ANDOVER, Kan. (KSNW) – Families of Prairie Creek Elementary School (PCES) located in Andover received an update Monday night regarding how their students will finish out the remainder of the school year.

Friday night, the City of Andover experienced an EF-3 tornado that damaged over 1,000 buildings, including the local YMCA, homes, and PCES.

On Saturday, PCES announced that they were closing the school for the remainder of the year due to the extensive damage the building received, leaving parents to wonder how their students would finish out the last two weeks of school.

Monday night, Andover Public Schools sent out this email:

Dear Prairie Creek Families,

While we wish we were with our students today, we did have a good day of healing and connecting and planning as a staff.  Our hearts are broken for the suffering of our school community and can’t wait to see you all again! We are determined to make the last two weeks positive and a time for happy memories to end this year. I am so proud of the staff for all of the planning that has already started.

As we shared before, the Prairie Creek building suffered too much damage to be used for school. Instead, we will use three different buildings May 9-19. We will not hold school on May 20, when we were scheduled to be released early. Building assignments will be:

  • Early Childhood, Sunflower Elementary, 616 E. Douglas
  • Pre-K, to be determined; more details will be sent soon
  • Kindergarten and 1st grade, Cottonwood Elementary, 1747 N. Andover Road
  • 2nd grade and special education, Meadowlark Elementary, 1122 N. 159th St.
  • Grades 3-5, Andover Center for Advanced Professional Studies, 1401 W. 13th St.

While these will be the “home bases” for these grades, our goal is to fill the last two weeks of the year with as many field trips and other fun activities as possible to help students create positive memories during a challenging time. 

We have many details yet to be determined and will be working the rest of this week on those. Thank you for your patience as we rework our entire school operations for two weeks.

As we were meeting today, a crew of movers packed up what was salvageable from our school building. These items were placed in boxes by classroom, and our teachers will be reunited with their classrooms’ belongings. This includes students’ personal belongings that we were able to keep. Items that weren’t plastic or metal that were wet were not able to be saved. At this time, we do not know how much from the classrooms could be kept.

We will continue to keep you updated as we go through the week and know more details. Thank you for your support as we work together to overcome these challenges.

Mrs. Jonas