John McDonogh High School on Esplanade Avenue. (Marta Jewson/The Lens)

NOLA Public Schools has cancelled remote learning scheduled for Tuesday due to Hurricane Sally which is expected to cause a ‘a very big rain event’ for the city, Mayor LaToya Cantrell warned citizens earlier in the day.

Collin Arnold, the director of the city’s office of homeland security and emergency preparedness, also warned the hurricane could cause power outages which would likely disrupt online learning. 

The district had already announced students would learn from home Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week. The storm delayed an anticipated return to in-person learning in New Orleans on Monday, for the first time since schools were shuttered by the pandemic in the spring. 

The school year began online in August and students have attended remotely since then. Schools will be allowed to reopen to pre-kindergarten through fourth grade students between Sept. 17 and Sept. 25. Older students will continue to learn remotely until at least mid-October.

The storm, a Category 2 hurricane, is expected to linger over the Gulf Coast on Tuesday. On Sunday, the National Hurricane Center had the center of the storm’s track pointed straight at New Orleans. It has since shifted eastward, meaning forecasters expect the worst effects to hit coastal Mississippi and Alabama, though officials have warned metro area residents to continue to expect winds and possible flooding.

The district joins Jefferson Parish, Plaquemines Parish and St. Bernard Parish in closing schools Tuesday. Many Catholic Schools run by the Archdiocese of New Orleans in the area are closed as well. 

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...