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School bags MFP windfall; band books Saints halftime gig; repairs ongoing

Warren Easton has received an additional $237,000 in per-pupil state allocations, the school’s board of directors learned at their monthly meeting May 17

Financial officer Mike Greer said Warren Easton received the Minimum Foundation Program money after making final adjustments of the school’s enrollment.  The board then accepted the financial report as submitted by the finance committee.

The board went into executive session to discuss “payroll and personnel issues,” according to the meeting agenda. When advised by a reporter from The Lens that under Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law, “payroll” is not a topic that warrants an executive session from which the public is excluded, board president David Garland said he had not read the agenda prior to the meeting and that “payroll” was not going to be discussed.  The board approved his motion to remove the word “payroll”  from the agenda.

The Lens confirmed with Garland that, in accordance with the law, the employee under discussion in the executive session  had been contacted 24 hours prior to the meeting and elected to have the discussion in closed session.

The executive session lasted about 10 minutes and no action was taken as a result of it.

Member Brenda Christiansen reported that she had met with the school’s parent/teacher/student organization regarding the board’s $1,000 gift for a teacher appreciation luncheon in April.  Christiansen said she appreciated the offer, but told the group to keep the money and return it only if it was unused.

Garland proposed discussion of the board’s policy on videotaping their meetings, but the board approved a motion by member Ronald McDonald moved to defer discussion. Garland said action must be taken at the meeting in June.

Principal Alexina Medley said the school’s overall ACT score has improved 0.9 percent. Medley said she will disaggregate the seniors’ scores to track improvement.  She said the school will add three Advanced Placement courses next year.  The Hall of Fame scholarship event will be held May 18.  Graduation will be May 23 at 10 a.m. at the University of New Orleans.

Ken Ducote, facilities consultant for the school, updated the board on projects.  The ongoing Orleans Parish School Board window project has yet to be completed.  The contractor’s request for “substantial completion” certification was denied.

Ducote identified 55 leaks in the roof on a walk through with Crown Roofing.  The school will spend $10,831 to repair the leaks, many of which were above the band room.

The architect for Easton’s master plan work has not yet been appointed. Ducote said he expects to be notified of the selection in June.

Garland asked school administrator Janet Gaudet to verify the dates on which  McDonald and member Jeff Zapata began their terms, now approaching completion.  Gaudet said she believes their limit of two consecutive three-year terms will be up in June. Gaudet is the school’s development coordinator and takes minutes at the board meetings.

Medley said the Warren Easton band has been asked to play during halftime at the Saints game on Nov. 25.  The school is continuing to work on plans for a fundraiser to mark the school’s centennial.

Members present in addition to Garland, Christiansen, McDonald and Zapata were  Robert Delle, Charles Petrey, David Napoleon, and ex-officio member Sal Genovese

The meeting began at 6:38 p.m. and adjourned at 7:52 p.m. The board will conduct a public budget hearing on July 18. It’s regular monthly meeting is June 20.

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