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Lafayette accorded national citation; board plots film, theater and television school

Lafayette Academy has been listed as a breakthrough school by the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the school’s board announced at its monthly meeting, Nov. 30.

Lafayette, along with nine other middle and high schools, demonstrated “significant and sustained” improvement among students who are affected by poverty and all of its associated issues, the principals group said.

James Huger, president of Choice Foundation, which runs Lafayette as well as Esperanza Charter School, congratulated the administration, saying the citation was  “another proof that this school is headed in the right direction.”

Most of the two-hour board meeting centered on preliminary plans by Choice Foundation to build build a third school.

Lafayette Principal Mickey Landry and board member Laura Sillars reported to the board on their recent visit G-Star School of the Arts, the nation’s largest film, acting and television production high school and the only high school in the world with a working motion picture studio on campus.

G-Star, in West Palm Beach, FL, boasts a 99 percent graduation rate, with 97 percent going on to college.

“Mickey and I met with (Recovery School District chief) John White last week, and he was receptive to Choice building a school like G-Star in New Orleans,” Huger said. “We just need to go back and draw up the plans to get this thing off the ground.”

Huger said the board was looking to acquire a piece of land next to Second Line Stages, a production studio in the Lower Garden District.

Sillars, senior vice president at Lifestyle Programming, said, “It will take about five years to complete this project…. We might need to look at other options also, such as taking over another school and building a movie studio on its campus.”

Landry concluded the meeting with an update on Lafayette’s plans to add an eighth-grade. Space constraints in the Lafayette building may require the use of portable classrooms, Landry said.

The next board meeting is Dec. 28.

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