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Superintendent's Message to St. Pierre Academy Families: September 27

Dear St. Pierre Families,

I hope this message finds you well as you continue to make efforts towards your recovery.

This evening we hosted a town hall to update families and employees on the current condition of the Ray St. Pierre Academy campus. This was an opportunity to discuss our plan, share details, and answer any questions that you may have had face-to-face. As promised, I assured you that I would share any information discussed with all St. Pierre employees and families who were unable to attend.

Condition of Ray St. Pierre Campus
Hurricane Ida’s 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.

Nonnegotiables for Ray St. Pierre Employees and Families
First, let me put your mind at ease by addressing what are likely your primary concerns about a temporary campus. We recognize that this is an uncertain time, and there are many moving variables in our lives. Therefore it is critical that we create a sense of stability and structure, particularly within a learning environment. With this in mind, we have a few nonnegotiables we used when creating this plan:

  • We arranged for siblings to attend the same school regardless of their grades in PK-5.
  • Students will maintain their same classmates, teachers, support staff, and administrators.
  • In-person learning will proceed, as we continuously recognize that this is the most effective way to provide the quality education our children deserve.
  • Health and safety will be prioritized. As we continue to navigate this pandemic, we want to ensure all plans to resume in-person learning allow for continued implementation of our COVID-19 mitigation efforts. The health and wellbeing of our students, employees, faculty and staff is our top priority, and our Start Strong Jefferson guidelines will remain in place.
  • Transportation will continue to be provided.

A Clear Path to Learning
From a logistics standpoint, an ideal place for learning during these complex circumstances should allow enough space to service the needs of all our students and allow for implementation of our health and safety protocols. With that in mind, we developed the following plan:

  • St. Pierre Academy will operate its own school using a shared campus with Ruppel Academy Francaise, located at 815 Huey P. Long Avenue in Gretna.
  • St. Pierre and Ruppel students will operate separately on this shared campus. This includes different classes, lunch, and recess.
  • St. Pierre’s and Ruppel Academy’s school day will run from 7:20 - 2:10 PM.
  • Due to the limited number of 1st floor classrooms at Ruppel Academy, two St. Pierre Academy kindergarten classes will share a campus with Gretna No. 2 Academy, located at 701 Amelia Street in Gretna.
  • Students will maintain their same classmates, teachers, support staff and administrators.
  • Before and after-care will be offered.
  • Transportation will be provided.

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.

We know reopening has its challenges, and fluctuating circumstances can cause well-organized plans to change. Continuing an open dialogue with you is key to our restoration and recovery efforts throughout this difficult time. I will continue to provide updates, and appreciate your patience and partnership as we move forward together to meet the needs of both our students and our community.

Dr. James Gray