Bay District leaders have not yet had discussion on if some schools will re-open or close

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - As some Bay District Schools sustained significant damage after Hurricane Michael, one remaining question is if some schools will close for good.

Steve Moss, the Vice Chair of the Bay District School Board, said Superintendent Bill Husfelt and the board have not had a formal conversation about closures or re-openings. Student demographics will play a big role in those decisions.

"As of now, there's been no discussion on either of those two fronts in regards to either not opening a school for whatever reason or closing one permanently," Moss explained.

For instance, some schools may not have enough students returning to make re-opening a school feasible.

Moss said, "A lot of our schools that did open up this week had 50 percent less students than they had before the hurricane. So as a board, it might be hard to rationalize keeping a particular school open versus another one if they don't have the students in that community to support that school."

He said although it's been disheartening to know some students may not return to their original classrooms, it's exciting to see the anticipation from students who were able to go back to school this week.

"This was unlike anything I've ever seen. The kids literally couldn't wait to get back on campus, get back to school, see their teachers and see their friends," he said.

He went on to say he has had the conversation with his own children about students moving away and not returning to their classes.

"So I've tried to prepare my own kids to let them know that when they return to school, just the makeup of their individual classes will be different. That's reality, because a lot of students have had to move out because of the hurricane," Moss said.

As for the Bay County shelter at Arnold High School, the agreement is that Arnold students will return to the campus after winter break.

Moss said there are less people staying at the Arnold shelter than originally anticipated.