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HBW Is Key To Reopening Schools


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What it will take to reopen Verona’s public schools on Monday comes down to three letters: H-B-W.

At last night’s Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Steven A. Forte sketched out a rough plan for getting kids back to school next week. Three of Verona’s six public schools remain without power and, as of Friday, Verona has used all three of the snow days it had budgeted for the 2012-2013 school year–and two more snow.

For the schools to reopen, we would need to have three things in place: a guarantee from PSE&G that power would stay on at the schools for the entire school day even if restoration work must still be done in the area, the all-clear from the Verona Police Department that the roads and sidewalks are safe, and, most importantly, power at H.B.  Whitehorne Middle School.

HBW’s two buildings are home to 690 students drawn from all corners of Verona. It is the largest of the three Verona schools that are without power; F.N. Brown and Forest Avenue elementary schools are also dark. Laning and Brookdake elementary schools have power, as does Verona High School.

The BOE is considering several scenarios to get everyone back at their desks on Monday, which could involve asking students to report to buildings that are not their usual schools for all or part of the day. A decision on what will happen and who will be going where should be made sometime on Sunday. “Our goal is that all kids can go to a school on Monday,” said Forte.

Forte said at last night’s meeting that Verona’s teachers and administrators had decided that they could report for a full day of work on November 8 and 9, which were to have been the dates of the NJEA Convention in Atlantic City. The teachers’ association cancelled its annual get-together yesterday. The BOE also approved a plan to put a full day of school on Tuesday, February 19 back on the calendar. It was to have been a professional development day, but that has been moved to February 14 instead.


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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citranohttps://myveronanj.com
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Forbes.com. Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].


  1. Will be very interesting to see how this logistical game of student shuffle plays out if half of the town’s schools remain without power early next week.


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