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Education

New Orleans charter operator pivots to online-only instruction due to COVID surge

L.B. Landry
Aubri Juhasz
/
WWNO
L.B. Landry High School in Algiers on May 1, 2021.

Students at two public schools in Algiers will switch to remote learning starting Thursday, joining the growing number of children across the city who are learning online temporarily due to the omicron variant.

Classes resumed in-person Tuesday at Martin Behrman Charter School and L.B. Landry High School, and many students and staff were tested before returning, officials for the schools’ charter operator Algiers Charter said in a statement. Two days later, a letter to families said the number of positive cases would impact their ability “to offer in-person learning safely,” though it did not share how many active cases were identified among staff and students.

“We have been monitoring our school community's test results and have determined that for the health and safety of our students and faculty/staff, it would be safer to pivot to virtual learning at this time,” Algiers Charter CEO Talé Lockett said in the statement.

Nearly 140 COVID cases were reported to the district last week by 27 schools, before students returned from winter break. Another 451 people were in quarantine.

There were 0 cases identified at L.B. Landry last week and 4 cases — resulting in 24 quarantines — at Martin Behrman. Data from this week will be released by the district next Monday.

Students at both schools are expected to return to the classroom on Jan. 24.

Several New Orleans public schools opted to have students return from winter break online-only and plan to resume in-person instruction in a few weeks.

New Orleans Science and Mathematics High School resumed classes following winter break online-only, and remote learning is expected to last through Jan. 17.

Arise Schools will move its two K-8 schools, Arise Academy in the Upper Ninth Ward and Mildred Osborne Charter School in New Orleans East, completely online starting Jan. 10 through at least Jan. 18, according to a message sent to families Friday.

The charter operator moved classes for Arise Academy students in grades 5-8 online Wednesday and said at the time that all other students would continue to learn in-person but that after school activities would be moved online.

Einstein Charter Schools has also opted to move its four schools online this week and will resume in-person classes on Jan. 10.

The vast majority of schools have resumed face-to-face or plan to in the coming days, and many opted to delay classes a few days so that students would have more time to get tested.

Schools strongly encouraged students and staff to get tested before returning from winter break and many provided testing on-campus following the district’s directive.

Editor's note: This story was updated on Jan. 7 to include the latest information on Arise Schools.

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