In addition to closure last Friday, St. Paul’s School is closed today and tomorrow due to winter weather conditions, offering students a break from their studies and raising concerns about the possible need for make-up days.
The St. Tammany Parish School Board (STPSB), which SPS follows for all school closure decisions, announced early yesterday the decision to close all public schools. SPS Principal/President Bro. Ray Bulliard, FSC, said that he has faith in the decision making of the STPSB.
“I have no reason to doubt St. Tammany’s decision,” said Bro. Ray.
The weather is expected to stay in the 20’s and 30’s throughout today and tomorrow with a wintery mix of precipitation and snow showers late tonight. The National Weather Service issued the following winter storm warning for all of St. Tammany Parish, from 6:00 a.m. Tuesday until 6:00 a.m. Wednesday:
“A winter storm warning means significant amounts of snow, sleet, and ice are expected or occurring. Strong winds are also possible. This will make travel very hazardous or impossible. Travel across the area is strongly discouraged and should be limited to emergency reasons only through at least Wednesday morning.”
Bro. Ray also strongly encourages students to stay inside and off of the streets. “Stay home. Don’t run the streets, because it’s not safe. Use your time productively: read, study, spend time with your family,” he said.
Students, despite the harsh weather, are excited for the unexpected additional two days off from school.
“I love it,” said Junior Class President Josh Nunez. “It’s just such a blessing. We had MLK day off, then last Friday, and now we have another two days off. Now, I love school, and I love St. Paul’s, but it’s just great having off.”
With the time off, however, most students don’t plan on doing much during the winter storm break. When ask what they were planning on doing over the break, both sophomore Dustin Simoneaux and junior Trey Klechak simply said, “Nothing.”
One question that a lot of students are asking now that they will have accumulated three days off due to the winter weather is, “Will we have to make up school days?” According to Bro. Ray, there’s no definite answer yet.
“So far I can’t answer that. We will have to consult with the Office of Catholic School, the Department of Education, and the state,” Bro. Ray said.
However, Bro. Ray is doing his best to avoid the make-up days that many students fear.
“I’m going to do everything possible to avoid that,” Bro. Ray said.
It’s not often that SPS misses three days of school due to winter weather. In fact, according to Bro. Ray, it hasn’t happened since around the 1980’s.
“I remember an ice storm back in the 80’s where we were out at least three, if not four, days. It was awful,” Bro. Ray said.
All St. Tammany Parish public and private schools are planned to open back up on Thursday, Jan. 30.