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:

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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!