Students at 42 Charter School have their temperatures checked on the first day of in-person classes since COVID-19 shuttered schools in March of 2020.

As a long pandemic school year wraps up, NOLA Public Schools is tracking six “active” COVID-19 cases among staff and students as of this week — five of the six cases were reported in the last week. The cases have led to 52 quarantines, according to the district’s weekly case-tracking data posted Tuesday afternoon

Those numbers are significantly lower than the 20 active cases reported the week prior, which caused 408 people to quarantine. That’s likely due to schools closing out the school year, most graduations have been held and many schools held awards ceremonies mid-week last week on their final day of school. 

Also on Tuesday afternoon, NOLA Public Schools Superintendent Henderson Lewis Jr. announced he would not seek a contract renewal and will serve out his final school year next year. After receiving a mid-pandemic extension, Lewis’ contract will end June 30, 2022.

As summer school prepares to kick off, health data in the city is continuing to improve as well. The city is seeing an average of 18 new COVID-19 cases each day and the test positivity rate is 1.6 percent. 

Of the six cases, five were among students and one among staff. Just four campuses had people quarantining, those schools are Benjamin Franklin High School, The Living School, Morris Jeff Community School and McDonogh 35 Senior High School. Morris Jeff and McDonogh 35 both had about 20 people in quarantine. 

Meanwhile, vaccination rates once again inched up in the city over the prior week. Nearly 48 percent of New Orleans residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 43 percent are completely vaccinated. 

Asked if the district will continue to provide COVID-19 case information during summer school — which the district expects one-third of city students to attend — district spokeswoman Taslin Alfonzo responded.

“Per administration, we are currently working on our summer COVID-19 plans,” Alfonzo wrote in an email Tuesday evening.

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...