Dec 032013

Three Uptown elementary schools — Green Charter, Lafayette Academy and Singleton — have been granted multi-year renewals of their charters, and three other formerly-failing schools are being recommended for one-year extensions.

Meanwhile, Eleanor McMain Secondary School admitted nearly a quarter of this year’s freshmen class after telling OneApp applicants it was full, KIPP Schools are making news for a pricey employee retreat in Las Vegas, and New Orleans College Prep is willing to pay $10,000 help for finding a new elementary principal, according to recent reports.

Samuel J. Green Charter School in the Freret neighborhood was awarded a five-year charter renewals, and Lafayette Academy on Carrollton and James Singleton Charter in the Dryades YMCA were each given three-year renewals by the state Department of Education, reports Danielle Dreilinger of The Times-Picayune. ReNEW Cultural Arts Academy and ReNew SciTech Academy (both in the Irish Channel) are being recommended for one-year extensions, as is Edgar P. Harney Spirit of Excellence Academy in Central City upon the resolution of financial issues, to be voted upon by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

In all, 12 schools across the city are being given renewals and 11 more recommended for extensions, and no schools are being recommended for closure this year in a possible “trend toward continuity in New Orleans’ famously shifting public school landscape,” Dreilinger writes. She also appends her report with a link to an analysis by education consultant Peter C. Cook of the performance scores of schools up for renewal.

In other school news:

  • McMain, the most sought-after school participating in the citywide OneApp enrollment system, accepted 200 freshmen last April and turned away 350, planning to shrink to a final 170 students through attrition of students who did not ultimately enroll, Dreilinger writes in a separate report. After the OneApp process ended, however, McMain raised its 9th-grade enrollment target to 210, admitting 43 more freshmen to replace those lost via attrition in what is being criticized by education reformers as an act of bad faith, Dreilinger reports.
  • KIPP New Orleans Schools sent 185 employees to a national KIPP summit in Las Vegas at a cost of about $119,000 that is expected to be reimbursed by the federal government allocation for professional development, according to a report by Jessica Williams of The Lens. Meanwhile, the organization is purchasing an empty lot on South Robertson across from KIPP Central City Primary for $1,345 from the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority for green space, reports Jenny Peterson of The Lens.
  • New Orleans College Prep is seeking a new principal to replace Heidi Campbell at its Sylvanie Williams campus, and is offering anyone who recommends them the right candidate a $10,000 finder’s fee, The Lens reports. Meanwhile, the number of students who have been suspended at the school dropped dramatically from 51 percent in 2011-12 to 34 percent in 2012-13, according to Joshua Johnston of The Lens.
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  • Peter Cook

    I just realized you linked to my story – thanks!