Tentative return to school set for Sept. 8 in Ascension Parish

Michael Tortorich
Donaldsonville Chief
The Ascension Parish School Board office in Donaldsonville.

Ascension Parish Public Schools Superintendent David Alexander released a statement concerning the closure of schools due to the Hurricane Ida recovery.

He stated 30 percent of schools do not have power. Following the Labor Day holiday on Sept. 6, the plan is to reopen to all staff members only on Sept. 7. No instructional services will be provided to students on Sept. 7.

School leaders have set a target reopen date as Sept. 8 for a return to instructional services.

Here is the full statement:

Dear Ascension Public Schools Family,

As promised, we are providing you an update regarding the status of school reopening in Ascension Parish from the current closure due to Hurricane Ida. As of this afternoon, 30% of our schools do not have power. However, we do believe significant progress is being made each day, and we are hopeful that we will continue to see power restored to all schools as well as neighborhoods and businesses in the very near future.

Tomorrow, Monday, Sept. 6, 2021, is our regularly scheduled Labor Day Holiday. We will be closed as scheduled for Labor Day. On Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021, we intend to reopen for all Ascension Public Schools staff only. All employees should plan to report to work on Tuesday and will receive details regarding responsibilities and the location to report from their immediate supervisors by late afternoon Monday. Employees that work in schools or district offices that remain without power will be provided instructions about an alternative location to report for our work on Tuesday.

There will be no instructional services provided to students on Tuesday, either in-person or online. Staff will be working to organize our reopening efforts so that when students return, the reopening is as smooth as possible. As always, a crisis or a disaster typically presents many challenges that require intentional planning in order to overcome those challenges and minimize frustration. We will be working to anticipate and remediate those obstacles we can identify as best we can prior to students arriving later this week

At this time, we are targeting Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021, for the return of students to buildings for in-person learning as well as providing online instructional services for our Blended Learning Program. However, at this time, we are unable to be absolutely certain about Wednesday as the date for reopening. More details about our anticipated opening on Wednesday will be provided Tuesday afternoon as we continue to monitor the restoration of the power grid and work through any challenges we identify with mechanical services and technology as the power to buildings is restored. We will allow after-school activities to resume for students involved in extra-curricular activities as early as tomorrow, Monday, Sept. 6, 2021. Details regarding those activities will come from school principals, coaches, and sponsors.

In summary, the following are our plans, thus far:

*Monday, Sept. 6, 2021, extra-curricular activities may resume,

*Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021, employees only report to work for a planning day, and

*Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021, students should tentatively plan to return to learning.

We continue to be grateful for the progress being made for this recovery effort. We know the community and its citizens will be back on their feet very soon. As is always the case in Ascension Parish, we continue to witness how citizens of a community rally around their neighbors to overcome the challenges and frustrations that result from these kinds of events. We all continue to pray for our neighboring parishes who experienced even greater impacts and are faced with even greater challenges. We are confident that, with patience and continued support of each other, we will see these communities completely restored.

Respectfully,

David Alexander