Several KIPP schools, Lafayette Academy among RSD schools eligible to return to OPSB

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Several of KIPP’s Uptown schools — including KIPP Believe! College Prep on South Carrollton and its two schools in Central City — and Lafayette Academy are among the 13 Recovery School District schools eligible to return to the Orleans Parish School Board, based on the recently-announced School Performance Scores, officials said.

KIPP Believe and KIPP Central City Academy (both middle schools) are both ranked ‘B’ schools, and KIPP Central City Primary received a high ‘D’ this year in its first year of testing, the results show. Lafayette Academy, meanwhile, rose from a ‘D’ to a ‘C’ for the first time this year after five straight years of steady growth.

While those schools were expected to be eligible to return to OPSB, their leaders have raised questions about whether that will mean a loss of autonomy or even federal grant funding.

One school that was expected to make the list but did not was Sophie B. Wright Institute for Academic Excellence, which dropped from a School Performance Score of 86.2 last year to 78.9 last year. To be eligible to return, a school must score above 80 for two years in a row.

For details about the announcement, read the full news release from the Recovery School District below:


Monday’s release of the 2012 School Performance Scores and Letter Grades for all public schools in Louisiana provides further evidence of the dramatic improvement in our city’s schools. Schools that had been failing to educate our children were placed into the Recovery School District (RSD) and now thirteen of these schools have been successfully transformed into models of excellence. For at least two years in a row, these thirteen RSD schools in New Orleans have received a School Performance Score of 80 or above and are therefore eligible to choose to return to the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) at the conclusion of this school year. Upon their return, the authorizer of these charter schools would be OPSB rather than the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE). These schools are:

Akili Academy
Arthur Ashe Charter School
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Charter School for Science & Technology
Dwight D. Eisenhower Elementary School
KIPP Believe College Prep (Phillips)
KIPP Central City Academy
KIPP Central City Primary
KIPP McDonogh 15 School for the Creative Arts
Lafayette Academy of New Orleans
Langston Hughes Academy Charter School
Martin Behrman Elementary School
O. Perry Walker Senior High School
Sci Academy

Each of these schools has met return eligibility criteria outlined by BESE in Bulletin 129, The Recovery School District, §505. This means that each school has been in the RSD for five or more years and has shown dramatic transformation as demonstrated through their scores for the past two years.

In order to return to the Orleans Parish School Board at the conclusion of the 2012-13 school year, an eligible school must provide BESE with written notification of its decision to return prior to December 1, 2012. The charter boards for each of these schools should hold one or more public meeting prior to December 1, 2012, to discuss the opportunity to return and to take official board action regarding the decision to return. Once the charter board has notified BESE of its request to return to the Orleans Parish School Board, both BESE and OPSB must approve the school’s decision to return. Upon this approval, the charter school and OPSB must negotiate a new Type 3 or Type 4 charter school contract for the 2013-14 school year.

RSD and OPSB officials congratulate the students, parents and faculty of these thirteen schools for the dedication and focus put forth to reach this milestone. RSD and OPSB have been working closely to ensure that each eligible school is fully aware of the requirements and procedures necessary to return, and that the transition for any school choosing to return to OPSB will be as smooth and efficient as possible.

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