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Charter extension deemed likely; decision due Dec. 5; new faculty hires announced

A site visit in connection with the school’s application to extend its charter went well, principal St. Claire Adriaan told the board of Success Preparatory Academy at its monthly meeting, Nov. 9.

With a school performance score of 76.9—above the state’s minimum score of 75—and in the absence of financial irregularities, Adriaan said he thought the school would be granted an extension without academic probation.

“It’s too early to count the chickens,” Adriaan said, “but we have no fears about the extension.” A decision by the state’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is expected on Dec. 5.

The board also reported that a new building lease has been finalized, and that all Success teachers have completed their observations as part of the NOLA Teacher Incentive Funding (TIF) process.

Thirty teachers scored an average of 3.47 out of 5 on the TIF in categories ranging from “classroom leadership” to “setting instructional outcomes.” Success teachers scored highest in “creating classroom environments well-tailored for independent, small group and partner work.” The teachers are now in follow-up meetings with NOLA TIF, to help develop individual plans of action and improvement.

Success students will wrap up the ongoing STEP tests on Nov 15. The results of STEP – which measures reading fluency and comprehension — will be reported at the board’s next committee meeting, Nov. 29.

As part of several new special-education initiatives, Success has hired Melissa LaBerrere as its new K-2 special-education teacher. Fifteen Success students in K-2 have since been deemed at-risk. A total of 118 students in all grades have been receiving some sort of special-ed intervention.

Success has also hired a new fifth-grade assistant teacher. A part-time Spanish teacher position remains open, however, leaving just one full-time teacher to cover Spanish instruction for grades three through six.

The largely white board discussed its continuing search for more members, particularly African Americans. “I feel like this board needs to better represent the school’s population and our community,” said treasurer Kathryn Broussard. Broussard said she regretted that the board’s two African American members, Sissy Wheeler and Avion Pichon, had not attended any meetings in months. “I miss them,” said Broussard. “I valued their opinions. We should contact them and ask them to maybe suggest their successors.”

Present at the meeting in addition to Adriaan and Broussard were Anderson Barker, chairman; Lee Adler, vice chairman; Adriaan’s co-principal, Niloy Gangopadhyay, and members Ryan Bates, Ben Blanchard, Jack Carey, Avery Corenswet and Heidi Jones.

 

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