Some St. John students return to school Monday

Fox 8 News received this news release Saturday morning from the St. John the Baptist Parish Public School District:

September 15, 2012

RESERVE, La.  – Some 650 students from Lake Pontchartrain Elementary, which was flooded by Hurricane Isaac, will return to school on Monday, Sept. 17, but not to their home campus. They will be distributed among six campuses throughout the district.

The distribution of Lake Pontchartrain Elementary students will be as follows:

  • Head Start/LA-4/Pre-K – St. John Child Development Center in Garyville, La.
  • Kindergarten – East St. John Elementary in Reserve, La.
  • Grades 1-2 – Garyville/Mt. Airy Magnet in Garyville, La.
  • Grades 3-4 – Fifth Ward Elementary in Reserve, La.
  • Grade 5 – LaPlace Elementary in LaPlace, La.
  • Grades 6-8 – St. John Adult Education Center in Garyville, La.

Superintendent Herbert Smith said bus routes have been adjusted to manage the distribution of students throughout the district.  He said buses for the Lake Pontchartrain Elementary students will have a light blue LPE sign posted in their windows, and they have been assigned new temporary numbers, ranging from T-6 to T-10.  Maps of the routes have been posted on the district Facebook page and website.

Those students who are living in the same residences as before Hurricane Isaac will be picked up by the same bus as before the storm. He said every bus picking up Lake Pontchartrain Elementary students will pick up all grades, just as before the storm, and all family members living in the same residence will be able to ride the same bus.  Students should report to the street corner closest to their residence by 7 a.m. on Monday (Sept. 17) for bus pickup. 

Meanwhile, the 1,400 students from East St. John High School will remain out until Sept. 24, at which time, the students in grades 10-12 will report to the Leon Godchaux campus in Reserve, and the ninth graders will return to the ESJH Freshman Academy, which escaped the floodwaters that inundated the school's main building.

"We have been working hard to prepare our campuses for the extra students, and to re-route our bus routes to accommodate these changes.  We know the transition may be challenging, but we want to ensure our parents that we have the capacity to continue to educate all of our students within the district, and we are working hard to accommodate everyone," Smith said.

Smith noted that most of the district's campuses re-opened on Sept. 10 following the hurricane and ensuing flooding.  However, the re-opening of the St. John Child Development Center and East St. John Elementary Pre-K campuses have also been delayed until Monday (Sept. 17), to allow the district to complete additional licensing procedures required by the federal government because of the change in enrollments due to the hurricane. 

Smith said district officials have worked hard over the past week to update the students' registration information, address, and contact numbers for East St. John High School and Lake Pontchartrain Elementary.  He encouraged parents to contact the central office if they have not updated their information with the district.

He also encouraged parents, students and employees to monitor the district's website at, the district's Facebook page at, and other media outlets to receive updates.  He also said the district is sending out updates via its Connect Ed phone system. Specific questions about bus routes can be directed to the district's transportation department, which can be reached at 985-536-7790.