3rd Annual Legacy Scholarship for District 2 Students Applications Now Open

For Immediate Release

 

Orleans Parish School Board Member Ethan Ashley Announces 3rd Annual Legacy Scholarship for District 2 Students

February 25, 2019

 

NEW ORLEANS- Orleans Parish School Board Member Ethan Ashley is pleased to announce the launch of his 3rd annual Legacy Scholarship for college bound public school seniors who reside in District 2. The scholarship will reward young leaders in the community who are creating a legacy of educational excellence. Thus, this scholarship has been coined the “Legacy Scholarship.”

 

School Board Member Ashley believes “[a]s a school board member, I have a duty to leverage my position to support the success of our students. I know that providing college bound seniors with a few extra dollars can truly make a difference.” There have been three recipients of the District 2 scholarship. All of the past recipients are matriculating through college: Ms. Chelby Sterling a 2017 scholarship recipient and current sophomore at Tulane University; Ms. Corazon Johnston a 2018 scholarship recipient and current freshman at Stanford University; and Ms. Imani Edwards a 2018 scholarship recipient and current freshman at Vanderbilt University. “I am excited to have three scholars from New Orleans working to complete their college degree and it is my mission to support as many students as I can. I was inspired to create this scholarship due to the financial aid cuts to higher education and the overwhelming burden on students and their families to pay for steady increasing cost of college tuition.”

 

School Board Member Ashley funds the District 2 Legacy Scholarship through his apparel line, EthanCharles Designs. EthanCharles Designs is a social conscious movement captured and organized through apparel. The first collection is the 4Ls (Love, Legacy, Leadership and Logic). All proceeds received are used to fund the District 2 Legacy Scholarship. If you would like to donate to support the District 2 Legacy scholarship, you can do so here.

 

Applications are currently being accepted. To receive more information about and apply for the scholarship, please visit www.ethanashley.org or click here.

 

 

 

My vision for the education system in New Orleans...

  1. Every child reading on grade level 

  2. Every child being pushed to maximize their academic, social, emotional and physical talents 

  3. Every child accessing an internship and job skills training

  4. Parents provided supports (resources and opportunities) to ensure that their students can simply focus on doing their best in school 

  5. Community businesses are able to access contractual opportunities to expand their economic capital

  6. Every child provided a college course and trip 

  7. Every child attending high school is provided counseling for mental health

  8. Every child provided financial literacy and voter education 

  9. Every child provided an exposure trip 

  10. Every child graduates from high school with a plan for success as well as a job and or college acceptance 

  11. No children enter the juvenile/criminal justice system; and, students in the system are transitioned back into a traditional high school setting, if appropriate

  12. Every student has access to the latest technology and textbooks 

  13. Every OPSB graduate who attends college and is employed at an OPSB school to teach will receive help to pay off their student loans from the District

  14. Children can walk to school and have access to a high performing school (B School Performance Score or higher)

  15. Every child's life trajectory is examined and an individualized education and support plan is provided to help move students from low income to middle class

  16. We centralize the school calendar, transportation, expulsions. 

  17. The Orleans Parish School Board directly manages district led schools through the innovation schools model as well as increases the amount of school options (specialized programs for law, police academy, STEM, etc.) for students and families

 

Overall, the one thing I am clear about, we are not solving for the most important problem: POVERTY, often times generational, at that. Beyond the governance issues, we need to focus our collective efforts on funding early childhood education, increasing the base MFP to provide more resources in the classroom for students, incentives and supports to not only recruit, but maintain strong teachers, and resources/services to support families in need. All of this will take innovation, resources and collective support by all levels of government.

OPSB Announces its Plan for McDonogh 35 Senior High School

Media Contact:

Dominique Ellis

 (504) 250-0030

communications@opsb.us

 

THE ORLEANS PARISH SCHOOL BOARD ANNOUNCES ITS PLAN FOR STUDENT SUCCESS AND STABILIZATION FOR MCDONOGH 35 SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL

New Ninth Grade Academy to Open Under Inspire NOLA at Historic Public School

NEW ORLEANS – (Dec. 20, 2018) – Today, the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) announced its plan for student success and long-term stabilization of McDonogh 35.  The district has chosen Inspire NOLA as the future charter operator of McDonogh 35 Senior High School. McDonogh 35 High School will remain an open enrollment public school.

“This decision will restore and uplift the academic legacy of this much beloved school while maintaining its cultural importance,” stated Board President John A. Brown, Sr.

The chosen charter operator, which also oversees ‘A’ rated Edna Karr High School, was selected after several long and rigorous charter requests for application (RFA) cycles over the past few years.. With five schools under its charter currently, Inspire NOLA has a long history of transforming failing schools into high scoring programs in Orleans Parish.

The new ninth grade academy will open in the 2019-2020 school year. The open enrollment academy has already been added as an option on the OneApp as McDonogh #35 College Preparatory High School. With a desire to maintain the unique and storied legacy of McDonogh 35, under the new charter agreement the school will maintain its name, school colors and mascot. 

“McDonogh 35 is not just one of the most remarkable, historic high schools in our city, but the school has always produced graduates who excel in academics,” said Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr., Superintendent of Schools. “This decision was about ensuring that we can restore and continue that legacy of academic excellence. That is why we’ve made the decision to match this school with one of the highest performing charter management organization in our city. After weighing all of our options, we have no doubt that Inspire NOLA will advance the academic performance of McDonogh 35 High School to the next level for our students and families."

Since Hurricane Katrina, student performance at, McDonogh 35, one of the city’s most historic high schools, had fallen to a “D” according to the state Department of Education. “That is unacceptable for any high school, but especially for one as historic as McDonough 35,” stated to Dr. Lewis.

OPSB President Brown added, “Since 1917, McDonogh 35 has provided high quality high school education to African Americans. It produced many of our great leaders in politics and education. I know exactly what McDonogh 35 stands for, what it means to the community and what parents want for their children. Inspire NOLA prioritizes and maintains a diverse teaching staff and leadership team. I believe that with this type of focus, this operator will be a good fit for the school.”

Top graduates from McDonogh 35 have gone on to achieve recognition and prominence. Some of those graduates include:

·        Ernest Nathan Morial, first African-American mayor of New Orleans

·        Israel Meyer Augustine, Jr., first black elected judge of Orleans Parish Criminal District Court

·        Morris F.X. Jeff, Sr., former head of New Orleans Recreation Department's "colored" division

·        Joan Bernard Armstrong first female elected judge in Louisiana and first African American chief judge of the Louisiana 4th Circuit Court of Appeals

·        Neil Smith, former American football defensive end for the Kansas City Chiefs who played at the University of Nebraska and a two-time Super Bowl champion with the Denver Broncos

·        Dr. Calvin Mackie, award-winning mentor, motivational speaker, and successful entrepreneur

·        Michael Smith, NFL reporter for ESPN and a senior writer for ESPN.com

·        Michael S. Harrison, Superintendent, New Orleans Police Department

·        James Carter, Former Councilman, City of New Orleans

·        Jared Brossett, Councilman, City of New Orleans

·        Darryl Kilbert, Former Superintendent of Orleans Parish School Board

·        Wesley Bishop Senator, Louisiana State Senate

Inspire NOLA is the top open admission charter management organization in New Orleans, serving more than 3,700 students in five schools including Alice Harte Charter School, Edna Karr High School, Andrew Wilson Charter School, 42 Charter School, Eleanor McMain Secondary School and Dwight Eisenhower. Edna Karr High School received a 104.3 SPS score and is in the Top 4 of open enrollment schools in the city. The charter operator hopes to bring this level of excellence to the new program at McDonogh 35 and has a track record of significantly improving academic performance of struggling schools.

Inspire NOLA is led by Jamar Mckneely.  Mr. Mckneely, who is the only African American male charter operator CEO in New Orleans, maintains a diverse staff with recent data showing 77 percent of staff identify as non-white.

“This is the type of investment that honors this school’s students and families and its proud history and secures its rightful place as a continuous leader in the New Orleans’ public education landscape for the next 100 years,” said District 3 OPSB Board Member Sarah Usdin.

Inspire NOLA’s application to begin a new high school was recommended for approval by the Superintendent last month at the November OPSB Board Business Meeting. With no objection raised by the board by today’s meeting the approval goes into effect. The Superintendent’s recommendation to have Inspire NOLA operate a new 9th grade academy at McDonogh 35 does not require a board vote.

In an effort to keep disruption to current students and staff to a minimum the OPSB also approved a resolution for Inspire NOLA to also act as the short-term operator for the remaining 10th, 11th and 12th grade students at McDonogh 35 to provide the academic and operational management necessary to successfully transition the school from a direct-run to a charter school during the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years.

Additionally, at Thursday’s meeting, the board voted to pass an action item that would allocate a total of $3.0 million from the McDonogh 35 transition fund to the McDonogh 35 Senior High School Budget over the Fiscal Year 2020 and Fiscal Year 2021 to aide in the transition process from direct-run to charter as the new school grows under Inspire NOLA.

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The OPSB currently oversees 78 public schools, including 75 charter schools, two direct-operated schools and a school with two educational programs for students in secure-care facilities. On July 1, all New Orleans public schools were unified under the oversight of the locally-elected Orleans Parish School Board for the first time since Hurricane Katrina. Learn more about Unification here.

For more information, visit www.opsb.us. For updates, follow OPSB on Facebook, Instagram @orleansparishschoolboard and Twitter @_OPSB.

 

 

 

Celebrating the Unification of all schools in OPSB

July 1, 2018 - This was a special day of prayer and celebration, to have all of the schools in New Orleans unds the Orleans Parish School Board. We spend the day visiting with churches to ask for wisdom, prayer, and support. Here are some of the photos of the day.

June 2018 Board Meeting Update

Orleans Parish School Board Superintendent of Schools Presents Recommendation’s for Charter Applications for Spring 2018

Unification Advisory Committee Honored for Assistance in Unification Process

NEW ORLEANS – (June 7, 2018) – At the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) board business meeting on Thursday, June 7, the Superintendent of Schools Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr. presented his recommendations on the Spring Charter Applications to the OPSB. The board honored members of the Unification Advisory Committee (UAC) for their assistance in planning for the transition of all public schools to come under the jurisdiction of the OPSB starting on July 1. Additionally this evening, the OPSB dedicated its board room to Dr. Everett J. Williams in honor of his service to education in Orleans Parish.

Superintendent’s Recommendations for Charter School Applications

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr. presented his recommendations on the Spring Charter School Applications to the school board. In total, four organizations received a recommendation regarding their application to begin a new school (Type 1 – New Start), or transform an existing charter school under a new operator (Type 1 – Transformation).  They are as follows:

Charter school Applications.png

Summaries of both the independent evaluator and Superintendent’s recommendations as well as full applications will be available online at https://opsb.us/schools/open-a-school/spring-2018-opsb-charter-application-cycle/.

In January, the OPSB issued a Request for Applications (RFA) for the spring cycle. Applications undergo a rigorous evaluation by an independent evaluator as well as the Superintendent of Schools. This cycle’s applications were reviewed by the National Association of Charter School Authorizers. All applicants are also permitted to present their proposals at a public hearing, which was held on May 15 at the Orleans Parish School Board Room.

The OPSB has until the July Board Business Meeting on Thursday, July 19 to contest the Superintendent’s recommendations. If no contest is brought forth the recommendations will be confirmed and the applications either denied or approved accordingly.

Currently, nearly all public school students attend charter schools in New Orleans. Only nonprofit organizations may hold charters in Louisiana and application teams must include at least three Louisiana teachers certified by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

OPSB Honored the Unification Advisory Committee for Guidance, Assistance in Unification Process

The OPSB honored members of the Unification Advisory Committee (UAC) for their assistance in planning for the transition of all public schools to come under the jurisdiction of the district starting on July 1. This will be the first time the OPSB will have full oversight of all Orleans Parish public schools since Hurricane Katrina. The OPSB currently oversees 41 schools; however, once unification is complete and the remaining schools' transition from the oversight of the state’s Recovery School District (RSD), the OPSB will oversee more than 80 schools across the New Orleans area.

Formed in May 2016, the UAC was charged with developing the Unification Transition Plan for Orleans Parish public schools. The committee is comprised of representatives from charter operators and key education advocacy organizations. Those members are:

Current UAC Members

Dr. Henderson Lewis Jr., OPSB Superintendent

Kunjan Narechania, RSD State Superintendent

Sharon Clark, Charter Director for Sophie B. Wright Charter School

Jay Altman, CEO of FirstLine Schools

Kelly Batiste, CEO/Principal of Fannie C. Williams Charter School

Rene Lewis-Carter, CEO of Algiers Charter School Association

Jamar McKneely, CEO of InspireNOLA Charter Schools

Erika McConduit, President/CEO of Urban League of Greater New Orleans

Rhonda Kalifey-Aluise, CEO of KIPP New Orleans Schools

Dr. Doris Roche-Hicks, CEO/Principal of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School

Dr. Armand B. Devezin, OPSB Deputy Chief of Administration & Diversity

 

Former Members

Alexina Medley, former Principal of Warren Easton Charter High School

Deidre Johnson Burel, former Executive Director of Orleans Parish Education Network

Patrick Dobard, former RSD Superintendent

Nicolette London, former OPSB Chief Network/LEA Officer

OPSB Board Room Dedicated to Former Superintendent of Schools Dr. Everett Williams

Today, the OPSB dedicated its boardroom to Dr. Everett J. Williams in honor of his service to education in Orleans Parish. In 1985, the OPSB unanimously chose Dr. Williams to serve as the city’s first African-American superintendent of schools.

For over 35 years, Dr. Williams served as an administrator at some of New Orleans’ most important institutions of public learning, including McDonogh 35 High School and Carter G. Woodson Junior High School. Dr. Williams also served as Superintendent of Area 1 Schools and Auxiliary Services.

As superintendent, Dr. Williams created various programs and initiatives, such as Dollars for Scholars and the Superintendent’s Academic Awards. He pushed for quality education within New Orleans and won taxpayer approvals for significantly more classroom resources.

Aside from his work with New Orleans education, Dr. Williams also dedicated his time to a number of non-profit organizations. He served on and chaired numerous boards including Xavier University, Loyola University, Children’s Hospital, University Hospital, Boy Scouts of America, Crimestoppers and UNITY of Greater New Orleans. Dr. Williams received a St. Louis Medallion and the Pope John Paul II Award for a lifetime of service to the church, schools and New Orleans community.

2019 Fund Balance Appropriation to General Fund Budget – Central

The board voted to adopt Resolution 13-18 authorizing the allocation of $812,890.00 from the Orleans Parish School Board's general fund balance reserve to the 2019 General Fund Budget. This figure represents a 25 percent reduction from the prior year.

Revisions to Salary Scales

The OPSB has recently made adjustments to its salary scales. The changes were implemented with the goal of better allowing the district to continue to both attract and retain top talent. Currently, starting OPSB salaries rank toward the bottom compared to similar professions in the neighboring parishes.

To remain competitive, the board has voted to increase base salaries by five percent, maintain the OPSB stipend at $1,600 per year and alter the step progression for the following school-based positions: teachers, assistant principals, deans, paraeducators, school support positions, child nutrition, security officers, psychologists, appraisal social workers, speech pathologists and educational diagnosticians. Similar adjustments will also be implemented for employees in the central office.

OPSB Partnership Strategic Planning

The board approved a resolution supporting the development of a strategic plan for identifying and working with partner organizations to best serve the needs of students and families in a unified school district. The board accepted an offer of assistance from philanthropists, under the coordination of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, with retaining consultants to develop the plan, and empowering the Superintendent and administration to engage with said philanthropists to select the consultants and to apply the recommended plan in managing partnership work in a unified school district.

The OPSB currently oversees 41 schools, including 37 charter schools, and one educational program for students in secure care facilities. In July 2018 all public schools in New Orleans will again be under the jurisdiction of the OPSB.

For more information, visit www.opsb.us and OPSB Facebook and Twitter (@_OPSB) pages.

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April 2018 - OPSB Meeting Recap

Orleans Parish School Board Reaches Settlement Regarding Transportation with Einstein Charter Schools, Moves Forward with Willie Hall CEA

 NEW ORLEANS – (April 19, 2018) – At the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) board business meeting on Thursday, April 19, OPSB and Einstein Charter Schools reached a settlement regarding transportation. Additionally, the adoption of the Willie Hall Cooperative Endeavor Agreement (CEA) was approved to build recreational improvements at McDonogh 35. The OPSB also accepted a bid to install water filtration systems in all public schools.

Einstein Charter Schools

The OPSB and Einstein Charter Schools announced today that they reached settlement agreement that would resolve litigation concerning the provision of bus transportation and allow restitution to be paid. Due to the transportation dispute, the OPSB had initiated litigation and subsequently began a revocation process to terminate Einstein Charter Schools’ authority to run their Village De L’Est and Sherwood Forest schools for the next school year (2018-2019). Now that a satisfactory settlement has been reached, the OPSB has terminated the revocation process.

Adoption of Willie Hall CEA

The board voted to approve the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the City of New Orleans and the OPSB for the purpose of building recreational improvements at McDonogh 35.

Invitation to Bid Water Filtration Systems

At the recommendation of the Budget & Finance Committee, the OPSB accepted a bid to install water filtration systems on drinking fountains in all public schools in Orleans Parish from Eco Systems, LLC. The budgeted amount of $800,000 has been previously allocated by the Board. A contract will follow.

Letter to Senator Troy Carter on OPSB's Efforts to Address Enrollment Concerns

The OPSB drafted a letter of support to Sen. Troy Carter regarding enrollment processes. The board thanked Sen. Carter for helping the OPSB’s efforts to address enrollment concerns in Orleans Parish.

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The OPSB currently oversees 41 schools, including 37 charter schools, and one educational program for students in secure care facilities. In July 2018 all public schools in New Orleans will again be under the jurisdiction of the OPSB.

For more information, visit www.opsb.us and OPSB Facebook and Twitter (@_OPSB) pages.

NORLI Regional Leadership Award Gallery

On May 17th, 2018, Ethan received the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute’s Regional Leadership Award. During graduation, he was humbled to be named the class speaker by his colleagues. Applications for the 2018-2019 class of leaders is currently open. To apply, please do so here: http://norli.org/application/2019-application/

2018 District 2 Legacy Scholarship Recipients

This year's District 2 Legacy Scholarship recipients are Corazon Johnston of George Washington Carver High School and Imani Edwards of Benjamin Franklin High School. After reading their applications, I was clear that both of these young ladies are shining examples of achievement and endeavor to continue the legacy of excellence that they each created in high school at their respective colleges. Check out the profile of each of these dynamic future leaders.

 

Corazón Johnston[29223].jpg

Corazon Johnsoton

George Washington Carver High School

Attending Stanford University

Creating A Legacy

I created a legacy of achievement in high school by always pushing myself past the expectation. Now in the Fall, I have the pleasure of attending one of the world's most prestigious universities. I hope my legacy raises self-awareness within future scholars of my high school to help them understand that, regardless of their color, creed, or socioeconomic background they can go where they want to and do what they want with a little elbow grease.

In college, I hope to further self-growth and create a legacy of self-excellence. Up until now, education has been structured and intentionally geared to no represent or uplift people of color like me. I will pursue classes and knowledge that will lead to self-knowledge and community betterment. By doing this I hope to create spaces for people of color ina world so hell bend on making it difficult.

Community Legacy

The person in my community that made one of the largest impacts for me is my former US History teacher, Eric Parrie. He left an inspiring legacy of optimism, enthusiasm, and go-getting at my high school. Although a white man, his personality passed racial borders and his determination pushed his students to write and publish a book. He always pushed those around him to rise themselves up and in his own life chased his dreams. He is intelligent and overall a strong human being. I seek to model his legacy and become my own strong, unrelenting, educated individual who builds up those around her, while also following my wildest biggest dreams.

Looking to the future

In college, I want to start my work in creating spaces for people of color. I want to attend university knowing that the only thing between me and my dreams is myself.

Imani Edwards Headshot[29220].jpg

Imani Edwards

Benjamin Franklin High School

Attending Vanderbilt University

Creating A Legacy

In high school, I left a legacy of documenting. Particularly, I took it upon myself to document the individuals and issues tat are less looked upon among my school's environment. From interviewing and capturing math enthusiasts' passion for mathematics to formulating a documentary of our school's first African-American theater production, "The Wiz." I enjoy sharing various perspective and issues to a wider audience of individuals. In college, I want to open my peers (and next, the world's) eyes to wider perspectives. Be it from making a creative project culminating the diversity of my campus to interviewing my peers one-on-one about their life stories and paths to success; I want to create a legacy that leaves other wanting to understand more of the deeper connections and histories of the people and world around us.

modeling legacy in the community

Within my school and church community, I seek tomodel the legacy of Mr. Carl LaCoste. Mr. LaCoste is my advanced orchestra teacher who conducts both band and orchestra as well as my local church's orchestra. Mr. LaCoste reaches out and teaches students in both group and one-on-one sessions about the world of msic. He also sacrifices his weekends teaching studens in the lower 9th ward region music at the Ellis Marsalis Music Center. 

Mr. LaCoste never givew up on others, even if it appears as if they have given up on themselves. He always pushes my peers and I past our boundaries and dares his students to try and endure difficult things. He has taught me that in the long run, it will make me a better player with a stronger mentality. 

Looking to the future

I love helping people grow and enjoy witnessing their growth individually and in their community. I know that reaching out to my comunity and showing young adults and children what they can accomplish will, in turn, demolish the voices in their heads that tell them that they cannot.

As my career prospers, I want to teach young adults and establish a STEM program in underfunded regions in New Orleans. Inmy program and teaching career, I want youth to understand that hard work and determination beat quitting any day and that setting goals is the first stem in achieving them. I want to inspire generations of intelligent and hard-working individuals.

Congratulations to both corazon and imani!