Officials with the Webster Parish School Board are asking parents to be patient as children return to school Tuesday morning.
With bus routes rerouted, it may take some extra time to pick up children, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Dan Rawls said. He’s also asking parents to advise their children to be careful and watch for loose pets and high water when walking to the bus.
“We want to make sure they’re safe,” he said. “Please be careful, because we have loose pets that have been driven from their homes. We have creatures that live in the woods that have been driven to the streets, and we want parents to be vigilant with their children.”
Bus routes will begin at their normal time, he says, and busses may be a little late, or they may be a little early depending on the alternate route.
“We told the parents to be patient, because they’ll be late in the afternoon because of the modifications to their routes,” Rawls said. “In many instances, we may have to make more stops, but that is a judgment call for the bus driver. When they get out there, they’re going to see that there’s places they normally stop that they cannot stop.”
The bus drivers will take their personal vehicles and drive the route and the alternate route to make sure they can get to all their stops, Rawls said.
“We think we’ve got it covered,” he said. “We’ll run it tomorrow and if we need to tweak it, we will. As they open the roads, we’ll go back to our regular routes.”
He says the affected areas include those with the current road closures. He highlighted Doyline and Lakeside, saying Lt. Col. Brad Kendall, installation commander at Camp Minden, was gracious in allowing school busses and school employees to travel through the base to get to the schools. Highway 164 is still closed due to high water over the road.
“Col. Kendall has been a tremendous help to us,” Rawls said. “He’s saving us, and we appreciate it and thank him for it. This is an emergency situation, and we thank him very much.”
With Lakeside, Rawls says the back roads will be used to access all the bus stops for those students. He says some areas may be rerouted for a long period of time, depending on the area affected. For instance, with Highway 164 closed between Sibley and Doyline, that route will be affected for months to come.
“We’ll see how it works,” he said.