Halls of confusion
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Ten new classrooms are being created out of what was once office space at the middle school. Since the relocation was announced, the district’s maintenance crews have been working 24 hours a day, in three shifts, moving equipment out of the high school and making the needed repairs, said Facilities Director Chris Milano. Hauppauge-based Weidersum Associates, the district’s architect, filed a report on the relocation with the State Education Department, a requirement when districts relocate students in midyear. The report, approved by the state, confirmed that the elementary schools have more than enough space to accommodate the relocation, Schall said.
Making the best of it
Teachers, who had to pack up classrooms in a hurry, found the transition difficult. Michele Cohen, a second-grade teacher at the Number Two School, said the situation was chaotic and called it “totally unfair” to students, teachers and administrators. “Classrooms are being created in rooms which are not equipped to handle the amount of students being put into them,” Cohen said. “Children and staff who have already suffered personal disruption to their lives because of Hurricane Sandy are now put in another disruptive situation. The buildings are filled to capacity, and there is no space for testing accommodations.”
Speech/language pathologist Laurie Kenn, who was transferred from the middle school to both the Number Two and Five schools, said that no provisions were made for her to work with students. “I have no classroom in my receiving buildings, nor was there any administrative direction for me to even seek out a space of my own,” Kenn said. “My office will be the trunk of my car, and my students’ speech room will be shared classrooms of colleagues. No schedule was provided for my new program; it was assumed I would work that out on my own.”