School begins in Moore with an extra comfort level for students, teacher and parents greatly impacted by the May 20 tornado.
Administrators have spent the summer gearing up for the extra mental health need. Many Moore students will begin classes with donations that have come in from around the country. But the district also realizes the need to help students outside the classroom with counseling.
The number of those dealing with symptoms of PTSD has been steady all summer in Moore. The district realizes those same triggers could come inside a classroom as well.
Moore schools Superintendent Robert Romines says the need for more mental health experts was a lesson first learned in tornado torn Joplin, MO. But Moore knows that now, and they have been applying all summer for grants to pay for more counselors at affected schools.
Right now, Briarwood and Plaza Towers have one counselor on staff and Highland East as two.
"Depending on when you can get those grant monies released, you are looking at anywhere between two to four counselors at those sights for the year," said Romines.
Romines says the mental health aspect to all this is one that Joplin really helped out and in his words "paid it forward" because extra counselors are something they continue to deal with, more than two years after their tornado.