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Teachers get added incentive to improve student test scores: merit-based bonuses

The Capital One-New Beginnings Charter School Network is planning to pay teacher bonuses based on student improvement this year, its governing board learned recently.

The network’s board of directors heard a report on the plan at its Oct. 25 meeting.

Students were tested at the beginning of the year, setting a base score for their teachers to earn the merit-based pay, explained Vera Triplett, the chief executive officer for the network.

The schools in the network are Gentilly Terrace, Medard H. Nelson, Pierre A. Capdau – with either prekindergarten or kindergarten through eighth-grade students – and Lake Area New Tech Early College High School. The high school was created this year after Greater Gentilly High School and Thurgood Marshall Early College High School merged.

Triplett reviewed each school’s new letter grade on the state report card, which can be seen at the top of this page. Though Lake Area did not receive a score because it is a new campus, Thurgood Marshall received a D.

Each school presented a report to the board:

  • Gentilly Terrace has introduced a policy requiring students to have see-through backpacks, in response to a handgun incident earlier this year. In September, a 13-year-old student brought a pistol to school in his backpack, and the weapon fired when he was showing it to friends. No one was injured in the incident. The school has 436 students, down from 447 at the beginning of the school year. Student attendance is at 96.1 percent and teacher attendance is 95 percent. The school
  • Principal Michael Booker said Lake Area has 612 students. Booker fielded questions from the board regarding the transition and said the process is going relatively smooth. The biggest hangup was a gap in record-keeping from Greater Gentilly, which meant many students did not know which courses they had taken. Those records finally were delivered to the new high school mid-September in a box, and counselors are working with students to place them in the correct classes necessary for graduation.
  • Pierre A. Capdau enrolls 340 students. The school reported over 98 percent student and teacher attendance.
  • Medard H. Nelson enrolls 479 students, and their student and teacher attendance in September was just over 96 percent.

Nelson and Lake Area have implemented silent transitions where students can’t talk in the hall while changing classes. Administrators from both schools say it has helped with flow and management.

Chief Operations Officer Stephen Osborn reported a surplus in the budget. A new director of finance has been hired to start after Thanksgiving.

Network Director of Development David Robinson-Morris reported he is working on multiple grants.

The board voted to appoint Avione Pichon, a practicing attorney, to the board.

The meeting began at 5:18 and adjourned at 7 p.m.

Present were President Tim Ryan and board members Carol Skriloff Starr, April Bedford, Kim Bondy, and Mark Boucree were present. Member Donnica Conway-Strawder arrived at 5:29 p.m. There were 15 other people present, a mix of school administration, staff and a reporter from The Lens.

The next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 29 at 5 p.m., though the network’s website says the location has not yet been set.

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