She mentioned the children-finder program the staff implemented within a week of the storm. “The teachers took a Google map and broke the village into 26 areas. Then, teams of teachers went into each of those areas looking for our students, finding out where they went after the storm, letting them know what was going on with the schools,” she explained. “They did a great job in bringing back the students and informing the parents as to what the school program was going to be like after the storm.
“Everybody really wanted to do what was best for the kids and the community,” she added.
Bovino also credited the village’s board, the Salvation Army — which provided students with food after the storm — and former Sen. Alfonse D’Amato, who, she said, reached out to Sen. Charles Schumer and brought him to the community so that he could see the devastation for himself and help the district get back on its feet.
Bovino said that many of the students were found by the teacher teams to be living far from the community. “We had to bring in kids from 50 miles east and 50 miles west,” she said. “Schumer made sure that Congress gave us the money we needed for transportation to bring those students to school each day.”
She said she has identified two major challenges for the coming school year, which begins on Sept. 3. “We have to bring Hegarty on line so those students will have some normalcy from the beginning of the year,” Bovino said. “And we have to implement the [Common] Core Standards in reading and math, and the testing program that comes with it.”
She said she also wants to bring back the recreation program that was traditionally run by the school district, a program that was postponed in the wake of Sandy.
“We will reopen our elementary school on Sept. 3,” Bovino said. “And we will meet our goals for the year.”