Long Beach Public Schools will
reopen no earlier than next week, more than two weeks after Hurricane Sandy
slammed Long Beach, according to Superintendent Dr. David
After a nearly two-hour meeting with
the Board of Education at Lindell School Tuesday evening, Weiss said the district
will try to open some schools on Nov. 13, after school officials had wanted to
try a partial reopening on Wednesday, a plan that they rethought due a
nor’easter that is expected to hit Long Island the next two days.
“We were trying really hard to open
school tomorrow on a partial basis; with the impending weather it makes
absolutely no sense for us to try that,” Weiss told Patch on Tuesday.
He said that while not all of the
schools buildings are fully prepared to reopen yet, the district expects to
have three sites functioning on Nov. 13. Those buildings are Lindell, East
School and Long Beach High School. “We expect to have them ready,” Weiss said.
“I can’t tell you that we will.”
Meanwhile, the district still has
considerable logistics to work out in order to transport students to schools,
since many have been displaced with their families to areas throughout Nassau
County after the hurricane knocked out electric, water, sewage, Internet and
phone services in the city Oct. 29.
“We’ll be transporting kids from
around the county back to the district,” Weiss said. “That location and
identification process is going on right now.”
On Tuesday, district buses picked up
hundreds of displaced teachers and other staff members at train stations in
Oceanside and Freeport and transported them to Lindell School for a staff
meeting Tuesday morning. Approximately 65 percent of district staff lives in
Long Beach, Weiss said.
“We’re going to expand well beyond
that as we identify where kids are,” he explained. “...”What’s different about
Long Beach from the rest of the county is that people may have lost
electricity, but we’ve lost our people. And most of the people who stayed in
Long Beach during the storm lost their cars.”
The superintendent said that daily
updates will be posted on the district website
p.m. each day, as well as possible mid-day updates.
The latest update reads: “At this
time, we understand that there are many questions, including many logistical
ones. We will be providing detailed answers to these questions on the
lbeach.org website. Please continue to check for continued updates. On Friday,
November 9th, the Long Beach staff will be meeting at the Lindell School from
9am to 12 pm to plan for the arrival of our children on Tuesday.”
Since Long Beach is without Internet
access, parents and students should try to find a “web buddy’— a person who has
access to the web, since problems with communication and transportation are the
two greatest hurdles the district presently faces, Weiss said.
Moreover, the four Long Beach sports
teams that were scheduled to participate in the playoffs this weekend will
play, the superintendent said. The varsity football team that is scheduled to
play at Carey on Saturday, however, lost their equipment in the storm. But
Weiss said the district would borrow equipment from other school districts.
“But when we take donations, it’s
for all out teams, not just one team,” he said.
* Joley Welkowitz contributed to
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