Overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds, students and staff of the Long Beach Public Schools resumed classes Nov. 13, two weeks after Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the barrier island.
The three buildings that sustained the least damage — Lindell School, East School and Long Beach High School — were fully operational for the start of school. All students will attend classes in these three buildings until after Thanksgiving. Lido School students will travel to Lindell School, West School students will go to East School and middle school students will temporarily move to the high school.
Students who have been displaced by the storm traveled from all over the metropolitan area to return to classes. Buses will run with a modified transportation schedule for students still residing within the district and new routes were established to transport those students who are temporarily living outside of the district.
To help displaced students return to school, the district transportation department established special pickup points at centralized locations in Island Park, East Meadow, Farmingdale, Freeport, Nassau Community College, Oceanside, Rockville Centre, Roslyn and Wantagh. Staff members rode with students on every bus traveling within or from outside of the district to ensure that everyone arrived safely to the correct school.
According to the Long Beach School District, attendance was higher than expected under the circumstances, with some classes achieving perfect or near perfect attendance. Many students and staff members went to great lengths to return to Long Beach for the start of school. Gregory Dentice, a Long Beach High School senior who is currently living in Manhattan with relatives, took the Long Island Rail Road to Lynbrook, where he transferred to a shuttle bus to take him to the Long Beach train station. Many of his fellow students had gone through similar lengths to return to school.
At all three schools, children were greeted by the familiar faces of their principals and teachers, who joined forces to help them get down to the business of learning, whether they found themselves in familiar surroundings or were adjusting to a new location. Students and staff at all three buildings made sure that those who were not attending their home schools received an enthusiastic welcome, the district said.
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