School & District Management Video

Climate Disasters: Hear From School Leaders Who Lived Through Them

By Lilia Geho — September 1, 2022 5:06
Daylight pours in through the damaged roof of a classroom at Springfield Elementary School which has remained closed since Hurricane Michael hit Panama City, Fla, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. Bay District Schools Superintendent Bill Husfelt said the county's student population has decreased by 14 percent since the storm, with some individual schools down by more than 40 percent.

Seventeen years ago, Hurricane Katrina left the city of New Orleans and its surrounding parishes completely underwater, destroying 110 out of the 126 public schools in the city. Eight districts were severely impacted by the storm and 187,000 public school students were displaced. At the time, the disaster was unprecedented. In the years since, the frequency of climate disasters has continued to increase. Here, principals and superintendents who have faced the loss of school buildings from wildfires and floods discuss what school leaders can do to prepare for, and recover from, these crises.

Lilia Geho is the video production intern for Education Week.

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