COMBS, Ky. — Robin Combs has been teaching math for more than three decades, muscle memory guiding her as she reaches for the right lesson plans, confident in what works and how best to reach her middle school students. But when floodwaters surged through Robinson Elementary School last month, the roof collapsed on her classroom and three decades’ worth of curriculum materials were destroyed.
Now, like dozens of her colleagues, Ms. Combs finds herself starting over. On a recent Friday, she was among a handful of teachers cobbling together donated supplies and cleaning out a former elementary school that will now serve teachers and students from two schools wrecked by the floods. Though her own family had running water for just one day in just over three weeks, she was focused on ensuring that her school would reopen by early September.
“I just want our kids back together and for eight hours a day, be normal — just normal,” Ms. Combs said. “They’re cool, they’ve got a seat, they’ve got food. I don’t have to worry for eight hours a day.”
39 people died in the floods, including a few children and a beloved school custodian.
are considered homeless, with school staff members often providing food, dental and medical checkups and clothing on top of daily classes.