The Calcasieu Parish School Board is scheduled to vote on a proposed change to the system’s school calendar Tuesday that, starting Nov. 30, would add 30 more minutes to each school day. Even with those added minutes, a school year interrupted by two hurricanes and an ongoing pandemic wouldn’t end before early June.
“Staff has worked to address the potential learning loss associated with COVID-19 and the hurricanes,” Calcasieu Parish Superintendent Karl Brachhaus said in a letter addressed to the Calcasieu Parish School Board members. Brachhaus said the adjusted schedule was created to “provide our students with the best possible calendar-scenario for student learning needs.”
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 proposed schedule, students would have to attend school on Ash Wednesday and would get Good Friday and the Monday and Tuesday after Easter off but not the whole week after Easter. Break would begin on April 2 and end on April 6 instead of April 9. Those changes and the removal of a teacher training day would mean students would have to attend school on five days they were originally scheduled to have off. The school year would be extended to June 3, 2021.