Guest Column: In Dire Times, New Orleans Public Schools are Starting Strong

August 11 | The Advocate

In this piece, our CEO outlines the ways in which New Orleans school leaders have risen to the challenges of this historic school year. He outlines how leaders have prepared for every contingency in order to safely serve their students.

A Conversation with Principal Towana Pierre-Floyd

August 6 | NSNO Blog

On Mondays at 12:30pm, Patrick Dobard, CEO of New Schools for New Orleans, hosts “Talking NOLA Schools” on WBOK 1230 AM. In June, he spent the show talking with Frederick A. Douglass High School principal Towana Pierre-Floyd. In their conversation, Ms. Pierre-Floyd discussed the legacy of New Orleans’ schools, helping students process racial violence, and the way Douglass nurtures “Black girl magic” and “Black boy joy,” and more. We share some of her thoughts here, and you can catch the full interview here.

So, You Want to Run for School Board. First Ask Yourself If You Believe in the Genius of Black Children and You Are Willing to Fight to See It Realized

August 4 | The 74 Million

Stewardship of anything is not a right, but rather a privilege. For every individual considering running for a school board seat within a traditional public school system, every individual contemplating joining a charter school board, and every current sitting school board member within either setting: This message is for you.

In the height of our chants and demands to create a world where Black lives truly matter, I challenge you to examine the beliefs and assumptions you may hold about Black children, in particular, as you consider accepting positions to exercise governance of their public education.

NOLA Public Schools Roadmap

July 2020 | NOLA Public Schools

The NOLA Public Schools Roadmap to Reopening Schools is a set of operational expectations guiding the citywide reopening of schools in response to the challenges COVID-19 continues to present to our school community. This plan provides a phased approach with clear standards for schools to adhere to as they reopen to serve students and staff. This plan identifies specific actions—rooted in data and best practices identified by health experts—that school staff, students, and families will need to undertake daily in order to safely resume in-person instruction and critical services supporting social and emotional health.

Reopening New Orleans Schools: Officials Pivot to Remote Start Until At Least After Labor Day

July 21 | The Advocate

In a joint press conference held on July 21 with Mayor LaToya Cantrell, [Superintendent] Lewis said students would learn from home until at least after the holiday, which is Sept. 7, to give city and district officials a chance to assess critical health data at the end of August and determine if in-person return is safe.

Keeping Our Communities Safe And Our Students Learning

July 21 | NSNO Blog

NSNO summarizes the COVID-19 related guidance distributed by NOLA PS, the City of New Orleans, and the Louisiana Department of Education.

Guest Column: School Safety and Equity Require Tools Old and New

July 3 | The Advocate

In this piece, our CEO discusses the protective equipment and technology necessary to ensure that every child is able to receive a safe and equitable education in the 2020-2021 school year. He focuses on internet connectivity as one of the keys to equity in this historic time.

School Leaders Collaborating on Reopening Plans

June 24 | The 74 Million

The 74 Million interviewed School Leaders from across New Orleans in the aftermath of COVID-19 school closures, finding that School Leaders’ commitment to collaborating with one another was renewed in this time of crisis. The article explores the challenges and opportunities that arise from New Orleans’ unique, decentralized school system.

In a Pandemic, a Path Forward: New Orleans Schools Team Up to Offer ‘Bridge Year’ to Get More Grads to College, Careers

June 2 | The 74 Million

This article profiles Next Level NOLA, a new program that offers a free “bridge year” for recent high school graduates. This program provides students with access to a first year of college online at Southern New Hampshire University, with intensive support, and training to bring up their ACT scores in hopes of becoming eligible for Louisiana’s unique TOPS college scholarship program, which offers sizable aid to students who earn good admissions test scores and enroll in a college located in the state.


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