Emergency Closing of Schools

Emergency Closing of Schools




The Superintendent shall be authorized to announce the closing of schools if prevailing or potential hazards threaten the safety and well being of pupils, staff, or school property. The decision to close schools shall be made by the Superintendent after conferring, when administratively feasible, with members of the School Board and other community agencies responsible for the safety and well being of the community.

Public announcements and releases to news media shall be made or approved by the Superintendent or designee. Each Board member shall also be notified of any school closing.

If students have reported to school and an emergency arises during the school day, students may be dismissed early. Such dismissal shall be only by direction of the Superintendent. In the event of dismissal during the school day, all educational and building employees are to continue their work, unless otherwise notified by the Superintendent. The Superintendent’s office will notify news media and other such persons and organizations as necessary of the decision to dismiss early. In cases where students are dismissed early, teachers are expected to supervise all students under their jurisdiction until they have departed from the school campus.


1.When the Office of Emergency Preparedness (OEP) (formerly known as Civil Defense) orders the evacuation of Grand Isle and areas south of the Leeville Bridge (Zone 1)*, the evacuees will report to the Larose Civic Center which will serve as the primary shelter. The Superintendent will immediately coordinate the dismissal of students residing in this zone.

2.When the Office of Emergency Preparedness orders the evacuation of part or all areas south of the Golden Meadow city limits to the Leeville Bridge (Zone 2)*, all Tenth Ward schools shall be closed.

3.When the Office of Emergency Preparedness orders the evacuation of all the Tenth Ward areas north of and including the Town of Golden Meadow (Zones 3, 4, 5)* all

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schools south of and including Raceland Middle School (or as determined by the Superintendent of Schools) shall be closed. The Superintendent will determine the closure of other schools after assessing individual conditions attributed to the existing emergency.

4.The following schools are designated to be used as evacuation shelters as the need arises: Central Lafourche High School and Thibodaux High School.

5.If the Office of Emergency Preparedness allows people to return to the community before noon, all the schools will reopen the following morning. If people cannot return until after noon, the Superintendent will make every effort to relocate refugees still housed in schools and proceed to open those schools located in areas cleared of the emergency needs.

  1. In the event of a catastrophe, closure of schools shall be considered on an individual basis.

7.When the State of Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, through the Office of Emergency Preparedness, orders closure of schools and all activities for the purposes of the flu pandemic, the dispensing sites (Thibodaux High School, Central Lafourche High School, and South Lafourche High School) would be opened only if an emergency event requiring mass vaccination, distribution and/or dispensing of medication or supplies, requiring space outside of state offices, were to occur.

During severe weather or other emergency situations, the Superintendent, after conferring with the Board President, shall have the authority to excuse employees of the Lafourche Parish School System from reporting to work. “Emergency Situation” shall encompass circumstances that would expose school system employees to harmful or unsafe conditions, as determined by the Superintendent.

The Superintendent may provide school system employees with leave with pay for absences from work due to a Declared State of Emergency issued by the Parish President. When a Declaration of Emergency has been issued, because of extreme weather or other specified emergency situations, employees shall not report to work except at the request or approval of the Superintendent. Unless a Declaration of Emergency has been issued, all school system employees are expected to report to work. If the Superintendent officially directs the closure of the school system due to severe weather or other emergency situations, Lafourche Parish 2 of 3



those persons actually scheduled to work during the time period of the declaration shall receive the time off without loss of pay, annual leave, or sick leave. All personnel, including both non-exempt and essential personnel who are otherwise considered exempt employees, who work at the request or approval of the Superintendent during such closure shall receive pay at the rate of time and one-half for those actual hours worked, which shall be considered overtime for purposes of the Stafford Act. Furthermore, upon the declaration of an emergency, all scheduled vacations for designated essential personnel shall be cancelled.

In the event of an emergency and the Office of Emergency Preparedness requests the use of school facilities as evacuation shelters or vaccination centers, it is the policy of the Lafourche Parish School Board that essential employees of the school district shall be required to oversee the management of the facilities. All essential personnel shall be available for duty and necessary services will be maintained. The Superintendent, in conjunction with members of the Supervisory Staff, will identify essential employees by position or title. Inasmuch as such school facilities will be officially closed to normal day-to-day operations when being used as evacuation shelters or vaccination centers, each school board employee working during this time shall be compensated at a rate of one and one-half (1½) times the employee’s regular hourly rate of pay. Thereafter, the school board will make all reasonable efforts to seek reimbursement from all Federal and State agencies responsible for evacuation of the citizenry.

*Evacuation Zones as described in the pamphlet, “Surviving the Storm, A Citizen’s Guide to Emergency Preparedness,” issued by the Offices of Emergency Preparedness for Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes.

Revised: May, 2007

Ref: La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §17:81; Board minutes, 11-5-75, 5-4-83, 8-13-86, 10-7-92,

5-1-02, 5-14-03, 10-5-05, 5-2-07.

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