Mary D. Coghill School in Gentilly Woods.

Anticipating power outages resulting from incoming Hurricane Zeta, the NOLA Public Schools district announced Wednesday afternoon that both in-person and distance learning would be cancelled Thursday. 

“The safety of our students, their families, teachers, and staff is our top priority as we continue to monitor the potential impact of the storm to our school facilities and communities,” district spokeswoman Taslin Alfonzo wrote. 

This follows the district’s earlier decisions to cancel in-person classes Wednesday and then to cut the virtual school day early after Hurricane Zeta strengthened overnight.

Hurricane Zeta was expected to hit as a category 1 hurricane but strengthened overnight and is now a category 2, packing winds as high as 100 miles per hour. It is expected to make landfall along the Louisiana coast on Wednesday afternoon.

Officials have urged New Orleans residents to shelter in place beginning at 2 p.m. They also warn high winds could cause power outages and if outages occur, repair cannot begin until winds die down. 

The district will reassess the need for further closures after the storm.

“The return to distance learning and in-person learning will be determined once the District can assess the aftermath of the storm,” Alfonzo wrote.

School food service will also be cancelled Thursday. 

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...