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New Orleans schools delay, cancel classes due to smoke and fog

In this aerial photo, responders are seen near wreckage in the aftermath of a multi-vehicle pileup on I-55 in Manchac, La. on Oct. 23, 2023. A “super fog” of smoke from south Louisiana marsh fires and dense morning fog caused multiple traffic crashes involving scores of cars.
Gerald Herbert
First responders attend to a multi-vehicle pileup on I-55 in Manchac, La., on Monday. A “super fog” of smoke from south Louisiana marsh fires and dense morning fog caused multiple traffic crashes involving scores of cars.

Many New Orleans schools will start late on Tuesday, and a few will close completely, as smoke and fog are expected to make driving hazardous for a second morning.

Dense fog and smoke from two marsh fires combined early Monday, creating a dangerous “super fog” that reduced visibility to near-zero. Seven people were killed and dozens more injured in multiple multi-car crashes on Interstate 55, officials said.

The interstate was eventually closed in both directions and remains shut down while authorities clear debris, search for bodies and check for possible structural issues caused by at least two 18-wheelers that caught fire.

Taslin Alfonzo, a spokesperson for NOLA Public Schools, said in a statement that school networks have made individual decisions on whether to cancel, delay classes or proceed as usual.

The city’s all-charter system isn’t zoned by neighborhood, so children can attend any school, regardless of where they live and some travel long distances.

The district recommends that all outdoor after-school activities be closely monitored for the next few days due to air quality concerns, Alfonzo wrote.

Closures and delays for Tuesday

  • Algiers Charter will delay classes at its two schools. Martin Behrman will start at 10:30 a.m. and L.B. Landry at 9:30 a.m. Both schools will dismiss on-time. 
  • Audubon Charter Schools will delay classes by two hours at each campus: Broadway Campus will start at 10:15 a.m., Live Oak Campus at 9:45 a.m. and Gentilly Campus at 10:15 a.m.
  • Einstein Charter Schools will close its four campuses — Sarah T. Reed, Einstein Middle School, Village de L'Est Elementary and Sherwood Forest Elementary — Tuesday. Students are expected to learn remotely, asynchronously. 
  • FirstLine schools will start two hours late, with Samuel L. Green Charter School and Langston Hughes Academy at 9:15 a.m. and Phyllis Wheatley Community School and Arthur Ashe Charter School at 10:30 a.m. 
  • Hynes Charter School campuses will start two hours late.
  • InspireNOLA schools will be delayed. Elementary and middle schools will start at 8:30 a.m. and high schools will start at 9 a.m.
  • The International High School of New Orleans will start late at 10 a.m. and dismiss as usual at 3:30 p.m.
  • KIPP New Orleans schools will be delayed two hours, high schools will start at 9:25 a.m. and all other schools at 10:15 a.m.
  • The NET’s schools, including its middle school program, will start at 10 a.m.
  • New Orleans Charter Science and Math High School, or Sci High, will delay the start of classes until 9:15 a.m.
  • New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy will start at 9:25 a.m. and buses will pick up two hours later than usual. If needed, students may arrive as early at 6:30 a.m. School will dismiss at its regular time, 3:05 p.m., and after-school activities will be held.
  • Robert Russa Moton Charter School will close for the day.
  • Warren Easton Charter High School will start at 8:30 a.m. for the rest of the week.
Aubri Juhasz covers K-12 education, focusing on charter schools, education funding, and other statewide issues. She also helps edit the station’s audio stories.

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