Pembroke Hill students work on return to normalcy day after bus crash

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Investigators will take an extensive amount of time to determine all factors that lead to Wednesday’s school bus crash that happened in Bonner Springs, Kan. The sixth graders from Pembroke Hill School were supposed to be at a camp on Thursday doing team building and bonding exercises. Instead, they did some of that today at a school assembly.

Pembroke Hill's leadership told the kids they really want to get everyone back to business as usual, but they also wanted to give the kids some time to process the ordeal they've been through. Thursday’s assembly was a chance to do both those things.

The sixth grade team building exercises usually include the jump rope station and rocket launchers, but this year it did look a little different.

“We had some children with bruises and a sling on their arm but they were still participating,” Beth Bryant, Pembroke Hill’s Director of Communications, said.

Pembroke Hill's orientation also included time to sit and talk with school counselors.

“The counseling people tell us that's very important the sooner kids get back into a regular routine the better. So that was one of the important reasons we had the sixth graders come back today, to have them come back to campus, to be with their friends and with teachers they know and trust and they have an opportunity to process it,” Bryant said.

All sixth graders were also given these bracelets, usually a badge of honor for students; they indicate when they did something that showed integrity, compassion or scholarship. The principal said the kids all earned these bracelets yesterday, especially because of the compassion they've shown for each other.

“Kids are resilient but they're also children and processing it and make sure they feel safe and have an opportunity to talk about things if they want to and discuss their feelings with each other,” Bryant said.

FOX 4 did try to speak to several of the kids’ families who were injured on the bus yesterday, most of them declined and said they're ready to move forward now and focus on their child's healing. Four students that were at the University of Kansas Hospital were released on Thursday.

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