Impacted Schools: Ascension Head Start, Donaldsonville High, Donaldsonville Primary, Lowery Elementary, and Lowery Middle

Posted 5:30 p.m., Monday, October 29, 2018
Dear Parents/Guardians of Donaldsonville City Schools,
Thank you for your continued patience as we work around the Sunshine Bridge closure. You, our parents, along with our teachers and staff have overcome significant challenges to your personal lives in adjusting to increased travel distances and modified school and activity times.

The recent news of reopening of the bridge in January 2019 is welcome, as we anticipated it would take significant work to make it a safe pathway once again. We see this as a moment of hope to return to normal operations in the near future while we continue to make reasonable adjustments to meet the needs of our students and employees. 

Our school principals have worked to develop a new modified school schedule that prioritizes instructional time for students while balancing the realities of travel barriers until the Sunshine Bridge reopens. 

Starting Monday, Nov. 5, 2019, the following school hours will apply (first bell - last bell):
  • Ascension Head Start: 9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. 
    (original schedule: 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.)
  • Donaldsonville Primary School: 8:30 a.m. - 3:15 p.m. 
    (original schedule: 8:25 a.m. - 3:25 p.m.)
  • Lowery Elementary School: 8:30 a.m. - 3:15 p.m. 
    (original schedule: 8:20 a.m. - 3:20 p.m.)
  • Lowery Middle School: 7:50 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. 
    (original schedule: 7:25 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.)
  • Donaldsonville High School: 8:02 a.m. - 2:40 p.m. 
    (original schedule 7:40 a.m. - 2:40 p.m.)
You may receive a follow-up communication from your school principal with further details about carpool and bus times in addition to other information specific to your school.

It is our hope that giving you a week's notice about the new timeline will allow you to make appropriate plans that will not be overly burdensome. We certainly look forward to the reopening of the Sunshine Bridge so that all operations can return to a normal schedule. Until then, we sincerely appreciate your partnership in serving our students with excellence at all levels.

David Alexander

Posted 2:30 p.m., Friday, October 19, 2018

Donaldsonville City schools will maintain one-hour delayed start times and regular dismissal times until further notice. Specific adjustments to programs have been communicated by school principals.

DOTD press release: Update on Sunshine Bridge closure

Posted 1:30 p.m., Sunday, October 14, 2018


DOTD press release: Sunshine bridge remains closed, second Plaquemine ferry extends hours

Posted 4:15 p.m., Friday October 12, 2018

Dear Ascension Public Schools Family,

Thank you all for helping us adjust quickly this morning due to the emergency Sunshine Bridge closure. Delaying the start of school by one hour was a successful strategy to minimize the impact to learning, and all of our schools had a great Friday.

The scope and timeline of repairs to the Sunshine Bridge are still unknown at this time. As we go into our Fall Break holiday, we would like to share with you our plans should the bridge remain closed when we resume school on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018:

  • Ascension Head Start, Donaldsonville Primary, Lowery Elementary, Lowery Middle and Donaldsonville High schools will maintain one-hour delayed start times and regular dismissal times.
  • Students in Donaldsonville attending programs located across the Mississippi River such as APPLe Digital Academy, ABC Pelican, the Choice Program and Early College Option will receive detailed information regarding transportation, as needed from the program principals.

Parents/guardians and staff may get additional information directly from your principals regarding specific scheduling challenges unique to your school.


For those who need to travel to and from Donaldsonville while the Sunshine Bridge is closed, the following alternate routes are recommended by the Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD):

  • LA 70 westbound traffic may detour by heading east on LA 3125, south on LA 3213 and crossing the Veterans Memorial Bridge, and west on LA 3127 to the junction of LA 70. 
  • LA 70 eastbound traffic may detour by heading east on LA 3127, north on LA 3213 and crossing the Veterans Memorial Bridge, and west on LA 3125 to the junction of LA 70.
  • The second Plaquemine ferry began its afternoon operations today at 1:30 p.m. instead of 3:15 p.m. to accommodate additional traffic due to the bridge closure. It will run to its normal ending time of 7:15 p.m. this evening. Additionally, the weekend ferry will run extra hours, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. instead of 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

**Please note, if the Sunshine Bridge reopens, we will resume normal operations at all schools.**

For more information, including the latest status updates and resource links, visit

Have a great Fall Break!


Posted 6:00 a.m., Friday, Oct. 12, 2018


Ascension Head Start, Donaldsonville Primary, Lowery Elementary, Lowery Middle and Donaldsonville High schools will have a one-hour delay to start this morning, Oct. 12, 2018, due to a crash closing the Sunshine Bridge. This is to allow for extra time for staff and bus drivers to travel to the schools.

This may also impact students and staff from Donaldsonville needing to travel to other parts of our district. We will work with students on excused tardies or absences due to travel issues.

For official notices and updates regarding school operations, visit our website,



GENERAL Crisis and Emergency Communication

The safety of our students, faculty, staff and visitors is a priority and Ascension Public Schools will provide current information about any situation that impacts schools as soon as it is available using a combination of the following methods:
  • Website
    • : Official notifications of school closures are posted on our website's homepage and newsroom.
  • SchoolMessenger
    • Phone Calls: Broadcast messages to phones of parents/guardians and staff
    • E-mails: Broadcast message to emails of students, faculty and staff 
    • Text Messaging: Broadcast messages to registered cell phones of parents/guardians
  • Social Media
Ascension Public Schools has an agreement with SchoolMessenger to deliver emergency information by SMS text, voice and/or email messages. Ascension Public Schools will use SchoolMessenger to provide information and directions related to significant events that pose a threat to the school community.

Ascension Public Schools also has a parish-wide agreement with RemindApp. RemindApp is for teacher to student messaging and is NOT an official emergency notification system. Please refer to the above methods for official emergency communication methods.





Know the Drill

Ascension Parish Government


Report a threat

 Ascension Parish OHSEP


 National Hurricane Center

Ascension Parish SherifF's Department


Planning for Hurricane Season

 City of Gonzales Police Department 

 The Advocate

National Weather Service

City of Donaldsonville 

 Gonzales Weekly


City of Gonzales

 Donaldsonville Chief