Ascension Parish Public Schools will not open Sept. 8, will provide update on Sept. 9 plans

Michael Tortorich
Donaldsonville Chief
Ascension Parish Public Schools

Ascension Parish Public Schools will not reopen for instructional services Sept. 8 as initially hoped.

In a news release, Superintendent David Alexander stated the school system has several obstacles to overcome, mainly the lack of power.

"For now, we will continue to assess the restoration of power and work to overcome any other obstacles we encounter in order to allow students to return before the end of this week," Alexander said in the release.

The school system will release another statement Sept. 8 regarding Sept. 9 plans.

Here is the full statement:

Dear Ascension Public Schools Family,

We had a very productive day today with our employees. Many of our district staff have been mobilized since last week, especially in areas of maintenance, technology, and child nutrition. Without their commitment and service, we could not be as far along as we are with our remediation and recovery efforts. 

Today, we were able to accomplish so much more by bringing in all employees. It was a true blessing that about 80% of our district- and school-level employees were able to report in person and several more employees were able to work remotely and contribute to the work we are doing to prepare to resume normal operations. The work conducted today was essential, allowed us to answer a number of unanswered questions, and make great strides toward bringing students back. 

Our teachers and school-level staff made efforts to reach out to almost 24,000 students and families to better understand their circumstances and check on their well-being;

Our bus drivers drove routes and identified trouble spots so that we could report those areas for priority attention;  

Administrative services resumed operations to ensure that employee payroll is not delayed among other administrative services;  

Technology continues to assess our systems that impact telecommunications and our digital platform; and

Our maintenance department will continue to press forward, as they have been doing for some time now, to assess the function of buildings as power is restored.  

The work being done is, once again, more than amazing!  But, that should be no surprise given that everyone doing this work carries the same passion for our mission and our calling to provide this community with a high-quality public education system.   

REOPENING FOR STUDENTS

We will be unable to open for instructional services for students on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021, as we had hoped. Although we messaged you on Sunday that Wednesday wasn’t certain, we were hopeful and remained hopeful through mid-day today. Unfortunately, there are several obstacles outside of our control. The biggest obstacle continues to be power. Once that is resolved, we are confident that we can address internal issues associated with electrical services relatively quickly so that we can safely open for students. For now, we will continue to assess the restoration of power and work to overcome any other obstacles we encounter in order to allow students to return before the end of this week. 

Thank you for your patience and your prayers as we all work together to be a part of the successful return of all services to this community, including essential and important educational services for children. We will provide you with another update tomorrow that provides our plans for Thursday. Until then, stay safe.