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Lynbrook's Waverly Park School to Open with Donated Generator

Although LIPA has yet to restore electricity, school could still open Tuesday, Nov. 13.

If a Nor'easter hadn't struck the area this week, dropping 7 inches of snow and pulling down more trees and live wires, the Lynbrook School District planned to open its schools on Thursday and Friday despite the fact that one of its buildings still did not have power.

The substation that supplies electricity to Waverly Park Elementary School, a Lynbrook public school located in a section of East Rockaway that was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, is down and the Long Island Power Authority does not expect it to be fixed any time soon. So Lynbrook school officials came up with a plan to have all Waverly students and faculty report to their school and then be bused to and from either West End or Marion Street elementary schools each day until the power was restored.

But during a special public meeting held by the Lynbrook Board of Education Thursday night to address concerns related to Hurricane Sandy, school officials revealed that Waverly Park did have power, not LIPA-supplied power, but rather electricity coming from a generator donated to the district by GDF SUEZ Energy N.A., a company that Christopher Clarke, Waverly Park PTA Co-President Yessi Clarke's husband, works for.

The company's operations manager, Marc Dowdy, tracked down the generator, and plant manager Michael Stockstad granted the approval for GDF to pick up the rental fee.

"Tremendous amount of appreciation needs to go out to Mr. Clarke and his company for bringing us the generator during the height of the storm last night," Interim Superintendent of Lynbrook Schools Dr. Melissa Burak stated Thursday.

The generator arrived at Waverly Park midnight Thursday and was installed later that morning by  Clarke, Jim Richards and George Georgiadis.

"[It] is running at Waverly right now," Burak said, but explained, "We need to run it for the rest of the week just to be sure it can sustain a longer duration before we bring the students back to the building."

Lynbrook schools are closed Monday for Veterans Day but the district is planning to have all of its schools open Tuesday, Nov. 13. Dr. Burak and Board President Cathy Papandrew assured parents that the district would reach out to them well before Monday night to let them whether or not Waverly Park School will be ready to receive students.

"The safety of our students is always first and foremost, so once we feel comfortable and are ready to send the kids back to Waverly Park a Global Connect message will be delivered," Dr. Burak said. 

, from Wednesday's Nor'easter forced Lynbrook to cancel classes Friday. During the past twoo weeks, students have missed nine scheduled school days. To help make up instructional days, Lynbrook school officials have decided to change April 29 from a staff-only day to a school day for students. It may also have to take back vacation days in February, but that has not been decided yet. (Nov. 8 was converted to a staff conference day so it does not count as one of the missed instructional days.)

Burak added, "We are waiting for a decision from the State Education Department on whether or not they will relax the 180 required days of attendance."

Check back later today for Part II of our coverage of Thursday night's board meeting to learn about what the district is doing for students displaced by Hurricane Sandy.

Gutty November 12, 2012 at 04:20 PM
My nephews attend Marion Street. How dare you say I think I am better than anyone else. We all simply want our lives to return to normal - no more so than with our children. Maybe if you were educated in the psyche of adolecents you would know that change affects kids in many ways - mostly not good. The generosity of a Waverly parent allows our kids to return to a normal state - which they should have. This decision is about kids.
Gutty November 12, 2012 at 04:20 PM
We have all helped out in the community throughout this crisis. If you want a medal for things you think you did in the last two weeks take a number my friend because it aint coming. All you have done is fuel a fire that shouldnt exist. And to be honest, all the "south" kids were excited to see old friends from other schools who they have grown up with, went to pre-k with, dance with after school, play in sports leagues, see at camp, beaches, parks etc..all year round. To lump all Waverly parents with possibly a few who feel different again is plain ignorant and insulting. I find your posted comments cowardly and a personal attack against me, my family and ALL MY "SOUTH" friends who do not act in any manner that you suggested. Have you ever taken the time out of your hatred and anger to actually meet a Waverly parent - hang out - get to know them - their kids - their families?? Maybe your opinion would change. Until then - keep your comments to yourself or move to the inner city Mr Humanitarium. Sad I even had to waste time at work writing this.
Adam November 12, 2012 at 06:18 PM
As a parent of two Waverly Park students it is very sad to see how the Waverly parents are acting on here. They seemed more concerned with showing off how muh they did to help than anything else. What each person did is between them and their God. It is not a contest to say you did more than others. But being Waverly thats what it becomes. As for the generator it should have gone to an area that was in more need than us.
the big kahuna November 14, 2012 at 01:53 PM
hope it all worked out cause you lost feb break! if we were back in school last tuesday we would still have it. thanks.
the big kahuna November 14, 2012 at 01:53 PM
and spring break is next

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