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ONE WEEK LATER: Barnsdall schools close for rest of year, announce graduation dates

Posted at 12:43 PM, May 13, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-14 21:00:25-04

BARNSDALL, Okla. — One week after a deadly EF4 tornado swept through Barnsdall, recovery efforts continue in the small town.

On May 12, the superintendent of Barnsdall Public Schools announced school won't continue this year.

Barnsdall Public Schools announced Kindergarten graduation will be at 6pm on Monday, May 20 in the lower gym.

The baccalaureate service will be Wednesday, May 15 at 6 p.m. in the lower gym and high school graduation will be at 7:30 p.m., May 17 at Bartlesville Community Center.

Banquets for athletics and FFA will each be virtual.

The district said students are invited on Tuesday, May 21 between 11am and 7pm for a come-and-go event where they can turn in books, pick up personal items from lockers, and see their teachers.

Superintendent Dr. Sayra Bryant told 2 News May 14 that despite classes being canceled, students deserved a happy sendoff to the school year after so much stress and devastation from helping their families and others recover.

"I'm watching students that are in high school that already understand what it means to serve others," Bryant said. "One of the students said, 'I can't do much but I can do something.'"

High school senior Sydney Galligher said she and the rest of her fellow graduates-to-be are prioritizing their community and not even thinking about graduation amid the work needed to help the town build back.

"Right now (the priority is) to make sure that everybody's OK, doing good and got a place to eat, sleep, do whatever," Galligher said.
"I think it shows how much we care for our town and how much we care for each long as it's needed. That's until everybody is on their feet doing good. That's all we can do right now."

The American Red Cross moved its shelter from the Osage County Fairgrounds in Pawhuska to B The Light Church at 219 N Virginia Ave.

Transition teams are working with people at the shelter to help them find housing.

Anyone in need of housing can call 1-800-733-2767 (1-800-RED-CROSS) to enroll for housing assistance.

In order to qualify for assistance, these requirements must be met:

  1. Their pre-disaster primary residence (renter or homeowner) is in a confirmed disaster-impacted geographic area.
  2. Their head of household is able to provide proof of identity and residence.
  3. Their primary residence is assessed to be destroyed or has suffered significant structural damage that requires extensive repairs. A residence that is destroyed is one that is a total loss or with damage so severe that repairs are not feasible.

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