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District Updates Community on Schools Status

The Long Beach Public Schools administration building in Lido Beach has been condemned in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. (Credit: Joseph Kellard)
The Long Beach Public Schools administration building in Lido Beach has been condemned in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. (Credit: Joseph Kellard)

In keeping with a stated commitment to provide the Long Beach community with daily updates via its website, the Long Beach School District on Wednesday released its most detailed information yet about the status of the schools that all sustained damage during Hurricane Sandy Oct. 29.

Superintendent David Weiss wrote in a post on the website, dated 5 p.m. Nov. 7, that school officials are developing a plan to start to hold classes for all their students at Long Beach High School, Lindell School and East School on Nov. 13, followed by West School and the Lido Complex after Thanksgiving break.  

In order to open schools, the buildings must have power, heat, fire alarms, portable water, working sewage and the ability to provide food, Weiss said, and the City of Long Beach is still waiting for Nassau County to give clearance to run its water.

“I know that there is a lot of frustration about our inability to provide definitive plans for the opening of school,” Weiss wrote in his opening remarks in a post listed on the site’s District News section. “All of our facilities sustained damage during the storm. We have prioritized the buildings based on a detailed damage assessment, and have environmental and restoration contractors working 24/7 to bring them back online.”

The Blackheath Pre-K program, which is located adjacent to the high school, and the administration building next to the Lido Complex, both in Lido Beach, will be condemned due to flood damage. While the district’s fleet of buses is operable, the transportation depot sustained eight feet of water and is presently unusable.

The transportation department is working out of buses; the district is without a location with working phones (BOCES is commanding its phones, Weiss told Patch on Tuesday) and only has an unheated location with just a single computer with Internet access. The district received donations for office trailers for their administration and transportation departments that they expect to receive Friday.

In describing the status of each school, Weiss wrote that a larger generator, provided by the Office of Emergency Management, and heated through portable boilers, but that these haven’t been delivered yet, would power the high school.

The district’s website also features a Student Location Form that parents can fill out in order that the district may locate all its approximately 4,000 students and plan for their transportation to schools and other logistics.

“At this time, we understand that there are many questions, including many logistical ones,” Weiss said. “We will be providing detailed answers to these questions on the lbeach.org website. Please continue to check for continued updates.”

The district faculty will meet at Lindell School, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Nov. 9, to plan for the opening of schools next Tuesday. For more information about the status of the schools, call 516-897-2000.

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