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New facility renovation nearly complete; after-school program proves popular

Encore Academy’s board of directors met Sept. 25 and toured the school’s new home at 2301 Marengo St., shared with Crocker Elementary.

School leader Terri Smith said the academy’s enrollment stands at 191 students, about 15 fewer than projected capacity.  The school accommodates pre-kindergarten through third-grade students as well as fifth graders.   Smith said teachers are finishing initial student assessments this week.

The school has received $94,000 from the Orleans Parish School Board for technology updates. The money was used to purchase cameras, laptops, iPad carts and 60 iPads, Smith said.

Two-thirds of students are participating in an optional program that extends the school day beyond its regular 4:30 p.m. close to 5:45 p.m., Smith said.

Advisory board member Joseph Neary reviewed the Compass school leader evaluation with board members.  This evaluation is part of the state’s move to the Common Core State Standards Initiative sponsored nationwide by the National Governors Association to bring varying state curricula into alignment. The board then approved a motion requiring Smith to submit a monthly report in line with Compass standards.

Smith suggested that the academy participate in Orleans Parish School Board’s new attempt at a unified application process.  OPSB charters have the option to participate this year.  Members tabled the discussion, as they wanted more details on the process before taking a vote.

None of the boards’ five committees had reports for the full board, which proceeded to approve the minutes of its July meeting.

Smith led a short tour of the school.  Construction crews are still working from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.  While most classrooms are complete, the gym, black-box theater and library are still under construction, having been used as staging areas earlier in the renovation.

Members Linda Launey, Herbert Patterson, Kesana Durand and Ashleigh Bergeron were in attendance.

The meeting began at 6:37 p.m. and ended at 7:21 p.m.  The next board meeting combined with the board’s retreat will be Nov. 10.

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