A power outage didn't stop one local school from holding classes. The Sussex County Charter School for Technology, which is located in Sparta, was closed and without power since the initial winds and rain from Hurricane Sandy affected the area last Monday until this Tuesday when its lights initially came back on. This week, the public school became the first in Sussex County to host online classes so their 225 middle school students don't fall too far behind in their class work.

"We were feeling in the dark in more ways the one without opening the school and holding classes, so we pulled together as a community and found a way to still stay connected online,"� said Jill Eckel, Administrative Principal of the Sussex County Charter School for Technology. "We are a school with a focus on technology, so an online educational community seemed to be the perfect solution to our current situation."�

The school is hopeful that if enough students join and participate in online educational activities, then it might be able to count the day as an official school day and not have to add it to the end of the school year or take days away from pre-scheduled breaks.

Students who attend the Charter School come from all parts of Sussex County and beyond, including many areas that already have power back, such as Vernon, Kittatinny, High Point, Wallkill, and parts of Sparta.

Students who have power are being asked to join the online educational communities of StudyIsland.com and Edmodo.com, which connect students and educators in a secure environment. From these websites, students are being assigned challenging tasks from each of their teachers that will keep the positive momentum of the school year going.

"We are all finding creative ways to get by in this unfortunate situation,"� added Eckel. "Those of us at the Charter School are hoping for a fast recovery for residents of Sussex County, residents in our surrounding area, and all of those affected by Hurricane Sandy."�

About the Charter School: The Sussex County Charter School for Technology is an innovative public school of choice, aligned with the New Jersey core curriculum content standards, serving middle school students in the county and surrounding areas. A distinctive and dynamic technology-based program promotes active learning and embraces multiple learning needs and styles in a challenging environment. The interactive learning community encourages every student to grow academically, socially, and emotionally into responsible individuals who are ready to make a successful transition into high school.

For more information or an admissions application for the 2013/14 school year, visit www.SussexCharter.org.