But he had some good news, too. Because the district moved all of its vehicles to School 5 before the storm hit, it didn’t lose any of them, though some mowers and tractors were damaged. The district also piled sand bags in front of the doors to the middle school gym and boiler, and as it turned out, that effort saved both from the flooding.
Robert Fenter is the district’s assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and research as well as the liaison to homeless students — the one or two, in any normal school year, who are displaced by fires and other disasters — and that job, he said, has taken on an entirely new dimension since the storm. “At best tally, we had approximately 757 students who were displaced from their homes as a result of the storm,” Fenter said. “That number was calculated upon their return to school” — and has since dropped to 589.
Fenter said that Smart Technologies, the company that makes the Smartboards that are in every classroom, has said it would loan boards to School 8 at no charge to temporarily replace those that were destroyed in the storm. The district will also be able to replace lost materials from its Reading Street and enVision Math programs for half their normal price.
Dr. Jill DeRosa, assistant superintendent for special education and pupil services, announced that the district would hold a special meeting on Nov. 26, at 7 p.m., in the high school auditorium, titled “Survival as a Community Event.” The workshop, presented by the district and the Oceanside Professional Development Center and targeted at adults, will focus on helping the community address its losses and beginning the healing process.
“On behalf of the Board of Education, I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank Dr. Brown for his outstanding leadership the last three weeks, [and] all of our central administrators, all of our teachers, staff, buildings and grounds, and our students, who really stepped up,” said school board President Sandie Schoell. “You helped each other and helped this community, and it was just unbelievable. So we thank you all.”