Calcasieu students and parents bundle up for back-to-school; CPSB anticipates no closures

SOURCE: Monica Grimaldo/KPLC
SOURCE: Monica Grimaldo/KPLC

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - The school day started bright and early as Calcasieu Parish schools had their first day of school since winter break.

"We've been out here since 5 o' clock this morning," said Marquita Fontenot, a Calcasieu Parish school bus driver, who was awaiting the beginning of her route at 6 a.m.

Then, it was time to bundle up. Despite the cold, Lake area students still had to go back to school.

"My uncle was telling me "You're going to need a bigger jacket! It's going to be 26 degrees," said a local LaGrange High School student.

Lake Charles resident Debbie Pappillion says she feels for the students that have to ride the bus to school and that it wasn't easy getting her own out of bed.

"It's hard to get them out, you know, to wrap them up with two shirts or sweatshirts or a jacket," said Pappillion. "It's just really cold."

With temperatures in the low 20's, students and parents say it was a rough way to start the day.

"It wasn't too hard, it was just a really cold," said a parent of a Henry Heights Elementary student. "My son didn't want to leave the house. So I put him in his big jacket, put him in some pants and dressed him up warm so he can have a good day."

A school day most parents thought wasn't going to happen. The Calcasieu Parish School Board announced their schools were going to remain open while district officials monitored weather conditions. Since then, Calcasieu schools are set to remain open while district officials monitored weather conditions.

But under what weather conditions do school boards decide on for an official school closing?

The CPSB says they don't have any official temperature numbers to go by to determine official school closings, but they do say they take into account how long the weather conditions last whether hot or cold. They also say they work closely with city and state officials to determine weather conditions. If those conditions appear to be unsafe, that's when the school board shuts schools down.

Until then, it's bundle up and stay warm.

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