St. Martin Parish public schools mostly escaped major damage from Hurricane Gustav that thrashed the area on Labor Day. But Supt. Richard Lavergne says officials are now keeping a wary watch on Hurricane Ike that could threaten the Louisiana coast by Friday or Saturday.
The most serious damage from Gustav’s winds was at Parks Primary, where two trees topped over onto school buildings. Laverne said one of the trees caused minor damage to a restroom but the other affected two classrooms. One of the classes has been temporarily relocated to the teachers’ lounge while special needs students from the other were combined with another similar class.
When classes resumed Monday there were some minor problems with the air-conditioning system at Breaux Bridge High and it was necessary to provide bottled water to students at Stephensville Elementary due to problems with the Morgan City water system. Stephensville also suffered some roof damage to a storage area.
Lavergne said there was no loss of lunchroom program food items.
About a dozen school buses were used to assist in the relocation of nursing home residents.
The superintendent says the four days schools were closed will have to be made up. Instructional time is mandated by the legislature, Lavergne explained, and only that body can waive the regulations, which was done for some parishes following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
The most obvious ways to make up for the lost time are to lengthen the school days or reduce the number of school holidays, Lavergne said.
“We really don’t know yet just what Ike might do,” Lavergne added pm Monday. “We could end up having to close the schools on Thursday or Friday if it heads our way.”