(WMC-TV) - High winds ripped a huge portion of the roof off Sherard Elementary school in rural Coahoma County, Miss.
School officials say they are just thankful students were not inside when the storms hit.
"There's over 200 students here. That's family, not just friends, they're family," said parent Monica Woods.
Coahoma County maintenance crews will not get much of a Christmas break because they are working to fix parts of the school before students go back to class.
Saturday night, an EF-2 tornado tore off the school's roof, portions of which were blown back toward the playground behind the school.
A student's desk, which was originally in a classroom, was found several yards behind the school.
Monica Woods stopped by Monday to check out the damage for herself.
"I graduated here, my siblings graduated here, now my oldest son is graduating from here," Woods said.
The school has 230 students in it, from Kindergarten through sixth grade.
The front part of the school managed to escape the winds. But the back of the building, where the classrooms were located, got the brunt of the storm.
"It can get emotional when you see everything, all the paper back that way, the building flipped over, windows broke, and our roof," said Woods.
Coahoma County's school superintendent tells Action News 5 school is set to start January 7, after the Christmas break.
The superintendent says some students may be placed in temporary classrooms until work on the school can be completed.