Ida damage forces districts to change plans for start of school year

Damage from Ida is forcing a number of districts to change their plans for the start of the school year.

News 12 Staff

Sep 6, 2021, 10:50 AM

Updated 956 days ago

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Damage from Ida is forcing a number of districts to change their plans for the start of the school year.

The Cresskill Middle/High School in Bergen County, which houses about a thousand 6th-12th graders, will likely remain closed for the remainder of the calendar year due to severe damage, according to Superintendent Michael Burke said. 
"There is little chance that this building is even close to being ready until 2022, at the earliest," Burke told NJ Advance Media on Saturday.
He added the district has received permission from the New Jersey Department of Education to conduct class virtually when the school year officially starts on Wednesday. The district is actively looking for off-campus locations to serve as classrooms and would like to have "at least some grades" transition to in-person learning by November.
Paterson Public Schools will also begin the school year with remote instruction, the district announced Saturday. The decision means about 23,000 students will learn from home for the first three days of school when classes begin Sept. 8. "Having our students remote allows facilities staff unencumbered access to complete their restoration," district Superintendent Eileen Shafer said in a statement. Crews are working around the clock to address damage from the intense rain, Shafer said.
Elizabeth school officials announced Saturday a delayed start date for the city's public schools, noting school will now begin Sept. 14. Originally, students were set to return Thursday, Sept. 9, according to now-outdated district calendars. Additionally, students who attend Dr. Orlando Edreira Academy No. 26 and Dr. Antonia Pantoja School No. 27 will begin lessons virtually. Both of the school buildings, which serve students in Kindergarten through 8th grade, were extensively damaged in the storm, according to the statement. "A timeline (to opening schools number 26 and 27) cannot currently be provided as we are continuing to assess the damage to the infrastructure of these facilities to determine the repairs needed," the statement said.


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