Rockville Centre schools attempt return to normalcy after hurricane


With power in each school and no serious physical damage done by Hurricane Sandy, the Rockville Centre School District opened for classes Wednesday.

According to Superintendent Dr. William Johnson, the only damage done that needed to be fixed was at the clock tower at South Side Middle School. Johnson said the clock was mostly glass and that it flew off and needs to be replaced.

Johnson said that he expects most of the teachers to be in class and able to teach in the coming days, though acknowledged that there were some who have been displaced, losing homes and cars.

“Thank god, it’s a small number at this point that we’re aware of,” Johnson said. “Our teaching assistants for the most part are certified and most of them live locally. They and the permanent substitutes will be assigned to classrooms in the case that teachers are not present.”

The hope is that the hurricane and loss of school days will not detrimentally affect the rest of the school year’s schedule, Johnson said.

“Last year when Irene hit, the state legislature passed a law that gave the commissioner an opportunity to absolve the school districts upstate from the days they missed, up to 10 days,” Johnson explained. “We hope something like that occurs here and the school district goes as normal the rest of the year.”

Johnson said that if they are required to shorten vacations, it would be done on a case-by-case basis.

Nearly 50 students from the hardest hit districts on Long Island, including Long Beach and Island Park, will be registering in the Rockville Centre school district to continue their education, Johnson said.

According to District Clerk Jacqueline Wong, the scheduled discussion of the school bond for Monday, Nov. 5 was postponed and will be rescheduled for another day.