Audubon Charter CEO addresses the school’s financial straits

The following letter was emailed Jan. 23 to Audubon Charter School parents and others associated with highly rated public school with two established Uptown campuses and a new Gentilly campus. The email from Audubon CEO Latoye A. Brown addresses the charter school’s financial situation. Formerly Audubon Montessori School / L’Ecole Franco-Américaine, Audubon offers French and Montessori programs for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. Dear Audubon Community,

Many of our families have reached out for clarification regarding how our current financial position will impact our academic programming. Over the past few years, Audubon has experienced reduced revenues and rising expenses that have had a dramatic impact on our organizational budget.

Audubon Charter celebrates Black History Month at Ashé

The ACS Black History Celebration comes to the Ashé Power House Theater for 6 p.m. this Wednesday , Jan. 30. 

Audubon Charter School’s Talented in Arts students will celebrate Black History Month with the Ashé Cultural Arts Center through music, dance, drumming, spoken word and storytelling. The theme will be the origin of the Anansi the Spider Stories (Ghana West Africa); students will perform and show how these stories crossed the ocean through oral tradition told from generation to generation. The ACS Black History Celebration will also feature special guest artists Sha’Condria ‘ICON’ Sibley and the New Orleans Society of Dance NOLA Baby Dolls. ‘ICON’ is a national poetry slam artist whose work has been featured in the Huffington Post, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue and BET.

Audubon Charter prepares for holiday move to new Milan Street campus

After years of waiting, Audubon Charter School will move out of its temporary campus in the old Carrollton courthouse over the holidays and into a newly refurbished temporary home on Milan Street, officials said. With the McDonogh 7 campus at 1111 Milan Street nearing completion, Audubon’s governing board changed the school calendar Saturday morning to make students’ last day of school Dec. 17. Teachers will remain at the school packing their classrooms through the last three days of the week, and the moving company is scheduled to begin work Dec. 26, said Audubon operations manager Alisa Dupre.

Construction on Audubon Charter School to begin Monday; students to return in fall 2014

Nearly a year after Audubon Charter students moved out of their Broadway Street campus in preparation for a major renovation and expansion project there, major construction efforts will begin there Monday and end in time for students to return in the fall of 2014, officials say. Pile driving will begin at the Broadway site on Monday, though it will take a break on Thanksgiving and the Friday afterward, said Alisa Dupre, the school’s facilities and operations manager. Construction should finish in the late spring or early summer of 2014, giving faculty and staff several months while students are out of school to move back from the Gentilly campus, Dupre said at a brief meeting Saturday morning of the school’s governing board. While board members applauded the news about the Broadway campus, they listened with concern to news that the citywide Master Plan for school construction is running tens of millions of dollars over budget and likely to be cut — raising questions about the desperately needed repairs to the old Carrollton courthouse intended for several years as a temporary location for Audubon’s upper grades. To read our live coverage of the meeting, see below.

Audubon Charter to begin exploring possible high school

Audubon Charter School plans to begin taking concrete steps this fall toward the possibility of creating a new high school, officials said Saturday morning. Meanwhile, Orleans Parish school officials are hoping to find a way to start renovations on the school’s Broadway campus even as negotiations continue with neighbors over a pending lawsuit. Back in December, in founding member Carlos Zervigon’s last board meeting, he recommended the creation of an exploratory committee to begin investigating issues related to a possible high school at Audubon, calling it a “burning question” for many parents. The issue stalled during the spring as the board dealt with facilities issues around its Broadway and Carrollton campuses, but on Saturday morning, board chair Cornelius Tilton said it was time for the committee to begin its work. Tilton named board members Jolynn King and Claire McDaniel, school operations manager Alisa Dupre, French school leader Elfi Cheynet and Montessori school leader Dennis Smith to the committee, and said he’ll also sit on it as a non-voting member.

Audubon Charter school board to hear updates on renovations, admissions at meeting Saturday

The Audubon Charter School governing board will hear updates on renovations to the Broadway campus, admissions, and on each of its academic programs at its monthly meeting Saturday morning in the Carrollton campus cafeteria. The complete agenda, which is also available in the “Events” section of the school’s recently revamped website, follows below:

Audubon Charter School
FAME, Inc. Board Meeting Agenda
July 28, 2012
Carrollton Campus Cafeteria
10:00 A.M.

I. Call to Order/Roll Call
II. Board Training
III. Adoption of the Agenda Additions/Deletions (Action Item)
IV. Approval of the April Minutes (Action Item)
V. Administrative Report
A. Broadway Renovation Update
B. Admissions Update
C. French School Update
D. Montessori School Update
E. Development Report

Grant to spend $250,000 to make streets around Audubon Charter campuses more walkable

The sidewalks and crosswalks around Audubon Charter School will be made safer and more walkable with $250,000 worth of upgrades, based on a federal grant secured by a Tulane public health program, officials said. Details of the effort to create safer routes to the school, according to KidsWalk Coalition program manager Matthew Rufo, include:

Sidewalks will be repaired along two designated routes that include Pitt, Pine, Garfield, Lowerline, Prytania and Hurst Streets. High-visibility crosswalks will be installed at the four corners of the school’s campus. Flashing school zone beacons will be installed at the existing school zone signs on Broadway and on S. Carrollton. Pedestrian countdown signals will be installed at the intersection of St.

Neighbors’ lawsuit over expansion of Audubon Charter Broadway campus could prevent construction from starting

With the contractor already preparing Audubon Charter School’s Broadway campus site for construction, an unresolved lawsuit by neighbors could prevent any work from beginning, officials said Thursday night. Neighbors of the school belonging to the Upper Audubon Association filed suit in Civil District Court in December, appealing a decision the previous month by the city Board of Zoning Adjustments to allow the school expansion to move forward. City code prohibits any action from being sanctioned while an appeal is pending, which could prevent the school renovation from receiving its construction permits and ultimately jeopardize the expected December 2013 return to the campus, said officials at a neighborhood meeting about the school project Thursday evening. Concern about the potential for delay was raised in December after the lawsuit was filed, but school officials said at the time they hoped the issues could be resolved during preparatory stages of the project. Attorneys for the neighborhood and the city have a meeting scheduled for Tuesday, and the issue is scheduled for court June 22.

Audubon Charter to renovate Carrollton campus restrooms by fall

Long-needed renovations to the restrooms at Audubon Charter School’s Carrollton campus will be done over the summer, based on a contract approved by the school board Saturday morning. The board approved a $62,700 contract with Crescent Commercial Construction, after consultant Ken Ducote solicited proposals from seven local contractors. Among the repairs included in the contract: new sinks, hand dryers, stall partitions, mirrors, urinals, repairs to the walls, cleaning and sealing the tile floors, and repainting the walls and doors. Ducote said the contract specifies the work must be done by Aug. 3, before teachers or students return to school.