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Supplemental services hired in struggle to raise school's performance score; takeover feared

The Treme Charter School Association has voted to increase supplemental services for targeted students in preparation for spring testing. The board, which governs McDonogh 42 Elementary Charter School, met Jan. 28.

Prior to the meeting the school hosted a community forum. About 40 people were in attendance and 10 stayed for the board meeting.

“The meeting was held to inform staff, families and students about the changes happening at the end of the year,” said Cid Galicia, a seventh- and eighth-grade English teacher at McDonogh 42, who attended the meeting. A new charter organization will likely take over the school if it does improve its academic performance.

After a long discussion of supplemental services, the board  authorized chief executive officer Cynthia Williams to negotiate a contract for up to $60,000 with Success Works Educational Consulting. The money will come from the school’s Title I funding.

The board emphasized the importance of collaboration by Williams, principal Gail Lazard, and the consulting organization to create services that target  fourth- and eighth-grade students facing LEAP testing. An ”unsatisfactory” score on the test means the student will not be promoted to the next grade.

The board also adopted Charter Non-Renewal Resolution 2011-12-02. stating that it will resist any effort by state officials to reassign its charter due to poor performance, but will work with a new charter holder for the benefit of the community if the state prevails.

In several motions the board approved December’s meeting minutes and made an adjustment to the academic calendar regarding professional development.  The board also accepted December’s financial report, and authorized Lazard to submit the second quarter financial report to the state.  The board approved ‘routine personnel actions’ which included one teacher’s month-long leave without pay, and the seventh/eighth-grade math teacher’s resignation effective Jan. 16.

The meeting began at 11:42 a.m. and ended about 1 p.m.  Members Tracie Washington, Hester Cottles, Roslyn Smith, and Madonna Green were present.  Members Carol McCree, Bherita Hall, Bernard Robertson, and Raymond Brown were absent.  The next meeting will be Feb. 25 at 11 a.m.

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