Plainview-Old Bethpage schools will be closed Monday as many district schools remain without power in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Dr. Lorna Lewis, Plainview's superintendent, made the announcement late Sunday, citing the lack of power at Mattlin Middle School, Parkway and Pasadena elementary schools.
Lewis convened an emergency session of the Board of Education Sunday after learning unsettling news from the council of Nassau County Superintendents. That group was informed "of the fragility to the infrastructure in bringing all of our schools online prior to a full return of energy resources," Lewis said. "There is a real concern about schools using these scarce resources that might otherwise be needed for first responders."
At least one area school district which had announced it would open Monday changed their mind after that Nassau-wide meeting. Oyster Bay-East Norwich schools announced it would be closed through Tuesday, citing similar safety concerns. More are likely to follow suit.
In addition, Lewis cited ongoing local safety concerns, including impassable streets and inoperable traffic lights as a reason for the decision. Thousands of people in Plainview remain without power one week after the monster storm paralyzed much of Long Island.
The transportation company may also have difficulty staffing their buses with drivers, given the current shortage of gasoline, Lewis said.
If power returns Monday, the district hopes to have a regular school day on Tuesday. Extra security will be called in so that the district's polling places will be secured. Tuesday is the national election.
"I realize that having our schools closed puts another burden on an already stressful situation, and I apologize for the inconvenience these plans are placing on your families," Lewis said. "Please know that these decisions were made primarily to ensure the safety for all concerned."