Posted: Jan 11, 2013 3:43 PM by Ian Auzenne
School districts across Acadiana are considering how to make up the days lost to this week's flood and Hurricane Isaac. State law requires schools to hold a minimum of 63,720 minutes of instructional time per academic year (a minimum of 360 minutes per day for 177 school days). Although school districts are granted a certain number of "hurricane days" that can be used in the event of inclement weather or other disasters, many districts have used more days than they were allotted. Here is a parish-by-parish look at what Acadiana school districts are doing to make up the lost days.
Lafayette Parish: Superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper says many of the schools have extra instructional minutes built into their schedules, so their may not be a need to make up any class time. He says he and other school system officials are assessing the situation and will announce by next Tuesday whether or not to add extra time to school days.
St. Landry Parish: Interim Superintendent Joseph Cassimere says because the district is running more than the required number of minutes per day, the parish will not have to add any extra time to its schedule. According to Cassimere, the district still has an extra half-day at its disposal.
St. Martin Parish: Superintendent Richard Lavergne says a decision on whether or not to add days to the school year or time to future school days will be made Monday.
Iberia Parish: Superintendent Dale Henderson says he will recommend to the school board adding two extra days to the spring semester. He says the system has used almost all of the built-in time in its calendar and will have to add instructional days to the calendar. The next school board meeting is January 23.
Acadia Parish: Superintendent John Bourque says the school board will meet Monday night to decide whether to add minutes to future school days or to add make-up days to the calendar. Bourque says he and the board will review how many minutes the system is behind and will make a decision from there.
St. Mary Parish: School board officials say they will add 15 minutes to each school day betwee January 22 and April 5. This will make up the time lost to the storms before the beginning of the second phase of LEAP, iLEAP, and GEE testing.
Vermilion Parish: Superintendent Randy Schexnayder says there will be a principals' meeting next Wednesday to discuss adjusting school calendars. Any adjustments would be made on a school-by-school basis with the school board's approval.
Evangeline Parish: Superintendent Toni Hamlin says the district is considering adding five minutes to each school day, using a staff development day as an instructional day, and taking time out of an upcoming holiday break. Hamlin says she has e-mailed each school's principal for input. A decision is expected sometime next week.
Jeff Davis Parish: Superintendent David Clayton says the district will have to make up one day, as it has exhausted its weather days. The school board will vote next week on how to make up that day. Clayton says the board has several options: extending future school days by five minutes, using a teacher inservice day as an instructional day, taking a day out of a holiday break, holding classes on a Saturday, or extending the school year by one day.