Mercedes Schneider, a long-time public school teacher and native of Louisiana, reports that power outages are the main reason Hurricane Ida caused schools in the southeastern part of the state to be “closed until further notice.”
“When COVID hit, it seemed that much of American ed, our district included, viewed online learning delivered via laptop as the solution,” she writes on her blog. “Remote education is heavily dependent upon infrastructure that can be destroyed in a moment by the likes of Ida—electricity is the biggie … wireless a near second.”
Residents in St Charles Parish, which bore the brunt of Ida’s wrath, could be without power for another five weeks, The Times Picayune/Advocate reported.
“All customers can expect to be restored between Sept. 23 and Oct 7,” the paper quoted parish Spokeswoman Samantha de Castro as saying Saturday, based on conversations with Entergy officials. “Some people might get it sooner, but 90 percent of the parish should have power within that time frame.”
Jefferson Parish Public Schools, Louisiana’s largest district with about 50,000 students, announced on its website that schools would not reopen during the week of September 6, as school officials continue to assess the damage.
“We will rebuild, recover, and reopen as soon as possible,” school officials wrote. “Stay safe and take care of the loved ones in your life. We will provide additional updates starting early next week. This is a full closure. Remote learning will not take place.”
That “taking care of loved ones” is a problem-solving strategy that Ms Schneider notes as well.
“There sure is a lot of creative problem solving happening and loads of neighborly kindness,” she writes. “Living through difficult situations is its own education. Seems like that ought to go without saying.”