CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Teachers, cooks and other staff members of Piedmont Elementary School faced a fifth day without students Thursday. They wanted to do something more productive than sitting at home, some without access to clean water.
@rag:That's why about a dozen staff members showed up to repaint the school's entry and main hallway from its previous cream color to a bright "fun yellow."
"They say that the color yellow stimulates the mind," said Principal Beth Sturgill.
Staff members have delivered bottled water, food and paper supplies to many families in their school district, Sturgill said. They spent the past few days flushing out the school's water pipes, planning lessons and straightening up the school building.
With nothing left to do, staff members purchased paint and supplies Wednesday. Teachers didn't have to report to the school on Charleston's East End on Thursday, but about a dozen staff members did, anyway.
"Kanawha County Schools does a lot of painting," Sturgill said, "so we decided to help them out."
Schools in Boone County will be closed Friday. So will Lincoln County High School and Hamlin PK-8 School, also in Lincoln County. Putnam County schools are expected to be open Friday.
As of Thursday night, 49 of Kanawha County's near 70 schools were approved to be reopened.
Of the 21 left, seven were in zones that hadn't been approved to use water yet, Superintendent Ron Duerring said at a school board meeting Thursday night.
"We're going to get there," Duerring said. "Our first concern was the safety of our kids and making sure that the protocol that was supposed to be followed was down to the letter."
While Duerring said he would prefer to open the district as a whole, a partial opening -- excluding those schools that are still under the water ban -- will happen on Tuesday if the schools are still not cleared, he said.