By Cyndi Sellers
Hurricane Delta added some damage to Cameron Parish schools, but all Cameron Parish PreK-12 students who choose face-to-face learning are able to be on a Cameron Parish school campus as of Thursday of this week.
Johnson Bayou High School PreK-12 students returned to campus on Oct. 21. Hackberry K-5 students began classes at their school Oct. 26, with grade 6-12 students set to return at the end of November or first of December when repairs are complete. However, Hackberry upper grades began attending school in Johnson Bayou on Wednesday, Nov. 4, if they so desired, until their school is ready to fully re-open.
Grand Lake Elementary PreK-6 students began in-person classes on Oct. 26. The Cameron Parish School Board announced on Oct. 22 that SCHS PreK-3 students would meet at GLES with their own teachers beginning Oct. 26. On Oct. 28, the School Board announced that SCHS grades 4-12 would join GLHS 7-12 grades on the Grand Lake campus, beginning this Thursday, Nov. 5. All students are meeting with their respective teachers from their own school, wherever they are located.
School Supt. Charley Lemons says the faculty and staff at GLES/GLHS, SCHS, JBHS and HHS have worked collaboratively to create space for the students from SCHS and HHS that will be attending other schools. “There were a few spaces not being utilized and some creative thinking was needed to make it work for everyone,” he said. “My hat is off to GL, SC, HB, and JB administrators for working together to get these students back face to face with their teachers.”
Lemons says the administration has contacted all students returning to face-to-face classes and surveyed their transportation needs. Arrangements have been made for a bus to pick up students not only in Cameron Parish but also outside the Parish, in a centralized location if needed. On the west side, a bus began running from Hackberry to Johnson Bayou beginning Nov. 4 for those upper grade students who prefer face-to-face instruction to the virtual option. Another bus is running from Kinder to Grand Lake.
The virtual education option is still available for those too far away or those choosing to stay home because of Covid-19. All virtual students have the option to pick up meals for the week on Thursdays. Parents need to contact the school cafeteria manager ahead of time, however.
Plans are to return students to the SCHS campus as early as Dec. 1. The classroom section of the building was undamaged inside, but the front stairs and ramp were demolished by Hurricane Laura. The architect is presenting temporary replacement plans to the state Fire Marshal for approval. If approved, construction would take approximately three weeks from the start date. The back stairwells are intact, and the elevator is being repaired.
Parents should continue to follow the Cameron Parish School System Facebook page for updates or contact their respective school administrators for details.