Della Hasselle

Education Reporter, The Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate/

United States

Della Hasselle is The Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate/'s education reporter. She has been covering the charter school movement, early childhood education, and inequity in classrooms in the South for nearly a decade. Since New Orleans' two newspaper companies merged in 2019 she has been New Orleans' only journalist exclusively chronicling education for a daily, covering the city's unique and high-stakes system of charters attended mostly by economically disadvantaged children. Della covers private and public preschool and preK and early education policy; six traditional public school districts in suburban and rural parts of the metro area; higher education and private and parochial schools. Della has investigated chemical plants along Cancer Alley and covered courts, cops, the affordable housing crisis, and the death penalty. She was a Charter School Reporting Corps member for a New Orleans nonprofit news site, and a freelancer for several national publications. Prior to that worked in New York City as a breaking news reporter, producer, and anchor. Her work has been honored with numerous awards, including three regional Edward R. Murrows. When she was young, she was a professional modern dancer. Now she uses those skills to twirl with her two kids during living room dance-offs and perform ridiculously fun routines as part of an all-female Mardi Gras marching krewe.



The Advocate
Hit hard by pandemic, Louisiana daycares in line for an 'unprecedented' $773M in COVID aid

Louisiana's hard-hit daycare industry is in store for a $773 million infusion from the $1.9 trillion federal stimulus bill to help operators with coronavirus expenses and parents by expanding access to sites. The day cares, like lots of businesses, have suffered major losses during the pandemic - about 70% were closed at one time last year amid plummeting attendance.
As classrooms reopen, only 389 Louisiana schools are enrolled in state coronavirus warning system

As thousands of students streamed back into Jefferson and St. Tammany Parish classrooms in recent days, state health and education officials were scrambling to get a new, massive school coronavirus early warning system up and running. By Wednesday, only 389 out of more than 1,800 schools statewide had been enrolled in the early warning system, according to Department of Health spokesperson Aly Neel.

The Atlantic
How One State's Budget Cuts Are Trapping Poor Parents

In Louisiana, a lack of governmental assistance has left many without childcare options. Over the summer, Kinsley, then 19 months, was just starting to develop her vocabulary. Sometimes her mom, Christian Gobert, laughed about it, because the word Kinsley knew best was "no."
Louisiana Children's Museum, closed to the public, now a school site: 'The kids are thrilled'

In the Louisiana Children's Museum sunlit art studio, eight kindergartners in Ms. Rhonda Christmas' class sat spaced apart at wooden tables as they worked on tracing letters of the alphabet. Just outside the classroom, in the "Make Your Mark" gallery, one group in Ms. Triege Cotton's pre-kindergarten class played kitchen in a shotgun-style playhouse designed by artist Terrance Osborne, while another tickled the ivories on a child-sized piano.
How New Orleans high schools are planning in-person graduations, parties as restrictions ease

By the first week of school in mid-August, it had already become clear at Lusher Charter School that the pandemic would make for another rough school year, especially for the graduating class, according to 17-year-old senior Mikayla Morse. Like others in New Orleans public schools, Mikayla and her classmates started the year remotely, apart from their friends.

The Hechinger Report
New Orleans schools still struggle with integration - The Hechinger Report

NEW ORLEANS - Six years ago, author and creative writing teacher Anne Gisleson was looking for a school for her 4-year-old son, Otto, who attended a private Lutheran preschool in her Bywater neighborhood. But for kindergarten, she wanted him to attend a public school, with kids from all backgrounds and neighborhoods.

DEADLINE/BREAKING: Thousands of students, staff quarantined as coronavirus rises in New Orleans...

Carter Davis showed up for football practice the Monday of Thanksgiving week to prepare for Lakeshore High School's first-round playoff game against DeRidder. Instead, the coach told the sophomore lineman to go home. He had been "contact traced," and would have to quarantine for 10 days away from the Mandeville school and Titans football squad to prevent any further spread of coronavirus.

AUDIO: New Orleans: Ready Or Not?

How prepared is New Orleans for the challenges that climate change will bring in coming years - heat, bigger storms and heavier rain? WWNO and The Lens explore this question with a special series, New Orleans: Ready Or Not? Support for the Coastal Desk comes from the Walton Family Foundation, the Greater New Orleans Foundation and the Foundation for Louisiana.
PROFILE: Exterminator Glenn Gueho actually is in the business of saving honeybees

They call him "Mr. Bee," "The Bee Guy" and, sweetly, "The Honey Man." For decades, Glenn Gueho has been southeast Louisiana's go-to exterminator when it comes to bees. Every year, he gets roughly 2,000 calls from city agencies and homeowners asking him to rid skyscrapers, public parks and private homes of the pesky insects.


Al Jazeera America
Mississippi's lost babies

Like many whose babies have died in Mississippi, Howard had a medical condition before she got pregnant. She has long had a hyperactive thyroid, she said, but wasn't aware of the potential effects on in utero development until recently. She said she had prenatal care but her doctors didn't explain the risks of her condition on pregnancy.

For La. moms, Paul Ryan's poverty plan could make a bad situation worse

NEW ORLEANS - Deandrea Frank had long dreamed of becoming a nurse. Even when she was living in a local homeless shelter after Hurricane Katrina, it was a promise that she repeated to herself. In late September, the single mom of three took her first step toward that goal, enrolling in classes to get her GED.

In New Orleans, public housing crunch forces thousands into limbo

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana - When Stephanie Mingo talks about the St. Bernard Projects, the area in New Orleans' 7th Ward where she was born and raised, her voice gets tight. Her frustration is audible as she struggles to hold back tears and contain the anger that has been bubbling for nearly a decade.


Denka plant falls short on mandated cut to chloroprene emissions

More than a year after the St. John Parish-based Denka Performance Elastomer plant was expected to make an 85 percent cut in its emissions of chloroprene - a government-designated "likely carcinogen" - the chemical company still hadn't met that mandate, state regulatory officials report.


The Lens
State failed to turn over key public records about execution drugs | The Lens

The Lens tried unsuccessfully for a year to determine when the state's lethal-injection drugs were due to expire, but prison officials repeatedly said they had no public records that showed such a date. Recently acquired documents show the state in fact had emails, letters and other records that reveal that information and more.

The Lens
Executions in Louisiana on hold until at least January 2018 | The Lens

A trial on the legality of the death penalty in Louisiana has been delayed again as the state tries to determine its execution method. Wednesday, a federal judge delayed for 18 months proceedings on the constitutionality of Louisiana's death penalty procedures, as well as the execution of convicted child-killer Christopher Sepulvado.
U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether to review Angola prison inmate's death sentence

The U.S. Supreme Court doesn't weigh in often on whether convictions should be overturned because prosecutors failed to turn over evidence - four times in the past two decades. Three of those cases came from Louisiana. Each time, the high court chastised prosecutors for violating the rights of defendants and the state's courts for letting the problem slide.