After days of trying to work out a solution, the East Brunswick Board of Education finally announced how it would make up for days lost due to Hurricane Sandy.
Because of the storm, students will have to make up three school days. As a result, students will now attend school on Monday, Jan. 21, (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), and on Monday, Feb. 18, (President’s Day). In addition, the last day of school for students and East Brunswick High School Graduation has been changed to Monday, June 24. The changes allow for one more emergency closing day.
Dr. Magistro also released a letter to the community, thanking the Office of Emergency Management, East Brunswick Police Department, and others for the hard work during the storm:
November 19, 2012
I was very pleased to have students and staff return to school on November 9 and to be able to begin the return to normalcy for our families. I want to thank everyone for their patience as the Township and the School District recovered from Superstorm Sandy.
I am extremely grateful to our maintenance, grounds and custodial staff, many of whom left their own homes to work on behalf of our school community. They literally worked round the clock to ensure that our buildings were safe and ready when we were able to reopen. We are pleased that, through the partnership with the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and the East Brunswick Police Department (EBPD), we were able to open Hammarskjold as an evacuation site. I am incredibly proud of our bus drivers who drove during the storm to bring residents to that shelter. We were also able to open comfort stations in Chittick School and East Brunswick High School where residents were kept warm and had the opportunity to shower and recharge cell phones, tablets, etc.
I am also grateful to the OEM and EBPD for their help and assistance. The decision to close schools is not made easily and is made in collaboration with these experienced and knowledgeable township personnel. It was the safety of the students and staff that was at the heart of every decision. Even as weather conditions improved, we had schools without power and areas in town where buses were unable to travel or students to walk safely. Then, just when we were ready to return, the snow came and our restored power was lost again in many schools.
With no electricity and no access to the Internet, communication was difficult. The EBPD’s Nixle text messaging service was a huge help to us in spreading the word regarding school closures. If you have not as yet signed up for this free service, you can do so by going to the township website, www.eastbrunswick.org. It was also helpful to have parent cell phone numbers in Global Connect when electricity was down in your homes.
- Following the storm: Our counselors were ready to assist students who experienced anxiety over the storm’s effect on their families and/or friends.
- Teachers took the time to debrief about Superstorm Sandy with their students, allowing them time to speak about their feelings and how the storm impacted their lives.
- We looked at the school calendar to identify ways to make up for the missed academic time. We have three days that need to be made up. School will be open for full days on Monday, January 21, 2013, Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Monday, February, 18, 2013, Presidents’ Day. Schools will recognize these important historical figures and the significant contributions that they made to our country during the school day. Monday, June 24, 2013 will be the last day of school for students and East Brunswick High School Graduation. This calendar revision allows for one additional emergency closing day.
Certainly our hearts go out to those who have suffered great loss and hardship from the storms. Occasions such as these remind us of our vulnerability and to be grateful that things were not worse. Though it is our hope that Mother Nature will be a bit kinder and gentler as we head into the winter months, it may become necessary to make additional revisions to the school calendar. I look forward to your continued cooperation and flexibility should there be a need for further emergency closings.
Dr. Jo Ann Magistro, Superintendent of Schools