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Make-Up Days Set for Those Missed in Sandy's Wake

The cancellation of the NJEA convention this week opened two full days for school to be in session.

The Board of Education of the School District of the Chathams unanimously passed a resolution canceling early dismissal Wednesday and reinstating school Thursday and Friday.

These two school days will help make up for days missed in the wake of Tropical Storm Sandy, when all Chatham schools were closed for five days. Milton Avenue School, Southern Boulevard School and Washington Avenue Schools remained closed Monday, and other schools had delayed openings.

The school year has four snow days built into each school year. Tropical Storm Sandy took five days out of the year, and another nor'easter threatens to take more.

Parents asked the board to not take additional school days out of spring break because juniors need those days to visit colleges. Board of Education President Tom Belding said the board would keep that in mind.

Superintendent Michael LaSusa said power was restored to Milton and Washington Avenue Schools Monday, and school will be back in session at those locations Tuesday along with Lafayette Avenue School, Chatham Middle School and Chatham High School—all with delayed openings.

Power was still out Monday evening at Southern Boulevard School. LaSusa said he had worked with principals at Chatham High and Lafayette Avenue School to create instructional space for SBS students Tuesday.

First- and third-graders will be taught in the Chatham High library and the new wing of classrooms near the auditorium, respectively. Second-graders will be taught inside the Lafayette Avenue School library. Arrangements have been made for the students to take lunch at different times from the other students.

Student attendance in Chatham schools Monday was over 90 percent, LaSusa said, and faculty attendance was near 100 percent.

"Bus transportation will be back tomorrow," LaSusa said, though parents who live along River Road between the Chatham Township Firehouse and Passaic Avenue must bring their children to the firehouse for bus pick-up.

River Road remains impassable in sections for buses, LaSusa said as an explanation for the adjustment.

LaSusa also said he is looking into getting a generator outfitted at Southern Boulevard School. According to estimates, the school would require two generators, each using about 300 gallons of diesel fuel and with a 15-hour capacity when running at full power.

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