No school for students, but they keep learning

Published 11/20 2013 11:06AM

Updated 11/20 2013 11:35AM

GIFFORD -- A lot of families want to know what happens with school in the wake of this week's devastating storms. Sixty homes are destroyed and parts of the school are gone. Everyone's wondering, "now what?" WCIA-3's Megan Brilley talks with someone who might have the answer.

Classes have been canceled the past two days. With no power, it's been next to impossible. The superintendent says school should be back in session next week.

At least one 6th grader is surprising people with what he's been doing during his recent days off.

"The wind was so strong, it just blew all the sound away."

Casey Dillman was home with his dad when the tornado hit. Their home was left standing, but when they walked outside, they realized the rest of the neighborhood wasn't so lucky.

"I was afraid because I knew some of the kids in my class were in the path of the tornado."

Dillman soon realized, 40 of his 250 classmates' homes were gone.

"I was just in shock."

His school was damaged too. Buses' windows were smashed and the barn housing them was destroyed.

When Superintendent Rod Grimslay saw the destruction, he knew class wouldn't be an option. It was a lot to handle, but he soon found, he wasn't dealing with it alone.

"Paxton, both schools in Rantoul, Prairieview-Ogden, St. Joe High School."

All schools have offered up classrooms for Gifford students.

"It's just a good feeling to know if you need anything, they'll help you out."

For the time being, Dillman hasn't been using his off-days to play his X-Box like a lot of 6th graders might.

"It just doesn't feel right that we have a house and we have power, for us to just stand around, like, other people are out working."

He and his classmates have been helping families clean up what's left of their lives, and, until he's back in class, that's where he plans to stay.

"With some other friends of mine, we've been running around helping some other students' houses."

The superintendent spent the day locating students who have been displaced. Most are staying in Rantoul. He doesn't know of any who have gone to class at another school, but says, if they want to in the next week, they have a lot to choose from.

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