desk stock file photo school

During a tour of the West Jefferson High School with coronavirus precautions it can be seen that each desk in the classroom has a grey or red sticker on the top corner in Harvey, La. Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. Each period, students will be asked to alternate their use of desks and to clean them off after each class. The school is scheduled to open on August 26. (Photo by Max Becherer,, The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate)

Mentorship Academy in downtown Baton Rouge shifted to 100% virtual online Friday until the end of the fall semester thanks to a new positive case of the novel coronavirus "that could impact students and staff" across the campus.

The charter school made the announcement Thursday night and said the new case had come to light in the previous 24 hours.

it's the latest of a handful of schools in the Baton Rouge area temporarily halting in-person instruction to try to arrest the spread of the virus, which is on the upswing both in the community and in school buildings. They include two schools in Baton Rouge, one in St. Helena Parish and two high schools in Pointe Coupee Parish.

Two more local schools, Gramercy and Paulina elementary schools, both in St. James Parish, have also announced that they will shift to virtual-only starting Monday and continuing through the last week before Christmas break. Gramercy Elementary made the call Thursday and Paulina Elementary joined them Friday morning. Gramercy Elementary was already in online-only mode this whole week for similar reasons.

In-person instruction won't resume at these schools until the spring semester starts in early January.

Mentorship Academy made an almost identical move in mid-November, closing in-person school for the last week prior to Thanksgiving break due to cases of the virus.

Email Charles Lussier at and follow him on Twitter, @Charles_Lussier.