The town of Cresskill, like many other towns, was heavily damaged by Hurricane Ida on the night of September 1st, 2021. Unfortunately, many people suffered damage to their homes, cars, and belongings. Amongst those that suffered loss, are the students and staff that comprise the Community, that is Cresskill Middle School and High School.
The MS/HS building suffered great damage and devastation which have made the building unusable still to this date. There are almost 1000 students in grades 6-12th that are utilizing the virtual platform for their learning at this time.
On the heels of COVID, and school closings, and quarantines, this additional time in a virtual setting is upsetting and difficult for many of the students, their families, and all of the staff and teachers. However, there have been staff members who have rose above expectations, local communities who have given us donations of furniture, and even in Voorhees NJ the students learned of our situation and did their own fundraiser to donate to our Cresskill school out of the goodness of their hearts.
The administrative team of Cresskill Public Schools has been working tirelessly to advocate for our school. Our administrators are currently working with FEMA, the TV and newspaper interviews have been done to gain local and state awareness, and there have been conversations with members of the Bergen and New Jersey State Board of Educations and the state Office of Emergency Management (OEM).
The First Lady of NJ Tammy Murphy came personally to tour the building with her staff and brought with her several people in positions that can help us get back on our feet.
At this time, the school administration has a plan to get our kids in the school building over the next several weeks. Loans and state and federal aide are great, except that they take time and do not cover all expenses. Flood insurance is also fantastic as it allowed us to get cleaning crews in the building the very next day, but there are limits on the amount of insurance allowed, and the school had the maximum amount allowed.
There are so many hoops to jump through to ensure we are following all the rules, and this takes time to secure additional funds.
So, at this time the MS/HS HSA is leading the charge to fundraise. This fundraising effort will go towards items including a temporary heating system and the fuel to run the system, as well it will cover expenses associated with preparing the school for temporary use and ultimately permanent use of the building.
We know many people are thinking why isn’t the insurance and FEMA paying for everything and why in a town where we have high taxes already, do the parents need to pay for construction and repairs. These are valid questions, and due to all the above mentioned issues, we hope it is a bit clearer why funds are needed today.
It is a process that takes time to get the kids in the building. But, the sooner the school has money, the sooner this process can begin. SO ultimately, the sooner our children are back to school in person. Please take the time to donate to this cause.