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Most Jeff Davis Parish students to return to school next week

Jeff Davis Parish public schools
Posted at 6:25 PM, Sep 10, 2020

Most students in Jeff Davis Parish will return to class next week, according to superintendent Kirk Credeur.

After what Credeur calls a "Herculean post-storm cleanup effort," all schools except Lacassine High School will resume classes on Monday, September 14.

Although the board had planned to return to full face-to-face daily instruction in Phase III of the COVID-19 return, Credeur adds they did not plan to enter Phase III during a state of emergency and on the heels of a "massive hurricane destruction with numerous out-of-district students wanting or having to relocate to our district."

Jeff Davis schools will continue for an interim period of time with daily face-to-face instruction for Pre-K through 5th grade and the A/B schedules for grades 6-12 at this time. At a later date, when the board can have an accurate accounting of student numbers, Credeur says they will look at returning to a normal schedule as soon as possible.

Lacassine sustained more damage than other areas of the district due to its proximity to Hurricane Laura, including damage to the community's electrical grid. The school is currently not receiving strong enough or consistent enough electrical supply to properly power its larger air conditioning, freezer units, and kitchen appliances, and the safety devices will not allow the units to operate with insufficient power. The area is also experiencing ongoing internet and phone difficulties.

Because of this, the board hopes to reopen Lacassine on Wednesday, September 16, but the target date is "strongly dependent upon the ability of Entergy to restore the campus to full power," said Credeur.

Though Gov. Edwards has moved the state into Phase III starting on Friday, Credeur said they are still under strict guidelines to maintain all safety, cleaning, and mask protocols as under Phase II. The guidelines will be even more important as the social distancing areas reduce themselves due to increased room capacities.

"I am very excited to be able to return to a school schedule after all that we have experienced," finished Credeur. "I believe that it will benefit our students and communities greatly."

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