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01.04.2021 NOLA Public Schools to Shift Students to Distance Learning in Response to Concerns Over Increase of COVID-19 in New Orleans

(New Orleans - January 4, 2021) -- Due to a very concerning spike in the prevalence of COVID-19 in New Orleans, NOLA Public Schools (NOLA-PS) will return to distance learning District-wide to best protect the health and safety of our students, their families, and our staff and teachers.

School leaders were instructed Monday to move all Pre-K-12 classes to distance learning no later than Thursday, Jan. 7, to give parents, guardians, and families some time to adjust their schedules. NOLA-PS will continue to monitor COVID-19 data and trends and reevaluate this decision no sooner than Jan. 21, in hopes that the local trend in positivity rates and case counts improves.

The City’s data tracking the pandemic showed a significant jump in the rate of positive cases over the past few days, indicating a worsening trend -- one of several metrics NOLA-PS considered in order to make this grave but necessary decision.

As with every decision NOLA-PS has made since the start of the pandemic, this latest decision was driven by data and the advice of our public health experts.

“All along, we have taken a very measured approach as we respond to the shifting circumstances of this pandemic,” NOLA-PS Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr. said. “Citywide data over the past few days has shown a dramatic uptick in positivity rates, and so, based upon the advice of our health advisors, we felt we had to make the very unfortunate but necessary decision to return to distance learning to keep our students, staff, teachers and community safe. We recognize this will be extremely difficult for our families and hope that everyone takes the necessary precautions to reverse the spread of this terrible virus. I want all of us across NOLA Public Schools to stay close and be in constant communication as we tackle this next challenge. We’re one team, and we’ll get through this together.”

We encourage parents and families to contact their schools regarding their campus-specific, distance-learning transition plans. Likewise, NOLA-PS has compiled several online resources for parents to access during distance learning at

While distance learning will resume, schools will continue to offer critical services and support to families as needed, such as school meals. NOLA Public Schools will continue to provide a list of all schools providing community feeding to any student on our website. Families can access this information here. Schools also will be permitted to accommodate instruction for special populations under reduced class sizes, or provide in-person instruction for younger students, Pre-K-5, in smaller groups of no more than 15. Families should contact their schools for site-specific information.

During transition from in-person to distance learning, NOLA-PS has instructed schools to continue enforcing COVID-19 safety protocols – checking temperatures, using hand sanitizer, wearing masks, practicing social distancing – on their grounds.

In-person learning is the ideal education environment for students because it addresses the whole child, academically, socially, and emotionally. Our goal is to safely reopen schools when the COVID-19 trends we’re tracking improve. But for the immediate future, distance learning will be in place out of an abundance of caution.


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.

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