‘There’s no place like home’
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“We’re very excited to have graduation here,” said Beth Wiesendanger, mother of three West School students. “Many of these kids were displaced not only from their school, but also their homes. So this is nice to give them something that is normal, something they would’ve had before the storm. It’s really important for them to get home.”
“They had to move to different schools, our family lived in Queens for a month, it was just tough, packing up, moving,” said Wiesendanger’s husband, George. “You were starting to see it took a toll on the kids after awhile.”
Parents said students were eager to get back into the building and wanted to see their classrooms, but all the windows on the doors of the classroom were covered and hallways were blocked, as construction is ongoing. But many parents were glad to see this milestone towards normalcy for their children.
“It was rough, the school was hit hard,” said parent James Hartman. “It was good they made new friends, but its not like being in the same school they started with.”