Recovery Updates

  • October 19, 2021
    Head Start Reopening Date

    I am pleased to announce that Carver Early Learning Center and East Bank Head Start will reopen on Wednesday, October 20, 2021 for students.

    Bus transportation will be provided but please be patient with bus pick-up times.

    We can't wait to see these students on October 20!

    Thank you. 

    Dr. Ken Oertling
    Superintendent
    St. Charles Parish Public Schools

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    October 11, 2021
    Hurricane Ida Recovery Update #12

    SCPPS Families and Employees,

    As promised in my last message and after today’s review of school campuses, I am able to share an update regarding reopening dates.  Thanks to the dedication, determination, and efforts of our employees and contractors, we will reopen most of our remaining schools this week. 

    Reopening Timeline
    The teachers and school staff of the following schools will return beginning Wednesday, October 13, and students of the following schools will return on Friday, October 15. 

    • Allemands Elementary School
    • Lakewood Elementary School
    • New Sarpy Elementary School
    • Norco Elementary School
    • Harry Hurst Middle School
    • R.K. Smith Middle School

    Satellite Center teachers & staff members report on Wednesday, October 13. However, Satellite Center students return according to the schedule of their home-base school date (see below).

    Due to ongoing necessary repairs, our high school campuses will not be ready to receive students this week. The teachers and school staff of these schools will report beginning Friday, October 15, and students will return according to the dates listed below: 

    • Landry Educational Programs Center students report on Monday, October 18.
    • Hahnville High School students report on Monday, October 18.
    • Destrehan High School students report to HHS on Tuesday, October 19.

    While we remain hopeful that our Head Start centers will reopen this week, federal guidelines require these sites to undergo additional review prior to reopening.  A return date for the teachers, school staff, and students of Carver Early Learning Center and the East Bank Head Start Center will be shared as soon as possible.

    Revised Calendar
    Please review the revised 2021-2022 school year calendar available here. Revisions include:

    • Removal of all early dismissal days
    • Some holidays changed to in-person attendance days
    • Additional in-person attendance days added to the end of the school year.

    Students will also be required to participate in some required assignments while offsite during previously identified holidays.  By making these revisions, we will be able to complete the school year without making any changes to school take-in and dismissal times.  Additional information regarding the dates of grading periods and the high school platoon schedule will be shared by your respective schools. 

    Each day brings us one step closer to a return to normalcy.  While our schools may look different as we continue with the recovery process of returning sites to their pre-storm status, the quality of teaching and learning will not be diminished for the students of St. Charles Parish.  Thank you for your continued understanding, adaptability, and support during this time. We look forward to seeing more of our students this week and next.

    Dr. Ken Oertling
    Superintendent
    St. Charles Parish Public Schools

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    October 8, 2021

    Hurricane Ida Recovery Update #11

    SCPPS Families and Employees,

    There is no better feeling than seeing students in our school buildings. This week saw the return of our phase 1 students, and I am hopeful next week will bring the return of our remaining students into school buildings. Due to work performed around the clock in conjunction with the dedication, determination, and efforts of our employees and contractors, I am excited to share that we are tentatively planning to possibly reopen all remaining schools next week. Schools previously categorized as phase 3 may reopen ahead of schedule with phase 2 schools. Please keep in mind this is subject to change as construction repairs, cleaning, and environmental testing are still ongoing.

    The teachers and school staff of the following schools should prepare for a tentative return on Wednesday, October 13 and Thursday, October 14. These two days will serve as preparation days prior to students returning. As of now, students of the following schools are tentatively scheduled to return on Friday, October 15. 

    • Allemands Elementary School

    • Lakewood Elementary School

    • New Sarpy Elementary School

    • Norco Elementary School

    • Harry Hurst Middle School

    • R.K. Smith Middle School

    • Satellite Center (Only teachers & staff members report on Wednesday, October 13.)
      **At this time, Satellite Center student return will be dependent upon the Hahnville and Destrehan High School student return date (see below). 

    While we remain hopeful that all schools will be able to reopen next week, we are unable to determine a definite report date at this time for the teachers, school staff, and students of the remaining phase 2 and 3 sites. As major repair work continues, we should have a better idea after the weekend regarding a return date for these individuals and will provide you with an update on Monday, October 11 for the following sites:

    • Carver Early Learning Center

    • East Bank Head Start

    • Hahnville High School and Destrehan High School (temporary platoon at HHS)

    • Landry Educational Programs Center

    Thank you for your continued understanding, adaptability, and support during this time. We look forward to seeing all students return soon and will keep you updated.

    Dr. Ken Oertling
    Superintendent
    St. Charles Parish Public Schools

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    October 6, 2021
    Hurricane Ida Recovery Update #10

    SCPPS Families and Employees,

    It was great to see our phase 1 students return today, and we eagerly await the day when we can see all of our students and staff back on campuses. We continue to make progress and work around the clock to prepare our remaining schools for reopening. The work taking place includes demolition, construction repairs, cleaning, and environmental testing. Here is additional information available to share at this time regarding phase 2 and phase 3 schools. 

    Phase 2 Schools

    We are doing everything in our power to reopen schools but must do so in an efficient and safe manner.  As the repair and mitigation process progresses, it has become apparent the phase 2 sites will require additional time to be operationally and environmentally safe. Therefore, phase 2 employees will not report until next week. While our focus continues to be for phase 2 schools to reopen next week, we plan to share a definitive reopening timeline with our employees and families on this Friday, October 8. Phase 2 schools include:

    • Allemands Elementary School
    • Lakewood Elementary School
    • Harry Hurst Middle School
    • R.K. Smith Middle School
    • Landry Educational Programs Center
    • Satellite Center
    • Destrehan High School (temporary platoon at HHS)
    • Hahnville High School (temporary platoon at HHS)

    Phase 3 Schools

    I am excited to announce we are making significant progress at phase 3 schools and may be able to reopen these sites sooner than originally planned. There is a potential phase 3 sites may reopen as early as next week. More information will be shared on this Friday, October 8 as the status of each site becomes more clearly known. Please be prepared in the event your school’s reopening date is sooner than the week of October 25. Phase 3 schools include:

    • Carver Early Learning Center
    • East Bank Head Start Center
    • New Sarpy Elementary School
    • Norco Elementary School

    We ask that you pardon our progress and the appearance of some sites as permanent repairs continue throughout the school year. While our school sites and buildings may look a little different due to repair work, we remain committed to reopening in an efficient and safe way. Thank you for your understanding, adaptability, and continued support in making in-person learning a priority for all students. You and I...We are St. Charles Parish Public Schools.

    Dr. Ken Oertling
    Superintendent
    St. Charles Parish Public Schools

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    October 1, 2021
    Hurricane Ida Recovery Update #9


    SCPPS Families and Employees,

    It has been more than a month since Hurricane Ida devastated our area. We continue to make progress as a school system and community. The work being done by our employees and contractors to prepare schools for reopening is truly remarkable. I am so appreciative of the efforts by all to help us in our recovery efforts. Next week we will welcome back our first group of students, and I can’t wait until we are able to see all of our students and employees again soon.

    As we get closer and closer to reopening our schools, I wanted to share additional information with you. 

    Tentative Reopening Timelines
    As previously communicated, phase 1 teachers and school staff will report on Monday, October 4 and Tuesday, October 5. Phase 1 schools will welcome students back on Wednesday, October 6.

    PHASE 1:
    Teachers and school staff members report to work October 4-5, 2021, and students return to school Wednesday, October 6, 2021.

    • Ethel Schoeffner Elementary School
    • Luling Elementary School
    • Mimosa Park Elementary School
    • R.J. Vial Elementary School
    • St. Rose Elementary School
    • Albert Cammon Middle School
    • J.B. Martin Middle School 

    As of right now, our tentative reopening timelines for phases 2 and 3 remain the same as previously shared. 

    PHASE 2:
    Teachers and school staff members report to work October 7-8, 2021, and students return to school the week of October 11, 2021.

    • Allemands Elementary School
    • Lakewood Elementary School
    • Harry Hurst Middle School
    • R.K. Smith Middle School
    • Landry Educational Programs Center
    • Satellite Center
    • Destrehan High School (platoon at HHS)
    • Hahnville High School (platoon at HHS)

    PHASE 3:

    Teachers and school staff members report to work October 21-22, 2021, and students return to school the week of October 25, 2021.

    • Carver Early Learning Center
    • East Bank Head Start Center
    • New Sarpy Elementary School
    • Norco Elementary School

    There are many unforeseen challenges regarding various aspects of reestablishing full school operations which may make it necessary to modify previously released reopening timelines. This includes reopening timelines for all three phases. Although this is not expected, please be flexible in the event that these reopening timelines do have to be modified. While we are trying everything within our power to open schools, we also want to be transparent and honest with our families and employees.

    School bell times and schedules remain the same. Take-in and dismissal times for 2021-2022 can be found on the website at: https://www.stcharles.k12.la.us/domain/534.

    Calendar Update
    As mentioned in Wednesday’s update, a revised 21-22 school year calendar will be released once all schools are back in session. For your planning purposes, we wanted to share some additional revisions that have been determined at this time:

    • All previously scheduled early dismissal days, including those for parent teacher conferences, have been eliminated. 
    • Weather Make-Up Days/Fall Break Holiday scheduled for November 1 and 2 will now be required student attendance days and employee workdays. 
    • Two required asynchronous learning days (self-paced learning tasks on your own time) have been added to Thanksgiving week on Monday, November 22 and Tuesday, November 23. 

    Transportation
    The Transportation Department has been preparing for the return of students and has made adjustments to accommodate the varying needs of families. Bus operators have been completing mock runs this week to drive their routes and note any road accessibility issues. There will be increased traffic on the roadways, and school zones will be activated. We ask for your patience, understanding, and flexibility as our buses start rolling next week and as bus operators determine the safest pick-up locations for phase 1 students. 

    Below are some important items to note regarding transportation: 

    • If you are now living in an area outside of your child’s original attendance zone and want your child to attend his/her pre-storm school, you will have to provide your own transportation. Buses are only able to transport students who are living in the attendance zone that is in the designed area of the school.
      Ex: Pre-storm lived in St. Rose and now lives in Luling. If you want your child to go to St. Rose Elementary, you will have to bring your child to and from school since the bus cannot pick up in Luling and travel to St. Rose Elementary.
    • Phase 1 students should go to the nearest bus stop. If your prior bus stop is not accessible due to debris, please stand as close to that location as possible.  
    • Bus stops may change due to impassable roads and debris. Bus operators will be able to inform parents of bus stop adjustments after the first couple of days of reopening.
    • If your child is riding the bus for the first time or from a different address, please provide the bus operator with the student’s information: full name, pick-up and drop-off address, and parent’s phone number.
    • An armband indicating the number of the bus to board in the afternoon will be given to each student. Please make sure your child wears this band for the first few days of school.

    Child Nutrition
    October breakfast and lunch menus have been finalized and are now available on the district’s website under the Child Nutrition Department’s webpage: https://www.stcharles.k12.la.us/site/default.aspx?PageID=725.

    Please keep in mind that menus are likely to change based upon staffing, nationwide supply chain shortages, and availability of food products.  

    Student Dress Code
    As we resume our core business of teaching and learning, we will work in collaboration with families to remove barriers that prevent a student from attending school. We recognize our families are experiencing hardships, and students who are new to the district and/or those who experienced substantial loss may be unable to meet the Student Dress Code as stated in the Student Code of Conduct on pages 8-9: https://www.stcharles.k12.la.us/Page/655

    Dress code includes:

    • white collared shirt
    • colored uniform collared shirt or official school spirit shirt of the school 
    • navy or khaki pants/shorts/skirts/jumpers

    If a student is unable to meet the dress code listed above, a grace period of 10 school days will be provided to allow time for securing the appropriate school attire. During this interim period, students will be allowed to wear the colored uniform collared shirt or official school spirit shirt of the prior school or other non-prohibited, school-appropriate attire listed in the guidelines to Dress for Success on page 9 of the Student Code of Conduct: https://www.stcharles.k12.la.us/Page/655.

    Please email the school’s counselor or administrator if uniform assistance is needed.   

    Before and After Care Information
    Before and After School Child Care (BASCC) program sites will reopen in accordance with the phased reopening timelines identified above. BASCC services will remain in place for Pre-K 4 through 5th grade students who were enrolled in the program prior to Hurricane Ida.

    BASCC enrollment availability for additional families seeking to enroll post-storm is being determined for each site. BASCC sites which are able to accommodate additional enrollments will contact families and provide enrollment guidance. Any additional availability will be limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Current CDC guidelines and staffing continue to be taken into consideration when determining the number of available enrollment spots at each BASCC site. 

    For additional information or if you have questions, please email BASCC@stcharles.k12.la.us

    Damaged Technology Devices
    If your child’s district-provided Chromebook or laptop was damaged during the storm, please bring the damaged device to the School Board Office located at 13855 River Road in Luling from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday to be assessed. If you have any questions, please call the Technology Helpdesk at (985) 785-3126.

    Student Medications
    In compliance with the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy and U.S. Pharmacopeia guidance, student medications that were stored in our school buildings during Hurricane Ida must be discarded and replaced. Each school nurse will provide a form for parents/guardians to complete when bringing in replacement medication(s). This applies to all forms of medications including but not limited to oral, liquid, creams, insulin, and emergency medications (i.e. inhalers, Epi-Pen, Glucagon).

    Please contact the school nurse via email for any questions or concerns and to schedule medication sign-in.

    Face Coverings
    The Governor’s statewide mask mandate order remains in place. All employees and students are required to wear a mask indoors while on school system properties.

    Potential Power Outages
    While power has been restored at all of our phase 1 schools, it is important to note that Entergy continues to address power issues throughout the parish. Temporary power outages while this work continues remains a possibility.  

    Progress of Schools and Sites
    We are working diligently to prepare our schools and sites for the phased return of students and employees. We ask that you pardon our progress and appearance at some sites as permanent repairs continue throughout the school year.

    Opening our schools provides a sense of normalcy for all of us, and we appreciate your continued patience and support. I can’t wait to see our students and employees return this month!

    Dr. Ken Oertling
    Superintendent
    St. Charles Parish Public Schools

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    September 29, 2021

    Hurricane Ida Recovery Update #8

    SCPPS Families and Employees,

    As previously shared, phase 1 schools are tentatively set to reopen the week of October 4. There has been significant progress made at all of our schools. This is a very involved process to ensure schools are reopened in a timely and operationally safe way for students and employees. At this time, we are prepared to provide a more specific return date for phase 1 students and employees.

    Phase 1 teachers and school staff will report to their sites on Monday, October 4 and Tuesday, October 5. These are two preparation days prior to students returning on Wednesday, October 6.

    Phase 1 schools will welcome students back on Wednesday, October 6.

    PHASE 1:
    Teachers and school staff members report to work October 4-5, 2021, and students return to school Wednesday, October 6, 2021.

    • Ethel Schoeffner Elementary School
    • Luling Elementary School
    • Mimosa Park Elementary School
    • R.J. Vial Elementary School
    • St. Rose Elementary School
    • Albert Cammon Middle School
    • J.B. Martin Middle School

    As of right now, our tentative reopening timelines for phases 2 and 3 remain the same as indicated below.

    PHASE 2:
    Teachers and school staff members report to work October 7-8, 2021, and students return to school the week of October 11, 2021.

    • Allemands Elementary School
    • Lakewood Elementary School
    • Harry Hurst Middle School
    • R.K. Smith Middle School
    • Landry Educational Programs Center
    • Satellite Center
    • Destrehan High School (platoon at HHS)
    • Hahnville High School (platoon at HHS)

    PHASE 3:
    Teachers and school staff members report to work October 21-22, 2021, and students return to school the week of October 25, 2021.

    • Carver Early Learning Center
    • East Bank Head Start Center
    • New Sarpy Elementary School
    • Norco Elementary School

    There are many unforeseen challenges regarding various aspects of reestablishing full school operations which may make it necessary to modify previously released reopening timelines. This includes reopening timelines for all three phases. Although this is not expected, please be flexible in the event that these reopening timelines do have to be modified. While we are trying everything within our power to open schools, we also want to be transparent and honest with our families and employees.

    School bell times and schedules remain the same. Take-in and dismissal times for 2021-2022 can be found on the website at: https://www.stcharles.k12.la.us/domain/534.

    More detailed information regarding transportation, child nutrition, student dress code flexibilities, etc. will be released by the end of this week.

    A revised 21-22 school year calendar will be released once all schools are back in session. The previous Weather Make-Up Days/Fall Break Holiday scheduled for November 1-2, 2021, will now be required student attendance days and employee workdays.

    We look forward to seeing our phase 1 employees on Monday, October 4 and our phase 1 students on Wednesday, October 6!

    Thank you, and please stay tuned as we continue to keep you updated.

    Dr. Ken Oertling
    Superintendent
    St. Charles Parish Public Schools

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    September 17, 2021

    Hurricane Ida Recovery Update #7

     

    SCPPS Families and Employees,

    We continue to make great progress towards our recovery efforts. Each day, I am further grateful and amazed at the work taking place and the determination and dedication of our employees and contractors assisting us in our recovery efforts.

    Please know we are moving closer to releasing tentative timelines for reopening schools, as site-specific mitigation and environmental quality restoration plans become more definitive. We plan to share tentative reopening timelines early next week.

    Power Update:

    At this time, electricity has been restored to 14 schools/sites: 

    1. Allemands Elementary
    2. J.B. Martin Middle
    3. Lafon Performing Arts Center
    4. Lakewood Elementary
    5. Luling Elementary
    6. Mimosa Park Elementary
    7. New Sarpy Elementary
    8. Norco Elementary
    9. R.J. Vial Elementary
    10. R.K. Smith Middle
    11. Satellite Center
    12. Schoeffner Elementary
    13. School Board Office (Central Office)
    14. St. Rose Elementary.

    Partial power has been restored to:

    1. Albert Cammon Middle
    2. Hahnville High.

    We continue to communicate with officials regarding missed instructional time and instructional minute requirements as a result of Hurricane Ida. Currently, we do know that a portion of the time missed will have to be recouped. A revised school calendar will be released once finalized and definitive reopening dates have been confirmed. Please rest assured we are trying our best to plan a revised calendar that maximizes instructional time while also being mindful of families’ and employees’ existing personal and previously scheduled plans. Additionally, I would like to reassure high school students and their families that our return plan and calendar will ensure students earn Carnegie units for their scheduled courses this year. Also, elementary, middle, and high school administrative teams and staff members will coordinate efforts and communicate plans for students’ return in the coming weeks after timelines have been communicated.

    Please continue to check our website and social media accounts. While the power of this storm wreaked havoc on so many buildings and homes, it fortified our strength and resolve as a parish and school community. As a system, we cannot heal all the traumatic impacts and emotions so many of you have experienced through the storm and during the past few weeks of recovery, but we offer hope by serving our employees, students, families, and community to the fullest extent possible to fulfill our mission of providing high quality educational opportunities for each and every student. We will get through this together, one day at a time, and I look forward to the day soon when we can see all of our students and employees again.

    Thank you for your continued patience, understanding, and support.

     

    Dr. Ken Oertling
    Superintendent
    St. Charles Parish Public Schools

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    September 15, 2021

    School System Hurricane Ida Recovery Update #6

    SCPPS Families and Employees,

    It has now been 17 days since Hurricane Ida impacted our community. While I know everyone is hoping for a definitive timeline of when we will be able to reopen schools, there are several factors which must be considered and accomplished before setting a possible reopening date. We soon hope to be able to share with you in the coming days a tentative return timeline now that professional environmental testing is underway and recommendations are being provided to the school system by our contracted company. Our onsite employees and contractors are working tirelessly to accomplish mitigation and repair tasks to prepare our school buildings and sites for a safe and healthy return for all students and employees.

    As previously shared, there is more to reopening our schools than just power restoration that must be considered and prepared for:

    • Appropriate repairs at some sites must be complete
    • Buildings environmentally cleared
    • Adequate staffing available
    • Boil water advisory lifted
    • Sewage usage restriction lifted.

    Building systems at each site must be tested and repaired, including but not limited to:

    • Electrical and HVAC systems
    • Phone service
    • Fire alarms
    • Intercoms
    • Cameras
    • Internet network
    • Sprinkler and fire suppression systems.

    Also, please keep in mind that not all schools will reopen at the same time. Schools will open when they are operationally ready and safe. In addition, platooning students may be necessary at certain sites.

    Power Update:

    At this time, electricity has been restored to nine schools/sites: 

    1. J. B. Martin Middle
    2. Lafon Performing Arts Center
    3. Lakewood Elementary
    4. Mimosa Park Elementary
    5. R. J. Vial Elementary
    6. R. K. Smith Middle
    7. Satellite Center
    8. School Board Office (Central Office)
    9. St. Rose Elementary.

    Partial power has been restored to:

    1. Albert Cammon Middle
    2. Hahnville High.

    Since power has been restored to the School Board Office, I am happy to announce the School Board Office will resume regular operations on Monday, September 20, 2021. Our phone lines are operational, and additional Central Office employees will be on site to assist with our planning and recovery efforts.

    In addition to our emergency assessments, repair, restoration work, and surveying of families and employees, other efforts currently underway include:

    • Environmental Testing - The school system has contracted with SRP Environmental LLC, a company specializing in industrial hygiene and environmental monitoring. SRP is mapping moisture and environmental quality while assessing building conditions. Based upon results of these assessments, SRP will provide the school system with a plan to return buildings, materials/equipment, and the environment to pre-storm conditions.  We are committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for anyone entering our buildings.
    • Technology Infrastructure Assessments and Repairs – SCPPS staff members are working to restore technology network and fibers where needed and assessing Wi-Fi and internet servers, routers, and access points.

    Family Survey – Please complete by Friday, September 17.
    As mentioned in an email sent last week, we are asking students’ families to complete a survey so we can collect specific information relative to students’ needs.  The deadline to complete the survey is Friday, September 17, and it is available at https://forms.gle/gTNXe9C7LGLGjckt6. Please complete the survey once for each child who attended a public school in St. Charles Parish prior to Hurricane Ida.

    Recovery Webpage www.stcharles.k12.la.us/HurricaneIda
    A section has been added to the school system’s website which encompasses our recovery efforts and resources.  The section can be found on the website homepage under the Hurricane Ida Recovery tab.

    Information available in the section includes:

    • Running record of school system recovery messages
    • Instructional resources by grade level
      (Please note the activities found within these resources are strictly optional and not required to be completed.)
    • Community recovery resources from federal and local agencies
    • Social/emotional wellness resources from federal and local agencies
    • Frequently asked questions.

    Please continue to check our website and social media accounts. I see progress being made each and every day in our recovery efforts.  With your patience, understanding, and continued support, we will continue our tradition and mission of providing high-quality educational opportunities for every student.

    Thank you.

    Dr. Ken Oertling
    Superintendent
    St. Charles Parish Public Schools

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    September 10, 2021

    School System Hurricane Ida Recovery Update #5

     

    St. Charles Parish Public Schools Families,

    “There is no place like home.”  How many times have you heard of or personally used this quote from The Wizard of Oz?  I know I’ve heard it probably too many times to count, but the quote has taken on a new meaning for us these past few weeks. I, along with many residents, may be here physically in St. Charles Parish, but I know there are still many people who have not been able to return home.  Our students, their families, and employees long to be home and long for a sense of normalcy. Please feel comforted knowing we are making significant progress each day towards making it possible for our students to return to their home away from home, their school.

    Here is the latest update in regards to our recovery progress.

    Recovery Webpage - www.stcharles.k12.la.us/hurricaneida
    A section has been added to the school system’s website which encompasses our recovery efforts and resources.  The section can be found on the website's homepage under the Hurricane Ida Recovery tab or can be accessed directly at www.stcharles.k12.la.us/HurricaneIda

    Information available in the section includes:

    • Running record of school system recovery messages
    • Instructional resources by grade level
      (Please note the activities found within these resources are strictly optional and not required to be completed.)
    • Community recovery resources from federal and local agencies
    • Frequently asked questions in regards to the school system’s recovery from Hurricane Ida, including details for families who wish to withdraw from and subsequently re-enroll in St. Charles Parish Public Schools

    Family Survey - Please complete by September 17
    As mentioned in an email sent earlier this week, we are asking students’ families to complete a survey so we can collect specific information relative to students’ needs.  This survey is available at https://forms.gle/gTNXe9C7LGLGjckt6 until September 17.  Please complete the survey once for each child who attended a public school in St. Charles Parish prior to Hurricane Ida.  In other words, if you have three children enrolled in school, please complete the survey three separate times. Please complete the survey by September 17 so we may make plans accordingly.

    Thank you for your continued thoughts, prayers, and inquiries into the status of St. Charles Parish Public Schools.  I am humbled by the positivity and gratitude reflected in your comments on our social media posts and the overwhelming support we have received. It lifts the spirits of those working to repair and prepare our schools for reopening.  The community of St. Charles Parish is like no other, and I am proud to call it home!


    Dr. Ken Oertling
    Superintendent
    St. Charles Parish Public Schools

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    September 8, 2021

    Hurricane Ida Recovery Update #4

    Families and employees of St. Charles Parish Public Schools,

    Ten days…It has been ten days since Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana. We miss our students, and we miss our employees. Our recovery efforts are focused on getting schools operational as quickly as possible to allow for a return to in-person learning. Studies have shown time and again that there is no substitute equivalent to in-person learning.

    Reopening of Schools

    Schools cannot reopen until permanent power is restored, necessary repairs made, and appropriate staffing secured. 

    • Once power is restored, additional assessments/repairs of systems (such as electrical, air, technology, etc.) will be made prior to reopening.
    • Not all schools will reopen at the same time. Schools will reopen when operationally ready and safe.
    • Most sites may reopen within 2 weeks after power is restored if previously stated conditions are met. Some sites may take longer.
    • Platooning students may be an option for sites which are not operationally ready. Platooning consists of scheduling students to share sites by either time of day or assigned days, affording in-person learning for all students. If platooning is utilized, schedules may be revised. 

    Options for Students During School Closure

    At this time, the Louisiana Department of Education has not waived any attendance requirements. Therefore, the school year calendar will be revised to provide a complete year of teaching and learning for the 2021-2022 school year. Parents are encouraged to determine what is in the best interests of their child(ren) and family in regards to what their child(ren) should be doing during this closure. Depending upon your child’s age, needs, and Internet availability, there are several options available:

    • work directly with your child on academic skills through resources provided by SCPPS (to be released soon).
    • register in another school system in which you are currently residing.
    • register in an accredited Louisiana virtual school such as Louisiana Virtual Charter Academy (http://lavca.k12.com) or Louisiana Connections Academy (http://www.connectionsacademy.com).
    • register in a home study program (information available at louisianabelieves.com/schools/home-study).

    Please note that if your child registers with a school outside of St. Charles Parish Public Schools, the child will be considered withdrawn from SCPPS and will need to re-enroll upon return to St. Charles Parish Public Schools. 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    A document containing Frequently Asked Questions and Answers has been developed and will continue to be updated throughout the school closure. The document is available on the website.

    Recovery Resources

    While our mission is to provide high-quality educational opportunities, we realize students and employees cannot engage in traditional teaching and learning without their basic needs being met.  In an effort to understand the needs of our students’ families, a survey will be sent to all families on Friday to collect specific information relative to your needs, and a similar survey was sent to all employees earlier today in regards to their needs as well.  Additionally, we have compiled a list of federal and local resources for families and employees to aid in the recovery process. The document is available on the website. 

    Ten days…For ten days, our SCPPS hurricane response employees and hired contractors have been on site, 24 hours per day, seven days per week, doing the necessary work to move us toward the day when we can all be together again.  That day is coming.  Until that day, we will continue to keep you updated via our Blackboard Connect messaging system, the school system’s website, and social media pages.  You and I…We are St. Charles Parish Public Schools.

    Dr. Ken Oertling
    Superintendent
    St. Charles Parish Public Schools

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    September 3, 2021

    Hurricane Ida Recovery Update #3

    Good evening families of St. Charles Parish Public Schools,

    As mentioned in my last update, our schools have experienced substantial damage as a result of Hurricane Ida.  I know that many of you have also experienced significant personal loss – loss of your home, possessions, money, and plans.  The thought of the traumatic impact this is placing on our students, their families, and employees keeps me restless at night, and we are determined to take the steps needed to reopen schools as soon as they are ready to do so.

    We have completed an initial internal assessment of damage sustained to our facilities and secured drone aerial footage in order to prioritize allocation of resources.  It has been only five days since Hurricane Ida, and we have made significant progress towards returning our facilities to an operational condition including:

    • removal of standing water from school buildings,
    • completion of temporary repairs to secure any exposed areas of buildings,
    • gathering of debris at sites in central locations for easy removal, and
    • engineering assessment of rooftops.

    We are moving forward quickly to return schools to an operational state. I appreciate the work of all those on and off site during this time – especially our Hurricane Preparedness and Recovery teams who have put in extraordinary work and hours to make sure our school system is in a position to respond to our needs and recover appropriately.  To guide our next steps, we have secured additional professional disaster management services to support our efforts.  Their teams and insurance adjustors will conduct their assessments at sites next week.  Once these steps are complete, we will focus our efforts on tentative return options and timelines. 

    We will continue to provide regular updates via our social media platforms and the Blackboard Connect messaging system.

    Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and inquiries in regards to the status of our school system.  We will get through this together, one day at a time, because You and I…We Are St. Charles Parish Public Schools.

    Dr. Ken Oertling
    Superintendent
    St. Charles Parish Public Schools

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    September 1, 2021

    Hurricane Ida Recovery Update #2

    Good afternoon. First and foremost, I would like to thank President Jewell and his staff, Sheriff Champagne and his staff, elected officials, and all coordinating agencies and organizations pulling together to restore our community.

    Our dedicated onsite staff and contracted services are currently working to restore our schools. We recognize our school system not only provides students a high-quality education but also essential support for their wellbeing and growth such as food, health care, social-emotional support, counseling and physical activities. Our schools serve parents by providing care services throughout the day so they in turn may work and provide for their families. Reopening schools is a priority/focus for our community and stakeholders.

    Like most of our residents and families, we experienced a significant blow from Hurricane Ida that has left some buildings inoperable. We are currently assessing all buildings and sites for damages and structural integrity so we can prioritize the allocation of resources appropriately. Thus far, without fully assessing, I would estimate that all buildings received some sort of damage and about a third received significant damage.

    Our emergency contracted services have been activated and are currently onsite conducting emergency recovery work.

    Aside from the damage to our sites, we are most concerned for the wellbeing and care of our employees, their families, and residences as well as our 9800 students, their families, and all residents in our beloved community. We had preliminarily identified where our employees evacuated to and have begun surveying them to identify their current needs. We care deeply for their wellbeing.  

    I cannot currently estimate the time of return until we can fully assess and map out a plan for recovery. I know that our community, government officials, business and industry partners, and state and federal entities want to see us return in a timely manner…but it will take time. We will do everything within our means to return when safe to do so while also recognizing that it may look a little bit differently at some sites. I ask our parents for grace, patience, flexibility, and understanding as we work towards that goal.

    I am asking for all residents to please stay away from school grounds and buildings as our personnel and emergency contractors have already begun some of the necessary work to restore our schools to an operable level. Additionally, our grounds are being used by many entities which are aiding in community and regional recovery efforts.

    We will provide regular updates via our social media platforms and Blackboard Connect messaging system.

    Finally, I cannot thank everyone enough in our parish, state, and even those outside of our state who are pulling together to support our efforts and the efforts of our community. We know it will be a long road to recovery, but we will use this opportunity to come together as we always do – because You and I…We Are St. Charles Parish Public Schools.

    Dr. Ken Oertling
    Superintendent
    St. Charles Parish Public Schools

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    August 30, 2021

    Hurricane Ida Recovery Update #1

    As we begin the road to recovery from Hurricane Ida I hope and pray that all of our students, families, and employees are safe and resiliently weathered the storm. We know that this will be a tough and challenging time as we begin to pick up the pieces, but we will come together as we always do to meet the needs of our students, families, employees, and entire community. We will do so with grace, adaptability, flexibility, and understanding. We will stay SCPPS strong and support each other as we always do.

    Our hurricane team (including maintenance, physical plant services, and transportation employees) is out today conducting assessments of our facilities. This work will continue in the next few days as we evaluate damages and begin temporary repairs. As I am sure you are aware, the entire parish is without power, and there is significant wide-spread wind damage. We will have a more detailed report of damage in the coming days as assessments are completed. Our schools and offices will remain closed until further notice.

    We will keep you updated via Blackboard Connect phone, emails, and text messages. Please also check our social media pages and the website for information. Keep in mind that we are sending out calls, emails and texts as “emergency” messages - meaning all contact numbers you provided to the school system are being contacted. Therefore, friends and family members who may be in other states and/or out of town may also be receiving these messages.

    Please take care of yourselves and one another. We will get through this together and come back even stronger.

    Dr. Ken Oertling
    Superintendent
    St. Charles Parish Public Schools

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    August 29, 2021

    All St. Charles Parish Public Schools and offices will be closed until further notice.  Our hurricane team is in the parish and will be conducting assessments once the hurricane passes.  We will keep you updated via the website, social media and Blackboard Connect.  Please stay safe.

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    August 27, 2021

    Due to Hurricane Ida, St. Charles Parish Public Schools will be closed on Monday, August 30, 2021. This includes all schools, offices, and eLearning. There is no eLearning or virtual learning required as this is a complete closure for Monday. All school and district activities and events, including athletics, are cancelled for this evening (August 27) through Monday, August 30.

    A determination about the status of school beyond Monday, August 30 will be made after assessing the storm’s impact. We will continue to use the Blackboard Connect messaging system to communicate the latest information directly to our families and employees regarding the status of school. Please stay tuned to the district’s website (www.stcharles.k12.la.us) and our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) for the latest information.

    Thank you and stay safe.