Saint Barbara's Greek Orthodox Church on Church Road in Toms River will serve as the makeshift Lavallette Elementary School for months to come.
The Lavallette School District announced students attending its one school will see classes resume at the church, which will serve as a satellite location for the district.
The entire student body of the elementary school has been displaced due to the mandatory evacuation of the New Jersey barrier island for Hurricane Sandy.
An untold number of Lavallette families as well as students attending the elementary school from other barrier island communities as tuition students saw their homes face devastation.
Getting the school up and running back in Lavallette would take as long as the rest of the barrier island to return to normalcy, which is estimated at a 6 to 8 month process.
Instead of sending displaced students to other school districts, Lavallette announced Saint Barbara's Church will serve as a temporary schooling site.
Parents can meet at 6 p.m. tomorrow at the church, 2200 Church Road in Toms River, to learn more about the process.
"There will be a parents meeting at St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church in Toms River Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. to discuss our effort to keep our Lavallette students together," announced the district on its website.
Lavallette's school district is a K-8 district with 168 children attending the nine-grade elementary school. Lavallette Elementary School has a staff of 30 teachers and workers and the school is located at 105 Brooklyn Avenue in Lavallette.
In addition to the classrooms, cafeteria and office space the elementary school also maintained an award-winning library for its students, all now off-limits with the continued evacuation of the barrier island.
The school district essentially has to build a makeshift school environment at Saint Barbara's and was not able to retrieve any supplies from its elementary school back on the barrier island.
As such, district officials announced it is seeking donations from the community in the form of gift cards and monetary donations.
"The Lavallette School does not have access to any of their school supplies. The school is in need of supplies in order to have their satellite school function," officials announced.
"We are asking anyone interested in assisting the school and making a donation can do so in the form of gift cards to Staples, Costco, Target, Best Buy, Visa/MasterCard, Walmart, K-Mart, or checks payable to the 'Lavallette School.'"
Donations can be dropped off at the St Barbara Greek Church office from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday thru Friday or mailed to:
St Barbara Greek Orthodox Church
C/O Lavallette School
2200 Church Rd
Toms River, NJ
A local law office has set up donation drop offs of school supplies for the students:
School will start on Monday, November 12th and the students are in need of school supplies. We know there are many in need right now, and perhaps you have already donated supplies and money to other organizations, but we ask that you dig a bit deeper in order to help out these young children.
"We are collecting new or gently used children's books, which we will donate to the elementary school. In addition to books, we will gladly accept donations of school supplies and even cash donations, all which will go directly to the school."
You can drop off books, supplies, or cash/pre-paid credit/ gift cards to either of the following locations:
In Pt. Pleasant between the hours of 8am - 4pm
A. Joseph Guarino's Law Office
1131 Arnold Ave @ Highway 88
Point Pleasant, NJ 08742
In Bricktown between the hours of 9am - 5pm
Daniel J. DeStefano - CPA
223 Drum Point Road
Brick, NJ 08723
Email Alison Zylinski at email@example.com for info on what supplies are needed.