ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH, La. — Education officials in St. John the Baptist Parish were hopeful they’d be able to welcome students back in the classroom today, but the re-opening of schools has been pushed back for at least one more week.
It’s been over a month now that the hard-hit parish has been recovering and rebuilding after hurricane Ida.
At least three schools buildings were cleared to open on Oct.11, but the school district says there are extra steps they need to take in order to ensure safety for all students and staff.
In a message from superintendent Dr. Lynett Hookfin, buildings were cleared by mitigation teams and industrial hygienists but they will be inspected further by a state fire marshall, the Department of Health and Human Resources and other teams to give their final stamp of approval for re-opening.
“This revision will not only support guaranteed safety and equitable dates, but it will also assist families with students who attend multiple schools sites within the district,” Hookfin said in a statement.
The district is now shooting for Monday, October 18 to re-open cleared school sites. There will be three different re-opening phases.
In the meantime, in order to include all students in the return plan, the district plans to utilize “platoon scheduling”. That means scheduling students to share sites by either time of day or assigned days.
As far as transportation, Hookfin says they will maintain all original routes and bus stops, making some adjustments based on the needs of schools.
You can check the district’s transportation website for updates to routes.
As of last week, 102 customers (or .53% of residents) remain without power in St. John. More than 500,000 cubic yards of debris has been collected, and officials say crews will continue to make multiple passes in front of homes where debris remains. More than 18,000 people so far have registered for assistance with FEMA in St. John.
Morning Platoon: High school students need to be at their bus stops for 6:05 a.m.; elementary school students should be at their bus stops at 6:30 a.m.
Afternoon Platoon: Students should be at their bus stops for 11:00 a.m.
The Transportation Hotline will be open between 6:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. if you have questions: 985-479-7790.
All students will receive two meals, either breakfast/lunch or lunch/supper.
Uniforms should be worn to the greatest extent possible. Officials do understand that some students may not be able to because of Hurricane Ida. They do have dress code guidelines for those who can't; you can see it by clicking HERE.