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NEW ORLEANS – (Sept. 3, 2020) – In an effort to provide timely updates about the current academic school year and any changes due to COVID-19, NOLA Public Schools (NOLA-PS) will issue weekly updates to the public with developments every Thursday.

Throughout the coming weeks and months, NOLA-PS will continue to partner with health experts to monitor the latest health data as we prepare for a phased return to in-person learning and provide regular updates to our school community. If any significant changes occur, decisions related to reopening will be reconsidered.

As always, NOLA-PS maintains the authority to close any school building and revert to distance learning at any point it becomes necessary in order to safeguard students, teachers, staff and their families.

UPDATES REGARDING RE-OPENING CAMPUSES TO STUDENTS
In conjunction with Phase 2 in the City of New Orleans, all Orleans Parish public schools are currently practicing distance learning. Last week, the District announced that the City’s current health data is exceeding all health and safety criteria and, unless our progress towards these goals changes, the District will begin a phased return to in-person learning, beginning with PreK through 4th grade students, starting between Sept. 14th through Sept. 25th.

The decision for a measured return to in-person learning was made following weeks of carefully tracking the latest health indicators – including a sustained decrease in the daily number of new COVID-19 cases at or below Phase 2 targets, a positive test rate of 5 percent or below and increased testing capacity. The District continues to carefully monitor these health metrics in coordination with City officials and our Medical Advisors.
As stated in last week’s press conference, one new factor that the district and city officials continue to track is the impact of high volumes of routine testing from recently opened universities. As with large increases in testing it is expected that the number of new cases may increase and our focus will remain on the city’s positive test rate and ensuring that it is at or below 5 percent, regardless of the volume of new tests.

Middle and high school students in grades 5th through 12th will continue distance learning until at least mid-October. At that time, if health data trends remain positive, these students will return on a hybrid model of in-person and distance learning. The reopening plan, guided by NOLA-PS’ Roadmap to Reopening, was announced with support from local public health officials.

Additionally, last week, NOLA-PS announced a multi-layered COVID-19 testing plan that focuses on providing acute responsive testing that will help increase the ease, accessibility and frequency of testing for both NOLA Public School students and staff. Please click here for list of FAQs about NOLA-PS' Reopening Plan.

HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS
Earlier this summer, the District has provided schools with Supplemental Guidance on matters surrounding Operational Health and Safety Standards, Learning Resources, Guidance for Specialized Populations, What To Do When Someone Gets Sick and other resources. Those guidance documents are available to the public for review at nolapublicschools.com/covid19/roadmapguidance.

Additionally, each NOLA-PS school has received a kit with 4,800-9,200 disposable and reusable face masks; 200-750 face shields per site; 8,000-16,000 nitrile gloves per site; 10 gallons of hand sanitizer and 20 hand sanitizer stations; 4 no-touch thermometers; 40 thermal-insulated food storage bags; and 40 gallons of disinfectants per site. We will continue to work closely with schools across the district to ensure they have adequate PPE to ensure the health and safety of their students, teachers, staff and their families.

UPDATES ON COVID-19 CASES ACROSS THE DISTRICT
Schools are required to report positive cases of COVID-19 found on their campus to the District as well as the Louisiana Department of Health as they are found. We will include a round-up of any positive cases reported to us each week in these weekly press release updates once students return to in-person instruction on campuses.

OTHER DISTRICT NEWS - NOLA-PS DONATES CARE PACKAGES FOR ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS AFFECTED BY HURRICANE LAURA
This week, NOLA Public Schools (NOLA-PS) announced the donation of more than 400 care packages for elementary and secondary school students affected by Hurricane Laura.

NOLA-PS staff, along with the support of community partners from LCMC Health and the U.S. Census Bureau, stuffed backpacks with much needed school supplies, personal hygiene products, toiletries, face coverings and more. Additionally, NOLA-PS staff, along with OPSB President Ethan Ashley, delivered the care packages to the City’s relief distribution center at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center this afternoon. More info available here.

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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.

Fifteen years following Hurricane Katrina, NOLA-PS pays it forward to those most affected by Hurricane Laura

Click here for photos of NOLA-PS stuffing backpacks and delivering donations to Convention Center

NEW ORLEANS – (Sept. 2, 2020) – Today, NOLA Public Schools (NOLA-PS) announced the donation of more than 400 care packages for elementary and secondary school students affected by Hurricane Laura.
“When Hurricane Katrina flooded our city in 2005, our students and families were displaced far and wide. Communities across the country took in our families and provided much needed relief when we needed it most,” said NOLA-PS Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis. “Now, 15 years later, NOLA Public Schools is ready to help our neighbors in Southwest Louisiana by donating more than 400 care packages to assist students affected by the Hurricane Laura.”

NOLA-PS staff, along with the support of community partners from LCMC Health and the U.S. Census Bureau, stuffed backpacks with much needed school supplies, personal hygiene products, toiletries, face coverings and more. Additionally, NOLA-PS staff, along with OPSB President Ethan Ashley, delivered the care packages to the City’s relief distribution center at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center this afternoon.

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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 To Provide Update on TS Laura in Coming Days

NEW ORLEANS – (Aug. 23, 2020) – NOLA Public Schools (NOLA-PS) is announcing school closures and cancellation of all school-based activities for Monday and Tuesday of this week due to Tropical Storm Marco. With this announcement, all public school buildings will be closed until Wednesday. Though classes district-wide are currently being done through distance learning, some school buildings have been open to school staff and teachers for use. As of right now, all classes, though virtual, will be suspended for Monday and Tuesday.

These closures will also affect the prepared meals being offered to families for pick-up. Announcements will be made when they resume.

The District will continue to monitor the two storms over the next few days and will reassess needs for additional closures due to Tropical Storm Laura as we continue to learn more on the potential impacts to our area.

NOLA-PS reminds everyone to remain vigilant and to monitor the City’s announcements for updates regarding the storm. NOLA-PS will post all storm related announcements on its social media as well.
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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.

Guided by the Roadmap to Reopening, Grades PreK – 4th Grade Will Return to School Sept. 14–25, Grades 5-12 Set to Return Mid-October on Hybrid Schedules

PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF FAQS ABOUT THE REOPENING PLAN. 

NEW ORLEANS – (Aug. 28, 2020) – NOLA Public Schools (NOLA-PS) announced today that the City’s current health data is exceeding all health and safety criteria and unless our progress towards these goals changes the District will begin a phased return to in-person learning, beginning with PreK through 4th grade students, starting between Sept. 14th through Sept. 25th. The reopening plan, guided by NOLA-PS’ Roadmap to Reopening, was announced with support from local public health officials.

Middle and high school students in grades 5th through 12th will continue distance learning until at least mid-October. At that time, if health data trends remain positive, these students will return on a hybrid model of in-person and distance learning. Additionally, per the Roadmap to Reopening, any family, across all grades, may choose to remain on their current distance learning program.

The decision for a measured return to in-person learning was made following weeks of carefully tracking the latest health indicators – including a sustained decrease in the daily number of new COVID-19 cases at or below Phase 2 targets, a positive test rate of 5 percent or below and increased testing capacity. The District has carefully monitored these health metrics in coordination with City officials and as of today, these key indicators show that the city has met our reduction in new case and positive test rate goals for 18 consecutive days and the District has identified partners to increase the availability of testing for our school community. The District will continue to monitor these data metrics and make adjustments, if needed, depending on how data trends change.

“Our students, teachers, schools and families have done an incredible job transitioning to distance learning, but we know nothing can beat an in-person education, especially for our youngest students,” said NOLA-PS Superintendent of Schools Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr. “Therefore, we at NOLA Public Schools are so pleased that the health data indicates we can and should begin plans for returning students to the classroom starting in mid-September. I know as a parent and educator that the road we have been on has been challenging and these next steps won’t come easily and without concern. But I want all our families and educators to know we at NOLA-PS have and continue to make the health and safety of our community our top priority. Together we have come this far- through masking up and being mindful of what keeps us healthy- and together, we must continue to do our part to open our classroom doors and keep them open through the tremendous love and care we have for one another throughout our great city.”

"Our people have stepped up to help slow community spread of COVID-19, and because of their dedication: our children are in the process of returning to classrooms," said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. "Over the past few weeks, I have visited schools, both virtually and in-person, and I have seen the innovative and intentional approaches our educators are implementing to ensure that students' needs are met in the classroom and for virtual learning. Transitioning back to in-person learning means that we have to also show up for and support our educators, school administrators, staff, and their families, starting with prioritizing their COVID-19 testing. Together, we are making it possible for our children and those who dedicate their lives to their education return to schools safely and for the long-haul."

“When cases of COVID-19 were rising in New Orleans, we asked our community to step up and reduce the rate of spread in order to create conditions that would allow for students to start safely returning to classrooms,” said New Orleans Department of Health Director Dr. Jennifer Avegno. “Our announcement today means that our community listened. Our current data has significantly improved from where we were in July and we at the New Orleans Health Department support NOLA-PS’ plan to reopen classrooms to students in a slow and phased manner. But, in order for us to be successful in keeping schools open and returning more students back into classrooms, we must all remain vigilant in the daily steps we take to keep transmission rates low.”

As students in PreK through 4th grade and their teachers prepare for in-person learning, NOLA-PS also announced a multi-layered COVID-19 testing plan. First, the plan focuses on providing acute responsive testing that will help increase the ease, accessibility and frequency of testing for both NOLA Public School students and staff. By teaming up with both LCMC Health’s Children’s Hospital New Orleans and Ochsner Hospital for Children, our school community will be given front-line service to rapid COVID-19 testing if they are experiencing symptoms. Tests will be available through a mix of urgent care facilities, hospitals and mobile units deployed to community locations on a daily basis. More details on how to access these sites will be coming in the weeks ahead. An additional component of the plan also includes NOLA-PS working with Tulane University to a develop an asymptomatic testing program to deliver ongoing screening for teachers and school-based staff.

“Children’s Hospital New Orleans is proud to partner with NOLA Public Schools to provide COVID-19 testing for students and educators,” said Leron Finger, MD, Chief Quality Officer at Children’s Hospital. “The health of students and educators is crucial to safely returning to the classroom, an important step to getting our city back on its feet. This COVID-19 testing will serve as an important tool to quickly identify positive cases and further prevent the spread of the virus.”

“Ochsner Hospital for Children recognizes testing is key to helping school leaders make data-driven decisions to keep school communities safe, while minimizing disruption to education whenever feasible,” said William Lennarz, MD, System Chair of Pediatrics, Ochsner Hospital for Children.

“Tulane University is committed to proactive, asymptomatic testing in our community. The reopening of our schools is essential for students and the community and we are committed to helping make classrooms as safe as possible – for teachers and students. Screening these populations, in addition to our Tulane community, helps to make NOLA safer for everyone,” said Tulane President Michael A. Fitts.

Additionally, school-based staff will have access to LCMC Health’s nurse hotline to call for guidance on situations involving team members or students potentially affected by the virus.

“This pandemic has created historic challenges for our school community, but thanks to the hard work of our teachers, schools and the people of New Orleans, we are making it through,” said Board President Ethan Ashley. “We at NOLA Public Schools are so pleased for the partnerships with LCMC Health, Ochsner Hospital for Children, and Tulane University to offer a variety of testing strategies to our school community, all of which are essential tools for maintaining health and well-being of our students, teachers and staff. Together, we will continue to set and implement high standards for safely reopening our schools.”

Throughout the coming weeks and months, NOLA-PS will continue to partner with health experts to monitor the latest health data to prepare for a phased return to in-person learning and provide regular updates to our school community. If any significant changes occur, decisions related to reopening will be reconsidered.

As always, NOLA-PS maintains the authority to close any school building and revert to distance learning at any point it becomes necessary in order to safeguard students, teachers, staff and their families.

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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.

Hynes to Expand A-rated School Program To Third Campus

NEW ORLEANS – (Aug. 12, 2020) – On Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020, NOLA Public Schools (NOLA-PS) notified Mary D. Coghill Charter School faculty, staff and families, of the siting of the school to Hynes Charter School Corporation. Hynes Charter School Corporation will be responsible for the school’s operation and management beginning in the 2021-2022 school year. Currently, the school is being direct operated by NOLA-PS. The school serves Kindergarten through 8th grade and is located in the Gentilly Woods area at 4617 Mirabeau Ave.

“Late last year, as part of our regular reviews of charter contracts, it became apparent that Coghill was not progressing and maintaining standards set by the District. Therefore we made the tough decision that new leadership was needed to better serve the students and families of the Mary D. Coghill School,” said NOLA-PS Superintendent of Schools Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr. “I’m pleased to make this announcement today that Hynes will be taking over operations at Coghill starting for the 2021-2022 school year. Hynes has been one of most sought after school operators and we look forward to seeing them expand their reach and impact to more students in our city.”

In December of 2019, NOLA-PS Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr. recommended to the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) that the charter contract with Better Choice Foundation not be renewed due to its failure to meet renewal standards for the school per district policy. NOLA-PS has spent the past several months conducting an open siting process to determine a new operator for Mary D. Coghill. There were three eligible operators that applied to operate Mary D. Coghill. These applicants submitted required information to NOLA-PS. The District held two engagement sessions for families and two for staff to learn more about the interested operators.

In considering the applicants’ required submissions, feedback provided at engagement events, and portfolio analysis, NOLA-PS Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis has approved the siting of Mary D. Coghill to Hynes Charter School Corporation.

“Hynes is thankful and honored to have been chosen by NOLA-PS as the 2021-2022 operator of Coghill,” says Hynes CEO Dr. Michelle Douglas. “We look forward to partnering with the District during this transition year and providing Coghill families with the same high quality education that Hynes is known for at its other two campuses. Hynes has intentionally planned for replication and expansion of our successful program into other neighborhoods, and we feel this is the perfect opportunity to fulfill our goal of teaching more students. We are eager to get to know our Coghill family and transition into our newest home at the Parkview Campus in Gentilly Woods over the next year.”

The new school will replicate the Hynes curriculum, core values, and framework, as well as be focused on a well-rounded education for students. Hynes currently operates two schools including their A-rated Lakeview Campus (PK3 – 8th grade) and their UNO-based campus which currently serves children in Kindergarten –1st grade, eventually growing into a full Kindergarten - 8th grade campus. Hynes Charter Schools are some of the highest demand, non-selective admissions elementary schools in Orleans Parish. The original Hynes-Lakeview campus is a “Top Gains Honoree” for student progress and has a SACS/CASI accreditation. Hynes -UNO students in their first year exceeded their math and reading targets from the third quarter prior to school being disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
NOLA-PS will work closely with Mary D. Coghill and Hynes Charter School administration and staff throughout this year to ensure a smooth transition of management of the school.
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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.

ABOUT HYNES CHARTER SCHOOLS: Hynes offers a challenging academic curriculum that includes a progressive literacy program; gifted and talented courses, classes in art, instrumental music, vocal music, library, theater and physical education. Art and social-emotional learning are integrated throughout the curriculum. In addition, Hynes offers a French Immersion program. Hynes is proud of the collaborative culture that it fosters with distributed leadership and shared decision-making. Hynes has identified five core elements that drive its success: 1.) student centered instruction, 2.) an inclusive and positive school culture, 3.) tailored enrichment opportunities for students, 4.) an invested and committed community and 5.) having a sustainable organization. For more information, please call 504-324-7160, or visit the school website at www.hynesschool.com.

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