In an emergency meeting Wednesday night, because of pending flooding conditions, the board decided to end schools Tuesday instead of Thursday. The four half days for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will be condensed down to just Monday and Tuesday.
For students taking finals, it means all seven finals will be given in just three days. A final was given on Friday and then three more will be given Monday and three more Tuesday.
School Board President Van Kojis said the central office met with Office of Emergency Preparedness Director Anzell Jones to discuss the flooding. The main reason for closing schools early is bus routes that may become impassable and families moving to get out of the flood.
There is already one bus route closed. The Simmesport-Bordelonville Road was closed Wednesday after water began overtopping the Bayou des Glaises bridge in Simmesport. Other bus routes in the eastern part of the parish will probaly be closed later this week.
Another issue that concerned the board was families trying to move their belongings. School officials are worried that families may not send the children to take the finals over the four-day period.
Principals said, during the meeting, they are getting phone calls from parents saying it would be hard to send their children to school if they are having to move.
“There is also a concern about Riverside Elementary in Simmesport,” School Superintendent Dwayne Lemoine said. “The school is located right next to the levee and the school could be surrounded by several feet of water and only protected by the levee. I’m confident the levee will hold but there will be seepage of water under the levee.”