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NOLA-PS Announces All Grade Levels to Return to In-Person Learning This Fall

Schools are Safe and Students Learn Best Inside Classrooms

New Orleans (May 20, 2021) – Noting the successful response of schools in New Orleans to the COVID-19 pandemic, NOLA Public Schools (NOLA-PS) Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis Jr. announced today that all levels of public school students are to return to in-person learning at the start of the 2021-2022 school year.

"Our data-driven, measured approach to health and safety has turned our classrooms into safe havens for students and staff during this unprecedented pandemic," Lewis said. "We're excited that our students can once again enjoy learning face-to-face with their teachers and shoulder-to-shoulder with their peers. In the classroom is where they are safest and strongest, socially, physically, and emotionally, as they continue to develop and thrive."

NOLA-PS schools this year have been using distance or hybrid in-person/virtual learning models to protect students and staff from community spread of COVID in school buildings. But with the City's return to normalcy and vaccines readily available, schools will not be required to offer regular distance or virtual learning options to students this fall. As always, they will accommodate students and families under exceptional circumstances, based upon any documented health-related issues.

Continued COVID-19 Response and Planning

At this time, our school community plans to keep COVID-19 safety measures, such as masks, CDC-advised social distancing, and hand sanitizer stations, in place next year. NOLA-PS will partner with the Louisiana Department of Health and local health providers to ensure access to COVID tests and vaccines for all eligible students and staff.

We will continue to monitor citywide and school system tracking data during the next school year, as we have throughout the pandemic. Our operations team is refining its COVID response plan in case citywide positivity rates increase during the 2021-2022 school year and action is necessary to keep our school community safe and healthy.

Schools can use distance or virtual options to teach should quarantines arise related to active cases among students and staff.

Summer Learning and Enrichment

To close learning gaps and prepare students for a strong start in the fall, schools are leading the charge to expand their usual summer learning and enrichment opportunities. Many schools will provide camps and classes to all students because of the well-documented benefits of year-round learning. As they have every summer, schools also will continue to identify and engage those students who are most in need of additional instruction.

NOLA-PS anticipates more than 13,000 students will capitalize on summer learning this year, and schools have planned for this. For example, more than 85 percent of our schools have received grants – a $1.5 million total additional investment – to support their summer programming in 2021.

We encourage families to connect with their schools before the end of the school year to explore summer options for their children.


About NOLA Public Schools: NOLA Public Schools is the public school district for Orleans Parish. It includes the district's administration and elected school board, known as the Orleans Parish School Board. NOLA Public Schools currently oversees 76 public schools and is led by Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr.

For more information, visit For updates, follow NOLA Public Schools on Facebook @NOLAPublicSchools, Instagram @nolaps and Twitter @NOLAPSchools. 

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