Ascension Public Schools announces new start date as parents still face impact of Hurricane Ida

Local News

"Kids don't have a voice. We are the only ones who can speak for them."

ASCENSION PARISH, La. (BRPROUD) — Ascension Parish students will be back on Sept. 9. This comes as parents continue to deal with the effects of Hurricane Ida.

Some say it’s too soon.

“Because everybody didn’t suffer the same. There are people like myself who didn’t have any problems. And there’s versus the people that have trees on top of their houses,” said parent Ramona Broadway.

Student Ta’leighya Broadway said this storm has had a lasting impact on families and classmates.

“My friends didn’t have lights. I don’t think they still do. They had to go to Texas and Mississippi for lights. Some had to sleep in hotels,” she said.

Although they were spared the brunt of the storm. Other areas of the parish, like Donaldsonville, suffered worse conditions.

“We rode around various parts of the parish. There was extensive storm damage and these areas were being recovered,” said Ascension Parish resident, parent and local educator Cherilyn Andrews.

She said disaster relief efforts were slow to kit these areas.

Andrews also said they are not ready for school to start again.

“Parents are not ready, I can tell you that I know I wasn’t ready. The fact that we didn’t have power in the area, although it would have been an issue for me to bring him to school. The question is, how would he have gotten home? Because he can’t stay in her house by himself,” she explained.

She said things like clean uniforms, power, and damaged homes can impact students’ focus.

“Kids don’t have a voice. We are the only ones who can speak for them. And I’m advocating as a parent and as an educator. It’s just not safe right now, it’s just not conducive to learning,” said Andrews.

Ascension Public Schools Superintendent David Alexander said in a statement:

The relaxed dress code and one-hour delayed start will be in effect both Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, and Friday, Sept. 10, 2021. Schools will dismiss at normal times. This is to address barriers voiced by our community regarding access to washing clothes and navigating streets with potential debris during daylight hours.

We want to open where we can and begin providing services for our nearly 24,000 students. Where we cannot open, we want to be as innovative as possible to provide learning opportunities. A drive-thru pickup of hot meals for children ages 0-18 will be available on Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at both Donaldsonville Primary and Sorrento Primary schools.

Our school leaders will send out detailed information this evening about specific arrival times, relaxed dress code guidelines, and how to contact the school should students have barriers to learning.

They said they don’t think they will have to make significant changes to their school calendar due to Hurricane Ida.

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