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Schools Will Open on Monday, Superintendent Says

Modified schedule will be put in place, instruction will be 'light.' Access to George Washington Middle School still blocked.

Wayne public schools will be in session next week as long as schools have power and road conditions remain safe, Superintendent Ray Gonzalez said in an update issued Saturday morning.

Schools will be placed on some kind of modified schedule, most likely a delayed opening, to allow parents time to transport their children to school, district officials said.

Schools were closed this past week due to Hurrciane Sandy. Power was out at many of them for most of the week.

Gonzalez is meeting with his administrative staff Saturday to develop a final plan for next week. He said he would issue a more detailed update Sunday.

“It is important that we open for a number of reasons," said Donald Pavlak Jr., Board of Education president. Our kids need to get back into their routine and we’re giving parents a safe place to bring their children while they are at work.”

In his update, Gonzalez said that instruction would be “light” next week “intended to ease everyone back into a normal routine for the following week.”

Sodexo, the district’s food service provider, is preparing to serve meals at every school.

Students were slated to be off on Tuesday, Election Day, and schools were scheduled to be closed Thursday and Friday for the state teachers’ convention in Atlantic City. The New Jersey Education Association cancelled the convention earlier this week.

Power remains off at several schools but officials could not confirm which ones. Mayor Chris Vergano said Friday afternoon that power was still out at eight schools, but that number could have changed since then.

District personnel have no access to George Washington Middle School and limited access to Pines Lake Elementary School due to downed trees.

— Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Daniel Hubbard at Daniel.Hubbard@patch.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Concerned parent November 04, 2012 at 12:47 PM
How about the teachers cutting the dangerous tree that leads to theunis day school and moving the power lines so kids don't have to walk through it first. Wayne officials cannot be bothered and bobby Gonzalez does care either. If was the mayor roads where his kids went to school I'm sure it would have been taken care of first.
Wayne Dad November 04, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Here's a thought... If YOU are worried about YOUR kids safety, don't send YOUR kids to school. I seriously doubt there will be truant officers walking the beat looking for kids skipping class.
Concerned parent November 04, 2012 at 12:58 PM
It's not me, it's other kids.. The schools represent a warm place with hot food for people that are still without power. So my son is sick should I keep him home in 30 degrees in the house. Ran out of gas so it's not like I'm going to nip to the corner store or sit in TGIF. Your comment is fair but kids need heat and a warm meal. This one tree is on Webster drive that leads to a school. It's a major road that parents use to take their kids to school, some kids also walk unsupervised.
WayneResident November 04, 2012 at 01:23 PM
I agree with Wayne Dad -...look, everyone is stressed beyond imagination. I was delivering meals last night to a neighborhood which, due to the number of trees and poles down, may not have power for 2+ weeks. People are at the end of their ropes and understandably so. But Mr. Gonzalez and the others that he is working with are trying to do whats best for everyone. I know crews are working near the schools that are still inaccessible to try to get as many up and running tomorrow as they can. They certainly wont open a school that has no heat etc. I have heard rumor that if a school is inaccessible , perhaps those children will go to another school for part of the day or the school just wont open. But these are just rumors. Best to wait until the official anncement comes out today. Parents, its still your call - if its not safe for your child to go to school, dont send them. But for many, it is safe, safer in fact - as they can get some heat and be with other kids fo a while. It is going to be INCREDIBLY inconvenient for many - especially if you are staying out of town.....but for many, its just as much of an issue to have the kids home all day, all week, - cant take them to work and offices have opened back up and parents have to go back to work. I know neighborhoods in the Theunis area got power back last night. I am hoping and parying that the other neighborhoods still affected by no power get theirs back very very soon.
John Smith November 04, 2012 at 03:35 PM
theirs trees down all around my neighborhood and god forbid one kid gets hurt the board of education is going to have a lawsuit and thats the last thing they need. its a joke that they want to open school
Susan Leibowitz November 04, 2012 at 03:43 PM
I live on Caslrs Drive.... the road parents use on the way out of dropping off at GW. BEWARE ... this road is impassable due to downed lines and power poles. No work is going on here either so it is unlikely to change by morning. What about opening the schools that do have heat and electric to the community when school is not in session. We are freezing in our homes.
Nose Wayne November 04, 2012 at 04:03 PM
HELLO PEOPLE !!!!!!! If you THINK it is not SAFE to get your child to school, Keep them home where they are SAFE !!!!!!!!
Mr.Teacher November 04, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Pad, how can you take the worst natural disaster of our lifetime and turn it into a rant against teachers? So many of your post are so negative and just not factual. I teach in Wayne and I along with many other teachers can't wait to get back to school even on Thursday or Friday. When generalizing about a group of people you should rarely use "all" or "none" because it makes it very easy to discredit what you are saying.
Worried mother November 04, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Great idea!! if they are not counted absent or Required to make up missed work! From my experience, which is about 17 years in our schools, That is never the case! Most teachers will be understanding, the ones going thru hell like some of their students. If your home is warm and your freezer full and working that's great but many of us our on day 8 with no power or hot water, heat, gas or nutritional food. Parents have to do what is best for their children, it would be nice if our BOE thought the same way. If schools are safe then open them for families to go to get warm and take showers and be with neighbors in the same mess they are in! Now there is a thought!
David November 04, 2012 at 06:42 PM
This is the wrong decision. With a gas shortage still going on parents, teachers, and Seniors who drive to school are very limited as to where they can drive and if they CAN even drive. In addition, who knows if the high schools have enough food to provide to a LARGE amount of seniors who will not be going out to lunch because they can't afford to waste gas. In addition, how can the buses possibly continue to stay full with gas? I would think its nearly impossible at this point in time. While getting students back in the classroom is essential for the education of our students and making sure we are keeping up with standards, we need to remember that safety and making sure everyone is ok is most important. A good solution to getting back on track would be teachers cutting out wasteful periods that include watching useless movies, or giving a quiz and relaxing for the period, or giving a "free" period and using it to stay on task and get through each chapter or section faster. By doing this we eliminate wasteful days and before you know it we can get back on track. Opening up schools in our district for the whole week is the wrong call. The "modified schedule" that could include delayed openings does absolutely nothing. It does not solve the gas problem we are having. So parents will have more time to get their kids into school? Great, but who knows if they even CAN because of their limited supply of gas.
Chicken Little November 04, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Then keep your kid home. This is a good decision; to bring back as much normalcy as possible to most families. If this does not work for you, keep your child home. But for the majority of families in Wayne, the sooner schools are open again, the better. This is not a perfect solution, but it is the best solution. The alternative (keeping the schools closed for another week) is not the better plan.
David November 04, 2012 at 07:11 PM
There will be a huge amount of teachers who do not come into school. Therefore, the demand for substitutes will be immense and it will get to the point where they will have a huge problem because there won't be enough people to cover classes. Even with a "light schedule", what is the point of opening up schools? Wait a couple of days and things will get better making it more efficient for the district to open up its buildings.
Ruby Stanfield November 04, 2012 at 07:20 PM
For all of you that do not have power yet and are hungry please go onto facebook. Wayne VOAD has a shelter and are feeding families. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wayne-VOAD/278899488803861?ref=ts&fref=ts If you do not have facebook you can email them waynevoad@gmail.com They are a wonderful organization and will help you. Stay safe and warm everyone.
fboy1932 November 04, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Damn if you Damn if you don't..people! if you don't agree with the decision then keep your child at home, its that simple. Ive never seen and herd so many closed minded people ever in my life like people living in Wayne..Jeez!
Andy Passa November 04, 2012 at 08:14 PM
Hello! We are all not back to NORMAL...by any means...not even close. NO HEAT, NO ACCESS, DOWN TREES, DOWN UTILITY POLES and NO PSEG/UTILITY trucks in sight!
Andy Passa November 04, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Also, NO GAS!
Nose Wayne November 04, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Most areas have been cleared of trees and wires and have power back. The GAS situation is getting better with the ODD/EVEN system. We just need a couple more days and we should be somewhat back to normal. OH,we are possibly going to get hit with a Nor'easter Wednesday into Thursday.Good Luck to all and stay safe !!!!
Pad November 05, 2012 at 12:10 AM
Mr Teacher, I have run into 5 teachers and two administrators since the storm, couple of them family members, one a neighbor and a few that are casual freinds. Out of the the seven only one teacher expressed support of the convention being cancelled and going into work. I would say thats a pretty good example of their feelings about the situation. Some work in town, others in neighboring districts. Yes this is a major event but I have also heard teachers complain about going in to work when there is a very small amount of snow on the ground. They are usually moaning about going in and how they can't believe they haven't closed the schools because of the weather. Then when they use up all their snow days they complain about working till the end of June to make the days up.
Mr.Teacher November 05, 2012 at 12:18 AM
What is a huge amount? I guarantee the vast majority of teachers will be in tomorrow. I will get back to you with FACTS tomorrow.
Mr.Teacher November 05, 2012 at 12:32 AM
So you are saying you are incorrect in saying"all" teachers are moaning? 5 teachers is also underneath a half of a percent of the over thousand teachers in the district. I am not a science teacher but i am pretty sure that is not a very good sample size. I really wish you would come into my school and see that the students are blessed to be in a premier school district. I am not trying to be mean I am truly curious why someone would be so negative about something they know very little about. Living next to a teacher does not qualify you as an expert.
fboy1932 November 05, 2012 at 01:06 AM
We all had the weekend up until today to get gas so that WE can all go to work. No excuse. Teachers, staff etc...All schools now have power and heat! watch your local news and go on the WBOE site for info. The State is in crisis and everyone involved has done an outstanding job, Township workers, day and night, utilities, local tree companies, and school staff maintaining this town. Are you kidding me? Get a hold of yourself and really think about what we all just experienced.
fboy1932 November 05, 2012 at 01:10 AM
So we all have to wait for gas, woopie doo! bunch of wussies!!! spoiled brats. This is an experiance that thought me not to take things for granted. Rather than to support your town, State you all have to whine like always.
fboy1932 November 05, 2012 at 01:12 AM
wooo wooo wooo Im a Wayne taxpayer why dont I have this, why dont I have that, why dont I get this? woooo woooo
Nose Wayne November 05, 2012 at 01:45 AM
fboy, have to agree with you on that one, knew the storm was coming and got PREPARED. You can tell on here who wasn't !!
fboy1932 November 05, 2012 at 11:00 AM
Thank You! Its rare to know that there are people like you who have common sense:)
Mr.Teacher November 06, 2012 at 12:24 AM
David, I can't speak for all schools but there was only two teachers absent at my school today and none at my wife's. There was no "immense demand for substitutes". Is it fair to say you we're completely wrong in your assessment of the situation?
careless fills November 14, 2012 at 03:47 AM
6 of 7 said they didn't want the convention to be cancelled. that is 86% of a small sample. confidence level for hypotheses about how the entire population of teachers can be developed. if you object to "Pad's" conclusion, please provide a statistical analysis supporting your refutation.
Mr.Teacher November 14, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Carless Fills, Your screen name says it all because your post was very carless. Apparently you didn't read Pads post close enough. He only talked to five teachers. Perhaps you should Google what an administrator is. I don’t know if you could tell by my screen name, but I teach in Wayne and the vast majority of teachers were happy to be in school on those days. As a matter of fact there were only two teachers absent on both the days that were added because the convention was cancelled. If 5 teachers is enough for a sampling for you out of the over thousand that work in the district, then I would like you to come into my school and I will introduce you to at least 70 teachers who had no problem with the changes.
careless fills November 16, 2012 at 02:23 AM
Hey Mr Teacher, I'm rather surprised that you think that Wayne has "thousand" teachers. In fact, even with two high schools, there's fewer than 9,000 students and only 690 teachers serve them. And believe it or not a sample of 7 professional employees is enough to develop a confidence interval, especially if 6 of the 7 that he spoke to "voted" the same way - they were against cancelling the boondoggle. Specifically if 6 of a sample of 7 of a population of 690 felt the convention should be cancelled, then there's a 95% chance that between 59% and 100% of the whole population feel the same way.
Mr.Teacher November 16, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Carless, If 6 out of 7 "professional employees" is enough of a sampling for you, from some random person on-line who could have made up the figures, than my offer will blow your mind. You can come into my school and I will personally introduce you to at least 60, ten times Pads number, teachers who had no problem with the convention being canceled. If that doesn’t change your mind then nothing will.

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