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On Wednesday, April 29, 2020, Farmingdale teachers and staff will participate in a Farmingdale Family “social distance” parade to say hello to all their students who are at home learning remotely. The parade will begin at Weldon E. Howitt Middle School at 9AM and is expected to last four to five hours.

“Students are facing challenges as never before and we wanted to add some brightness to their day,” said Superintendent Paul Defendini, who worked closely with all the building principals to bring the idea to fruition.

For logistics, he turned to Supervisor of Transportation Marc Medina. “There is no one who knows the district geography better than Marc!” said Mr. Defendini. For two weeks, Mr. Medina worked on developing a route that would encompass the entire district, using software he traditionally uses to route buses. “The initial route was so big that it kept crashing my system!” exclaimed Mr. Medina with a chuckle. “It was a lot of trial and error to get it mapped out. It will be a slow moving procession that goes down most blocks in the district, so it will be available to everyone,” he assured. “If it doesn’t go past your house, you’ll be able to see it by walking to your corner.” 

Leading the parade in a mini-bus will be Troy Hill, who joined the district as a dispatcher earlier this year. He will be followed by Superintendent Defendini and what is expected to be well over a hundred teachers and administrators. Many are planning to decorate their vehicles “Daler style.” Excessive honking through town should be anticipated! Students and families are encouraged to stand in their driveways and wave, cheer, and shout hello as their favorite teachers drive by. Families are reminded to stay away from street traffic, not approach vehicles, and to practice social distancing. The route has been shared with local police, who will be on hand to assist.

“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to drive through our entire district to wave at our kids,” said Mr. Defendini. “They’ve been through a tough series of weeks, as have all of us, and this is a way to bring the community together.”

Click here to access the parade schedule