UDPATE: With Power Back, Schools Return to Normal Schedule
Ridgewood High School and Willard received power Tuesday night, allowing the district to call off a split schedule.
Update at 9:00 p.m. Tuesday
Power finally returned to all of Ridgewood's 10 schools by Tuesday night, eliminating the need to create a split schedule that would have forced some students to attend classes in different buildings.
"I am happy to inform you that electricity service has been restored at RHS and Willard," Superintendent Daniel Fishbein wrote to parents Tuesday night. "This means we will be able to have a regular school day at all schools tomorrow, Wednesday, November 7th."
Fishbein had originally sent a notice to parents Tuesday afternoon detailing a creative way to allow classes to resume under the assumption power would not return to all schools.
Students at G.W., Glen School, Hawes, Orchard, Somerville and Travell were all initially projected to see a full schedule day on Wednesday, starting at normal times.
But Willard and Ridgewood High School students had been told there was a good chance that for four hours they'd be attending school elsewhere – at Ridge Elementary School and B.F. Elementary School, respectively.
With power returning and facilities in good condition, the plan has been quashed.
Some changes will still be felt. Buses will be picking students up at normal times, but cafeterias are closed this week. The YWCA before and aftercare program will re-open on Thursday.
"Thank you in advance for your understanding and support during this unprecedented experience," Fishbein said. "I think it is great for students to get back to school for a full session. Please be careful traveling."
6:23 p.m. Tuesday
All Ridgewood students will be attending classes on Wednesday, though it certainly won't be a normal day for thousands of displaced students.
Superintendent Daniel Fishbein reported Tuesday that only Ridgewood High School and Willard remain without power more than a week after Hurricane Sandy blew into town.
Citing a need to get kids back in the classroom, Fishbein says the district has to develop a creative plan to address the unique situation. Students from Willard and Ridgewood High School will be shuffled elsewhere – to Ridge School and B.F., respectively.
Fishbein said the plan "accommodates all students," though it could change depending on further power restoration and the Nor'easter set to hit the area on Wednesday night.
"It is important to get our students back into school," Fishbein said, calling safety of students and staff the most "critical" element. "It is more important that we do so in a safe, civil and orderly manner. This plan will work if everyone is patient, understanding and flexible. Please remember that this plan is subject to change."
Normal day for some
Ridge School students will attend classes from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 a.m. Willard students will be attending class at Ridge School from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., according to Fishbein. Willard kindergarten students will be attending classes from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. The "Y" before and afterschool programs will not be running this week.
The high school students who drive must park at Graydon Pool and walk to B.F., Fishbein said.
Additionally, bussing will be provided to those who normally receive it. There will be, however, no cafeteria service at schools for the rest of the week.
Fishbein asked that students proceed carefully when navigating the area. He cautioned students not to rely on crossing guards, noting that alternate routes may need to be found to and from school.
Students who had to relocate due to the storm and cannot make it back are urged to check Skyward for at-home assignments.
"I hope everyone remains safe as we return to school tomorrow," Fishbein said in closing. "I know that together we will make it through this difficult time and return to normal before we know it. Until then, we have each other to lean on. Don’t be afraid to reach out to offer or ask for help."