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School to monitor mid-year transfer numbers; board passes 2012-13 budget

The board governing Crocker Arts and Technology School held its first meeting in the school’s new building on Sept. 29. Crocker occupies the first and third floors of the new campus, located at 2301 Marengo St., with ENCORE Academy operating on the second floor.

Treasurer John Tobler presented the final version of the 2012-13 budget to the board, and recommended its approval. The budget was adopted and will be submitted to the state on Oct. 1.

The budget is based on an enrollment of 265 students. Principal Charmaine Robertson said Crocker’s current student population stands at 276.

At the board’s request, two accountants from the firm Silva, Gurtner and Abney, who are handling the school’s audit, were present for a portion of the meeting.

Accountant Tom Gurtner said, “I was very excited when we were told the board wanted to meet with us. It gave me comfort we have a very active board. If we communicate, we’re business partners. You may not like the answers I give you, but if we’re meeting, there are no surprises.”

Both the board and Gurtner agreed to hold regular face-to-face meetings.

In her Principal’s Report, Robertson said she is in the process of hiring two additional para-professionals to assist in small group remediation. The new hires will work with third and fourth grade students that need additional help.

Robertson also noted that Crocker’s Sept. 11 site visit from the Recovery School District (RSD) was postponed after Hurricane Isaac, and will now take place on Oct. 11.

Board member John Jones voiced concern about overall test scores being affected by new students transferring to Crocker throughout the year. Principal Robertson noted that the school does receive new students on an ongoing basis, and admitted that the process has an affect on classrooms.

“We’re seeing a high number of behavioral issues that we previously did not have. The new kids who come in have to get adjusted, and some are already behind,” Robertson said.

She explained that the RSD’s new “One App” application process aims to alleviate “school-hopping,” and students trying to move from one RSD school to another now need a referral from a Parent Center.

Parent Centers are an RSD program to increase parent involvement and asses school transfer requests. Parent Centers  can reject or approve transfer requests.

Jones encouraged Robertson to keep track of data related to on new student transfers to Crocker.

Crocker will hold an open house on Friday, Oct. 19 from 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Board members in attendance included: Chairwoman Grisela Jackson, Simonne Robinson, Mary Ellen Alexander, Secretary Shaun Rafferty, Stephen Boyard, John Jones, and Treasurer John Tobler.

Crocker’s next board meeting will be held Saturday, Oct. 27 at 11 a.m.

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