NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — A New Orleans charter school has announced it will be closing its door at the end of the 2021 school year.
On Monday, FirstLine Live Oak released a statement regarding the school’s plan to close, highlighting declining enrollment and COVID-19 financial impacts as the reasoning behind the decision.
FirstLine CEO Sabrina Pence said in the statement:
“While we did not anticipate this demographic shift when we opened Live Oak four years ago, and we are sad to close the school, we agree with NOLA-PS, our authorizer, that rightsizing our district is prudent and will ultimately result in better service to children and families. This was a very hard decision to make but we know it is right for the system. We hope other charter school operators will consider the same so that we may maximize resources across the city for children.
FirstLine is firmly committed to enrolling Live Oak students in other FirstLine schools and retaining any Live Oak staff who wish to remain in the FirstLine network. We will do whatever it takes to ensure a smooth transition for our students, families, and staff.”
The statement went on to discuss how the U.S. census revealed a sharp decline in the population of school-aged children both in New Orleans and across the nation. This has reportedly led to an under-enrollment at schools, with resources being spread thin across schools and not used as effectively.
Students attending Live Oak may remain at the school until the end of the school year.
FirstLine reports school staff will be able to provide families with resources leading up to the transition of schools this summer.