JENNINGS, La. (KLFY) — The Superintendent of Schools in Jeff Davis Parish said he is hoping to have students back in the classroom for Sept. 14 after classes were adjourned for Hurricane Laura, but there remain a lot of obstacles before it can be a certainty.
Superintendent Kirk Credeur, in a Facebook post, said first and foremost, the schools must be safe for students. Currently, he said, not all schools have power, and some that do don’t have enough power to operate air conditioning. On top of that, the communities themselves must be passable and safe enough for students to return to school.
The entire message is below:
I hope this message finds each reader safe, comfortable, and surrounded by loved ones. We have all experienced and are continuing to experience some of the most challenging health and weather issues that we may face in our lives. These events have challenged our resolve and have created unbearable hardships for many. As we reestablish our safety, homes, property, and lives from the storm, our thoughts will shift to returning our children back to an educational environment. There is arguably no one that wants to return to school any more than I do; however, there are important factors that must be addressed before school can safely and effectively be reestablished.
First, there must be electricity to power the air conditioning units and prepare meals. Internal building temperatures can easily climb over 90 degrees Fahrenheit without mechanical cooling. Currently, not all of our schools have electrical service, and for those that have power, some don’t have full power to operate larger cooling units, or they do not have consistent power as it fluctuates off and on. Second, our school buildings have to be safe and secure from damages that could injure students and staff. Third, my community and staff have to be in secure and safe living situations to be able to devote the required attention to educational pursuits. Fourth, we need to have streets safe of dangerous debris , e!ectric wires, and felled trees to safely transport our students to their destinations.
These are the main four considerations that must be resolved before school can be reopened.
After reviewing information from emergency preparedness , medical, utility, police jury officials, and reviewing our current status regarding electricity, buildings, staff preparedness, and transportation, I am going to cancel school for the week of September 7 (LaborDay) through September 11th.
I have targeted September 14th as the tentative school return date. School officials will do everything in their power to have schools ready to open on that date, but a successful return depends on many factors beyond our control. Because different communities suffered different amounts of damage it is reasonable to assume that there may be areas that may return to school before other areas.
As the week progresses and the recovery efforts intensify, I will provide updated information regarding specific school openingsKirk Credeur, Jeff Davis Parish Superintendent of Schools