First day back for students at Benton Middle School after weekend storm damage


BENTON, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Benton Middle School students resumed classes Tuesday morning after classes had to be cancelled Monday.

Faculty and staff used the day to prepare their classrooms following weekend storm damage to the building. External contractors were still cleaning up within the school as students trickled in and out of class during different periods.

Principal, Kyle Machen addressed the students Tuesday morning before classes.

“We assured them that the changes were going to be quite minimal. There were a couple of logistical changes that we needed to make for schedules and what not,” said Machen, “But our expectations haven’t changed. We still have a shared expectation of excellence.”

6th grader, Julia Horton is a student who had to move rooms because of the storm. She says her father told her about the damage over the weekend. Getting back to classes, she can see the positivity her teachers have.

“They’re struggling a little bit, but I can tell they’re getting back to it.”

Sarah Bahr is a special education teacher who says the strategy she’s using to get her students comfortable with the change is to share why the change can be a good thing.

“My kids came in and were like ‘Why do have to change classes, but I just reassured them that we can’t go back to our old class since it’s kind of blocked off and we’ve just been treading along and doing what we can.”

Shannon Nugent is another educator who made sure to incorporate her lesson plans with examples of how she and her students are persevering together.

People can still give monetary donations for supplies by check in person or by mail. People can also give through the First National Bank of Benton.

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