ReNEW Schools plans to install a fence on a one-story rooftop at its building in Carrollton after two incidents in which police were called to deal with a student who had walked onto the roof.

Employees with ReNEW and its landlord, the Recovery School District, met Friday to discuss the plans. The school district will seek approval from the state fire marshal and handle the installation, said ReNEW President Kevin Guitterrez.

The charter network houses its therapeutic program and several preschool classrooms at the McNair building on South Carrollton Avenue. Students in the therapeutic program, who are enrolled at ReNEW’s six schools, receive intensive, psycho-social services for behavioral and mental-health problems.

In October, police escorted a teenage student down from the roof. A month later, police were again called to the school. A teenage student had opened an unlocked door, which leads to a fire escape, and walked onto the roof. The fire escape provides access to the roof and the ground.

ReNEW officials said they cannot lock the fire door for safety reasons. But they met with state and city fire officials to see if they can prevent students from getting onto the roof.

A city spokeswoman said the New Orleans Fire Department checked out the building in December and confirmed the door can’t be locked.

The department “recommended that the school install an alarm so that staff could be made aware whenever the door is opened,” Erin Burns wrote in an email.

ReNEW wants to cordon off a portion of the roof by installing a fence on the parapet, creating an 8-foot-high barrier.

The state fire marshal’s office could change those plans, Guitterrez said.

He said the Recovery School District will be “in charge of contracting or doing whatever is necessary to complete the safety upgrades.”

Marta Jewson

Marta Jewson covers education in New Orleans for The Lens. She began her reporting career covering charter schools for The Lens and helped found the hyperlocal news site Mid-City Messenger. Jewson returned...