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EBR students return for first day of school since flood

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BATON ROUGE – Tuesday was the first day of school for students in East Baton Rouge since the recent historic flooding.

It was the second time students experienced a first day back to school since summer break.

"We only came to school for two days, and then the rains came, we've been out three and half weeks," Warren Drake, EBR superintendent, said.

However, this time, many of the students are displaced at new schools. Eleven EBR school campuses saw flood damage and six were not able to open in time for Sept. 6.

"We had some damage, we had water over our feet that first day of flooding, and we spent the first few days cleaning up, drying, and getting ready for school," Jeremy Couvillion, principal of Westdale Middle, said.

Some students still remain in shelters and thousands are in new schools.

"We have rerouted 5000 students around the city, displaced students, we'll pick students up at the River Center, and we'll get them to our schools," Drake said.

The main concern for parents right now is the loss of school time and how students will make it up.

"We are going to do what we have to do, we are going to work together, give our kids as much time as possible with great teachers," Drake said.

Drake said that the state is looking to give students more time during testing but he is not counting on that too much. Rather, school officials will consider a number of options before making official plans. Schools are considering adding five minutes to the school day to make up for the time, similar to what schools in New Orleans did after Hurricane Katrina.

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