‘A long labor of love’ for Island Park school
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“Both of our schools were devastated by Sandy, but Lincoln Orens less so,” Bovino said. “We got the middle school open in two weeks because of our long relationship with Nassau BOCES. We used their suppliers and their contractors to get the school open. Because Hegarty needed so much work, we gave up our wing at Lincoln Orens and gave the space to the elementary school students. We moved our district operations to BOCES in Garden City and we were there until a week ago.”
“We were lucky. You can prepare professionally for any traditional eventuality,” she added. “You can’t prepare for a natural disaster the scope of Sandy. You just have to raise to the new challenge, and our community, board and staff did just that.”
She pointed to the children finder program that 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 said. “They did a great job in brining 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.
“We had to bring Hegarty back on line so those students will have some normalcy from the beginning of the year,” she said. “And, we had to implement the core standards in reading and math, and the testing program that comes with it.”