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Unsafe Conditions Mean Shortened School Day For Pinelands Regional Students

TUCKERTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Students in Ocean County will experience a disruption after their building was shut down over unsafe conditions.

The teens will now split time with their district’s middle school for half day sessions. The change is indefinite.

As CBS2’s Meg Baker explained, four hours of school each day is the minimum required by the New Jersey Department of Education. That’s also all students in the Pinelands Regional District will get after the high school was deemed unsafe.

“I don’t know if they are going to get a proper education — four hours? How much could they possibly learn, what are they going to be missing? So many unanswered questions,” Lauren Liloia said.

Split sessions began on Wednesday with 9th through 12th graders attending the junior high in the morning, and the middle schoolers going to class in the afternoon.

The school was shut down after a screw fell on a child’s head during an ongoing roofing project. Students complained of a chemical odor and falling ceiling tiles with what they said was mold.

“Little too late. There should have been contingency plans. This happens across the nation, don’t have to reinvent the wheel. They knew there was a problem August 1,” Walter Keady said.

Other parents said a half day of school is better than nothing.

“This is the only option I’ve seen presented. So my recommendation is for everyone to stop crying and work with it,” Joe Zac said.

What about parents who aren’t home during the day?

“And with sports they haven’t even figured that out yet. Parents that work, how are they going to get them back?” Liloia said.

Others have proposed bringing in trailers for full day classes.

Acting Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Stevenson refused to go on camera and answer questions.

Parents told CBS2’s Baker they want a timeline.

The district released a statement saying it hopes to reopen in mid November.

“Schools are supposed to educate, not baby sit. They’re not doing either,” Keady said.

Extra homework has been assigned, but some say it doesn’t make up for face to face time with teachers.

 

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