December 13, 2012
HALB, guest of LMS, returns to Long Beach
After the destruction and havoc of hurricane Sandy, HALB’s first and second grades, displaced from their Long Beach home, were welcomed into Lawrence Middle School in a heart warming demonstration of community harmony.
Those two grades have just returned to Long Beach on the fourth day of Chanukah, an apt time for a Chanukat Habayit, a rededication of the Hebrew Academy of Long Beach’s beach-side home.
The week after the storm, Gary Schall, Lawrence Public Schools’ Superintendent, spoke with Richard Hagler, HALB’s Executive Director, reaching out to help the students and schools. “They used alternative multiple locations,” said Schall and noted that the district had been considering using portable classrooms at the number six school field. Initially, LMS set up classroom space in the gym but then various rooms were put into use for classroom space for the young guests, clad in uniform white shirts and dark blue pants for boys and dark blue skirts for girls. Assistant superintendent offices and the occupational and physical therapy room were made into temporary classrooms. “We could allocate the space,” said Schall. “It has no impact on public school operations; it’s very workable.” The first and second graders had gym in a fully padded room on the main floor.
Schall joked that this was “one thing that we get along with” with the teacher’s union. He introduced some HALB staff members, “We touch base periodically on details of the operation, parking, custodial. Having two schools at once is easier than two separate schools. The parents are happy. It’s phenomenal to get the logistics to work.”