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Hynes to Expand A-rated School Program To Third Campus

NEW ORLEANS – (Aug. 12, 2020) – On Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020, NOLA Public Schools (NOLA-PS) notified Mary D. Coghill Charter School faculty, staff and families, of the siting of the school to Hynes Charter School Corporation. Hynes Charter School Corporation will be responsible for the school’s operation and management beginning in the 2021-2022 school year. Currently, the school is being direct operated by NOLA-PS. The school serves Kindergarten through 8th grade and is located in the Gentilly Woods area at 4617 Mirabeau Ave.

“Late last year, as part of our regular reviews of charter contracts, it became apparent that Coghill was not progressing and maintaining standards set by the District. Therefore we made the tough decision that new leadership was needed to better serve the students and families of the Mary D. Coghill School,” said NOLA-PS Superintendent of Schools Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr. “I’m pleased to make this announcement today that Hynes will be taking over operations at Coghill starting for the 2021-2022 school year. Hynes has been one of most sought after school operators and we look forward to seeing them expand their reach and impact to more students in our city.”

In December of 2019, NOLA-PS Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr. recommended to the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) that the charter contract with Better Choice Foundation not be renewed due to its failure to meet renewal standards for the school per district policy. NOLA-PS has spent the past several months conducting an open siting process to determine a new operator for Mary D. Coghill. There were three eligible operators that applied to operate Mary D. Coghill. These applicants submitted required information to NOLA-PS. The District held two engagement sessions for families and two for staff to learn more about the interested operators.

In considering the applicants’ required submissions, feedback provided at engagement events, and portfolio analysis, NOLA-PS Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis has approved the siting of Mary D. Coghill to Hynes Charter School Corporation.

“Hynes is thankful and honored to have been chosen by NOLA-PS as the 2021-2022 operator of Coghill,” says Hynes CEO Dr. Michelle Douglas. “We look forward to partnering with the District during this transition year and providing Coghill families with the same high quality education that Hynes is known for at its other two campuses. Hynes has intentionally planned for replication and expansion of our successful program into other neighborhoods, and we feel this is the perfect opportunity to fulfill our goal of teaching more students. We are eager to get to know our Coghill family and transition into our newest home at the Parkview Campus in Gentilly Woods over the next year.”

The new school will replicate the Hynes curriculum, core values, and framework, as well as be focused on a well-rounded education for students. Hynes currently operates two schools including their A-rated Lakeview Campus (PK3 – 8th grade) and their UNO-based campus which currently serves children in Kindergarten –1st grade, eventually growing into a full Kindergarten - 8th grade campus. Hynes Charter Schools are some of the highest demand, non-selective admissions elementary schools in Orleans Parish. The original Hynes-Lakeview campus is a “Top Gains Honoree” for student progress and has a SACS/CASI accreditation. Hynes -UNO students in their first year exceeded their math and reading targets from the third quarter prior to school being disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
NOLA-PS will work closely with Mary D. Coghill and Hynes Charter School administration and staff throughout this year to ensure a smooth transition of management of the school.
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ABOUT NOLA PUBLIC SCHOOLS: NOLA Public Schools is the public school district for Orleans Parish, which includes the district’s elected school board, known as the Orleans Parish School Board and the district’s administration led by NOLA Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis Jr. NOLA Public Schools currently oversees 78 public schools. For more information, visit www.nolapublicschools.com. For updates, follow NOLA Public Schools on Facebook @NOLAPublicSchools, Instagram @nolaps and Twitter @NOLAPSchools.

ABOUT HYNES CHARTER SCHOOLS: Hynes offers a challenging academic curriculum that includes a progressive literacy program; gifted and talented courses, classes in art, instrumental music, vocal music, library, theater and physical education. Art and social-emotional learning are integrated throughout the curriculum. In addition, Hynes offers a French Immersion program. Hynes is proud of the collaborative culture that it fosters with distributed leadership and shared decision-making. Hynes has identified five core elements that drive its success: 1.) student centered instruction, 2.) an inclusive and positive school culture, 3.) tailored enrichment opportunities for students, 4.) an invested and committed community and 5.) having a sustainable organization. For more information, please call 504-324-7160, or visit the school website at www.hynesschool.com.

NOLA-PS LAUNCHES ‘MASK UP FOR OUR KIDS’ CAMPAIGN

Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr. and Mayor LaToya Cantrell Urge NOLA Community to Mask Up Now to Save Lives & Help Get Kids Back in the Classroom

Click here for Mask Up imagery for media use

NEW ORLEANS – (July 24, 2020) - As COVID-19 cases rise across throughout the New Orleans region, NOLA Public Schools (NOLA-PS) is prioritizing health and safety by working with schools, teachers, parents and students to prepare for a distance-learning start to the school year. With a goal of getting students back to in-person learning in September, NOLA-PS is urging residents to take steps today that will limit the spread of COVID-19 in the community and make in-person learning possible. That’s why NOLA-PS, Mayor LaToya Cantrell, iHeart Radio and Cumulus radio stations, and WBOK-FM are partnering to launch the “Mask Up For Our Kids” campaign to encourage all members of the NOLA community wear a mask or face covering and practice social distancing whenever possible.

“Our message to the NOLA community is clear – we need everyone to mask up for our kids,” said NOLA-PS Superintendent of Schools Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr. “Now is the time for all members of our community to do our part to stop the spread and create an environment where kids can go back into classrooms. We all know what to do and we can do it together, so let’s mask up, wash our hands, and social distance. Together, we’ll save lives and get students back to a learning environment that’s best for them; the classroom. I’d like to thank Mayor Cantrell for her leadership on this issue, and our radio partners for helping us to get this critical message out to the NOLA community.”

NOLA-PS’ Roadmap to Reopening originally planned for all schools to offer both in-person and distance learning in August. However, due to the rise in COVID-19 cases NOLA-PS has have announced the decision to delay in-person learning until after Labor Day. The message of this campaign is clear – we need NOLA-PS community members to mask up today in order to limit the spread of COVID-19 to help save lives and get kids back into classrooms in September.

NOLA-PS will continue to work with Mayor Cantrell as well as local, state and federal health authorities to monitor the number of cases, testing capacity and indications of community spread. The District will assess data at the end of August to determine if in-person instruction can resume starting after Labor Day.

With support from iHeart Radio and Cumulus stations, as well as WBOK-FM, this campaign will launch with a 30-second public service campaign featuring Mayor LaToya Cantrell and Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis to air on local radio stations beginning on Saturday, July 25. Additionally, Mayor Cantrell and NOLA-PS social media channels will be sharing information on their social media channels as well.

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ABOUT NOLA PUBLIC SCHOOLS: NOLA Public Schools is the public school district for Orleans Parish, which includes the district’s elected school board, known as the Orleans Parish School Board and the district’s administration led by NOLA Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis Jr. NOLA Public Schools currently oversees 78 public schools. For more information, visit www.nolapublicschools.com. For updates, follow NOLA Public Schools on Facebook @NOLAPublicSchools, Instagram @nolaps and Twitter @NOLAPSchools.

NOLA-PS ANNOUNCES PROCUREMENT OF PPE SUPPLIES FOR ALL ORLEANS PARISH PUBLIC SCHOOLS DURING VIRTUAL PRESS CONFERENCE

District announces hiring of new Medical Advisor; New Orleans Department of Health Director Dr. Avegno speaks on NOLA-PS’ important partnership with the City.
Click here for PPE supplies photos


NEW ORLEANS – (July 14, 2020) – Today during a virtual press conference, NOLA Public Schools (NOLA-PS) announced it has procured PPE supplies for all Orleans Parish public schools to utilize on campus for the 2020-2021 academic school year. NOLA-PS also announced the hiring of Dr. Benjamin Springgate as the District’s Medical Advisor. Additionally, New Orleans Department of Health’s Director Dr. Jennifer Avegno spoke about how NOLA-PS is working closely with the City to analyze health data trends to prepare for the return to campus next month.

NOLA-PS is problem-solving at the District level to ensure the safety of all students and educators when schools reopen next month. To that effect, NOLA-PS worked diligently to procure various PPE supplies that will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 on campus. Starting next week, and over the next few weeks, Orleans Parish public schools will receive a kit with the following supplies:
• 4,800-9,200 Disposable and reusable face masks per site
• 200-750 Face shields per site
• 8,000-16,000 Nitrile gloves per site
• 10 Gallons of hand sanitizer and 20 hand sanitizer stations per site
• 4 No-touch thermometers per site
• 40 Thermal-insulated food storage bags per site
• 40 Gallons of disinfectants per site

These PPE supplies will be used in addition to the safety requirements already in place in NOLA-PS’ Roadmap to Reopening. These safety standards include face covering requirements for all students and staff, frequent handwashing, temperature checks and limiting class size.

During the press conference, New Orleans Department of Health’s Director Dr. Jennifer Avegno discussed how NOLA-PS and the City have worked closely together to find the safest way to re-open schools for the upcoming academic year. The District is working hand in hand with the Mayor’s office and the city health department to evaluate health data trends to determine if any changes need to be made to the reopening plans, whether that is in August and at any point in the school year.

The District will welcome Dr. Benjamin Springgate as NOLA-PS Medical Advisor. As Medical Advisor, Dr. Springgate will aid in the reentry planning processes and will be available to all schools in the District to advise on actions to take and how to keep campuses safe. Dr. Springgate is an associate professor of clinical medicine at Louisiana State University (LSU) and received his medical degree from the Tulane University School of Medicine where he also completed his residency both in internal medicine and pediatrics.

In order to be transparent with students, families, teachers, staff and the community, NOLA-PS will be hosting a press conference every week leading up to the start of the upcoming school year. NOLA-PS will utilize these press conferences to provide updates about the upcoming academic school year. NOLA-PS will welcome Dr. Benjamin Springgate as a guest at next week’s press conference.
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ABOUT NOLA PUBLIC SCHOOLS:  NOLA Public Schools is the public school district for Orleans Parish, which includes the district’s elected school board, known as the Orleans Parish School Board and the district’s administration led by NOLA Public Schools Superintendent Dr.  Henderson Lewis, Jr. NOLA Public Schools currently oversees 78 public schools. For more information, visit  www.nolapublicschools.com.  For updates, follow NOLA Public Schools on  Facebook @NOLAPublicSchools,  Instagram @nolaps  and Twitter  @NOLAPSchools.  

NOLA-PS Announces First Day of School to Start with Distance Learning

To help New Orleans get back on track and help keep students and teachers healthy amid the current rate of community spread, schools will start with distance learning for August.

New Orleans – (July 21, 2020) — With COVID-19 cases rising across New Orleans, NOLA Public Schools (NOLA-PS) announced today, with the support of Mayor Cantrell and public health officials, that students will start the school year with distance learning, with the goal of returning students to in-person learning after Labor Day.

“While returning students to the classroom is absolutely critical, the latest data is unfortunately going in the wrong direction and we just can’t do that at this time,” said NOLA-PS Superintendent of Schools Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr. “Our top priority has always been the health and well-being of our students, teachers, faculty and staff and given the current levels of community spread, we have made the difficult decision to delay in-person learning at least until after Labor Day. Now, what happens next is up to all of us; that’s why I am asking everyone to mask up, wash your hands, socially distance when possible, and stay home if you are feeling sick. There are over 45,000 students in New Orleans that depend on all of us to do our part.”

The decision to pivot to distance learning for the start of school was made based upon a review of the City’s health data trends and the advice of medical experts. Moving forward, the District will continue to monitor key indicators including the number of new cases, testing capacity, and indications of community spread. The district will assess data at the end of August to determine if in-person instruction can resume starting after Labor Day.

Families can expect to hear additional details on start of schools from their individual schools starting July 22nd. NOLA-PS, along with charter school leaders, are committed to helping New Orleans get back on track and to help keep students and teachers healthy given the current rate of community spread.

“This is a difficult decision, yet not so difficult considering the existing conditions in our city," said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. "These decisions will have a significant, cascading effect on our city because our children won't be able to attend school with direct instruction. Prior to the 4th of July, I pleaded to the community that if we wanted our children to return to school, in the environment that they are used to and that they need to thrive, that it depended on the actions of adults. We need to turn this around and we can do it, but let's make sure that our children remain our top priority and that we don't lose them in the midst of distanced learning."

“Our level of community transmission is too high to support immediate return to in-person school,” said City Health Director Dr. Jennifer Avegno. “And while we have seen that kids are not as susceptible to severe illness, we do know that they can transmit the virus to those who are. I want to be clear: in an ideal world, we all agree that the best place for kids to be is in the classroom. So let this be a motivator for all of us. Every single thing each and every one of us does in the next few weeks should be with the goal of supporting the children of New Orleans.”

While students will start learning remotely this year, school buildings will remain open so that staff may access the building to support distance learning and offer critical services and supports to families as needed, such as school meals, while following the established health and safety protocols.

“While this is a very tough decision, it is the right one that we must make at this time for the health and safety of our students, teachers, families and community. As we move forward, we can’t do this alone,” said Board President Ethan Ashley. “We need the help of our entire community to take the necessary precautions and mask up. The actions that we take today, have a direct impact on what our children can do in the future.”

Throughout the month of August, NOLA-PS will continue to host weekly briefings alongside public health advisors, to provide regular updates on a return to in-person learning and steps the District is taking to ensure students and teachers are supported throughout this time.


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ABOUT NOLA PUBLIC SCHOOLS: 
NOLA Public Schools is the public school district for Orleans Parish, which includes the district’s elected school board, known as the Orleans Parish School Board and the district’s administration led by NOLA Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr. NOLA Public Schools currently oversees 78 public schools. For more information, visit www.nolapublicschools.com. For updates, follow NOLA Public Schools on Facebook @NOLAPublicSchools, Instagram @nolaps and Twitter @NOLAPSchools.  


The Roadmap outlines a phased approach with clear standards for all schools to adhere to when implementing their school-specific plans for next year

NEW ORLEANS – (July 1, 2020) - NOLA Public Schools (NOLA-PS) has released its Roadmap to Reopening Schools for the upcoming academic year. The Roadmap outlines a common approach for how and when all NOLA-PS schools’ will provide instruction across various scenarios, based upon the City of New Orleans’ reopening phases and guidelines set by the Louisiana Department of Education, and defines a set of health and safety standards that all schools will be expected to implement as school buildings reopen. The plan was informed by months of listening to community stakeholders, the NOLA-Public Schools Reopening Task Force; the findings of our community stakeholder survey; coordination with our school leaders; advice from medical experts, and local, state, and federal health guidelines.

The Roadmap prioritizes the health and safety of students, staff, and families; maximizes in-person student learning; provides flexibility to meet the varied needs of families; and creates citywide consistency in standards and expectations. Given the priority on student and staff safety, specific safety precautions include: required face coverings for staff and students, frequent handwashing, temperature checks upon arrival, and enhanced cleaning of classrooms, facilities, and buses.

Additionally, the plan calls for NOLA-PS schools to offer a mix of in-person and distance learning, based upon the status of the City of New Orleans’ reopening phases, prioritizing in-person instruction, especially for our youngest students with PreK through 4th grade returning to classrooms daily, citywide in Phase 2. Additional school-based plans will vary, within the framework provided, given the school’s enrollment, staffing and other factors, such as transportation capacity. Parents should hear from their respective schools on what their plans are, aligned to the Roadmap, starting the week of July 6th.

“Thank you to all of our students and families who have waited patiently to receive our reopening plan. I also want to thank and acknowledge the hard work of the District staff, the Reopening Task Force and our partners - all of whom have been working diligently to determine all of the safest ways to return to campus for the upcoming school year under state and local health guidelines,” said Orleans Parish School Board President Ethan Ashley. “A top priority of the District during this time is to ensure the health and well-being of our students, teachers, staff, and families by setting the proper standards and maintaining accountability for all of our schools. And we will also work with our school leaders to ensure that all students are served equitably across the District, whether they are in the classroom or at home.”
NOLA Public Schools will consult with the City of New Orleans and the New Orleans Health Department on a regular basis to assess public health data and the City’s progress towards critical health milestones to determine if any alterations to the Roadmap are needed at any point this school year. Given the fluid nature of COVID-19 in our community, adjustments to the return to school model may be required.
Specifications for each phase are detailed and include guidance on number of people allowed in rooms at one time, cleaning protocols, bus capacities, and more but highlights for each include:

Phase 1:
• School buildings will not be open; all schools will offer distance learning only

Phase 2:
• PreK-4 grade will return to school full time
• Grades 5-8 will receive a mix of in-person and distance learning, with some grades attending daily, based upon school capacity.
• Grades 9-12 will receive at minimum 2 days of in-person instruction weekly
• Students with most critical special needs may attend school full time regardless of grade level
• Schools will offer distance learning on a quarterly basis for all families not ready to return to in-person learning
• Face coverings required for all students and staff members

Phase 3:
• Schools will follow Phase 2 model. If a school can accommodate additional grades on-site they may
• Face coverings required for all students and staff members

“We believe the Roadmap provides our school community with a clear and strong foundation to guide our collective work in serving the children of Orleans parish this coming school year and NOLA-PS stands ready to support our educators as they prepare to open school campuses in the safest manner possible” said NOLA-PS Superintendent of Schools Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr. “During such challenging times, I am thankful for coordination across our schools, advice of our health experts, and honest and thoughtful feedback from students, families and teachers which directly informed our plans. As we learn what additional steps may be needed to respond to the virus from health experts, we will adjust our plans as needed. We will do everything in our power to help keep staff, students and their families safe.”

“NOLA Public Schools has put forth a comprehensive Roadmap to Reopening,” said New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “I appreciate the thought and care that went into this plan that prepares for every possible scenario. It’s imperative that we continue to work together, especially during this changing landscape, to ensure students and teachers, as well as their families, are as safe as possible this upcoming school year.”

“Requiring face coverings for staff and older children, limiting large groups and gatherings, and strict sanitation on school campuses are simple but critical steps we can take for preventing the spread of COVID-19,” said New Orleans Department of Health Director Jennifer Avegno, MD. “We need to be doing everything possible to ensure students and teachers feel safe when then return to school.”

Educators will be on the forefront of serving students and much is being asked of them this coming school year. The District fully stands behind teachers and will continue to take steps to support them as they take on essential role in serving our students. Specific actions include building a plan with the City of New Orleans to ensure teachers and other school-based staff have regular and prioritized access to COVID-19 testing and partnering with New Orleans Children’s hospital to provide training to teachers and other school-based staff on safety precautions.

NOLA-PS will also be building a set of supplemental guidance and resources for schools to access when implementing aspects of the plan. Such guidance will include exemplar safety protocols, guidance for serving special education students and other high-needs populations in distance learning and addressing the social and emotional needs of students and staff. Such tools will begin to be available in mid-July on the District’s website.

To keep the community informed as the school year begins, Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr. will give regular, public updates on COVID-19 specific to schools, share news on the status of the implementation of the Roadmap, any needed adjustments, and other pertinent news regarding COVID-19’s impact on our schools.

To access the Reopening Roadmap, click here.

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ABOUT NOLA PUBLIC SCHOOLS:  NOLA Public Schools is the public school district for Orleans Parish, which includes the district’s elected school board, known as the Orleans Parish School Board and the district’s administration led by NOLA Public Schools Superintendent Dr.  Henderson Lewis, Jr. NOLA Public Schools currently oversees 78 public schools. For more information, visit  www.nolapublicschools.com.  For updates, follow NOLA Public Schools on  Facebook @NOLAPublicSchools,  Instagram @nolaps  and Twitter  @NOLAPSchools.  

External Resources

NOLA Public Schools. Every Child. Every School. Every Day.

2401 Westbend Parkway
New Orleans, Louisiana 70114

Phone: 504-304-3520
Email: Communications@opsb.us

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