Two weeks after the storm, Long Beach students return to classes
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To help displaced students return to school, the district transportation department established pickup points at centralized locations in Island Park, East Meadow, Farmingdale, Freeport, Nassau Community College, Oceanside, Rockville Centre, Roslyn and Wantagh. Staff members accompanied students on every bus to ensure that everyone arrived safely at the right school, the district said.
Long Beach High School senior Gregory Dentice, who was living in Manhattan with relatives, took the Long Island Rail Road to Lynbrook, where he transferred to a shuttle bus that took him to the Long Beach train station. Many of his fellow students had gone to similar lengths to return to school, officials said.
School officials also said that attendance was far greater than they had expected, with 90 percent of high school students, 80 percent of middle school students and more than 70 percent of elementary students in attendance. “That’s the good news,” Weiss said. “That’s also the bad news because we didn’t expect [attendance] to be so high.”
Krzeminski, whose family stayed in Long Beach during the storm and lost nine cars, said her parents thought about enrolling her at Bethpage High School because they were unsure about when she could return to school. “But I didn’t want to go because it was my senior year, so I ended up staying here,” she said.
But while many students were able to return, others who evacuated had not. Louisiana Street resident Tracy McAdams, whose home is uninhabitable, was staying with family in New Hampshire, where she enrolled her three young children in school.
“We had to get them into some type of normalcy,” she said. “They had knots in their stomach; they’re going to a completely new school and don’t know a soul. It’s a lot being a new kid mid-semester, but everyone has been super kind and helpful.”
For the remainder of this week, the district planned to dismiss the high school students on in-district bus runs half an hour early, to eliminate bus overcrowding and congestion.