Jeff Davis Parish School Board OKs calendar changes for 2024-2025

Published 2:06 pm Friday, March 15, 2024

The Jeff Davis Parish School Board has approved changes to the 2024-2025 school calendar with some adjustments made for holidays and additional teacher training.

The calendar changes include adding the Wednesday after Mardi Gras and presidential Election Day in November as school holidays. The district also plans additional training for teachers including new virtual training for teachers, according to Assistant Superintendent Ben Oustalet.

Students in grades 1-12 will return to the classroom on Friday, Aug. 9. A staggered start is planned for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students beginning Tuesday, Aug. 13.

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“We traditionally have had good results starting on a Friday, so we are starting on Friday, Aug. 9,” Oustalet said. “That gives us time to make adjustments with transportation and other issues after we run the first day.”

Three weather days are built into the calendar in case unexpected weather or other situations force school closures.

“The state requires so many classroom minutes for us to give a Carnegie credit, so when we plan the calendar we always build it to where we have at least three weather days built in,” he said. “That way, if we have some unfortunate situation, we’re not having to add minutes to the day.”

New teachers will begin the new school year on Thursday, Aug. 1 and Friday, Aug. 2 with teacher induction and training.

A new virtual state professional development day has been added for all teachers on Monday, Aug. 5.

“I had a couple of colleagues from surrounding parishes that presented this idea to me and I shared it with Superintendent (John) Hall,” Oustalet said. “So we are going to give our teachers a virtual training day where they can complete all the online state trainings as required.”

Teachers must complete training on 16 topics including CPR, suicide, bullying, dating violence and more.

State and local professional days will continue through Thursday, Aug 8. Additional professional development days are scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 3 and Monday, Jan. 8, 2025.

The calendar also includes two teacher planning days on Monday, Oct. 14 and Friday, March 14, at the end of the first and third nine-weeks schedule. Students will not attend school those days.

“We are encouraging our teachers to have conferences with parents on that day and plan and look at assessments from the nine weeks,” Oustalet said.

Students will have Monday, Sept. 2 off for Labor Day. Fair Day is slated for Friday, Oct. 4. A local professional day on Thursday, Oct. 3 will give students a four day weekend.

A notable change includes the observance of Election Day on Thursday, Nov. 5 which is the presidential Election Day. Many school facilities will be used as voting precincts.

The Thanksgiving holidays will be Monday, Nov. 25-Friday, Nov. 29.

Students will also have two weeks off for the Christmas break, Monday, Dec. 23-Monday, Jan. 6, 2025. Monday, Jan. 6 will be a local professional development day for teachers. Students will not attend.

The biggest change to the calendar is the addition of the Wednesday after Mardi Gras as a holiday. Students will have Monday, March 3 off for American Heritage Day and Tuesday, March 4 off for Mardi Gras in addition to Wednesday, March 5.

Spring break will be held Friday, April 18-Friday, April 25.

The school year will end before Memorial Day with the last day for students on Thursday, May 22. Teachers will end the year on Friday, May 23.