Aug 242017
 

A member of the Our Voice/Nuestra Voz advocacy group reads a question in Spanish during a town hall on education Thursday night. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Spanish-speaking families need more assurances that their children won’t be discriminated against while at schools, and more insight into the way that the school district funds teaching English as a second language, an advocacy group told Orleans Parish School Board officials at a town-hall meeting Thursday evening in Central City.

Orleans Parish School Board superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis Jr. speaks during a town hall meeting Thursday, Aug. 24, at KIPP Central City Academy. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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Aug 182017
 

Lusher Charter School. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

In 1961 — only a year after Ruby Bridges had famously integrated New Orleans’ public schools — Sylvia Branch became the first black child to attend Robert Mills Lusher school, and still today recounts how the Lusher administration welcomed her with literally open arms.

Branch’s admission, however, would have been anathema to the school’s namesake, Robert Mills Lusher, who followed a Confederate governmental career with leadership of the state’s public schools, and used that post to promote “the supremacy of the Caucasian race,” in his words. For more than three decades from the end of the Civil War until the end of the 19th Century, Lusher fought in word and deed for the idea that the purpose of the public schools was to ensure that white students remained in a better social position than blacks.

Now — as Nazi and Ku Klux Klan sympathizers march nationally in support of Confederate monuments, while activist groups in New Orleans demand the removal of memorials to white supremacists, and children and adults alike struggle to make sense of it all — celebrated local historian and author Michael Tisserand has released the results of his research into Robert Mills Lusher’s racist legacy.

Author Michael Tisserand reads from his book “Krazy” at Octavia Books in December 2016. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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Jul 172017
 

Sylvanie Williams College Prep elementary on Martin Luther King Boulevard, photographed in March 2017. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Based on the most recent test scores, officials with the New Orleans College Prep charter network are projecting that the state will assign Sylvanie Williams elementary an ‘F’ rating for the just completed 2016-17 school year, two letter grades below the ‘C’ that they were striving for in order to avoid losing the charter. Continue reading »

Jun 202017
 

The Lycée Français de la Nouvelle Orléans campus on Patton Street.

As officials at Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans anticipate an influx of special education students in years to come, members of the board that oversees the school on Monday night announced plans to devote more resources to that population. Continue reading »

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Jun 122017
 

Natalie Kaharick (via NOLA College Prep)

Natalie Kaharick will remain the acting CEO of the New Orleans College Prep charter network for another year, overseeing the challenges that accompany both the organization’s search for a long-term leader and the decision whether it can retain the right to operate Sylvanie Williams elementary. Continue reading »

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May 182017
 

The Lycée Français de la Nouvelle Orléans campus on Patton Street.

The Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans charter school is still working out the details on the lease renewal for its Patton Street campus, preparing to move into the newly renovated Johnson building and deciding how to handle its space in a church on South Carrollton after a prospective tenant pulled out. Continue reading »

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May 102017
 

Tonette Porter (standing in the center) speakers as Orleans Parish School Board member Ben Kleban (left) and Superintendent Henderon Lewis Jr. listen on Wednesday evening at Mahalia Jackson Elementary. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A proposal to convert Mahalia Jackson Elementary from a school serving children up to grade 5 back into a preschool center was met with a mix of questions and outright opposition from dozens of families and Central City community members on Wednesday evening, leaving the school’s fate before the Orleans Parish School Board uncertain. Continue reading »

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May 012017
 

Onlookers watch as the St. Augustine Marching 100 assembles and begins to perform on Napoleon Avenue in 2013. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Tipitina’s will hold their annual “Instruments A Comin'” fundraiser and outdoor festival tonight (Monday, May 1) with an outdoor battle of the marching bands and an indoor benefit concert to help provide musical instruments to New Orleans public schools. Continue reading »

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Apr 222017
 

In some classrooms at Audubon Charter School’s Milan Street campus, the air conditioner is so loud it shakes the whiteboard, and in others, it doesn’t work at all. The locks on the bathroom doors frequently malfunction, trapping students inside, and the school had to give up its library to squeeze in another classroom.

After three Audubon middle school students recited a litany of discomfort Saturday morning before the school’s governing board, a top Orleans Parish School Board official promised to dedicate emergency funding within a week to some of the most pressing problems. A long-term solution to the woes of Audubon’s “temporary” campus, however, is still beyond the horizon. Continue reading »

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Apr 212017
 

The Eleanor McMain band performs in the Krewe of Cleopatra parade in 2016. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Eleanor McMain Secondary School will become a charter school operated by the InspireNOLA network, but a decision on the future of Mahalia Jackson Elementary has been postponed for further discussion after the Orleans Parish School Board met Thursdsay night. Continue reading »

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Apr 122017
 

The Eleanor McMain Secondary School performs in the Krewe of Zulu parade in 2016. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Eleanor McMain Secondary School should be converted into a charter school and governed by the growing InspireNOLA charter network, and Mahalia Jackson Elementary School should be closed in 2018, based on new recommendations by the Orleans Parish School Board. Continue reading »

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Apr 102017
 

A Lycee Francais banner hangs from the roof at the former Priestley campus in July 2015. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

With the launch of their long-planned French-immersion high school now only two years away, educators at Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans are now taking steps to plan the curriculum and degrees their students will learn, officials said. Continue reading »

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Apr 072017
 

A view of the entrance to the new science building from the Newman School’s courtyard. (rendering by Woodward Design + Build courtesy of the Newman School)

Newman Head of School Dale M. Smith welcomes guests to the groundbreaking. (photo by Frank Aymami, courtesy of Newman School)

The Isidore Newman School marked the start of construction this week on a new $15 million, 30,000-square-foot science center at the edge of its football field, expected to open in the fall of 2018. Continue reading »

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