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RSD reps brief board on charter extension process; fundraiser nets $47G, LEAP tests loom

Directors of the Capital One-New Beginnings Charter School Network met with school staff and the Recovery School District March 27 without a quorum.

Adam Hawf and Troave Profice from the RSD’s Office of School Performance met briefly with the board.  Hawf explained his office’s role and fielded questions. Hawf’s staff will make periodic visits to schools throughout the year and provide written feedback. His office will also make recommendations in the charter renewal and extension process.

“I applaud the district and state for initiating this process, I think it is very important,” board president Tim Ryan said.

Chief executive officer Vera Triplett voiced concern to Hawf about the possible change in calculation of school performance scores. She said she hoped they won’t change the metrics in the middle of a school year. Hawf said his understanding was that the metrics would not change this year.

Triplett said phase I of LEAP testing is complete and phase II will begin April 12.  She said the network is preparing to transition to Common Core standards for kindergarten and first grade next year. She also said the network has adopted a new system to monitor special-education students who have behavioral problems.

Triplett announced the governor of Alabama will visit Lake Area New Tech Early College High School on April 2.  There will be a roundtable discussion in the school’s media center on charter schools.

Chief operations officer Stephen Osborn said the RSD will tour Pierre Capdau Charter School on May 17 for what’s called a “facilities, health and life safety” visit.  He announced Capdau will receive a playground donation from LA Care. The anticipated build date is Oct. 25. He also said the network has hired Kelvin Haynes to fill an open position as a financial services analyst.

Chief financial officer Kendal Turner reported on revenues and expenses through Feb. 29.  Ryan expressed concern that the accounts payable, stand at a little over $1 million, noting that the sum is approximately 40 percent of the network’s assets of about $2.15 million.  Turner said the vast majority of accounts payable are payroll expenses.

The Top Chef NOLA fundraiser held earlier in March brought in about $47,000, the board learned.

A parent of two students at Gentilly Terrace spoke during public comment.  She addressed concerns about the “One App” application process run by the Recovery School District.  The board referred her to a network staff member to help her fill out another application.

The scheduled executive session was not held, as the board did not have a quorum.  Approval of January’s meeting minutes was pushed to the next meeting. The board also postponed a vote on a new purchase requisition system for the network.

The board may have to call a special meeting before their next regular meeting to make a budget revision, which they could not do without a quorum.

The board had three members present, Ryan, Donnica Conway and Mark Boucree.  Members Carol Skriloff Starr, Avione Brown Pichon, Nedra Powell, Carla Major and Kim Bondy were absent.  Representing the network were Triplett, Osborn, Turner, and executive assistant Susan Wetwiski.  Hawf and Profice from the RSD, a few members of the public and a reporter from the Lens were present as well.

The meeting began at 5:13 p.m. and adjourned at 7:06 p.m.  The next regular board meeting is scheduled for May 29.

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