District 13 Superintendent Dr. Adrienne Robb-Fund said Tuesday’s Superintendent Conference Day went on as planned, but the focus changed. Like in the high school district, it was a chance for district leaders to see how staff members were doing, and find out who was able to come to work.
“If people need to take a leave, they need to take a leave,” she said. “They might not. They might want to return to school for some routine.”
Robb-Fund said teachers were trained at Tuesday’s conference day by the district’s social workers and psychologists on how to talk about the storm and its effects with students.
Heidenreich said the storm has brought out the best in the district’s employees. Many have offered their colleagues who have been displaced or lost electricity a place to stay. “If there’s a bright spot in any of this, it’s the kindness and generosity and outpouring of support,” he said. “People are just opening up their homes.”
In deciding when to re-open school, Heidenreich said there were numerous concerns that had to be addressed. The gas shortage is an obvious challenge, especially for staff in being able to get to school. He expects the shortage will also lead to more students walking to school instead of being dropped off by their parents. When the traffic lights were out, Heidenreich said opening school wasn’t even an option because of the danger for both pedestrians and buses.
Tony Iadevaio, president of the Central High School and District 24 boards of education, said he agrees with the decision of the four Valley Stream superintendents to close for more than a week. “This is probably the worst situation we’ve faced in all of my 50 years in Valley Stream,” he said. “The first thing is the safety of our students and staff.”