Vale Middle School Reading Article
Schools Face Tough Calls With Tornado Outbreak (1190L)
Instructions: COMPLETE ALL QUESTIONS AND MARGIN NOTES
Questions: Answer in COMPLETE SENTENCES unless otherwise instructed. Lists and charts are the
exception and may be answered in phrases.
Read the following article carefully and make notes in the margin as you read.
Your notes should include:
o Comments that show that you understand the article. (A summary or statement of the main
idea of important sections may serve this purpose.)
o Questions you have that show what you are wondering about as you read.
o Notes that differentiate between fact and opinion.
o Observations about how the writer’s strategies (organization, word choice, perspective,
support) and choices affect the article.
Your margin notes are part of your score for this assessment.
Student _________________________________Class Period______________________
Notes on my thoughts,
Schools face tough calls with tornado outbreak
reactions and questions as I
HENRYVILLE, Ind. – The tornado came at the worst possible time for the hundreds of students
loaded on school buses, ready to head home in Henryville, Ind. There was no time to follow the
preferred safety plan and herd students off the bus and inside the school. Instead, an assistant
principal signaled drivers to go, setting off a desperate race to beat the tornado that was just
minutes from slamming into the town and destroying a large part of the school.
Unlike snowstorms or hurricanes, which come with plenty of advance warning, tornadoes pose
unique challenges for school districts because they can pop up suddenly, leaving little time to
scramble to safety. School officials say the choice usually boils down to dismissing class well in
advance or sheltering students in the school until the bad weather passes. Neither is guaranteed
to save lives.
"When you look at the fact that the average amount of time from a tornado warning being issued
to a tornado touching down is five to seven minutes, you can't get them to a safe place in that
amount of time," said Bob Roberts, emergency management coordinator for Tulsa Public
Schools in Oklahoma.
In Henryville, what seemed like bad timing turned out to be fortunate. Despite harrowing
encounters that forced one driver and students to duck into a crawl space and another to seek
cover with children on the floor of a car, all the students survived back-to-back tornadoes that
devastated the town about 20 miles north of Louisville, Ky.
"The very hallways we would have had those kids in, the ceiling collapsed. Those kids would
have been crushed," said John Reed, assistant superintendent of West Clark Community Schools.
But canceling school every time there's a tornado watch isn't practical, since some areas have
daily thunderstorms, and many storms never develop actual tornadoes. "In Kansas in the spring,
you would never have school," said Mike Nulton, superintendent of the North Lyon County
School District in Kansas, who has been in charge of two schools hit by tornadoes.
Associated Press. Schools face tough calls with tornado outbreak. March 6, 2012. Available at
Retrieved March 6, 2012.