School Districts Prep for Hurricane Sandy's Expected Visit

As storm approaches schools get to work securing loose equipment and making sure communications processes are in place.

With Hurricane Sandy, or at least a powerful Nor'Easter, expected to hit the communities between West Sayville and Blue Point late Monday and early Tuesday, school districts are busy in efforts to prevent potential damage and providing communications insight for reaching parents if necessary during the school days.

In the Sayville district, custodial and maintenance staff are securing loose materials and equipment on school grounds as well as the Garfield building location to avoid damage to property and neighboring properties.

"We're also making sure that windows are securely shut and locked to avoid glass dangers and cleaning out irrigation drains and roof drains," said Sayville Superintendent Dr. Walter Schartner.

In the event the storm does hit during the school day the district strives to keep the students in the buildings until the regular dismissal time, the school chief said.

"We believe it's safer to keep the students here rather than letting them go, possibly having to walk home in the storm or be alone as parents may have a difficult time getting the school or home on short notice," he explained.

Schartner advised parents to check the district's website regularly if and when the storm hits to keep updated on district activity. The number to call for information is 244-6510.

In the Bayport-Blue Point district, Interim Superintendent Neil Lederer has released a letter to parents advising of how the district will release information if school openings are delayed or if schools close early.

According to the letter if the storm arrives before Monday's official school opening there will likely be a two-hour delay procedure to assess potential flooding, impact on busing and roadways. If a delayed opening is approved parents will be notified by television and radio announcements as well as news on its website and the Connect-ED system which issues both email and phone call messages.

If there is a two-hour delay, the high school starting time would be 9:45 a.m., 10 a.m. at the middle school and 11:05 a.m. at the three elementary schools.

The "My Kids" program will be cancelled in the late-opening scenario and if school dismissal is early the SCOPE after-school prpogram will be cancelled.

"Please be assured that every effort will be made to make a decision on school closing or two-hour delay as soon as possible," Lederer states in the letter.


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