I am writing to provide you with an update on the Crescent City Schools network – its staff, students, and campuses – in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. If you are a local New Orleanian, then you have personally witnessed the hurricane’s impact – on your own home, your neighbor’s home, or your neighborhood. If you are an out-of-state supporter, then you likely have read about or seen footage of the devastating impact the hurricane had throughout Louisiana, as well as other states in the South and Northeast.
I want to take this opportunity to share with you, our friends and supporters, a few key updates on the safety of our staff and students, the impact of the hurricane on our campuses, and our preparations to safely return students to school buildings.
Safety of Staff, Students, and Families
Our network and school leaders have maintained contact with our staff members in anticipation of, during, and post-hurricane. Many of our staff members chose to evacuate in advance of the storm, while others opted to shelter in place. Additional staff members chose to leave the city when estimates for the restoration of power to the city were 4-6 weeks. Fortunately, those estimates have improved, and many New Orleans residents have seen their power restored in the past few days. Since the hurricane passed, CCS staff have been reaching out to every family with a child enrolled in our schools, to check in with them and provide them with information about how they can access help or additional resources.
Impacts of Hurricane Ida on CCS Campuses
As far as we are able to determine at this time, none of our five campuses sustained monumental damage due to the hurricane, and the vast majority of damage is limited to external structures such as fences.
Unfortunately, one of the most beloved play structures on the Tubman Montessori campus, affectionately known by students as “the spaceship,” has been significantly damaged and will need to be replaced (see before and after photos below). If you would like to give towards the replacement costs of the spaceship, you can click here to donate to Crescent City Schools.
Returning Students Safely to School
There is much work to do before we can safely return students to our school buildings. At the moment, we are working with our vendors to plan the resumption of student transportation and food services, and our operations teams across the network are making arrangements for building repairs, debris removal, etc.
And while recovering from the hurricane is one area of our focus, we continue to prioritize the safety of our students, and their return to school buildings, in light of the ongoing COVID pandemic. Consequently, we are working on a testing plan to ensure all staff and students can return to our buildings with a negative COVID test. We believe that this approach will bring more stability to this academic year and reduce the need for rolling quarantines.
How You Can Help
I recognize that many of you who read this email will want to help the people of New Orleans in some way. In addition to donating to CCS to help us in our recovery efforts, there are many worthy organizations who are actively working to meet the immediate needs of those throughout New Orleans who have been negatively impacted by Hurricane Ida, and I encourage you to give as you feel led.
For those of you who are here in the city, I wish you and your loved ones strength as you navigate this challenging time. I hope you know that we at Crescent City Schools are hard at work, preparing our school’s buildings for our students, and looking forward with great anticipation to seeing our students and families in person once again.
Crescent City Schools