St. John the Baptist Catholic Church School reopens following Napa Quake

Educators held an earthquake drill at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church School in Napa after the school reopened on Tuesday.
Tuesday, September 02, 2014
There are major signs of recovery in the North Bay after a 6.0-magnitude earthquake hit nine days ago. Earthquake damaged schools are reopening.

You can still see large cracks in some of the walls at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Napa. They have been patching up their school next door. About 20 percent of the school is yellow tagged and still closed. But students are finally back in class Tuesday, a week after the earthquake.

Parents and students told ABC7 News it's time to get back into the routine. "They look forward to getting back and seeing their friends they are a little apprehensive because of the earthquake situation and such, but for the most part they're happy to come back," Miguel Kennings said.

The building is ready, but the principal wants to make sure her students are too, so school opened Tuesday with an earthquake drill.

Whether they talk about Napa's earthquake will be up to each teacher. "We're gonna take our cue from the kids and the teachers know that they'll just be on alert. I'll be in and around into all the classrooms, we'll just make sure we kind of read them very carefully," principal Nancy Jordan said.

"I think a lot of students have done a lot of sharing themselves through texting and stuff. I think it's good we move past it to get back on track," student Anna Miller said.

Things are not quite back to normal. They've built and decorated a construction wall to block off the section of school that is still considered unstable. Seventh grade is now in the library, Eighth grade in the art room and the principal had to move her office too.

But educators at the school say being back together is what matters most. "Just seeing their faces and their trusting faces and the families that know we have done everything we can do to keep your children safe and just to see the kids being so excited about being back, you know, I'm absolutely overjoyed," Jordan said.

Last year, they did $300,000 earthquake retrofit work. Some Parishoners grumbled a little about having to spend the money. Now, everyone is celebrating that the damage wasn't worse.
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