Many NOLA Public Schools had planned holidays while others continued to assess Hurricane Zeta damage.

For the fifth day in a row, many NOLA Public Schools district buildings will be closed Tuesday after the city experienced large power outages from Hurricane Zeta.

Many schools had already planned holidays on Election Day. District officials said parents should check with their individual school.

“NOLA Public Schools (NOLA-PS) will return to regular operations Wednesday, Nov. 4, after schools have assessed and responded to the impacts of Hurricane Zeta. This return includes the full reinstatement of NOLA-PS’ community feeding program,” district spokeswoman Taslin Alfonzo wrote in a Monday email. 

“NOLA-PS central offices and most NOLA Public Schools will be closed for Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 3,” Alfonzo wrote. “Students’ families should check with their school administrators for specific information.”

Election Day was already a planned holiday at all schools operated by KIPP New Orleans Schools, InspireNOLA Schools, FirstLine Schools and Crescent City Schools. The groups operate about one-third of city schools.

Hurricane Zeta, which was a strong Category 2 at landfall in southeast Louisiana, caused widespread wind damage throughout the region. The storm cut short a planned Wednesday virtual school day and closed schools entirely on Thursday, Friday and Monday. 

Packing near 100-mile-per hour winds, the storm initially left close to 80 percent of the city without power and roughly 75 percent of schools in the dark as well. While much of the city’s electricity has been restored, some key intersections remained without power Monday. 

Many district schools also serve as polling locations. Ahead of Election Day, polling locations have been prioritized for power restoration, Gov. John Bel Edwards said last week. Any polling locations without power will have a generator. Despite electricity being restored, internet and phone service outages are an ongoing concern for educators as the school year continues in a limbo of virtual and in-person classes due to the pandemic. 

Families should check with their individual school for specific operating details. 

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...