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Decision on Public School Opening Expected Sunday

Superintendent of Schools said that except for Lake Hiawatha Elementary, most schools emerged relatively unscathed by Superstorm Sandy.

Parents wondering when they can send their kids back to class should have an answer Sunday, according to Superintendent of Schools LeRoy Seitz.

In a message on the Parsippany school district website, the schools chief said an announcement as to whether public schools will open on Monday will come Sunday.

Superstorm Sandy caused significant damage to the roof of Lake Hiawatha Elementary School, however, Seitz said the other schools emerged from the major storm with "very little, if any, damage."

"A few schools are without electricity, but other than that [they] are fine," Seitz said in his statement. "Lake Hiawatha had a section of roof torn off by the storm affecting eight classrooms. Fortunately, our custodians and maintenance men were on-site early and covered the roof with tarps making it waterproof."

The superintendent said Lake Hiawatha School's classrooms were relocated to the cafeteria/gym, media center, and faculty room, which means students will not have to be relocated.

"During the time that the cafeteria is being used as classrooms, students will have lunch in their classrooms and alternate arrangements will be made for physical education classes," Seitz said, adding that the district is working with its roofer to have the roof repairs completed as soon as possible.

The superintendent said a decision regarding the post-Sandy re-opening of schools will be announced via the district website, its School Messenger parent communications system and the Parsippany Police Facebook and Twitter pages.

"We know these are unprecedented times and with the support of the Police Department and mayor’s office, we will open our schools as soon as we can be certain that it is safe for our students, teachers, and staff to get to school," said Seitz. "In the near future we will take a look at the district calendar and make any adjustments necessary to address the loss of all three storm days and any additional days we may need at this time."

Denise November 04, 2012 at 06:21 AM
There was some conversation about adbestos in the lake hiawatha school celing. Had this been tested by an expert? Is there any risk of mold?
KS November 04, 2012 at 01:21 PM
No pwer at home no heat no hot wateR and u want to open schools. U have the only warming shelter now on east side of town. No gas. Why is there not more shelters on west side of town. Hills oF troy 1st to loose power and we Still have no power or support
Mary S November 04, 2012 at 02:46 PM
For the past 30 years my husband has VOLUNTEERED as a fireman in Parsippany. Is it too much to ask that he be allowed to fill up with gas the car he uses to drive out with for emergencies? The Parsippany Police would not allow him to jump to the front of the line even when his license plate clearly stated that he was a fireman. We are not alone either! The same thing happened to one of our dearest friends, another VOLUNTEER firefighter. Adding insult to injury, while standing there and pleading with the officer, Captain James Carifi I was told, pulled up in a Bentley riding in the passenger seat and bypassed all others to the front of the line. Are the Parsippany Police using Bentley's for Patrol now or are there a whole new set of rules for Captain Carifi's friends and family?
Nancy November 04, 2012 at 03:45 PM
James Carifi is running for the Board of Ed in town too. This is not the kind of person that I would want on the school board. I waited over 5 hours in the last two days for gas for our cars and after 2 hours one of the stations ran out of gas. It is very unfair that other than the police patrol cars their friends and family get to be first in line.
Ryan November 04, 2012 at 04:12 PM
So are the schools going to open tomorrow? And when will we be able to go back?
T. Meier November 04, 2012 at 05:57 PM
actually, I read recently that the police chief just recieved a $40,000 a year raise. it must be nice, did not know he has a bentley.
T. Meier November 04, 2012 at 06:05 PM
and I did have a question regarding Monday. The Governor said Monday was Halloween. Will the children be trick or treating? If volunteers are needed to chaperone trickortreaters, due to Sandy and the recent rash of lurings, my husband and I would be happy to do so. I know it may sound awful talking about Halloween after all thats happened, but the children are suffering thru this right along with us. Please let us know, and God Bless you and yours.
Mike November 05, 2012 at 03:43 AM
Carifi is not the person for the BOE. Everyone waits. No one is more special then the next person.
Citizen Jane November 05, 2012 at 04:47 AM
While I understand your frustration with volunteer firefighters having to wait in line, it is tough to determine just who is critical. Should Drs and nurses get preference also? It's just a whole can of worms.
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