How New Orleans became a leader in opening schools during the pandemic

By: | April 5, 2021

We have passed the one-year mark since we closed schools in New Orleans at the start of COVID-19. Prioritizing health and safety, we planned and prepared and proudly reopened our classrooms in September. We continued to follow the data and responded swiftly when we had to. For example, we closed schools briefly in January, when New Orleans experienced a spike in COVID cases, before reopening on February 1.

We are in a far better place now than we were last March. In fact, this March, we will have connected all of our teachers and school staff to places where they can get the vaccine—and we did this well ahead of schedule. Though we had initially anticipated it would take up to two months for our staff to have access to the first dose, we were able to make that happen in just three weeks.

The vaccine offers an added layer of protection for our team. Even as staff members get their shots, we are still doing all of the things you would expect: We check temperatures at entrances, keep classes small, require masks, and act swiftly when someone reports a positive COVID case. Thanks to these efforts and the cooperation of our entire community, our schools are open and continue to be among the safest spaces during this pandemic.

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