Calcasieu schools checked for cold-weather problems - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Calcasieu schools checked for cold-weather problems

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School officials say they've been pro-active when it comes to making sure campuses are ready for Calcasieu students as they return from the snow days.

For ice to melt, the temperature must rise. It's then that school officials can more closely detect problems from the winter weather.

Still, officials said the maintenance staff for the Calcasieu School School System did preventive maintenance ahead of the storm, to help make sure when students return they'll be warm and the plumbing will work properly. 

Spokeswoman Kirby Smith said a contractor monitors the situation.

"We work in conjunction with Johnson Controls, who manages our heater system in the schools," Smith said. "They're working remotely to check those systems at all our locations.

"You know we have nearly 60 locations where students are in schools so we're checking those.  At this time we don't know of any frozen pipes. It's looking pretty good for us that our schools are all in working order as far as the water goes."

While we may not have had a lot of snow and ice, school officials see what happened in Atlanta and are convinced they made the right call to close school.

"Turns out we erred on the side of caution, it was the right thing to do," Smith said. "We cannot have our students stuck on buses. We cannot have our students stuck in the schools.  It's not an option for us.  We have to protect those students and ensure that at the bottom line, their safety is our top priority," Smith said.

Smith said they would be prepared to provide students' basic needs for food and water, still...

"We can keep them comfortable. We can keep them entertained.  Our teachers are good at that.  But we can't provide them a bed. We don't have that," Smith said.

She said a recent study from Harvard shows it's better for students to miss rather than attend school when the there's severe weather.

"Keeps them all in line as far as curriculum when everybody's still on the same page as opposed to putting them in the school where the snow, the ice, the sleet is a distraction," Smith said.

But for now, the ice melts and students, teachers and staff head back to school.

Smith said bad weather days have been built into the school calendar. So the days off for snow will not cause any changes in the school year.

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