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Plainview Schools Play Waiting Game with Power

Administration hopes to re-open all Plainview schools as soon as power is restored to High School and Mattlin.

The Plainview-Old Bethpage School District is cautiously optimistic that school will resume sometime next week.

School officials have been in direct contact with LIPA, which says Plainview schools are a priority after the hospitals, said Dr. Lorna Lewis, Plainview's superintendent.

"They are optimistic about the (Plainview JFK) High School and Mattlin (Middle School)," Lewis said of restoring power to the schools off hard-hit Washington Avenue. "We will have a plan in place to deal with sheltering the other schools that are not powered up if the secondary schools have power."

That could also mean good news to residents along the base of Manetto Hill, who might see their home electricity back on if the schools get power, LIPA officials say.

But LIPA made no specific guarantees for when Plainview would be fully restored to power.

Plainview schools already have power at Old Bethpage and Stratford Road elementary schools and the Plainview-Old Bethpage Middle School.

Parkway Elementary School still lacks power.

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Kim Parahus, the district's director of school facilities, and her crew are working to get all the buildings in shape by Monday if school can resume. Some schools suffered minor damage that has been repaired.

If the power is restored by Monday or Tuesday, Dr. Lewis said school will be in session on Tuesday, Election Day. "We have lost five essential instructional days," Lewis said. "We will work to secure voting areas so that security is not an issue for our children."

Given the state's testing demands, she added: "Every day that we lose to instruction is a concern."

Two other major obstacles remain.

"Many of our staff have been impacted by the storm and I have concern for them," Lewis said. "There is also no gas available for travel so I am hoping that these conditions change for the better before Monday."

It is also not clear whether the bus companies will be able to provide service if there is a long-term gas shortage.

"I share my sympathy for all of our families affected by the storm," said Lewis, whose home also lost power and has been staying with friends. "These are the times when we are reminded of the need to work together as a community to weather the challenges that will no doubt be presented to us in the next few weeks.

She closed with: "We can do it. Go Hawks!"

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Tracy M November 03, 2012 at 03:24 PM
This article left out mention of Pasadena Elementary.
Marilyn November 03, 2012 at 06:30 PM
I received a text from LIPA at 1:15 pm that reads "MyLIPA: 700K to be restored by 11/4. Some customers: addt'l wk. or more. Excl. hardest hit flood areas. Will advise when new info available." My interpretation of this text was that they are trying to let me know that they are working hard but I shouldn't expect power to return so fast. I did see some men working yesterday nearby but this entire area is still in the dark. I hope that the schools do get power restored so that at least the children of this community can have a warm place to spend the day.
Robert Smith November 03, 2012 at 09:27 PM
The PTA for the district says the following: Hi. Hope you are all ok and dealing with the after effects of Sandy. I have been in touch with Dr. Lorna Lewis, Our Superintendent and our administrators have been working 24/7 to continually assess our schools and ensure the necessary repairs are made, so that our children can return safely to school. As of now, they have a number of plans in place, depending on current conditions. They will only open schools to students if we have power back in the schools and if we have transportation. The district will not send out the plan for Monday until Sunday night when they will have as up to date information as possible. Please share this with your parents and ask them for their patience during this difficult time. Stay safe.
Simba November 04, 2012 at 05:52 PM
how are my kids going to do homework and study when we don't have lights to see ??? how am I going to make lunch for them with my fridge out of service ??? I completely understand trying to get the kids back to school, but they need a normal situation at home first

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