Louisiana Department of Education releases hurricane preparedness playbook for schools

Published 10:45 am Saturday, July 15, 2023

BATON ROUGE – As students and teachers across the state begin to prepare for back to school, the Louisiana Department of Education is launching a new resource to help school systems prepare for the peak of hurricane season. State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley released the LDOE’s first Hurricane Preparedness Playbook during an event today at Lakewood Elementary in Luling.

“Louisiana’s students, families, and educators have shown unwavering resilience in the face of extraordinary adversity,” said Dr. Brumley. “These recommendations will help modernize Louisiana’s education infrastructure and equip school systems with the necessary tools to protect their facilities pre- and post-hurricane.”

The playbook includes best practices and expert guidance to support school system leaders before, during, and after a hurricane. It was developed by the LDOE’s Protect Louisiana Schools Hurricane Preparedness Commission (PLSHPC) and made possible through a partnership with AT&T.

“We have invested in Louisiana communities for more than 140 years. Our employees live and work in communities across the state. We volunteer in classrooms, and we serve on PTAs,” said David J. Aubrey, president, AT&T Louisiana. “We are proud to call Louisiana home, and we are honored to support the work of the Hurricane Preparedness Commission as they continue to strengthen our communities.”

Today’s release was hosted at Lakewood Elementary in St. Charles Parish Public Schools (SCPPS). Every school in SCPPS was impacted by Hurricane Ida, which put 300,000 kids out of school in Central and Southeast Louisiana. Lakewood Elementary’s principal, Kelli Oertling, served as a member of the PLSHPC.

 

About the Hurricane Preparedness Playbook

The playbook includes school and school system best practices for hurricane preparation, mitigation, response, and recovery. It represents the guidance of experts from the private sector, academia, and government.

 

About the Protect Louisiana Schools Hurricane Preparedness Commission

Dr. Brumley created the PLSHPC in 2021 following a period when Louisiana citizens had been catastrophically impacted by six hurricanes — two of which were among the strongest in state history. Prior to the creation of the PLSHPC, the LDOE lacked the type of resources and guidance to protect Louisiana schools. Dr. Brumley launched the Commission to fix that gross oversight. This is Louisiana’s first statewide commission of its kind. Its mission includes three main goals: empower school systems and leaders with the tools to protect their facilities pre and post-hurricane; fortify Louisiana’s core educational infrastructures; build operational best practices for school systems and leaders before, during, and after hurricanes. The following commission members contributed time and knowledge to the creation of the Hurricane Preparedness Playbook:

 

  • Mark Abraham, Louisiana State Senator, District 25
  • Ted Beasley, Executive Director of Public Affairs, LDOE
  • Kendricks “Ken” Brass, Louisiana State Representative, District 58
  • Karl Bruchhaus, Former Superintendent, Calcasieu Parish School Board
  • Catherine Cassidey, Principal, Southside High, Lafayette Parish School System
  • Sharon L. Clark, Charter Director, Sophie B. Wright High School
  • Tiffany Delcour, Chief Operating Officer, New Schools for New Orleans
  • Joel Dillon, Deputy Chief of Staff, LDOE
  • Kimberly L. Foster, Dean, School of Science and Engineering, Tulane University
  • Carol J. Friedland, Director, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center
  • Spencer Harris, Child Welfare & Attendance Supervisor, Livingston Parish
  • Matt Johnson, Chief Strategy Officer, Louisiana Department of Education
  • Talé D. Lockett, CEO, Algiers Charter School Association
  • Philip Martin, Former Superintendent, Terrebonne Parish School District
  • Elizabeth Matthews, Assistant Professor, College of Engineering & Science, Louisiana Tech University
  • Kelli Oertling, Principal, Lakewood Elementary, St. Charles Parish Public Schools
  • Mark Richards, Emergency and Security Studies, Tulane University
  • Jen Roberts, CEO, Agenda for Children
  • Trevis A. Thompson, School Safety Officer, Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness
  • Doris Voitier, Superintendent, St. Bernard Parish Public Schools
  • Anna Williamson, Chief Program Officer, Agenda For Children