Louisiana Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness | FEMA



September 11, 2008

Department of Education News Update

Department of Education Releases List of School District Closings Due To Hurricane Ike

BATON ROUGE -- The Louisiana Department of Education released today a list of local school districts that have announced closings in preparation for Hurricane Ike.

School districts located in the southwest part of the state are monitoring the advancement of Hurricane Ike and the evacuation status of their parish. Both Calcasieu Parish and Cameron Parish closed schools on Thursday, Sept. 11, and Friday, Sept. 12. Vermilion Parish announced that schools were closed at noon on Thursday and will remain closed through Friday. Eight other Louisiana parishes -- Allen, Beauregard, Iberia, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, St. Martin, St. Mary and Vernon, announced they will not operate schools on Friday. The Louisiana School for the Deaf (LSD), located in Baton Rouge, remains open. However, LSD school officials indicated some residential students were sent home Thursday rather than waiting until Friday, which is the normal weekly routine for transporting students from school.

All of the districts that are closing due to Hurricane Ike had resumed regular operations prior to Wednesday, Sept. 10.

"As Hurricane Ike approaches, we are devoting all of the resources at our disposal to support our local districts, school communities, students and families," said State Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek.

At the same time, Pastorek said, the Department and local school districts will continue contributing to the overall needs of other agencies and the people of Louisiana.

"The Department, school districts and school communities are positioned to share resources under critical circumstances," continued Pastorek. "During Gustav and even in its aftermath, there has been a need for the education community to lend, and in some cases coordinate, buses, facilities, staff support, food services and volunteer support. The logistics and timing of these requests presented our staff and district leaders with some tough obstacles, and I'm extremely proud that they came through when our state was in a tight spot. We're prepared to do what we can again if the need arises. "

The attached list of school district closings is also posted on the department's Web site, www.louisianaschools.net.

For the latest information on Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, visit emergency.louisiana.gov or call the state's emergency hotline at 1-866-288-2484 to listen to a recorded message with the most up-to-date information.