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School District Challenged By Post-Sandy Circumstances

The progress of the Long Beach Public Schools since Hurricane Sandy.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Long Beach resident Jerrel Snow has stayed with his family in Freeport, from where his daughter is bussed to the Middle School. His main concern is what will happen to her he can’t find housing in the city and must live elsewhere before the start of the next school year.  

“My home has a big red sign on the door, the landlord does not know how long it will take to be fixed and affordable rentals in Long Beach are scarce,” Snow told the Long Beach Board of Education at a regular meeting at the high school Tuesday.

“Will she have to change schools?”  

Snow raised this topic because it impacts his family and other families who have children in the city’s public schools. The board trustees and Superintendent David Weiss were unsure of the legalities of the situation and told Snow they would look into it.  

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It is one of many unusual circumstances the school district faces as storm-ravaged Long Beach starts to recover and residents try to adjust to the new normal in their city. Many families remain displaced and may not be able to return to their homes for weeks or many months.   

Weiss thanked teachers, parents and the community for stepping up in circumstances unlike any the district has seen before. He said the district is overwhelmed by the many donations made by other districts, vendors and individuals.  

“A lot of the choices we are making right now are choices between things which all have negative consequences,” Weiss said. “So, we are trying to choose those things that are least painful in order to get to the point where we are in the position to offer the best educational program for our children.”  

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However, there is positive news for students. The eighth grade students will move back to the Middle School on Monday, two days ahead of schedule.  With that, all of the middle school’s 900 students will be out of the high school, where they attended classes after the storm. The high school students will return to their regularly scheduled classes and classrooms, except for the gym and the locker rooms. The sixth and seventh grade students returned to the middle school on Dec. 3. The eight graders return after more classrooms have been restored since then.   

“School has been good, but just very crowded since after the storm,” LBHS sophomore Casey Roesch said.    

Lido Elementary School will open January 2. Students from West Elementary School, who are currently at East Elementary School, will move to Lindell Elementary School in the second week of January. West Elementary School will not open until March of 2013. 

“At that point it will relieve most of the pressure on the crowding of classrooms, which will allow us to be able to accelerate where we are with learning,” Weiss said.

“School has been good, but just very crowded since after the storm,” LBHS sophomore Casey Roesch said.    

Joy McCarthy, a West End resident, said that she thought the district was doing a good job with students under the circumstances.  

“One of my sons is a sixth-grader and was stressed being in the high school,” she said. “He is happy to be back in the middle school.”    

 This story was corrected and updated at 3:49 on 12.13.12.
Jack December 13, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Joanne your medication must be effecting you because your moronic statement about "raise taxes" and "givie those of us a raise" makes no sense unless of course you are a LB public school employee, which proves my point that the LB public school district will use its commie tactics to take advantage of the disaster to raise school taxes to redistribute wealth from the tax payer to the their own pockets. Again the District should convene an emergency vote to reduce school property taxes for the storm victims so they can pay for house repairs. Also the stupid bond act to build a football stadium should be eliminated right now in order to save money. CLOSE THE EAST SCHOOL NOW!
Eddie December 14, 2012 at 09:52 AM
The School District was faced with a huge task or returning their operation to normal. Their employees appear to have done a wonderful job. Now let's see if the district's leadership takes the high road, manages efficiently and finds funding sources other than raising taxes.
Jack December 14, 2012 at 10:53 AM
Its now time for the LB public school district teachers and staff to make a sacrifice for the storm victims in Long Beach. They should support an emergency vote to immediately reduce property taxes and work with the district to enact a pay freeze and cost savings program. An immediate downsizing of the school district must be implemented. Its apperant that a large number of students have left the school district and won't be returning. Numerous families are moving out and their kids won't be returning to school. Now is the time to enact these changes to further save the existing taxpayers.
The real bear December 14, 2012 at 11:49 AM
Were not a bunch of the school employees storm victims themselves? I think they have sacrificed
Jack December 14, 2012 at 08:33 PM
The teachers and staff are considered "civil servants" which means by definition they should be payed far less than the private sector, however we now live in the world of bizarro and backwardness thanks to the 1960's hippies who took over thesystem they fought against in the streets. There has to be a level of reasonablness that their selfish unions have trouble accepting. Their concern is about their pockets and not the taxpayers whose house were destroyed. We need an emergency budget vote to reduce the budget and school taxes.
Tonto Hertzberg December 14, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Jack: The reason there are unions is because scum like you have tried to subjugate and shortchange the working person since the beginning of time. Thank God there is organized labor and bastards like you dont call the shots without a fight.
Eddie December 14, 2012 at 09:29 PM
That's certainly one way to put it, Ken.
Tonto Hertzberg December 14, 2012 at 10:26 PM
jack: You are indeed an ignoramus. The labor movement traces its roots to the fight against inhuman scum like Henry Ford and other human garbage such as him that dehumanized the working person until they took their rights back by spilling blood in the streets. If you think we are going back to the days when animals such as yourself take away our dignity then you are in for a surprise.
Jack December 14, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Ken and your fellow Bolsheveiks are the true thugs and ignoramouses. Point in question is just look at the union thugs who beat up politicians in Michigan who were enforcing laws against union thuggery. Who was the great union leader who said " there will be blood" in the streets? Oh yea, after getting released from jail he was burried somewhere in New jersey! You do a disservce to the mentally challenged when you compare union labor to Civil servant teachers who are not "labor". its especially grevious since the teachers are the only civil servants who can raise our taxes to pay for their excessive part time salaries by way of their croonies on the school boards. Ken you are typical of modern day simpletons who operate by generating mistruths, rumors, cliches and unverified information to push your radical progressive agenda as shown by you denigrating taxpayers looking for transparency in finances. Finally, you oger, if it wasn't for Henry Ford right now you would be carrying a bucket of horse shite and a broom as you walked down Beech st on your way to Shines to cash your disability check!
joanne December 15, 2012 at 07:57 AM
@Jack Kett Yes I am an employee of the district. I am one of the 75% of ALL non-instructional employees who also reside here in LB. Perhaps in your infinate wisdom of how to manage the school system, or perhaps purposefully, you omitted the fact that we,your neighbors, have been without a contract for THREE YEARS.We are the "behind the scenes people" you know the ones who drive your kids to school, the ones who make sure they have something to eat when they forget their lunch,make sure the buildings are clean etc.etc.etc.We are NOT raking in the big bucks,infact the average Non instructional employee's yearly wages are less than 30k and this we, as head of households must stretch out over the summer months when school is out of session. I strongly suggest you revisit your idea of a budget in order to pay for YOUR home repairs, as your first post suggests, and get it thru your head SANDY did not happen to you alone. You seriously should be ashamed of yourself for these bizzare rantings, I bet your just here some 3-5 years, a former city dweller now "transplated" in LB who thinks they can just come here and bully the TRUE LOCALS around, you want lower taxes, use the proper forum WWW.THEWHITEHOUSE.GOV and stay off the backs of those of us just doing the best we can, because when all is said and done WE LOVE what were doing.
joanne December 15, 2012 at 08:04 AM
and BTW Jack Kett, why are you bullying the Schools and NOT the City? Perhaps I can refresh your memory, since obviously you "forgot" to vote....The school budget had 0% increase while your alter ego Schnirrmans budget calls for 16%
Trying to Make Sense December 15, 2012 at 08:49 AM
I think anyone who reads Mr. Kett's posts realizes that they are unworthy of response.
DoryLee Smith December 15, 2012 at 08:54 AM
@jackkett - apparently your parents did NOT pay enough in school taxes. Your verbose comments are poorly constructed and your spelling is atrocious!! Maybe you should take some of your tax dollars and, at a minimum, invest in Spell Check. There will ALWAYS be loud mouths like you - we all, myself included, need to laugh at their insecurities (yes, I AM referring to the size of your rather small appendage), and move on, shaking our heads in wonder.
joanne December 15, 2012 at 10:00 AM
ack Kett 22 hours ago Its now time for the LB public school district teachers and staff to make a sacrifice for the storm victims in Long Beach. EVERY TIME I READ THIS STATEMENT I AM IN AWE OF HOW BLESSED YOU REALLY ARE JACK....SEEMS THE GOOD LORD GAVE ALL THE IGNORANCE TO YOU. You are a bizzare charachter who has alot to say about things you know nothing about. in short, you are a real A-HOLE THE MAJORITY OF STAFF ARE THE STORM VICTIMS OF LONGBEACH, not to mention their families as well. Still shaking my head at your profound ignorance.
Eddie December 15, 2012 at 10:11 AM
Comments like Jacks are becoming commonplace as the Democrats plunge our bankrupt nation into class warfare. The tax situation is dire for many who are a paycheck away from losing their homes to excessive taxation. To draw attention away from the government's relentless inflation and debasing of the money supply, the public is told that their financial straits results from "teachers pensions, cops' salaries, railroaders' unions, and city workers' contracts". Disgruntled underachievers among us take the bait. They buy into a tax-and-spend government's mantra that Americans paid more than Chinese rice-paddy workers are somehow responsible for their lack of income or poor financial decisions. Give it a rest. Look to yourself and your own abilities. The cops, teachers and public employees are no different than you or I. They are trying hard to make ends meet, to support their families, their communities and to pay their taxes. The only differences between them and you is that they put in a resume, and that their jobs serve you, your families and your quality of life. Maybe you should thank them for the wonderful community in which you live and raise your kids.
Jack December 15, 2012 at 11:42 AM
The reason the school employees and teachers are without a contract for # years is because they are unreasonable and refused to accept a reasonable offer. hey have created the problem they are now in. Since the expiration of the contract there has been a severe recession, economic downturn, real estate crash and high unemployement. On top of this a natural disaster that has destroyed homes and property. Take a realistic approach: teachers cant strike by definition of law, so they are stuck right now. Property values have dropped. Homes are off the tax roll, and some people are walking away from their mortgages which all means less property tax comong into the school district. Dont expect the reamaining homeowners struggling to make repairs and pay their bills to pay more taxes so that part time workers can get a raise! Some teachers are just waiting to take the raise so they can retire with a higher pension payout and flee long beach to Florida- hypocrites.Be happy you have a high payong partime job with 10 weeks of vacation in the summer. There are "union" labor workers like electricians, carpenters and iron workers who were out of work for 2 years!
joanne December 15, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Jack, first of all it bothers me to stoop to your level with a reply, I think thats actually what your looking for anyway, attention, because you sound so miserable I bet you don't get out from behind your keyboard often. Obviously you missed casting your vote for the 0% school budget this year. Im amazed that your not standing on our head shouting to your alter ego schmmeeeerman for proposing a 16% increase in property taxes..Let me know where you live and I'll let you know the nearest corner to wait for the school bus come monday morning because you truly missed out on an education.
Mr Dunes December 15, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Joanne, you think that calling someone's appendage size small, generalizing their conservative philosphies as an idealouge pundit is appropriate behabior of someone who admittedly works for the school district? If you're demonstrating/influencing our children woth this utterly ignorant lack of discipline and reatraint than i'd have to agree with Jack, that many of the employees receive more benefits then they should be entitled for. That's all this MAN is simply saying. He's not trying to sass the readers ibto believing a political party is accountable. You sound ridiculous, the whole lot of you. The status quo is failing, and Jack's only crime is that of blowing a non slanderous whistle at waste.
Eddie December 15, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Didn't your elected representative agree to the teachers' and employees' contract? If you don't like the agreements, ask the Board to negotiate changes. If the employees aren't worth a living wage -- if you feel your kids would be better taught and fed and protected by employees earning $7.55/hour, elect a school board who agrees with you. Isn't that simple?
Mr Dunes December 15, 2012 at 11:42 PM
Perhaps you are aware, or unaware that our students' test grades are right on the cusp of passing roosevelt, west hempstead and freepor test grades. What Jack and I are simply saying is syop trivializing politicians, and espevially everyone else in the community, but audot the system with a standard of ethics. Valueing health care benefits which are 75% more coverage than Oceanside's yet our teachers hypothetically arent performing as well as Oceanside is a discussion to take up with our community's head of teachers union. When we let our emotions trivialize one another all of the positive air to breathe life into evolving our situation, and only the status quo prevaila.
joanne December 16, 2012 at 07:41 AM
@MR DUNES please re-read the postings I HAVE NEVER referred to the size of JKETTS appendage Im so done with this bizzare forum. JackKett's first post was to reduce the # of employees in order o give him $$ to repair his home effected by Sandy forgetting that the majority of school employees (those of us on the bottom end of the pay scale mind you) are all HIS neighbors & yours as well. For many of us residing in the westend,like myself, this is the second time in a year that mass destruction passed thru...but who cares take my home so Jack can fix his because without a job you can pay ALL my expenses when I get on the WELFARE line...I think all you people who now walk around on the pity pot with your new attitude of"sandy only happened to me" need to get over yourselves.Were all in the same boat,some of us worse off then others HAVE A WONDERFUL HOLIDAY,perhaps you can take a break from this nasty forum and go to whatever place you choose to , and thank the good LORD for your being.
Hamburger December 18, 2012 at 02:25 PM
why are YOU talking about the SIZE of his APPENDAGE?
DoryLee Smith December 19, 2012 at 07:50 AM
Merely a lesson in the ludicrous - definition of appendage is as follows: append·age  (-pndj)n.1. Something added or attached to an entity of greater importance or size; an adjunct.2. Biology A part or organ, such as an arm, leg, tail, or fin, that is joined to the axis or trunk of a body. Even a HEAD could be the IMPLIED appendage. Just goes to show how SMALL MINDED the population reading this news base is. Thanks for proving my point.
Hamburger December 19, 2012 at 10:46 AM
Why are you talking about his head of his appendage/organ? That kind of talk belongs in the privacy of the home and nowhere else
DoryLee Smith December 19, 2012 at 10:51 AM
More affirmation about the lack of brain cells in the collective viewing audience. Congratulations, you are a credit to the intellectually impaired. An intelligent thought is a novel idea. Grab a dollar and buy yourself a clue.....
Hamburger December 19, 2012 at 02:04 PM
This IS a family SITE - we don't APPRECIATE your obscene COMMENTS. YOU should put more thought into your POSTS (or have SOMEBODY proofread THEM prior)
Hamburger December 19, 2012 at 02:05 PM
(you just got served)
DoryLee Smith December 19, 2012 at 10:03 PM
NOT ONE WORD WAS OBSCENE ANYWHERE IN THE RESPONSES. YOU ARE AN UNEDUCATED MORON WITH A PENCHANT FOR UNPLEASANT BANTER. GRAB YOUR DICTIONARY AND TRY TO UNDERSTAND ANY OF THIS. GET OFF MY CASE AND GO PLAY WITH UR TOYS INFANT. YOU JUST GOT SERVED.
Mr Dunes December 19, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Instead of writing straightforward, those who wrote provacatively got the inferences any rational adult could expect. If your wrting is simple you risk less innappropriate responses, when writing is sassed up with unsubstantial complicated provacative words.
Hamburger December 20, 2012 at 10:32 AM
You are correct, especially when written in all CAPS. As a result, it was necessary to make sure that she got served.

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