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Superintendent's Message to Ruppel Academy Families: September 27

Dear Ruppel Academy Families,

As Louisianans, we know how to take care of each other in times of crisis. We’re seeing these examples of love and support across Jefferson Parish in the wake of Hurricane Ida. We wanted to inform you of updates we are making to the Ruppel Academy facility that will allow us to support some of our children and educators in other Jefferson Parish schools.

As you may be aware, a town hall meeting was held this evening with Ray St. Pierre Academy employees and families to help establish a clear path forward for teaching and learning as their current building remains closed indefinitely. I’d like to take this opportunity to share with you the information that was discussed, as these plans are likely to have an indirect effect on you as well.

Hurricane Ida’s catastrophic flood winds and flood waters reached record levels in Jefferson Parish. The substantial damages that occurred at the St. Pierre campus caused environmental concerns. As a result, the building is currently not safe for learning.

Starting in early October, Ruppel Academy will begin to temporarily share its campus with St. Pierre students and employees. Ruppel Academy and St. Pierre will continue to operate as two seperate schools from the Ruppel Academy campus. The schools will operate from their own sections of the facility and with their current teachers and classes.

This will not impact Ruppel Academy start times, transportation, classes, lunch, recess, or other aspects of the normal school day. Students will keep their same classmates, teachers, support staff, and administrators.

These arrangements are what we deem as a temporary solution based on the long-term status of St. Pierre campus. As previously mentioned, we recognize that efforts to maintain structure and stability are imperative for our children's growth and learning, and this plan allows us to support that initiative.

As we continue to rebuild our community and support one another, I ask you to continue to do so with an empathetic and gracious frame of mind. Making any sort of adjustment can be an act of service. Our St. Pierre extended family is facing abrupt and difficult challenges under what is an already adverse circumstance. They need our thoughts, prayers and most importantly, our support.

We know that reopening schools has its challenges, and fluctuating circumstances can cause well-organized plans to change. However, maintaining an open dialogue with you is key to our restoration and recovery efforts throughout this difficult time. I look forward to moving forward together to meet the needs of both our students and our community.

Dr. James Gray