A Lusher High School senior has been chosen out of 13,000 students across the country as a 2014 National Student Poet by First Lady Michelle Obama, and joined her at the White House this week for a poetry reading.
The Lusher High School “I am” marketing campaign took top honors at the Trust Your Crazy Ideas challenge presented by Saints quarterback Drew Brees and the Idea Village, according to our partners at WWL. Also competing were the Isidore Newman School, Walter L. Cohen and St. Augustine, and each team was awarded $2,500 to continue their efforts.
When the Master Plan for distributing a $2 billion FEMA payment for school rebuilding was approved last year, officials hailed it as a panacea of sorts that would ensure every Orleans Parish student is at least in a building that is “warm, safe and dry.”
Now, school leaders are unsure the money will even go that far.
“Unless construction is under way, every project might see some cuts,” said Orleans Parish School Board member Lourdes Moran. “The Master Plan has to be reopened.”
Lusher Charter School leaders are meeting with engineers and consultants in preparation to major repairs at both of its school buildings, while continuing to look for more space for students at the satellite campus.
The Lusher Charter School governing board will include a discussion of the OneApp common enrollment system in addition its regular updates on facilities and enrollment a meeting at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Performance among Uptown public schools in the most recent school year was in many ways similar to that in the year before, according to state scores released Monday. A cluster of high-performing schools continued gains that in many ways lead the city, while a somewhat larger group of low-performing schools split between those making progress toward the middle, those that are slowly improving but still dismally low, and a handful with results that can only be described as disappointing.
Broken windows and water leaks contributed to uncertainty last week as to when Lusher High School students could return after Hurricane Isaac, and even now that the immediate damage has been repaired, the experience reinforces the need for major upcoming renovations to the old Fortier building, school officials said Saturday morning.
“When we get a hard rain, water comes in,” said Lusher CEO Kathy Riedlinger at a Saturday morning meeting of the school’s governing board.
The governing board of Lusher Charter School will meet at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Fortier campus for an update on funding, facilities and enrollment.
The board of Lusher charter school approved a one-time $600 salary increase for teachers and administrators, including CEO Kathy Riedlinger, for a total cost of $72,000 next year, according to a report on Saturday’s board meeting by Yomi Akinyemi of The Lens. The school is also discussing the OneApp common enrollment process with the Recovery School District, Akinyemi reports.
Even as education officials tout increases in test scores around Louisiana and in New Orleans, the only open-admissions school in Uptown New Orleans that exceeded state averages in any subject last year was New Orleans Charter Science and Math High School — and that was only in two of four subjects.
Among other high schools, New Orleans College Prep was only a few points off the state average in three of four subjects, and Eleanor McMain Secondary School generally trailed Prep by a few more points in each subject. But Sophie B. Wright Institute of Academic Excellence had decidedly mixed results, and the phasing-out Walter L. Cohen High School and the now-closed Sojourner Truth Academy scored even lower.
Lusher Charter School is likely to reduce the number of incoming kindergarten students from 150 to 100 in the coming year, halting the expansion it began two years ago because it has run out of room at its satellite campus at the Jewish Community Center and been unable to find more space elsewhere.
The Lusher High School community suffered a series of tragedies over the past week, the sudden death of a highly-respected college counselor and serious injuries to two student athletes, school officials said Saturday morning.
The invention of gunpowder was an accident. So was plastic. Viagra too. The reinvention of Freret similarly so. Despite decades of best efforts of local government, administration pledges, and the citizenry alike and at large, Freret couldn’t get any measurable play until after Katrina. But to be clear, no one thing has made Freret what it is today. It has taken a village, um, of events, so to speak. But let’s start with the birth of the Freret Street Boxing Gym, established seven years ago. At the time, Freret’s business offerings were basically tattoos, red beans and hardware. Today, as it has been for decades upon decades, the hardware store is still there. But not the tattoos. And not the red beans, either. And, as of the last month, the gym has moved as well — to O.C. Haley Boulevard.
With a new playground set to open Monday on the Willow Street campus, Lusher Charter School officials are turning their attention to the next project: a lunch terrace for middle and high school students at the Fortier building on Freret Street.
The budget for repairs to major structural issues at Lusher Charter School’s two campuses has been reduced by more than $7 million from what was originally planned, based on an Orleans Parish School Board vote on Tuesday, leaving officials wondering how the cuts will affect the scope of the renovations.
Editor’s note: We had originally intended to do a listing of “most popular” posts on UptownMessenger.com in 2011, but in the process decided that a focus on the most important stories of the year in Uptown New Orleans would be more substantive. What follows is our assessment of the stories we’ve covered over the past year that continue to matter the most, with some commentary explaining our thinking. And, for anyone curious, those “most popular” posts are included at bottom as well. Thank you to everyone who read us in 2011, and we look forward to another year.