By Heidi R. Kinchen
Florida Parishes bureau
September 18, 2012
Despite extensive flooding in southern Livingston Parish and wind damage in St. Helena Parish, parishwide school attendance numbers for both districts are about average following Hurricane Isaac, school officials said Wednesday.
About 95 percent, or 24,998 students, returned to classes Tuesday in Livingston Parish, compared with an average daily attendance rate ranging from 94 percent to 97 percent, Supervisor of Attendance and Child Welfare Ed Foster said.
“Attendance was a little lower on the south end, but overall, we were about average,” Foster said.
Students unable to attend classes due to flooding or other storm damage will be excused, Superintendent Bill Spear said.
Overall, Livingston’s campuses sustained relatively minor damage, Spear said.
Isaac tore down covered walkways at Doyle and Albany high schools, and there were minor leaks “here and there” on multiple campuses, Spear said.
“But probably the most damage was at Maurepas, where they had a couple inches of water in the pre-kindergarten building,” he said.
High water on the south end also forced the district to provide bottled water — three bottles per student — to Springfield, French Settlement and Maurepas schools, due to the state Department of Health and Hospitals’ declaration that those areas had unsafe drinking water, Spear said.
The boil orders in those areas have since been lifted, Spear said.
St. Helena Parish schools also fared relatively well during the storm, with only one incident of flooding at the district’s agriculture building, Superintendent Kelli Joseph said.
“We had some wind damage to some awnings around the schools, and the power had been out for a little while, but it was very minor stuff, nothing that would affect safety,” Joseph said.
Attendance Tuesday and Wednesday was at normal levels, Joseph said.