Simpson hasn’t yet marked a date for Plaza’s first tornado drill but knows the plan will involve evacuating the building in which the elementary is housed to shelter inside Central Junior High’s main building. She said she hopes to practice this multiple times each month in the afternoon hour when Central students have been dismissed and Plaza students are still in class.
Overall, faculty, staff and community members are making adaptations and moving forward an occasion to dance in the rain rather than just survive.
“Kids understand a lot more than we know. They’ll say in passing, ‘I’m glad you didn’t get hurt in the tornado,’ so they understand me or anyone else could have lost their life in the tornado, but they just say that and then move on,” Simpson said.
“Yesterday (Aug. 20), we had the parents of the seven students who were lost here, handing out Shelter Oklahoma Schools shirts to any student that wanted one. We didn’t say to them ‘this is the three-month anniversary;’ we made it more a celebration of getting free shirts with their friends’ names on the back, for them to wear with pride.”