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Board hears Tubman presentation, approves new policy

Crescent City Schools’ board members received an update on Harriet Tubman Charter School’s progress and an update on the organization’s pending charter application at their September board meeting.

They also approved a vendor selection process and a healthy food options agreement with a new funder.

Tubman principal Julie Lause presented Tubman’s end-of-year statistics and news shortly after the meeting began. About 95 percent of Tubman’s eighth-grade graduates are now going to high-performing high schools, up considerably from last year’s 32 percent, she said. Crescent City defines a high-performing high school as one where 85 percent or more of graduates attend college.

Last year was Crescent City’s first year managing Tubman, which matriculates through eighth-grade.

“This is the most awesome thing that I think has happened for this community,” Tubman principal Julie Lause said. A majority of their graduates ended up going to Sci Academy, she said, after the school held parent nights to show parents more high school options on the East Bank.

Lause also discussed the school’s 95-percent retention rate, up from last year’s 80 percent rate, and its eighth-grade state test scores for math and English Language Arts, which were higher than the state average and higher than the Recovery School District’s average, she said. Board members gave her a round of applause after the scores presentation.

The scores Lause presented included retest scores, or scores from students who retake tests after an initial non-passing grade, and original test scores released in May. Tubman’s retention rate also met an organizational goal, first outlined at the board’s August retreat.

After Lause’s presentation, chief executive officer Kate Mehok updated board members on Crescent City’s charter application process. The organization has submitted an application for Paul Habans Elementary School, which is in Algiers. An interview with the Louisiana Department of Education is scheduled for Tuesday, Mehok said.

“We will have three people in the room with us,” she said. “I do know that, but I don’t know who it will be,” Mehok said.

Shortly after that discussion, the board approved a vendor selection process that requires Crescent City to develop criteria to be evaluated when selecting a service provider and to get at least three quotes or bid proposals from different service providers.

They also approved a letter to one of the board’s funders, Propeller – A Force for Social Innovation. The letter was a commitment to ensure that both Tubman and the organization’s other charter school, Akili Academy, commit to healthy food options. The funder, formerly known as the Social Enterpreneurs of New Orleans, is giving the schools close to $4500 each to assist in that effort.

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