- April 26 - Staff Professional Day - Dismissal at 11:30
- May 24 - No School - Holiday Weekend
- May 27 - Memorial Day - No School
Martin De Porres
In my twenty-six years with Martin De Porres School, I have had many proud moments: seeing students overcome major obstacles to graduate and go on to work and college; watching the residents of Casa de LaSalle give back to their community through acts of service; and working with our dedicated staff to implement new and innovative programs for our students. These are just a few.
But nothing can equal how I felt last week when, on April 1st, we re-opened the doors to the high school at our Rockaway Campus after being displaced for more than five months by Superstorm Sandy.
Like so many of our Rockaway neighbors, we sustained unimaginable damage totaling
approximately $2,000,000.00. The storm surge destroyed almost everything on the first floor: floors (including the entire gymnasium floor!), furniture, computer equipment, printers, electrical and gas lines, the PA system, exercise equipment and supplies. The surge was so strong that a 55-foot piece of the Boardwalk ended up in the school parking lot. And when the water receded, we were left to deal with tons of sand inside the school and on our grounds.
Among the most heartbreaking damage was the destruction of our vocational training facilities where students learn important career skills. The culinary lab – including ovens, microwaves, cooking equipment, cabinets and counter tops – had to be completely gutted. Our auto body repair shop, including two cars, was decimated. The barber room (a hair salon training lab) and the silk screening room also sustained significant damage. We had no
electricity until March 21st.
But, on Friday, March 22nd, we began moving back to the Rockaway Campus. It was a herculean task. Everyone pitched in. Many staff members worked 18-hours a day, seven-days-a week, to ensure a smooth and seamless homecoming. We have taken every effort to guarantee a healthy building.
As the students celebrate Spirit Week (April 8th – 12th), there is a palpable feeling of optimism and joy. The first floor has been completely renovated and sanitized. With bright new paint, shiny new floors, a new PA system, new furniture, new computers, new labs (including glistening new cooking stations in the culinary lab) I am so proud to say that we are, once
again, open for business – the business of educating and learning.
And while there is still work to be done, we have had a glorious homecoming. Our students have weathered this storm beautifully thanks to the professionalism and dedication of our entire staff. I have never been prouder.
Please check back here in a couple of weeks for more good news about all of our schools.
Click here for prior messages from the Executive Director