A round of applause accompanied the passage of a motion to allow the East Rockaway school district to lease Baldwin’s unused school buildings.
Mapes suggested cutting into two scheduled school breaks — Feb. 19-22 and March 25-27 — to make up for the lost time. The board promised to look into locking the dates into place because, as Mapes noted, families may have scheduled vacations, and a speedy decision would be beneficial.
District cites hurricane’s heroes
The board made time in a busy docket to acknowledge the efforts of many Baldwin district staff members for their relief work. Board President Kim Taylor echoed Mapes’s thanks to the custodians and maintenance crews who, she said, made their way to the school buildings even while they were closed to minimize the effects of the storm. Taylor also mentioned the efforts of State Assemblyman Brian Curran, who “helped coordinate the delivery of supplies by helicopter at Meadow,” and of Kathy Connolly and the district staff, who organized the distribution center at the district office.
Lori Presti, a cadre of teacher volunteers, Sani2, St. Christopher’s church, the Christian Family Worship Center and several organizations outside Baldwin were also singled out for their work after the storm.
Displaced students make the best of a bad situation
One of the thorniest issues facing schools across the state is displaced students. Sandy destroyed hundreds of homes and left thousands more in need of serious repair. Students forced to relocate must still be educated, and accommodating their various needs — especially transportation — is a labyrinth planning tangle.
In addition to the East Rockaway students, 80 of Baldwin’s own are “displaced.” Under a law known as the McKinny-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, if those students live within 50 miles of their home school, they are entitled to transportation to and from the building. The board acknowledged that this wasn’t an easy proposition, but was unanimously happy to undertake it.
The Baldwin district website, which was briefly knocked out by the storm, is now up and running. For the latest, go to www3.baldwinschools.org.