participate in an earthquake drill, as a reminder of how to stay safe in case of another quake.
All schools within the district have been inspected, with most suffering just minor damage. Stone Bridge School, a charter school located on Los Carneros Avenue, remains closed as large, possibly structural cracks and fissures were found on the campus. Stone Bridge is located close to the epicenter of Sunday’s earthquake.