Parents at school shut down by cold say they needed more notice

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wwltv.com

Posted on January 9, 2014 at 11:27 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 9 at 11:41 PM

Antwan Harris / Eyewitness News
Email: aharris@wwltv.com | Twitter: @antwanharris

NEW ORLEANS -- A broken heater has shut down a school in the Bywater for the last two days, but that's just the beginning of the problem. Parents say they weren't given enough warning.

Many parents found out that the Homer Plessy Community School was closed either by social networking sites or signs on the door.

Parents say the school has to use better communication.

"It has improved slightly, but today proved it is not where it needs to be,” said parent Daniel Zimmerman.

Zimmerman is one of many parents who found out minutes before dropping off his child to Homer Plessy Community School that classes were closed Thursday.

The school posted a message on its Facebook page around 7 a.m., stating the heat wasn't working for the second day in a row.

After a 30-minute commute into town, Zimmerman said he would have liked more of a notice from the school.

“If you don't know that the problems aren't going to be fixed the night before, at least give a warning and say you might want to check here to see if we will be open,” he said.

School board member Ben McLeish said the school is getting through the first-year growing pains.

"An old building with old systems is getting stressed to the max,” he said. “It is not much warmer inside as it is outside. It creates quite a frustrating experience for everyone involved."

Right now the school shares the Douglass building with ARISE Academy. It has over 100 students enrolled.

The Recovery School District sent a technician out to fix the heater after the school closed down Wednesday during the frigid temperatures.

McLeish said school administrators noticed the school was still cold Thursday morning and made the call to close.

“We are always looking at how to communicate with parents and how to get the word out,” McLeish said. “The difficult thing is if the night before the technician says it's good and then the next day it is not good, it creates a difficult situation."

Zimmerman said, "There is so much technology today that it is inexcusable that we can't get a message out to the parents at least a half hour before school closes."

McLeish said he would like to see the school move to a robo-call system in the near future.

The school posted on its Facebook page Thursday evening the heat is working and school will resume at its normal time Friday.

 

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