Re-Opening New Orleans Public Schools

Benjamin Bates Data News Weekly Contributor

Safety Matters: Getting Ready for School During COVID-19 (bold)

Orleans Public Schools will be opening to students in the coming weeks and for school leaders, teachers, and parents; questions about when and how they will re-open safely in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic is on the minds of many.

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The New Orleans Public Schools have been closed since March because of COVID-19. Recently, NOLA Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Henderson Lewis Jr. says, he and his team will continue their reopening plan which is expected in early August 100% virtual. With in person and hybrid classes resuming tentatively after Labor Day for the 2020-2021 school year for students. But says much of what they do after re-opening will depend on phased re-opening orders from the City.

“We want to make sure that safety is our priority in every phase that we will experience as we go through this crisis,” said the NOLA Public Schools Superintendent in a statement released to the press.

“Safety will be a top priority, always. And we will be adhering to the guidelines that are shared with us from the state and local level,” said Dr. Lewis.

In a statement he also remarked, New Orleans Public Schools may consider offering online classes to students who aren’t quite comfortable going back to campus if and when they reopen.

“Any family who doesn’t feel comfortable to return to school for in-person learning has the option to learn from home on a quarterly basis,” said Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr., during a virtual news conference.

A plan is in place to mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19. Part of the district’s supplemental guidance, they mapped out how they will treat a child or staff member who shows COVID-19 symptoms.

If someone has a 100-degree temperature or higher, they will be immediately isolated then another temperature check will be taken to confirm fever. The district says it’s administrators will then send the student or staff member home. If the individual tests positive for the coronavirus, any individual they have come in close contact with will have to be quarantined at home for 14 days.

Re-Opening NOLA Public Schools
Since the City is in Phase 2 of re-opening plan, below is the most recent information for NOLA Public Schools

For Grades PreK-8:
Students in grades PreK-4 will return to school full-time on regular basis (5 days a week).
• Students in grades 5-8 will receive a mix of in person and distance learning, with rotating in person sessions scheduled by their individual school.
• Students with the most critical special needs, as determined by the school, may also return to school full-time (regardless of grade level).
• If a school can accommodate additional grades in person, while adhering to operational standards and other terms above, schools may do so.

For Grades 9-12:
• High School students will receive a mix of in person and distance learning, attending school a minimum of two days a week, based upon the students’ course schedule.
• Students with the most critical special needs, as determined by the school, may also return to school full-time (regardless of grade level).
• If a school can accommodate additional days of in person instruction, while adhering to operational standards of other terms above schools may do so.

Across All Schools:
• All schools will offer distance learning option on a quarterly basis for families not ready to return to in-person learning.
• Students may enter the full-time distance learning option at any time and must remain in the learning path for the remainder of any given school quarter.

Lewis says reopening plans must remain fluid and it can change depending on the health data.

All Information is as of press time and is subject to change.

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