Tornado-stricken Joplin takes back-to-school break

August 17, 2011 7:09:03 AM PDT
Joplin students and teachers are returning to classes less than three months after the country's single deadliest tornado in six decades cut their school year short.

Some Joplin students return to the same schools Wednesday. Others will take classes in makeshift locations that include an industrial park and a converted big-box retail store at the city's mall.

Joplin High's 2,200 students will be split among two locations after the city's only public high school was destroyed. But each will receive a new laptop computer thanks to a gift from the United Arab Emirates worth as much as $1 million.

The school system absorbed heavy losses. The tornado's 160 victims included seven students and one school district worker. Six school buildings including Joplin High were destroyed, and four more were damaged.

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