Update, Nov. 8, 1 p.m.
From Superintendent Gary Schall, as told to Patch:
These are very difficult decisions to make. It’s very easy to say we can provide transportation, but the number one priority is the safety of the students. The district understands the inconvenience caused by the lack of transportation, but safety comes first. With the worsening of conditions over the past 24 hours, we’re forced to suspend transportation for tomorrow.
The plan is to reopen schools on Tuesday. I never thought we’d be out all out week.
Two of the schools remain without power. There’s power on the block of Number Two School and Lawrence Middle School. All we’re waiting for is a LIPA inspector is to say it’s okay to connect power to the school. It’s not that the power is down.
The Five Towns Community Center has lost power. It’s still a facility to come to get warm. It’s not cold in the building yet. It still provides some basic shelter.
It’s shocking to see the lack of prioritization that is being made evident by LIPA.
Update, Nov. 8
As of Wednesday evening there was no power at Number Two School and Lawrence Middle School. There was power at the pole, but LIPA would not send inspectors to check the electrical panels and turn power on. For school to re-open, power must be restored to the buildings and bus routes adjusted to avoid non-working traffic lights.
It is the job of the superintendent to get students back to their regular school routine as quickly as possible. He has been working with Independent Coach Bus Company about the bus routes and reaching out to local politicians for help with LIPA. This is why the school closing decisions are being made on a day-to-day basis.
Update Nov. 6
As per my discussion with Gary Schall, the re-opening of the Lawrence Public Schools will be determined when an effective and safe plan can be devised. Input from both the LTA and PTA will be included in the plan. The safety and welfare of all our students is top priority. Once this plan has been devised, we will continue our quest to supply assistance to our neighbors at HALB.
At 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 7, each of our school buildings will be open for all families to meet with social workers regarding the stress and anxiety created by our current situation. Residents of Atlantic Beach are invited to meet social workers at their village hall to avoid travel across the bridge.
Once again, Thank you to ALL our volunteers! We should all feel proud to be a part of the District 15 family.
Special Thanks to the LTA for all their assistance at the distribution centers and their generous donations. And also to the LHS Football Team who did an excellent job of unloading the supplies from FEMA!
Most importantly, starting tomorrow the 5 Towns Community Center will be an official Red Cross Habitation Center with 200 cots available. People may stop in for lunch, dinner, water. blankets, clothing, etc.
Please spread this information to as many people as possible. We need to reach everyone in need!
Volunteers are still needed to run our distribution centers at #2 and #4 Schools and on the Yellow Buses. Please arrive at LMS Cafeteria A between 9 and 9:30am.
Distribution centers will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
We have plenty of clothing donations at this time, but we still need the following:
- Paper Towels, toilet paper, feminine hygiene products
- Baby wipes, baby food and formula
- Boxed milk, juice boxes, cereal, granola bars
- Bread, crackers, jelly
- canned tuna, canned vegetables, fruit cups
- Socks, gloves and blankets!
Please bring donations to the LMS Cafeteria A.
Elections on Tuesday, November 6, will be held as scheduled in District 15 schools. LIPA will be providing generators for all election sites. Please go to your normal election location to vote on Tuesday.
If you'd like to donate, check should be made payable to Five Towns Community Chest, 1004 Central Ave., Woodmere, NY 11598. In the memo designate Lawrence Community Coalition.
Please return here for continued updates on relief efforts and community information in the Five Towns and School District 15.