The East Rockaway district employs its own staff and food service manager to prepare meals for students. The Baldwin elementary schools do not have food preparation or storage areas, Melucci explained, so the East Rockaway food service team prepares breakfast and lunch at Rhame Avenue and transports them to Baldwin using district personnel and vans. She added that there has been no additional cost for food since the students relocated. When will they return?
According to Melucci, the electrical panel, wiring and boiler room at East Rockaway High were heavily damaged in the storm and are still being worked on. “Once the electricity and heating repairs are completed, or closer to being completed, we’ll be able to create a reasonable timetable,” she said, adding that she regrets that the high school is not yet operational because it would give community members whose homes were damage a sense of normalcy.
Spero said that the ERHS community is in a “limbo phase”: It survived the storm, but things are far from back to normal. “What I’m going to try and keep stressing to everybody is to dig down for that second wind, move forward and not look at this as a lost year,” he said. “We’ve shown how strong we are as a school, and now we can show that we can move to the next level.”