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Message From Superintendent

Dear Members of the NOLA-PS Community,

Welcome back to school! While we may be starting this year off with some distance between us, we couldn’t be happier to see students start getting back into their virtual classrooms, reconnecting with old friends, making new ones and getting to know their teachers. We know it’s been a difficult summer for the NOLA community, but together, we’re working hard, innovating and finding ways to get through this together.

We understand that students, families and educators are concerned about what this school year will look like - from distance learning, to access to technology, to health and safety. As a parent and former teacher myself, I understand those concerns, and can assure the community that NOLA-PS is working every day to ensure that all of our schools are meeting and exceeding expectations when serving our city’s children. This was true before this crisis, and it remains as true as ever today.

As we continue working towards getting students back to in-person learning in September, safety remains a top concern. Families should know that NOLA-PS will be actively monitoring all of our schools to make sure that the latest health and safety standards are being maintained, so that our students, teachers and staff can learn and work in a safe environment. I’m also excited to announce that NOLA-PS is working with health leaders across the city and state to identify a comprehensive testing approach for our schools once they reopen.

Over the past several weeks, our school leaders and teachers have been working around the clock to prepare for the start of school, which began for some of our students this week, with many more starting next week. Earlier this week several leaders joined me in my weekly press conference to share details on their preparations. You can hear details by watching the press conference here. Starting the school year with distance learning is certainly a challenge, but one that our teachers and schools have been busy preparing for - from professional development sessions, to rethinking and refining distance learning methods, to building unique opportunities to kick off this school year.

Of course, technology will play a more important role this year than ever. The digital divide is real, and we are making strides to address it and ensure that all of our students can participate in distance learning. That’s why NOLA-PS and our district schools have been working nonstop to ensure that all students have access to the internet. In the past month alone, nearly 6,000 hotspots have been purchased across our schools, in addition to the 8,000 previously supplied by the district. At this time, we believe we have nearly 90% of our families’ connection needs covered- and our schools will do whatever it takes to get our families connected in the coming weeks.

As always, I remain grateful to the entire NOLA Community for banding together in times of crisis and working to build a brighter future for our students. So let’s all remember to mask up, wash our hands, and practice social distancing to get our city back on track.

In Service,

Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr.
Superintendent, NOLA Public Schools

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