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Superintendent's Update: September 28

Dear JP Schools Family,

I visited schools on both sides of the river Friday, and it was uplifting to see kids back in the classroom and hear feedback directly from employees. Teachers and staff at every school I visited commented on how glad they were to be back. Most importantly, I observed students learning in safe, welcoming environments.

Reopening Progress
Last week, we reopened 30 schools. This Friday, we expect to welcome back children at our 42 tier 3 schools. If you need a list of these schools, visit jpschools.org/IdaReopen. When we first presented this plan, we emphasized it could change based on shifts in our contractor’s timeline or due to the discovery of additional damages. Last night, we hosted a town hall for families and employees of Ray St. Pierre Academy. We discovered damages at their campus in Westwego that will keep their school building closed until further notice. Ruppel Academie Francaise and Gretna No. 2 Academy families and employees are welcoming St. Pierre Academy onto their campuses in Gretna. All St. Pierre Academy grades except kindergarten will share a campus with Ruppel Academy. Due to the limited number of available first floor classrooms at Ruppel, St. Pierre Academy’s kindergarten classes will share a campus with Gretna No. 2 Academy.

Donation Drives
Since Hurricane Ida impacted our community, a number of individuals and organizations have expressed interest in supporting our recovery efforts. We are grateful for this outpouring of support for our students, employees, and families. Donation sites have been established on both sides of the river for those who would like to support the recovery efforts of our children and educators. These sites will remain open until October 8. You can learn more at jpschools.org/IdaHelp.

Teachers, support staff, and administrators are more than just appreciative to be back. They are motivated to move our children forward despite these unexpected circumstances. We don’t know every hurdle that will present itself as we recover from a major hurricane in the midst of a global pandemic. What we do know is that while this school year may be challenging, we have the people in place to succeed. Let’s continue to be the champions our kids deserve.

Dr. James Gray