LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Good news for two schools in Southwest Louisiana, who after six months of virtual learning and delays, finally had their first day of school in-person.
Both Our Lady Queen of Heaven and Immaculate Conception Cathedral School had their first day today.
Their principals say they’re just happy to have their students back in their classroom. It’s been a long time coming for these students.
“It’s really happening, you know. Seeing the kids come in, in all the little plaid jumpers, and all the big smiles, it’s so uplifting.”
A month of delays says Principal Christi Jarreau of ICCS.
“We were originally coming back August 14, and then we changed that to August 24 and then here we are today, September 24.”
For Our Lady Queen of Heaven, Principal Trevor Donnelly thought it would’ve been longer.
“I drove through the church parking lot and they sustained a lot of damage. I didn’t have a lot of high hopes when I got to campus, but then as I toured and I was able to get into the building, I was amazed because the classrooms looked like we had just left them as we were ready for the first day prior to this storm.”
Both schools suffered minimal damage, so even though there are repairs to be made, they’re glad to be back.
“Our students have been off for six months, that’s almost the equivalent to three summer breaks. We knew it was really vital for our community to get back up and running because our students really need to be in school.”
Superintendent for the Diocese Kimberlee Gazzolo says they’re hoping for all their schools to be back on-campus by mid-October.
“We had decided because our schools had suffered a variety of extensive damage to limited damage, we wanted to make sure that schools were given the opportunity to open on a site by site basis whenever they felt their campuses were ready and they had been cleared through our mitigation processes.”