Jul 252012

The International School of Lousiana’s Olivier Street campus in Algiers. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The International School of Louisiana is abandoning its plans to create the region’s first public-school program taught entirely in Mandarin Chinese next year for lack of enough students or a qualified instructor, officials said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the school’s governing board continues to discuss where to put solar panels on its Camp Street campus, and where to find additional space for the overflow of upper-grade students expected there in the 2013-14 school year. Continue reading »

May 022012

The International School of Lousiana's Olivier Street campus in Algiers. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

As International School officials plan for growth next year at the Camp Street and Algiers campuses and prepare to open a third school in Jefferson Parish, a small group of parents attended Wednesday night’s school board meeting to voice their concerns about plans for continued expansion. Continue reading »

May 022012

The governing board of the International School of Louisiana will meet at 6 p.m. tonight (Wednesday, May 2) at its Westbank campus, 502 Olivier Street, for its monthly meeting. Among the discussion topics will be the status of the Camp Street building, progress on the Jefferson Parish expansion and the installation of modular buildings at the Algiers site. Continue reading »

Apr 172012

The International School of Louisiana'a Camp Street campus.

The International School of Louisiana will begin looking for a satellite location in the Lower Garden District for its younger grades at the Camp Street campus next year and add modular buildings to its Westbank site as its prepares for more growth at each site, its governing board decided Monday. Continue reading »

Mar 222012

"Treme" actor Wendell Pierce marches with student's from his character's school in the Krewe of Carrollton last month. While his character is becoming more involved with the school as the show progresses, Pierce has long been heavily involved in public education in his hometown through a number of avenues. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

When Treme star Wendell Pierce is pouring drinks this weekend as celebrity bartender for the International School of Louisiana’s 8th Annual Refrigerator Art Auction patron party, it won’t be the first collaboration between the civic-minded actor and the quickly-growing school — nor is it likely to be the last.

Pierce, who is spearheading the redevelopment of the Pontchartrain Park neighborhood where he grew up, first became acquainted with ISL through neighboring families with children at the school, he said. As he began researching charter schools that might be a good fit for the neighborhood, ISL’s history of success since several years before Hurricane Katrina stood out.

“They have a record that’s pretty admirable,” Pierce said in a telephone interview this week. “I love the idea of foreign-language immersion. I wish that it was something I had done when I was a kid.” Continue reading »

Jan 252012

The International School of Lousiana's Olivier Street campus in Algiers. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The International School of Louisiana is on track next year to add its first Chinese-immersion kindergarten class, second and third grade Spanish-immersion classes and a new modular building to help hold them at the new Westbank campus, and possibly a new site for its Eastbank lower grades as well, officials said Wednesday night.

But amid so much growth, the prospect of a second attempt to take over a failing New Orleans school in 2013 provoked rare dissension within the International School’s governing board. Continue reading »

Jan 052012

The International School of Louisiana hopes to hire a principal for the new school it will be opening this fall in Jefferson Parish as quickly as possible, and may add more upper-grade classes to its Algiers campus to accommodate an influx of new families, school leaders said Wednesday.

“We have a lot of moving parts over the coming weeks and months,” said ISL Head of Schools Sean Wilson. Continue reading »

Dec 082011

Elena Countiss teaches a second-grade Spanish-immersion classroom at the International School of Louisiana's Eastbank campus in January. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

The International School of Louisiana received approval Wednesday to open a new foreign language immersion elementary school in Jefferson Parish, giving the high-performing charter its third campus in the New Orleans area. Continue reading »

Nov 302011

The International School of Louisiana found out Wednesday that its application to take over a failing New Orleans school is likely to be turned down, but the school is continuing to pursue three other opportunities to expand to new campuses. Continue reading »

Nov 172011

“Knowing French, knowing any other language, it opens up the world,” a mother who grew up speaking Spanish told The Associated Press about her son’s education at the International School of Louisiana. “It will make my son more interested in the world and make him more relevant in the world. He will be able to do anything he wants to do.”

Louisiana now offers 29 French-immersion programs across the state, the article states — including two other public charter schools in Uptown New Orleans, Audubon Charter and Lycée Français de la Nouvelle Orléans, and the private Ecole Bilingue de la Nouvelle-Orléans. The article has been on the websites of 172 news sources across the country since its publication yesterday, including the sites of major newspapers in cities such as Boston, Atlanta and St. Louis.

Nov 032011

Walter L. Cohen High School is slated to be gradually taken over by NOLA College Prep over the next two years, one of nine struggling Recovery School District campuses around the city to be placed under control of a new charter operator, officials said this week. No other Uptown school was included in the list, but the announcement casts the challenges that Sojourner Truth Academy faces this year into sharp relief. Continue reading »

Oct 072011

Both campuses of Lusher Charter School, “Baby Ben” Franklin Elementary and the International School of Louisiana’s Camp Street campus are all newly slated for renovations under the latest plan to spend the remainder of a $2 billion FEMA payout for school repairs, and Johnson Elementary will have a renewed shot at moving to the Priestly site. Continue reading »

Oct 062011

Statewide performance scores continue to increase. (via Louisiana Department of Education)

A majority of Uptown public schools continued the improvement that has characterized New Orleans schools in recent years, with Lusher and Audubon charter schools both earning “A” grades and New Orleans Charter Science and Math High School improving its score by more than 30 percent.

Uptown New Orleans has a relatively strong selection of campuses deemed “honor roll” schools by the state, those earning an A or B based on 2011 school performance scores released Wednesday. The lower-performing schools fall roughly into two categories: one group striving upward at varying rates, and similar-sized group continuing to struggle. Continue reading »

Aug 242011

Signs read "Welcome" in Chinese and Spanish at the new Westbank campus of the International School of Louisiana. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Seeking to shed its image as a boutique language school and become a driving force in New Orleans education reform, the board of the International School of Louisiana voted unanimously Wednesday to apply to take over one of the city’s most troubled schools next fall.

“It’s a challenge that I think it’s time we step up to,” said ISL board president Andrew Yon.

The ISL board met Wednesday night for the first time in its new campus in Algiers, which had its first day of school on Monday. The board has long seen the Westbank expansion as only a first step, however, to a more ambitious goal of educating a broad swath of the city’s children in a network of high-performing schools. Continue reading »