Image source: DNAinfo – Beach Channel High School before Hurricane Sandy hit
Homeschooling has become the number one choice for some parents in hurricane ravished Rockaway peninsula, according to DNAinfo. Parents would rather keep them home and educate them there (or skip class entirely) than send them into parts of Queens they are unfamiliar with and/or too far from home. In the words of Belle Harbor resident Kristine Memoli, “If something happens to my children, I won’t know and won’t have a way to get to them.”
Her kids normally go to PS 114 but would be bused 40 minutes to IS 119 in Glendale. To get an idea as to the distance between these two schools, here’s a map (click the minus sign in the upper left hand corner to get a broader view of the area in question):
Memoli’s sister also plans to homeschool her kids, who go to PS 114, too. Neither of them like to feel isolated from their children during the day, and busing them 40 minutes away would contribute to the already high levels of stress the families in the Rockaways feel after the hurricane. The Department of Education is unclear how long it will take to reopen the schools that were damaged in the storm, but best estimates for most are after the school year is over.
For some students, the bus that would take them to a different school are fairly far away and require a drive. Some people lost their cars in the hurricane and therefore do not have a car to use to get their kids to the bus:
For Regina McManus, 53, the relocation sounds like a logistical nightmare. The Rockaway Park resident has an eighth-grade daughter and seventh-grade son at the Chris Galas School in Broad Channel, Queens. Students there are being relocated to P.S. 181 in Rosedale, Queens.
To get the relocation bus at Chris Galas, McManus’ children must first drive over the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge. But McManus lost all three of her cars in the storm, and public transportation from Broad Channel and Rockaway Park currently ends at 4:45 p.m., she said.
“I’m not putting them on the bus, if I can’t guarantee they’ll get back to me at night,” McManus said.