New Orleans Public Schools Issues COVID-19 Update
NEW ORLEANS – From New Orleans Public Schools: Per the proclamation issued by Governor John Bel Edwards all NOLA public schools have been ordered to close and will not resume in-class operations until April 13th. This necessary action is an effective way to slow the spread of COVID-19 across our city and state. The District will continue to update the public with developments as they become available. Please note what is new and what has previously been shared below.
NOLA Public Schools (NOLA-PS) has secured 5,000 hotspots to support gaps in Wi-Fi access for public school students most in need. NOLA-PS is utilizing emergency funding approved by the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) on Friday, March 13 to purchase the hotspots. NOLA-PS will be sharing additional details on how these will be disseminated soon.
Additionally, to support students to access on-line learning resources, NOLA-PS is:
- Exploring discounted bulk purchases of laptops or tablets for students in need in New Orleans
- Distributing information on Cox’s Connect2Compete program that offers reduced cost internet services to families
In addition, to support the student’s ongoing learning NOLA-PS, has taken proactive steps such as:
- Establishing an online tool box for charter schools to access that includes resources for schools to download to support student learning. The toolbox has been shared with early childhood providers, the Archdiocese of New Orleans and private schools as well.
- Providing a list of free online resources available to schools and students.
- Consulting with each charter school organization on their current distance learning plans and resources needs in order to fill immediate gaps and identify emerging resource needs.
- Providing resources and support for schools in planning for special education and high school seniors.
- Collecting and sharing resources with schools citywide on how to support the mental health needs of students during this crisis.
- Having dedicated staff on-call to help schools as they implement their distance learning plans.
Today, NOLA-PS, in collaboration with many charter school leaders, the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORD), local non-profit organizations, faith-based partners and private businesses, launched a full-scale Citywide Feeding Program. This program consists of 44 Community Feeding Distribution sites across New Orleans that ensure families can easily access breakfast and lunch during this prolonged school closure. The 44 sites consist of schools, NORD facilities and local business locations.
Since Monday, March 16, nearly 25,700 meals have been served to students in Orleans Parish, with approximately 17,000 being served today as of 3 p.m.
Citywide Feeding Program Details:
- 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.
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.
PLEASE REMEMBER THE FOLLOWING:
Yesterday, BESE submitted a letter to Gov. John Bel Edwards moving to cancel LEAP testing, school performance scores and requirements for end-of-course testing, a move many other states have made. At this time the district and our schools are focused on caring for our community by ensuring continuity of learning, and availability of child nutrition programs. The decision to cancel testing reflects long-standing BESE policy related to extended school closures. NOLA-PS will be assessing how these various waivers and potential actions will impact the 2019-202 school year and beyond as more information comes available over the coming months. Click here to see the full brief from BESE.
Even with districtwide school closures, NOLA-PS still anticipates releasing the results of the first round of OneApp later this month. Families can continue to submit Early Childhood applications until Friday, March 27, though you will not be able to complete the document verification process. Additional information will be shared with families who submit an application by that deadline about how to provide necessary documents for these programs. Families should complete the online portion of the application by the Friday, March 27 deadline. If you need help with the application or have any questions please email: email@example.com and visit: www.enrollnola.org.
SCHOOL DISTRICT OFFICES CLOSURES:
In response to the Governor’s emergency proclamation, all New Orleans Public Schools facilities are closed beginning Monday, March 16 through April 13. The closure will also include NOLA Public Schools’ central office, Mahalia Jackson Community Center, and all Family Resource Centers. Beginning March 16, non-essential NOLA-PS staff will work remotely. NOLA-PS is taking these extraordinary measures out of the abundance of caution for the safety of our students and staff. We encourage everyone to continue to check the NOLA-PS website and social media for up to the minute updates.
The District understands these are uncertain times, but by following the advice of health and city officials and working together to keep our children and educators healthy, we will persevere.
NOLA-PS continues to encourage our schools, students, and families to follow everyday practices to remain healthy and monitor their health in accordance with CDC recommendations. The District encourages our community of schools to follow local and state guidelines adhering to social distancing recommendations in an effort to keep our students, families, and educators healthy.
Additionally, NOLA-PS encourages all to remain connected and mindful of updates being disseminated by the District in order to stay informed of how COVID-19 is impacting our school community. For regular District updates, please visit our Coronavirus webpage.
For more information on the virus, visit http://ldh.la.gov/Coronavirus.
For information on what to do if you are sick, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/sick-with-2019-nCoV-fact-sheet.pdf.
If you have questions about Coronavirus, please contact the Coronavirus general information line at 1-855-523-2652 from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.