New Orleans Public Schools Cancel Monday Classes, Citing Power, Internet Outages

Nov 2, 2020

New Orleans public school students will miss another day of classes, Monday, due to ongoing power outages, the district announced Sunday. The district’s schools have been closed since last Wednesday when Hurricane Zeta hit the New Orleans area.

“[Monday’s] closure will give our schools time to work on resolving the ongoing service disruptions from Hurricane Zeta and provide families more time to have power and phone/internet services restored,” district spokeswoman Taslin Alfonzo wrote in a statement.

Zeta, a Category 2 storm, left hundreds of thousands without power. As of Monday morning, more than 6,000 New Orleans Entergy customers were still without electricity.

Individual schools are dealing with the consequences of prolonged power outages, including loss of student meals due to lack of refrigeration and unstable internet and phone service.

More than 85 percent of New Orleans public school students are considered “economically disadvantaged” and may qualify for free school meals. School feeding programs were suspended last Wednesday and remained closed as of Monday.

The district has not announced a timeline for returning students to virtual and in-person learning but is expected to provide another update later today.

Some schools will remain closed Tuesday for Election Day. Others have cancelled classes, but will be open for teacher professional development.