Schools see few weather-related problems

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 1, 2014

Last week’s winter weather caused closures in the local schools but did little damage overall.

Assistant Superintendent Richard Kennedy said the Washington Parish School System fared well and experienced few problems during the cold weather.

He said all schools took the proper precautions, including leaving the water running and setting heating systems at the proper temperature.

Students were out last Friday due to freezing conditions, and school resumed Monday. Frozen precipitation and the hazardous road conditions that followed caused the closure of schools on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Kennedy said three emergency days were built into the school calendar, so one day will have to be made up. The system is working on a plan to make up that time, most likely involving adding minutes to the school days.

Franklinton High and Franklinton Elementary students had an extra day out Friday due to a problem with a booster pump that supplies water to the two schools.

Franklinton Public Works crews have repaired the pump, which is on the town water system, and Kennedy said the water was turned on that day around 8 a.m.

Friday was a staff development day for employees at those two schools, and Kennedy said students will return Monday.

He said parents and staff members were understanding about the closure. They were notified through a phone messenger announcement sent out to all students in the parish Thursday afternoon.

No other school in the system saw damage, according to Kennedy.

There were also no major issues at any of the Bogalusa City School System facilities, other than a problem with the heating system at Bogalusa High, which was resolved.

Child Welfare and Attendance Supervisor Phlesher Mingo said while Bogalusa students were out of school the previous Friday and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday last week due to weather, no make-up days will be needed. She said the system built extra minutes into the daily schedule, and school could have been out up to seven days before students would need to make up time.

Mingo said those minutes were added in case of any emergencies, with the system trying to think ahead.

Bowling Green, Ben’s Ford and Northshore Charter School made it through with no damage, but Annunciation Catholic School experienced a problem with its pipes.

Principal Veda Matthews said two pipes burst in the cafeteria ceiling Thursday at 10 a.m. City of Bogalusa crews came quickly to turn the water off to the building, and she said the school had made the needed repairs by that afternoon.

The cafeteria was in operation when classes resumed Friday, she said.