Mid-County schools undecided on when to start schools in wake of storm

Published 5:30 pm Thursday, August 27, 2020

The two Mid-County school districts are undecided on how to start school after postponing classes earlier in the week in preparation for Hurricane Laura.

Port Neches-Groves ISD canceled classes Monday, but with the worst of the storm come and gone, district officials are deciding on the best course of action to get children back online and in the classroom.

Superintendent Mike Gonzales said PNG students and parents could expect a statement as soon as all facilities are deemed safe.

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“We will notify our community as soon as we feel our facilities are ready for the return of our students and staff members,” he said. “It’s important to also remember that many families and employees are displaced due to Hurricane Laura. They will need time to return to their homes, assess damages, make repairs and prepare to resume a normal routine — for many that will be easy, for others it may not.”

Gonzales said minor damages were sustained in facilities throughout the district.

“We have some fences down at the baseball and softball fields, some mechanical issues with some air conditioning units and minor water leaks to address,” he said. “We are still evaluating our facilities, but we are thankful the damage wasn’t more severe. We will make an announcement as soon as we can.”

Nederland ISD Superintendent Dr. Stuart Kieschnick said the only building that suffered damage is Hillcrest Elementary.

“For the most part the buildings are OK,” he said. “One elementary, Hillcrest, suffered some roof damage, other than that we have seen no other major damage. We are still assessing, but anything we find now will be pretty minor.”

NISD postponed the original first day of school from Aug. 31 to Sept 2.

At the Aug. 25 board meeting, district administrators noted that the Sept. 2 date was the “earliest start date for students.”

Kieschnick said the district would decide on whether that date still holds or not.

“It will depend on the electricity and return of staff,” he said. “We will make that decision later this weekend.”