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School District Continues to Monitor Effects of Hurricane Sandy on Families

A large number of outreach projects under way

The district continues to monitor the affects on families in Lacey following Hurricane Sandy as schools launch outreach projects, Superintendent Dr. Sandra Brower said at Monday’s board meeting.

“We hope we provided a safe haven for your children while they were with us while you were dealing with all the things you needed to,” she said.

Schools re-opened on Nov. 5, a week after the storm.

“While employees in those areas were dealing with their own hardships, they carved out time to make sure we could set our sights on our goal, which was to open our schools as soon as we could,” Brower said. "When we were back in school, work quickly began on how we can support our families and our students.”

School district staff and students have been doing service projects since the hurricane—the spaghetti dinner at Mill Pond, a writing campaign to first responders, food drives and the high school’s Provide for the Pride fundraiser.

The Lanoka Harbor School is also doing a “Home is Where the Heart is” fundraiser specifically for seven families in Lanoka Harbor that were hardest hit.

Although the district doesn’t have an exact number of students affected yet, administration and Director of Special Services Michael Maschi continues to work with a variety of displaced families, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Vanessa Clark said.

The district is even transporting students who were displaced and are out of town to their respective schools, she said.

“We were fortunate enough as a district to be able to open our doors before a lot of other districts in Ocean County were able to do so. That also gave us the opportunity to identify staff and students that were still in dire need,” board member Maureen Tirella said.

In addition to the projects the students have taken on, teachers have driven meals to homes to find out why certain students were missing school. Administrators have accounted for each student and staff member, she said.

“I think in these trying times when we face our greatest challenges, the true measure of our community comes out. It certainly did here in Lacey. It’s the sign and mark of a great community that makes me proud to be a part of lacey township,” Vice President Eric Schubiger said.

If you have been displaced and are not currently residing in Lacey Township, contact Maschi at 609-971-5096.

The district has also monitored damage after the storm. The Forked River School's solar panel racking sustained some damage and has been fixed, Business Administrator James Savage said. That cost $1,800. Similar damage was done at the Mill Pond School.

The district has to put forth the funds while a claim is made through insurance, Savage said. It is currently unknow what percentage insurance will cover.

There was also damage to roof shingles, a flagpole, fencing, HVAC units and soffit. Trees fell on neighboring property, he said. 

Savage called the damage "minor." "We were very lucky," he said.

The district is still waiting on some estimates and could not provide a total amount of damage caused.

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