The Long Beach School District is working to return students to school in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, an effort that would include limited openings, possibly starting on Wednesday.
According to the City of Long Beach, the district is planning a partial opening on Wednesday, though School Board President Roy Lester said that could change.
“It’s a definite maybe,” said Lester who, like most residents, sustained significant damage to his home in the Canals. “All of the students in the district would report to Lindell School and do a split shift — five periods for elementary and five periods for secondary.”
Lester said that Lindell School, Long Beach High School and East School did not sustain major damage, although West School and the Lido Complex, which includes the middle school, were damaged and experienced significant flooding. Work that was already underway and completed as part of the district’s preservation plan at the Lido Complex, Lester said, was not totally impacted.
Lester said that the split shifts could include half days split between middle and high school students and the other half for elementary school students.
School buses, which run on natural gas, were parked at the NIKE complex during the storm and were not damaged, Lester said, and would be able to transport students.
However, Lester said that things are changing daily, and advised residents to visit the district's website at lbeach.org (if they're able to do so) for the most current information and a final announcement.
He also acknowledged that many residents who are still without power evacuated the city, but said, “One of the reasons we’re opening the schools is because parents need a place to put their children. What we’re trying to do is get stuff on the website and post [information] in different parts of town.”
According to the district’s website on Monday, the goal is to open school on a limited basis by mid-week. Staff members are being asked to contact their supervisors with their current location and contact information. According to the district, at this point, text messaging appears to work best.