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Even without electricity, Duson Elementary powers on

Posted at 6:23 PM, Oct 14, 2020

DUSON, La. — Duson, Louisiana. Specifically, Duson Elementary. This is the only school in Lafayette Parish still without power.

“But it was pretty sad when we were saying ‘goodbye’ during dismissal, and saying ‘be safe, see you soon,’” remembers Principal Connie Fontenot. “Some of them had no idea there was a hurricane coming, didn’t understand why we were saying ‘be safe, see you soon’. It’s usually what we say on a Friday, not on a Wednesday afternoon.”

Classrooms typically full of light - the lightness of students and teachers and the brightness brought on by, yes, electricity. And how has this week been like without those luminary elements?

“I wouldn’t say frustrating,” begins Fontenot, “but it’s been busy. The unknown of the safety of our kids.”

Now get this: Duson Elementary may be without power, but that doesn’t mean Fontenot and her staff has stopped thinking about the minds, hearts and bodies of their students.

That’s because Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. - parents and students will be able to drive through and pick up distance learning packets chockful of math, science and social studies lessons.

“Let the parents know that, with the support of the district, even though we’re not here, we’re still thinking about the health of our students and still thinking about them academically as well,” adds Fontenot.

And from students to staff and back again, there will be no doubt be lots of extended hugs and smiles tomorrow as well.

“We don’t want to wait until next week; ready to get back to work, ready to get back to business and as you said, the virtual hugs and making sure our students are safe,” she smiles.

The bad news? Power to Duson Elementary and the area won’t be restored Wednesday.

The good news? Electricity is expected to be back up and running by Thursday and, worst case, by Friday at the latest.

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