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Bossier Schools to resume operations March 14

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Bossier Schools will resume classes and a normal schedule Monday, March 14. Here is the formal announcement made Sunday by Superintendent D.C. Machen:

Bossier Parish residents have been under great duress the past week, faced with record-setting rain and flooding that led to thousands evacuating their homes. Those families that have been impacted continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. Though mandatory evacuations across the parish are being lifted, many people remain displaced, while others are beginning the arduous task of cleaning up what nature left behind.

It is our desire at Bossier Schools to help restore normalcy to the lives of our families by resuming classes Monday, March 14. This will enable children and employees to get back into a school routine and allow parents the opportunity to return to work and address the flooding event as it pertains to their personal situation.

We recognize there will be students and employees who may not be able to return to school or work due to being displaced. While students and employees impacted by these uncontrollable circumstances will be given excused absences, it is imperative parents notify their child’s school and keep open communication about the need for their extended absence. It is also critical for employees to personally contact their supervisor, and not depend on the automated absence reporting.

While water is receding in many of our residential areas, Bossier Schools realizes some areas are still fully impacted by flooding. Transportation will, no doubt, be our biggest challenge due to high water and road closures, especially in rural areas.

Our Transportation Department has been working diligently to address the safe transport of children to and from school. Bossier Schools’ Transportation Department will provide  transportation to families staying at the Bossier Civic Center. As for our normal routes, buses will not travel on flooded roadways, nor over bridges that have been underwater and not yet inspected by the Department of Transportation.

We will try to maintain routine bus routes and normal pickup and drop-off schedules as much as possible, but will need parents’ help getting their children to the stops closest to their impacted areas. We cannot stress enough if parents cannot get their child to a bus stop safely, do not try.

Please do not jeopardize your safety by traveling over roads under water or around barricades.

Again, keep communication lines open with your child’s school and we will work through this together.

A second challenge is the loss of families’ belongings. Children may not have the school uniforms, supplies and backpacks they need. Parents, please do not worry about this. Send your children to school and we will assist you in meeting those needs.

This is where we ask for the help and generosity of our public and school families. If you can donate new or gently used uniforms, as well as school supplies and backpacks, we would be most grateful.

Simply drop off donations at any of our schools or contact Bossier Schools’ Public Relations Liaison by email at Sonja.Bailes@BossierSchools.org. Gift cards to stores that sell uniforms would also be appreciated.

In the meantime, Bossier Schools will continue to work closely in the days ahead with the Bossier Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office, Bossier Parish Police Jury, Bossier City, DOTD and emergency responders as roads and bridges reopen and residents can return to their homes. We hope and pray it will be sooner rather than later so normalcy can be restored for all of our Bossier Parish neighbors.

We extend our sincere thanks for your patience, understanding and assistance during this most trying time.