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Lavallette School District To Open at Saint Barbara's Church in Toms River

Elementary school will operate as a satellite location

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 azylinski@lavallettek12.org for info on what supplies are needed.

JD November 06, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Ridiculous... The decision to make is to shutdown the K-8 school... and send the kids to PPB.. That is where they will be going for 9-12 anyway... or... let the parent decide where they want to go.. PPB, Point Boro, Toms River or parochial... and the Lavallette school district pay the per child cost. Layoff all the teachers, admin, etc. There are about 20 kids per grade... about 180 kids in K-8.
Brian November 06, 2012 at 11:46 PM
It is great that the school district is keeping the kids together with their teachers. This must be such a traumatic time for the students. Having them stay together in a known environment is a great idea. Please note there are two additional drop-off locations for supplies and donations: Barnegat from the hours of 7am-7pm: BSR Physical Therapy 890 West Bay Avenue suite A Barnegat, NJ 08005 AND Manahawkin from the hours of 7am-7pm: BSR Physical Therapy 602 Route 72 suite 3 Manahawkin, NJ 08050. Thanks in advance for your support.
jennifer November 07, 2012 at 03:03 AM
Great idea!
dk51 November 07, 2012 at 12:52 PM
These children need to be together with their teachers! It will help them have some structure in the chaos that surrounds them. Plus they will have counseling to deal with the post traumatic stress. I support this decision.
JD November 07, 2012 at 01:01 PM
That is presumptious that is what the parents want.... what makes you think the parents of 180 kids are in the Toms River area?? Who will transport?? etc.. Better off letting the parents decide what is best for their circumstances.... not a BOE... I would bet less than 50% of the students show up at St. Barbara... that they will be re-enrolled in some other district to finish the 2012/13 school year. The question will be if the new district will permit re-enrollment if for instance they moved in with a relative... that is why Lavallette should shutdown for the year and pay the costs for the kids to go to the school of their choice.
KAT November 07, 2012 at 03:39 PM
I'm so happy and thankful that they will be staying together. It was traumatic enough to be displaced overnight. The kids of Lavallette love each other and love their school. Today is not the time to be discussing the disolvement of the district. If you don't live there, then please keep your comments to yourself. We love our town and our school. Thank you parents and boe to make this possible!
paul November 07, 2012 at 03:54 PM
KAT...You are right.
Lynne Turkowsky November 07, 2012 at 05:15 PM
The comments posted by JD demonstrate that what a person doesn't know can be more dangerous than what he actually does know. The presumptuous statements are those of JD who does not know how the system of funding public education functions. The existence of the Lavallette Elementary School confers a significant tax benefit to the taxpayers of the Borough of Lavallette and an even more significant educational benefit to the children who live in our Lavallette community. The members of the Lavallette Board of Education certainly understand this tax advantage while JD does not seem to know anything about this fact, and does not seem to care to know. The decision to continue running the Lavallette Elementary School temporarily in another location was certainly not made in a vacuum. The Lavallette School Community must be continued primarily for the benefit of the students who are the most important constituents of a community that they know, with educators who know them, and the other children who generally remain in the Lavallette School Community from kindergarten through 8th grade. JD has no knowledge of the legal intricacies that confront school districts that close their doors. What he would like to do would victimize our schoolchildren and our taxpayers in a fashion that would not be legal, would not be educationally beneficial and, unknown to JD, would be financially disastrous to Lavallette.
dk51 November 07, 2012 at 08:08 PM
dk51 November 07, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Right on Lynne!
JD November 07, 2012 at 08:26 PM
You can pay a per head fee just like Seaside Park does... they get sent to PPB for 9-12 anyway.. Lavallette pupil cost is around $19,000 each... whereas Toms River perse is about 14,000... That would be about a $900,000 savings to the taxpayers if you shutdown the school... and pay tuition... It would a huge windfall for the taxpayers... can you say cha ching! Obviously Lynn... you don't know what you are talking about... rhetoric and mumbo jumbo... and you are clueless about School Finances..
paul November 07, 2012 at 10:22 PM
JD, What rhetoric and mumbo jumbo are you talking about? Obviously you do you belong to the Lavallette Community. What's your problem? You don't have any kids in the school system any longer. So you don't care any longer. It is a typical selfish way of thinking to those who only care about their own when the school is needed for them. Or you just belong to another school system and this is none of your business. Per head fee? This is about community kids who deserve to be together because they all live together with in their community not the Toms River community. People move and live where they want to send their kids to school other wise they would have originally moved to another area. If people move to Westfield you would not tell them to send their kids to Plainfield to save money per head. Are you for real...you are the one who is clueless.
Catherine Galioto (Editor) November 09, 2012 at 11:59 AM
Email Alison Zylinski at azylinski@lavallettek12.org for info on what supplies are needed.
Tom November 10, 2012 at 02:48 PM
JD. Just dumb? You know nothing about of which you speak The seaside park plan, aren't they in a multi year lawsuit to get out of that plan as it is now costing almost 60 k a student? You quote numbers from your back of the napkin math, please just move on, we don't need your vile comments. I just hope that you and your family never have to go through the total loss and devastion that the people of lavallette are, the good news is that for every misinformed fool hiding behind his computer there are a 1000 caring and compassionate people doing all they can for the Victims of Sandy
Penny November 10, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Wow, get up on the wrong side of the bed today? It is wonderful to see the school trying to stay together.
WMS826 November 19, 2012 at 02:01 AM
These are almost college tuition numbers for a bunch of kids who screw up you Mcdonalds order anyway.
A Resident November 19, 2012 at 02:51 AM
"kids who screw up you Mcdonalds order " Guess you are one of them.....ha ha.
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