NOLA-PS announces district-wide school closures due to COVID-19

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NEW ORLEANS – Per the proclamation issued by Governor John Bel Edwards today, all NOLA public schools have been ordered to close starting Monday, March 16th for four weeks. At this time, classes are planned to resume on April 13th. This necessary action is an effective way to slow the spread of COVID-19 across our city and state.

The Orleans Parish Schools Board took immediate action in response to the Governor’s proclamation, by passing a resolution giving the Superintendent the authority to access emergency reserves to support the city’s students. Specifically, the resolution allows the Superintendent to access up to five million dollars from its general fund balance reserve to support any system-wide emergency purchases. At this time, the Superintendent has identified three core areas in need of immediate resources: distance learning, child nutrition and school sanitation.

“The Governor has directed all schools in the state to close to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and I support that decision,” said NOLA-PS Superintendent of Schools Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr. “We have been closely coordinating with schools and local officials to prepare for school closure.  Key plans for instruction and continuation of other services are being operationalized as we know this will be very difficult for our students and families. This is why we took immediate action to fund these efforts.  Today, the Orleans Parish School Board passed a resolution granting my administration the authority to access up to five million dollars from emergency reserves to spend toward supporting students and schools during this time.”

Beginning on Monday, March 16th all school activities including school day instruction, childcare, preschool, athletics/sports, health services, enrichment and school-based activities are cancelled. NOLA-PS is working with local, state, and federal agencies to ensure continued delivery of critical services, such as instruction, child nutrition, and social services.

  • DISTANCE LEARNING: The District and its schools have been planning for distance learning in case of school closure.  Each school will be communicating directly with families on the steps and resources that will be provided to support on-going student learning during this time. NOLA-PS is providing coordination support across schools and will be identifying additional system-wide needs to support distance learning.
  •  CHILD NUTRITION: NOLA-PS, in collaboration with charter school leaders and the Mayor’s agencies, is coordinating a multi-pronged effort to ensure child nutrition services are available to families during the prolonged school closure. This effort will be two-fold:
    • The District will share resources with families on how they may access food and nutrition services during the first week of school closure. Specifically, Monday March 16th to March 21st.
    • Starting March 23rd the District anticipates a citywide child nutrition program to be available to families.

The District understands these are uncertain times, but by following the advice of health and city officials and working together to keep our children and educators healthy, we will persevere.

NOLA-PS continues to encourage our schools, students, and families to follow everyday practices to remain healthy and monitor their health in accordance with CDC recommendations. Additionally, the District encourages all to remain connected and mindful of updates being disseminated by the District in order to stay informed of how COVID-19 is impacting our school community. For regular District updates, please visit our Coronavirus webpage.

For more information on the virus, visit http://ldh.la.gov/Coronavirus.

For information on what to do if you are sick, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/sick-with-2019-nCoV-fact-sheet.pdf.

If you have questions about Coronavirus, please contact the Coronavirus general information line at 1-855-523-2652 from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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