Hurricane damages may delay opening of some N.J. schools

The scheduled start of the school year may be delayed for some students in New Jersey because of the damage left in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

New Jersey Education Department spokesman Justin Barra said officials at about a dozen schools have indicated they might not be able to open on time because of damage from floodwaters.

“So it’ll be a question of how severe that damage is,” Barra said. “If it’s a leaky, roof they may be able to fix it in time. But if the entire first floor is sustaining significant flood damage, it might take more time to get the school ready. Our No. 1 concern, obviously, is always going to be the health and safety of our students.”

The New Jersey School Boards Association says many schools schedule more than the 180 days of classes required by the state. So if opening day is delayed they can make adjustments by canceling holidays, changing spring and midwinter breaks, or removing snow days.

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