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Board rejects move to former McDonogh 7 campus; faculty stabilizing after departures

At the Lagniappe Academies board meeting on Jan. 8, chairman Ray Smart said that a potential relocation campus was unacceptable. Smart informed board members that representatives from Lagniappe had recently visited the old McDonogh 7 campus on offer by the Recovery School District and concluded that the outdated building had serious heating and cooling problems as well as structural issues. Thus, “we’re probably going to be in the existing building next year,” Smart said.

Ninh Tran, Lagniappe’s director of talent management, reported that the charter managememt organization “rated well” on its yearly audit, which had been formally submitted to the Recovery School District. Ninh said the school did an “excellent job,” and took care of some “follow up” issues pointed out by the auditors. Smart qualified Tran’s praise, saying that “we got probably a B-” on the audit, and that the school “was not proud of it.”

Smart added that Lagniappe strives for excellence in every area, and that recent turnover in staff at the school was due to high standards of excellence not being met. Smart said he was confident in the personnel currently employed at the school and was optimistic about the coming year. He said he hoped to secure more local donor support for the school’s mission, which would bolster Lagniappe’s chances to attract national grants.

Family outreach coordinator Yoshekia Brown briefed the board on the continued growth of Lagniappe’s Parent Leadership Council. Still in its infancy, the council drew 23 parents to its third meeting this year, up from only five parents at the first meeting. Brown said increased parental involvement aligned with the school’s mission to “recruit the whole family” to the school, not just the student.

The Board went into Executive Session for five minutes to discuss what the meeting agenda described as an “employee matter.” Afterwards, the board declared that no action had been taken. The 33-minute meeting adjourned at 6:16 p.m.. Along with Smart, boardmembers Frank Williams, Donna Fraiche and Joan Coulter were in attendance; Vera Triplett and Joseph Kimbrell were absent.

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