School districts hammered by Hurricane Ida don’t know when they can reopen
Students in New Orleans schools woke up this week not knowing when they will be back in school as their district is closed ‘indefinitely’ due to vast power outages and other damage caused by Hurricane Ida.
“With broad power outages, it is unclear at this time when school will resume,” NOLA Public Schools posted on social media. “The District will work with school leaders to assess any damages to buildings and plan for when students can return to class.”
NOLA-PS schools and facilities closed until further notice as recovery assessments regarding Hurricane Ida begin. Broad power outages make school reopenings unclear.
We are strong, and we are resilient. Let’s put our resolve and our compassion to work,” -Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr pic.twitter.com/zsqtd5vmox
— NOLA Public Schools (@NOLAPSchools) August 30, 2021
Leaders in Jefferson Parish Schools, which stretches west and south of New Orleans, were also unsure Tuesday when the district could reopen. They were clear that they cannot shift to remote learning, administrators announced on the district’s website.
Administrators are surveying the damage to district campuses and surveying the well-being of students, employees and families. Jefferson Parish officials have asked citizens who evacuated prior to Hurricane Ida not to return until further notice due to power outages, debris and other hazards, the district noted.
“We will continue to remain in constant communications with employees, families and our stakeholders,” Superintendent James Gray said. “Along with assessing our buildings, we want to understand where our people are, what supports they need, and what are the best steps forward as we rebuild, recover and reopen. We will do everything we can to reopen our schools as quickly as we can.”
All schools & administration buildings will be closed until further notice as we assess the impact of Hurricane Ida. This is a full closure that will not include remote learning. Our intent is to reopen schools as soon as possible. https://t.co/gRghR10Gwp pic.twitter.com/Obead7JZYk
— Jefferson Parish Schools (@JPschools) August 31, 2021
Several other districts remained closed until further notice on Tuesday:
- East Feliciana Public Schools and offices will remain closed through Sept. 1.
- Lafourche Parish School District
- Livingston Parish Public Schools are closed until at least Labor Day.
- Plaquemines Parish Public School System
- St. Bernard Parish Public Schools
- St. Charles Parish Public Schools
- St. James Parish School System will remain closed through Sept. 6
- St. John the Baptist Parish offices and schools will be closed until Sept. 7
- St. Mary Parish Schools in southern Louisiana will remain closed “as necessitated by post-storm conditions and preparations required to return students safely onto school campuses,” the district said on Facebook.
- St. Tammany Parish Public Schools are closed until further notice.
- Tangipahoa Parish School System is closed while administrators “work toward stabilizing our infrastructure and critical services,” the district reported.
- Terrebonne Parish School District
- West Feliciana Parish Schools will be closed on Sept. 1.
— St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools (@SJBPschools) August 30, 2021
According to KATC.com, the districts in the following parishes reopened Tuesday: Acadia, Calcasieu, Evangeline, Iberia, Jeff Davis, Lafayette Parish, St. Martin and St. Landry.
A number of districts—including Iberville, St. Martin and West Baton Rouge—were closed Tuesday and had not yet determined whether they would open on Sept. 1.
The East Baton Rouge, Vermillion parish school systems planned to reopen on Wednesday.
In Mississippi, which escaped the worst of the hurricane, several districts were closed or conducted virtual learning on Tuesday but planned to reopen Wednesday, according to various reports.
Many school districts in Alabama were closed or on virtual learning Tuesday as Ida, which had weakened into a tropical depression, moved through that state’s northwestern corner.