NEWS RELEASES 2011-12 :: AUGUST 29, 2011


Staff from the NC Department of Public Instruction today and throughout this week are visiting local schools and other school district facilities to complete damage assessments, offer technical expertise to mitigate further structural damage to buildings, and to inventory ways to provide replacement textbooks and other materials as needed to help schools reopen in areas damaged by Hurricane Irene.

The Department of Public Instruction includes a Division of School Support that provides facility insurance to 90 school districts and 29 community colleges, support for plant operations including building systems engineers and school architects, support for school transportation, and a statewide textbook distribution system.

Staff members have visited schools in Greene and Edgecombe counties and will visit others as road conditions improve. Data are being collected regarding facility damage, instructional resources such as textbooks that need to be replaced, and insurance claims that need to be processed.

While data are not yet complete, some schools including Tarboro High School in Edgecombe County, sustained damage to roofs, classrooms and the loss of textbooks and other learning materials. Initial reports from nine districts show a total of 29 buildings sustaining wind and water damage.

"We know that in the wake of Hurricane Irene, one important return to normalcy is the re-opening of public schools," said State Superintendent June Atkinson. "NCDPI staff are working very closely with local school districts in the affected areas to do all we can to help them return to school as quickly as possible and as soon as it is safe to do so."

Additional details will be provided as data are collected and verified regarding storm damage to schools and school materials.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.