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NOLA-PS Provides Updates on School Re-opening Plan, Formation of Task Force

NEW ORLEANS – (May 7, 2020) - Per Gov. John Bel Edwards’ recent announcement, all NOLA Public Schools (NOLA-PS) facilities will remain closed for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year. This necessary action is an effective way to slow the spread of COVID-19 across our city and state. The District will issue updates to the public with developments every Thursday moving forward. Please note what is new and what has previously been shared below.   
   
WHAT’S NEW:   

NOLA-PS PLANNING FOR RE-OPENING OF SCHOOLS NEXT YEAR
Over the last several weeks the district has been in the assessment phase of the COVID-19 recovery, working with school leaders to determine what has worked and what will be needed to continue to support teachers and students in the next school year. As the district works through realigning plans and budgets for the next school year, NOLA-PS has announced it is creating a Reopening Task Force to advise district administration and the board on needs for school plans and protocols as students return, either in person or virtually, next year. The Task Force will focus on planning for every possible scenario and taking every precaution to ensure students, staff and faculty are safe while helping children grow and learn. The group will be comprised of school leaders, teachers, social workers, medical experts, parents and other key experts, that will focus on how to safely return to school.

Additionally, NOLA-PS is in the process of hiring a medical and public health advisor who will oversee reentry planning processes and who will be available to all schools in the district to advise on actions to take and how to keep our campuses safe. 

UNIFIED START DATE FOR 2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR ANNOUNCED
As the 2019-2020 school year comes to a close, NOLA-PS has been working closely with school leaders to prepare for the 2020-2021 school year. For the first time, a majority of the K-12 institutions authorized by NOLA-PS will follow a citywide, unified calendar. Based on this unified calendar, which was announced after months of collaboration between charter schools, the 2020-2021 academic school year is scheduled to kick off between the common window of August 4-11, 2020. Schools have also agreed to common windows for fall, Mardi Gras and spring breaks and to align to the same dates for all single day holidays as well as Thanksgiving and winter breaks.

SUMMER SCHOOL WILL BE CONDUCTED VIA DISTANCE LEARNING
NOLA-PS has announced that students needing summer school will do so via distanced learning. This is being done in order to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff as the city continues to combat the virus. Any student needing to complete summer school coursework should coordinate with their school leader on accessing distance learning.

PLEASE REMEMBER THE FOLLOWING:  

NOLA-PS OFFERS SCHOOLS SUPPORT FOR GRADUATION

As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic wear on, graduation seniors are having to postpone celebrating the end of their high school careers. While some schools are doing virtual or socially-distanced celebrations on their own, many are planning for full graduations at later dates. NOLA-PS is currently working with schools to carry out a virtual celebration for graduates, through the NOLA-PS television channel. More details on timing of such celebrations will be released soon. NOLA-PS is also offering schools support in planning for virtual and in-person ceremonies as needed and is committed to ensuring all students are celebrated, when it is safe to do so. 

CHILD NUTRITION
Since Monday, March 16, approximately 976,103 meals and counting have been served to students in Orleans Parish.

Current Citywide Feeding Program Schedule:

  • Every Monday, meals will be provided for two days.
  • Every Wednesday, meals will be provided for three days.
  • Community Feeding sites will NOT be open on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday.
  • Service Hours: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Families wishing to access information on child nutrition resources should visit the District’s webpage at https://nolapublicschools.com/covid19/nutrition. This webpage has the most up-to-date listing of where food services are available.

Students over 18 that are enrolled in public K-12 schools, including students with disabilities through age 22, are also eligible for free meals at open sites. 
  • Students do not need to be present to receive meals. Parents or caregivers may pick up meals on behalf of the students within their household.
  • Child nutrition resources are available to those under 18 years of age and those who currently attend a public school.
  • Students who are over 18 years of age and are currently enrolled in public schools will also be allowed to access the community feeding programming. Schools will be contacting those families directly to ensure they are aware of the services available to them.  

COMMUNITY RESOURCE CENTER WEBPAGE:
The NOLA-PS website has been updated to share important information and resources related to COVID-19 for community members. The community resource center includes distance learning resources for families, as well as links to local agencies and non-profits that are providing critical services and updates on the coronavirus. There are also mental and behavioral health resources to support students, educators and community members through this difficult time. We will continue to update this page as we learn of resources that may be valuable to community members.

The page also serves as a way to connect with community members that are looking for ways to support students and schools. The District is coordinating the collection of resources for schools such as sanitation supplies, educational materials, and various technology needs. If you are looking for information on giving donations, please email donations@nolapublicschools.com or contact 504-430-5311.

To access the NOLA-PS community webpage, visit https://nolapublicschools.com/community
To access distance learning resources webpage, visit https://www.nolapublicschools.com/distance-learning-resources

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ABOUT NOLA PUBLIC SCHOOLS:  NOLA Public Schools is the public school district for Orleans Parish, which includes the district’s elected school board, known as the Orleans Parish School Board and the district’s administration led by NOLA Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis Jr. NOLA Public Schools currently oversees 78 public schools. For more information, visit www.nolapublicschools.com. For updates, follow NOLA Public Schools on Facebook @NOLAPublicSchools, Instagram @nolapsand Twitter @NOLAPSchools.

   


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WHAT:
The Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) has scheduled its monthly public meetings for Tuesday, May 12 (Committee of the Whole Meeting) at 1 p.m. and Thursday, May 14 (Business Meeting) at 3 p.m. The meetings will be hosted remotely via teleconference/video conference in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 in New Orleans, and to preserve the health and safety of all members of the public. The OPSB will utilize the online platform Zoom to live-stream the committee and board meetings, which will be open for the public to view online and participate.

The board will consider a series of action items in each meeting. Both agendas will be posted publicly no later than 24 hours in advance of the meetings here. Public comments will be accepted during the live stream of the meetings.

To participate online: The live stream of the OPSB Committee of the Whole Meeting will be available here beginning at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, May 12. To comment online, please submit a public comment card here prior to the start of the meeting or within 30 minutes after the meeting begins. The meeting moderator will announce the speaker at the appropriate time, speaker is to self-identify with the “raise hand” feature at the bottom of the web page, and meeting moderator will unmute audio. The speaker should state their name and address for the record, public comments are limited to two minutes, per policy. Step-by-step instructions to access the OPSB Committee of the Whole Meeting Zoom live-stream can be found here.

The live stream of the OPSB Business Meeting will be available here beginning at 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 14. Public comment will be managed as indicated above. The public comment card can be accessed here and step-by-step instruction to access the OPSB Business Meeting Zoom live-stream can be found here.

To participate via phone:

To access the OPSB Committee of the Whole Meeting on Tuesday, May 12 at 1 p.m., via telephone conference dial 929-205-6099, 312-626-6799, 301-715-8592, or 346-248-7799 and enter 146 271 239 when prompted to enter the meeting ID 993-9592-4633. To comment via phone, please submit a public comment card here prior to the start of the meeting or within 30 minutes after the meeting begins. The meeting moderator will announce the speaker at the appropriate time, speaker is to self-identify with the “raise hand” feature by dialing *6, and meeting moderator will unmute audio. The speaker should state their name and address for the record, public comments are limited to two minutes, per policy.

To access the OPSB Business Meeting on Thursday, May 14 at 3 p.m., via telephone conference dial 929-205-6099, 312-626-6799, 301-715-8592, or 346-248-7799 and enter 323 782 795 when prompted to enter the meeting ID 995-2319-0239. Public comment will be managed as indicated above.

To view the OPSB's certification to hold a video conference meeting, click Committee of the Whole and Board Business Meeting. For questions regarding the virtual board meeting, please email: BoardMeetingFeedback@opsb.us.

WHEN:

Tuesday, May 12
Orleans Parish School Board May Committee of the Whole Meeting - 1 p.m.
Thursday, May 14
Orleans Parish School Board May Business Meeting – 3 p.m.

WHERE
:
The live stream will be available on Zoom - Committee of the Whole here and Board Business Meeting here.

WHO:
Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB)



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ABOUT NOLA PUBLIC SCHOOLS: NOLA Public Schools is the public school district for Orleans Parish, which includes the district’s elected school board, known as the Orleans Parish School Board and the district’s administration led by NOLA Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis Jr. NOLA Public Schools currently oversees 78 public schools. For more information, visit www.nolapublicschools.com. For updates, follow NOLA Public Schools on Facebook @NOLAPublicSchools, Instagram @nolaps and Twitter @NOLAPSchools.

NOLA-PS Offers Support for Graduation; Provides Updates for 2020-2021 Academic Year

NEW ORLEANS – (May 7, 2020) - Per Gov. John Bel Edwards’ recent announcement, all NOLA Public Schools (NOLA-PS) facilities will remain closed for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year. This necessary action is an effective way to slow the spread of COVID-19 across our city and state. The District will issue updates to the public with developments every Thursday moving forward. Please note what is new and what has previously been shared below.   
   
WHAT’S NEW:   

NOLA-PS OFFERS SCHOOLS SUPPORT FOR GRADUATION

As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic wear on, graduation seniors are having to postpone celebrating the end of their high school careers. While some schools are doing virtual or socially-distanced celebrations on their own, many are planning for full graduations at later dates. NOLA-PS is currently working with schools to carry out a virtual celebration for graduates, through the NOLA-PS television channel. More details on timing of such celebrations will be released soon. NOLA-PS is also offering schools support in planning for virtual and in-person ceremonies as needed and is committed to ensuring all students are celebrated, when it is safe to do so. 

UPDATES FOR 2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR 
As the 2019-2020 school year comes to a close, NOLA-PS has been working closely with school leaders to prepare for the 2020-2021 school year. For the first time, a majority of the K-12 institutions authorized by NOLA-PS will follow a citywide, unified calendar. Based on this unified calendar, which was announced after months of collaboration between charter schools, the 2020-2021 academic school year is scheduled to kick off between the common window of August 4-11, 2020. Schools have also agreed to common windows for fall, Mardi Gras and spring breaks and to align to the same dates for all single day holidays as well as Thanksgiving and winter breaks.

NOLA-PS and school leaders are taking every precaution to ensure students, as well as school staff, are safe while keeping children engaged in learning. NOLA-PS is meeting with schools weekly and planning for various scenarios based upon what types of social distancing may be required when school begins and is providing guidance to schools, in coordination with state and local health officials, on how best to make schools safe for students and staff upon reopening.

Additionally, NOLA-PS is planning to have a licensed physician available to all schools in the district to advise on actions to take and how to keep our campuses safe. 

PLEASE REMEMBER THE FOLLOWING:  

CHILD NUTRITION
Since Monday, March 16, approximately 876,000 meals and counting have been served to students in Orleans Parish.

Citywide Feeding Program Schedule:

  • Every Monday, meals will be provided for two days.
  • Every Wednesday, meals will be provided for three days.
  • Community Feeding sites will NOT be open on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday.
  • Service Hours: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Families wishing to access information on child nutrition resources should visit the District’s webpage at https://nolapublicschools.com/covid19/nutrition. This webpage has the most up-to-date listing of where food services are available.

Students over 18 that are enrolled in public K-12 schools, including students with disabilities through age 22, are also eligible for free meals at open sites.

  • Students do not need to be present to receive meals. Parents or caregivers may pick up meals on behalf of the students within their household.
  • Child nutrition resources are available to those under 18 years of age and those who currently attend a public school.
  • Students who are over 18 years of age and are currently enrolled in public schools will also be allowed to access the community feeding programming. Schools will be contacting those families directly to ensure they are aware of the services available to them.  

CONTINUOUS LEARNING – COX COMMUNICATIONS EXTENDS CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE OFFER FOR CONNECT2COMPETE WITH FREE SERVICE FOR STUDENTS UNTIL JULY 15
Recognizing that students will remain home to finish out the school year, Cox has extended free Connect2Compete service, the company’s low-cost internet offer for families with a K-12 student at home until Wednesday, July 15. Remote service support is also extended to ensure ease of implementation while students continue to learn at home during the Coronavirus pandemic. Customers that sign-up between now and May 15 are eligible for this offer and will receive free service until July 15.

The Cox Connect2Compete program is available to families who:
  • Have at least one child that is a K-12 student at home.
  • Participate in one of these government subsidies programs: The National School Lunch Program, SNAP, TANF or Public Housing.
  • Are not a current Cox Internet customer.

Families can qualify for Connect2Compete by visiting www.cox.com/c2c.

COMMUNITY RESOURCE CENTER WEBPAGE:
The NOLA-PS website has been updated to share important information and resources related to COVID-19 for community members. The community resource center includes distance learning resources for families, as well as links to local agencies and non-profits that are providing critical services and updates on the coronavirus. There are also mental and behavioral health resources to support students, educators and community members through this difficult time. We will continue to update this page as we learn of resources that may be valuable to community members.

The page also serves as a way to connect with community members that are looking for ways to support students and schools. The District is coordinating the collection of resources for schools such as sanitation supplies, educational materials, and various technology needs. If you are looking for information on giving donations, please email donations@nolapublicschools.com or contact 504-430-5311.

To access the NOLA-PS community webpage, visit https://nolapublicschools.com/community
To access distance learning resources webpage, visit https://www.nolapublicschools.com/distance-learning-resources
   
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ABOUT NOLA PUBLIC SCHOOLS: NOLA Public Schools is the public school district for Orleans Parish, which includes the district’s elected school board, known as the Orleans Parish School Board and the district’s administration led by NOLA Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis Jr. NOLA Public Schools currently oversees 78 public schools. For more information, visit www.nolapublicschools.com. For updates, follow NOLA Public Schools on Facebook @NOLAPublicSchools, Instagram @nolaps and Twitter @NOLAPSchools.



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NEW ORLEANS – (May 8, 2020) - NOLA Public Schools, in collaboration with community partners, recently launched a web-based resource guide designed to assist students with disabilities transitioning into life after their high school careers. The resource guide is a virtual substitute for NOLA-PS’ third annual NOLA-PS Transition Resource Fair, which had to be canceled this year due to the COVID-19 public health crisis.

The purpose of the NOLA Public Schools Transitions Resource Guide is to connect students with disabilities and their families, as well other educators and professionals, with the range of programs, supports, and services that are available as individuals prepare for adulthood. Areas covered include employment, community access, housing, independent living, financial planning and legal rights. The guide is free and accessible to the public and will provide critical information about supportive programs to students with Individualized Education Programs (IEP) or 504 accommodations as well as their families, employers, and support providers.

More than 60 local organizations and agencies are participating and have provided information about their missions, updates on how COVID-19 has impacted agency and organizations services as well as links to accessible audio and video resources for students.

“NOLA Public Schools has a responsibility to help all our students navigate through a successful transition after their high school careers,”said NOLA-PS Superintendent of Schools Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr. “I am excited to see NOLA-PS’ Exceptional Children’s Services team think outside the box, by transforming what has been, for the past two years, a robust Transitions Fair event to an informative digital resource guide, to ensure our students with disabilities and their families continue to receive the critical information and support they need to pursue independent citizenship and improve their quality of life.”

NOLA-PS would like to thank the steering committee that helped develop this resource guide and all of the community partners who collaborated on this critical support for students and families across our community of schools. The organizations and agencies listed include: New Orleans College Prep, New Orleans Charter Science & Math High School, Einstein Charter Schools, Opportunities Academy, New Beginnings Schools Foundation, Algiers Charter Schools Association,InspireNOLA Charter Schools, ReNEW Schools, Urban League of Greater New Orleans,FirstLine Schools, KIPP New Orleans, McDonogh 35 Senior High School, Café Reconcile, and Louisiana Accessible Education Materials.


“The need for students and their families to be made aware of these organizations has become even more significant in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and distance learning mandates,”said NOLA-PS Chief of Exceptional Children's Services Dr.Shayla Guidry Hilaire, “To meet this need NOLA Public Schools has reached out to agencies and organizations in the areas of employment support, job training, education, advocacy, independent living, community access, housing, recreation and leisure.”

Students and families can access the resource guide by visiting: www.nolapublicschools.com or clicking on this link.

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ABOUT NOLA PUBLIC SCHOOLS: NOLA Public Schools is the public school district for Orleans Parish, which includes the district’s elected school board, known as the Orleans Parish School Board and the district’s administration led by NOLA Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis Jr. NOLA Public Schools currently oversees 78 public schools. For more information visit www.nolapublicschools.com. For updates, follow NOLA Public Schools on Facebook @NOLAPublicSchools, Instagram @nolapsand Twitter @NOLAPSchools.

NEW ORLEANS – (May 6, 2020) – On Tuesday, May 5, NOLA Public School (NOLA-PS) Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr., Assistant Superintendent of Schools Mary Garton along with Board President Ethan Ashley and Board Member Leslie Ellison, helped to honor a total of fifteen 2020 New Orleans Excellence in Teaching Award (NOETA) semifinalists in an unique way. Dr. Lewis, Garton, Ashley, and Ellison surprised the semifinalists with social distancing visits to their homes that included the dropping off of a special lawn sign to recognize these individuals for their outstanding work as Orleans Parish educators.  

“As part of Teacher Appreciation Week, I had the honor and privilege of surprising the deserving NOETA Award semifinalists at their homes,” said NOLA-PS Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr. “It was wonderful getting to celebrate their achievement. This is truly an incredible group of teachers who value their profession and have dedicated their lives to educating our students even during this challenging time.” 

The following teachers were named semifinalists for the 2020 NOETA Award: 
• Robert Bassler - Ambramson Sci Academy
• Jennifer Boyce - Opportunities Academy
• Talisha Bryan - Eleanor McMain Secondary School
• Terri Clabeaux - Bricolage Academy
• Jennifer Comeaux - Benjamin Franklin Elementary
• Henry Dreyfus - Benjamin Franklin High School
• Arielle Jack - Arise Academy
• Joseph Krafczynski - Martin Behrman Charter School Academy of Creative Arts and Sciences
• Taaqua Lacy-Williams - Dwight D. Eisenhower Elementary
• Catherin Morales - Esperanza Charter School
• Alexandra Mossing - Hynes Charter School
• Eric Schroeder - Morris Jeff Community School
• Tara Thomas-Antoine - Martin Behrman Charter School Academy of Creative Arts and Sciences
• Blake Thompson - Livingston Collegiate Academy
• Marla Williams - Martin Behrman Charter School Academy of Creative Arts and Sciences


“Our district has the hardest working educators in the world who are dedicated to serving the  whole child,  day-in and day-out,” said Orleans Parish School  Board President Ethan Ashley. “Our teachers continue to step up to meet the needs of our students during this trying time.  We are so grateful for this and all that they do.”  
The 2020 NOETA winners will be announced in the fall.

“This group of educators have been nominated by their peers for their outstanding work throughout the district,” said Orleans Parish School Board Member Leslie Ellison. “Congratulations on a job well done and thank you for providing our students with an excellent education.” 

The NOETA Award was created in 2015 by New Schools for New Orleans. In the fall of 2018, NOLA-PS took over the planning and execution of the program to help honor more outstanding teachers throughout New Orleans public schools. School leaders, teachers, coaches and other academic or cultural leaders at any New Orleans area public school or network were eligible to nominate exceptional teaches for this citywide award.  

External Resources

NOLA Public Schools. Every Child. Every School. Every Day.

2401 Westbend Parkway
New Orleans, Louisiana 70114

Phone: 504-304-3520

Hotline Number for Parents
504-527-KIDS

School-based issues or concerns during normal business hours

24-hour Hotline Number for Community
504-522-HELP
District based community concerns, feedback, & inquiries after-hours support