Editor's Note: The following is a news release that was issued yesterday, Monday, Nov. 5, by Lawrence Township Public Schools.
All seven Lawrence Township Public Schools (LTPS) are back in session today after being closed all of last week due to Superstorm Sandy.
However, this is not the first time doors were open in the district since the storm wrecked havoc in the township on Oct. 29 and 30. LTPS opened the Lawrence High School (LHS) Commons to Lawrence residents Oct. 31 thru Nov. 2 to provide warmth, internet access, food, water, showers and a place to charge electronics.
An average of 150 people took advantage of the LHS respite each of the three days the school was open. People on laptops and cell phones dotted the Commons. Others used the opportunity to combat cabin fever and interact with others. Children viewed Disney movies in the LHS library, played educational games on computers, and shot baskets in the gym.
Various Board of Education members, facilities staff led by Director Bo Hitchcock, district administrators, and a technology technician were present daily to help residents and oversee district operations.
Food service staff, led by Manager Mary Beth DiLorenzo, was on hand to keep the coffee, hot chocolate, water, and various food offerings flowing. The district provided most of the supplies and some Lawrence residents dropped off water and food.
“Our high school was one of the first schools within our district to regain power and we were pleased to open the facility to our community and help, even in some small way, to ease some of the challenges Sandy wrought,” related Superintendent Crystal Edwards.
“Historically Lawrence has been a close, supportive community and we welcomed the opportunity to share resources and give back. Additionally I’m very proud of our staff, many of whom…even though schools were closed for students and staff…came in any way to lend a hand.”