Forming a semi-circle while joining hands and hearts in prayer, Sunland Baptist Academy (SBA) teachers, administrators and auxiliary staff led by Principal Myrton King, on Tuesday September 12, 2017 assembled at the school, giving God thanks and praise that “everyone made it safely through Hurricane Irma.”
Grade 4 teacher Lornette McKenzie opened the assembly with a prayer, declaring, “We will recover all because we trust in the Lord God, who is the Maker of the Heavens and the Earth.”
“The Almighty God whom even the winds and waves obey His commands and, who shall help all those affected in any way by Hurricane Irma, who offer up thanks for keeping them safe both now and always; will bring them to an expected end not because of they are so good but because He is always good, great and loving!”
Then, hugging each other, SBA staffers prepared to embrace the occasion further, in particular new school term instructions given by Principal King, who had a detailed update on the way forward.
“Firstly, we are thankful that everyone across the length and breadth of The Bahamas has safely rode out Hurricane Irma.
“Today all teachers, administrators and auxiliary staff have reported to Sunland Baptist Academy (SBA) to reset their classrooms, as school reopened for the Autumn semester last week. In preparation for Hurricane Irma, everything was taken down and packed away.
“Of course, we are now trying to unpack and reset the classrooms today so that students would be able to return to school tomorrow morning (Wednesday September 13).
“God has indeed been good and His mercy endures. Hence, we give thanks and are elated that no damage was sustained at our campus,” said Principal King.
Operating with limited electrical supply, King revealed that she is cognizant of the fact that most homes have not been re-energized by Grand Bahama Power Co. Ltd., and neither has the water supply throughout the island been fully restored by the Grand Bahama Utility Co. Ltd. She therefore urged parents and guardians to outfit students in their SBA P.E. uniforms for the initial return to the classroom.
There is the concern regarding students who might be traumatized by the affects of Hurricane Irma, particularly those whose homes would have sustained serious damage as a result of tornado activity that occurred in Imperial Park as well as neighborhoods surrounding East Sunrise Highway, Garden Villas (Imperial Gardens), Bahamia (Xanadu) and Lucaya. King informed that professional counseling will be offered to students who are emotionally distraught by the phenomenon.
“Of course we do not want any student to feel uneasy or emotionally unbalanced as a result of their individual experiences due to Hurricane Irma and the activities that transpired in the aftermath of the storm’s passage.
“With this in mind, we would like parents to ensure that students report to school at the usual time for classes wearing their SBA P.E. uniform.
“Additionally, those students who have been impacted by the tornadoes that occurred in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, whose homes and properties would have sustained serious damages, we are asking parents to inform our guidance counselors so that the proper course of action would take place as far as counseling and aid is concerned.
“Our guidance counselors will be visiting the classrooms speaking generally with our students just to find out how they fared during the passage of the storm.
“We are focused on helping our parents, teachers, administrators, students and auxiliary staff revert to a state of normalcy and it is our intention to provide assistance in whatever way possible to our students in order to facilitate a conducive learning environment.
“Once again we are grateful to God for blessing us and sparing the islands of The Bahamas, particularly Grand Bahama, from receiving a direct hit by Hurricane Irma.
“Furthermore, we are earnestly praying for all our brothers and sisters in the Family Islands and throughout the Caribbean that were gravely impacted,” declared King.