School districts affected by Hurricanes Laura, Delta revise their academic calendar

Families will have a shortened holiday break in December

Lake Charles after Hurricane Laura
Debris is piled up near Lake Charles City Hall on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020. (Photo by Wes Muller/LA Illuminator).

The Calcasieu and Cameron parish school boards announced updated academic calendars that would extend their school year to make up for time lost due to two hurricanes and an ongoing pandemic.

Students in Cameron Parish will end their school year on May 27 now, while students in Calcasieu Parish will end their school year in early June.

The new calendar “is designed to recover instructional minutes that were lost due to Hurricanes Laura and Delta,” according to a news release from the Cameron Parish School Board.

A Category 4 storm Hurricane Laura struck Southwest Louisiana on Aug. 27 and a Category 2 storm Hurricane Delta struck on Oct. 9, leaving the vast majority of the schools damaged.

In September, Bruchhaus told the Louisiana Senate Education Committee that their plan was to reopen five to seven schools about every week beginning in September, which they have been on track to do. More than two months after Hurricane Laura, a Category 4 storm that heavily damaged 74 Calcasieu Parish public schools, the school board has reopened 66 public schools.

Under the Calcasieu Parish’s revised academic calendar, winter break doesn’t start until Christmas Eve and ends on New Year’s Day 2021. Students would have to attend school on Ash Wednesday and would get Good Friday and the Monday after Easter off but not the whole week after Easter. Break would begin on April 2 and end on April 5 instead of April 9. 

Meanwhile in Cameron Parish’s revised academic calendar, winter break will start on Dec. 23 ends on New Year’s Day 2021, but students will have to attend virtual school on December 28 and 29. Students would have to attend school on Ash Wednesday, but will get Good Friday off and return to school on April 7.