NEW ORLEANS — Schools reopening can mean more responsibility for teachers as many are now not only teaching in person, but virtually as well.
Monday, many teachers and students in New Orleans returned to their classrooms for the first time since March, including grades 5-12.
Lauren Jewett is an elementary special education teacher at a school in New Orleans. She's been back in the classroom since Sept. 21 when younger grades began going back in NOLA Public Schools.
"I'm mostly serving students in person, but I have some virtual so I'm doing both at the same time," Jewett said. "Everyone has to have patience and know everything will take longer."
Because it takes longer to get kids in and out of school everyday, Jewett feels teachers have less time to focus on their classes.
Social distancing and masks mandates are in place. Classroom size is capped at 30. NOLA Public Schools reports COVID-19 cases weekly online.
As of Thursday, they're tracking 12 active cases in the district. They have not resulted in any reported outbreaks.
"We're going to continue to monitor our data to make sure as a school system we are on top of understanding where our data is and for our community, we made it very transparent," said NOLA Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis.
"We're getting reports weekly about any cases in the school, we're getting free testing, but I'm hearing from other teachers - that's not their experience so that does give me pause," Jewett said.
While Jewett explains she is happy to be back with students, her concern is how these added expectations may impact teachers.
"It takes a lot of energy and everyone is tired. I'm hearing that from teachers," she said.
Since schedules vary by school, not all schools in New Orleans have returned to in-person learning yet. Others will return to class later this quarter.