Recovery efforts that began on the day following the April 4 tornado continue at Goodman School.

Recovery efforts that began on the day following the April 4 tornado continue at Goodman School.  
Superintendent Dan Decker provided an update on Goodman School to members of the Neosho School Board during Monday's regular meeting. Thanks to combined efforts of many volunteers and school district personnel, Decker said, "We have accomplished much in a short period of time because we have a great group of people, including staff, parents, and community."
Volunteers helped retrieve classroom items from the structure, assisted in transportation to the temporary classroom locations, and even wiped down desks with sanitizing wipes. Donations from the community also poured in to help outfit the classrooms and provide supplies to students.
Students from Goodman School returned to the classroom after two days of school missed by the Neosho District, housed in space at both South and Carver Elementary Schools in Neosho and at the District Central Office.  
"We're calling this the Goodman CO School," Decker said during the meeting.
DESE, the Missouri State Department of Education, determined that the days missed due to the tornado do not need to be made-up so the school calendar remains on track.
The superintendent quoted the Missouri Commissioner of Education, Dr. Margie Vandeven, who praised the Neosho schools for their prompt response and said, "I'm not sure I have ever seen a district turn around in such a short time after such damage."
Teams from the Neosho School District were on site immediately after the tornado struck Goodman. Principal Samantha Hamilton's first priority was checking how the areas of the school used as a tornado shelter fared in the storm. Although school was not in session at the time the storm struck, student safety remained foremost in her mind and she sought reassurance students would have been safe in the event of a tornado during school hours.
Insurance representatives visited the school site on the day following the tornado accompanied by structural engineers.  
Assistant superintendent of operations, Tim Crawley, stated, "I've been in daily conversation with insurance representatives (David Anderson)."
On Wednesday, a team  planned to visit the Goodman School location to make a complete damage assessment.  The group includes a district engineer, an insurance underwriter, and an impartial building inspector. They will assess whether or not the destruction is total and recommend how to proceed.
Three needs exist toward getting Goodman School on track. These are dealing with the emergency, the clean-up, and the rebuilding phase.   When the time comes to rebuild, seven contractors and a number of architects have demonstrated a desire to help in the process. At a later date, after assessments and recommendations are made, the board will make decisions about how to proceed and narrow choices for the project.
Since theft and looting can be major issues after a tornado or any natural disaster, the Neosho School District has been providing security since the storm struck.  
"There has not been a tremendous amount of theft," Crawley stated.  
The Goodman Police Department provided major assistance toward security from immediately following the tornado until late last week.  A private security service has been providing security since Friday and onsite security is in place to prevent any potential theft or trespass issues.
Other damage within the district from the April 4 tornado include significant damage at the school farm, where a barn was destroyed as well as damage to the bus barn across from Goodman School.  
The transition into temporary classrooms has been more difficult for the adult staff members than for the students, Decker said. He enjoys having students present at the Central Office location.
"It is a true blessing to watch these kiddoes," he said, regarding the Goodman students attending class at the Central Office. "And to see the love they have for their teachers."
He provided an example of one young student who proved reluctant to be checked out by a parent for a scheduled appointment.
"She told her mom she didn't want to go," Decker said. "She asked her mom to reschedule it because it wasn't as important as school."
"The Neosho district is committed to spending whatever is needed to get (Goodman) kids back in school in their own building," Crawley stated.
Further updates about the Goodman School situation will be made at 7 p.m., Monday, May 15 regular session of the Neosho School Board.  The meeting will be held at the Central Office.