Princeville Elementary students return to class following Hurricane Matthew

TARBORO, N.C. (WNCN) – The Edgecombe County Resource Center in Tarboro has officially been transformed into Princeville Elementary.

For the first time since Hurricane Matthew, students and staff are headed back into the classroom Thursday morning.

Teachers and community leaders cheered and held signs that said “have a great day,” and “you are great,” as students got off the bus or out of their parents’ cars.

Princeville Elementary suffered extensive flood damage during Hurricane Matthew. Almost everything inside was destroyed by the flood waters.

Thursday, only 185 out of the 250 elementary students were able to come back to school.

A total of 80 percent of them are still out of their homes.

School officials said students and staff have the supplies they need, so Thursday was about getting back some normalcy.

“Give it about a day or two and they should be back to where they were, as far as school.” Amanda Brown, a mother to a second grader, said. “But mentally, I think it’s going to take some time for him to get there, only because he’s been away from home for three weeks.”

“We will be teaching regular curriculum, because they still have expectations past Hurricane Matthew. However, today our priority is making sure our student’s emotional state is also kept healthy,” Princeville Elementary Principal Annette Walker told CBS North Carolina.

School officials expect the Tarboro building will remain as Princeville Elementary for the remainder of the school year.

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