After nearly a week of working toward recovery following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, Lacey schools will be opening on Monday.
Unable to communicate with residents and students who have been affected by the storm due to power outages, the district has expressed concerns regarding how they may be impacted.
“As Dr. (Superintendent Sandra) Brower posted on our website, a storm of this magnitude can be frightening and stressful to our students,” Assistant Superintendent Dr. Vanessa Clark said. Concern for their safety can extend to concern for family, friends, and pets.”
Extensive media coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy can add to the anxiety, she said.
“With all that said, returning to normal routines such as being in school is certainly an important first step toward helping our students and parents cope, which is why we are making every effort to reopen school on Monday,” Clark said.
Parents are encouraged to notify their children’s principal, teacher or guidance counselor if they themselves are in need or if they know of anyone who is. Any family with transportation concerns can call 732-664-1035 and leave a message, which will be returned. Additionally, the district is offering before- and after-school care at no charge Monday to Wednesday.
“It is difficult to ascertain what type and level of counseling should be offered until we have a sense of what those needs will be,” Clark said.
Once communication is made available between the district and residents, there will be a better understanding of how Lacey families were affected, she said. Then, Director of Special Services Michael Maschi will work with guidance counselors to determine the level of services offered.
Having students get involved in the community can also help in the road towards recovery, Clark said.
“During an event such as this storm, it is important for students to feel that they are a making a difference,” she said. “The Lacey Township School District has a long history of being part of so many great causes--collecting food for those in need during the Holidays, providing for our military men and women, raising funds for cancer awareness--the list is extensive.”
Clark and Brower are confident the school community will “band together” and become involved in relief efforts to the Lacey community and locally, Clark said.
“We know that our students will benefit emotionally from getting involved in service projects and our teachers and administrators will make every effort to begin these types of projects as soon as our students return to the classroom,” she said.