Ida keeps schools closed, but no damages reported

Staff Report

Hurricane Ida spared Iberville Parish schools from the major damage other areas sustained, but it did not come without disruption to the schedule for the new school year.

Campuses throughout the parish remained closed until after Labor Day. None of the campus sustained major damage, but power outages forced the closure.

Iberville Parish School Superintendent Dr. Arthur Joffrion

“Considering the severe damage we saw in other parishes, we were very lucky,” School Superintendent Dr. Arthur Joffrion said.

The power outages were confined mainly to White Castle and East Iberville schools.

The combination of power outages and transportation issues for both for school personnel – teachers and other staff members -- and bus drivers prompted the decision to close.

“We have teachers who either had damage to their homes or did not have access to gasoline for transportation, and that was also the case for bus drivers,” Joffrion said.

Officials considered opening classes to virtual learning for the week, but that format had its own setbacks.

“Of course, you need electricity and bandwidth, and a lot of the students and teachers did not have that right after the storm, so we really wouldn’t have been able to implement it,” Joffrion said.

The school closures also led to the cancellation of Week 1 football games for the East Iberville, Plaquemine and White Castle, but St. John High managed to hold its season opener Friday night at home against Franklin-based Hanson Memorial at Plaquemine High’s Andrew Green Devil Stadium.

Schools in East Baton Rouge and West Baton Rouge were also set to remain closed until after Labor Day.

Meanwhile, a reopening in Ascension Parish on Tuesday – which sustained considerable damage from Ida – remained uncertain at press time.