All public schools in Louisiana will be closed starting Monday, March 16. Governor John Bel Edwards signed the proclamation Friday afternoon.
The decision comes as the nation scrambles to stop the spread of coronavirus. Conventions and festivals have been cancelled locally and nationally.
Schools are to remain closed until April 13, the proclamation states, and schools may offer distance learning “as capabilities exist.”
This week, administrators said the school district was communicating with individual schools to assess what resources would be needed to make distance learning possible — from wireless hotspots to computers.
At an emergency board meeting Friday afternoon, the Orleans Parish School Board approved the emergency spending of $5 million for coronavirus-related expenditures. That includes distance learning resources and technology, sanitation services, and meal delivery to students, but an official plan has not yet been released, leaving questions about when such resources might be made available.
The proclamation from Gov. Edwards also suspends the required number of minutes students must receive instruction per year, which would likely remove the need for classes to be made up later.
Too much to keep up with? Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you a news roundup at the end of each week.