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Einstein Charter celebrates high LEAP scores at regular board meeting

Einstein Charter Inc.’s board of directors discussed LEAP scores and a successful fundraiser at Tuesday’s meeting.

The regular board meeting was held immediately following the annual budget hearing. An abbreviated agenda was set in order to make time for public comment regarding the budget, but no members of the public turned out for the hearing.

As the regular meeting began, Principal Shawn Toranto turned the discussion to LEAP SCOARES.

She said that 88 percent of fourth-grade students and 93 percent of eighth-grade students passed LEAP.  Four fourth graders and two eighth graders will attend LEAP remediation classes over the summer and have a chance to retake the test.

Toranto also said the Jazzed for Education event held in May netted more than $10,000, which will go to the student activities account.

In staffing changes, Toranto reported five resignations and one termination.  She said the resignations included three staff members from Teach for America who are moving on as well as a retirement.  She said all positions have been filled.  One second-grade teacher has been added to account for an increase in student enrollment next year.

Toranto said the school has accepted 560 students for next year, with 100 more on a waiting list.  Last year’s February headcount was 443, which Toranto said realistically should have included 30 to 40 more students.

The school will make its IT transition the week of July 9.  Einstein will no longer receive services through the Orleans Parish School Board.  The school will run its own technology services and file its own federal E-rate reimbursement.  This move is expected to bring a 90 percent cost reduction over last year.

In other budget news, business manager Doug Guidry reported a significant increase from original property insurance estimates.

“Property insurance is going to be 275 percent higher than it was last year,” he said.

He reassured the board that with an increase in student enrollment, the increase in revenue should more than offset the costs.

Three board members were present for the meeting: Ramona Perkins, Ryan Bennett and Suzanne Evangelista.  Member James Pineda resigned in the month prior to the meeting. Margaret Nguyen and Laurin Jacobsen were absent.

The Einstein board amended its by-laws at the May meeting to require that the board have a minimum of six members, which it had at the time.  As it stands, the board is one member short of its requirement. The bylaws state new board members are to be appointed in June.

Representatives  of the ad hoc committee formed to interview prospective board members said they would have recommendations at the July meeting.

The meeting began at 6:10 p.m. and adjourned at 6:48 p.m. The next board meeting is scheduled for July 10.

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