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Morgan Hill
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August 15, 2022

Back to normal at Jackson

The water has receded or been pumped out, the mud has been
scraped away and students are back in their classrooms at Jackson
Elementary School after heavy storms before the holiday break
forced them out.
The water has receded or been pumped out, the mud has been scraped away and students are back in their classrooms at Jackson Elementary School after heavy storms before the holiday break forced them out.

“Sometimes, in times of adversity, we have the opportunity to pull together, and something good comes out of it,” Jackson Principal Mike Crocker said Monday.

The school was closed for one day, Monday, Dec. 16, after weekend storms flooded one of the classroom buildings and the amphitheater.

A city drain that received water from two sources coming from the street above the school was congested, causing mud and debris to spill down the hill into the building. The fence on top of the property prevented logs and additional debris from being washed down the hill.

Water flooded the lower section of the school and ran into one of the classrooms. Teachers and administrators tried to vacuum up the water and move everything up above the flood level.

Between the two circular classroom buildings on the campus is an amphitheater, which, Crocker said, looked like a swimming pool after the storm.

When Jackson reopened on Tuesday, Dec. 17, teachers had voted to keep the students on the campus and divide the displaced students among other classrooms. First, second, third and some fourth grade students shared rooms with the rest of the students for the rest of the week.

Students were back in their own classrooms Monday.

Damage estimates are still coming in, Crocker said. So far, the district has spent nearly $25,000 on new carpet and cleaning carpets. Other expenses, including pay for those doing the work, have yet to be totaled.

District and city workers labored over the two-week break to prepare the classrooms for students.

“Seven classrooms were recarpeted, and Stanley Steamer came out two or three times to clean up the carpets that didn’t need replacing,” Crocker said. “Our facilities department, especially Peter McKenna and Bill Fleshman really put in extra effort to get things ready to open up today. My custodians, Don Pierce and Mike Volpatti, were just great, and the two substitute custodians, normally part time guys that the district sent helped make it possible for us to open today.”

Crocker said Morgan Hill city workers showed up to clear the sidewalks around the school.

“So things are pretty much cleaned up,” he said. “There is still quite a bit of landscaping work that needs to be done, but we are certainly functional. The cafeteria looks like a cafeteria again, the classrooms smell new and clean.”

The cafeteria was used to store supplies and items from the flooded classrooms during the week before the holiday break began on Dec. 21.

Crocker praised his staff and students for their efforts during that week as well as during the break.

“The students were awesome; they stayed out of mud, they cooperated,” he said. “During the time they shared classrooms, they helped each other and made the best of it. The teachers pulled together and made it work.

“Also, they came down during the holidays with volunteers. Parents, older siblings and some of the older students themselves came to help put things back together. It was just another example of how the Jackson community gets things done.”

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