With only six of 13 Miller McCoy Academy board members present for its Feb. 25 meeting, the school’s interim chief decided to use the time to talk about a new state-driven compact to improve the way charter schools function.
Andrea Thomas-Reynolds described the Louisiana Department of Education’s new Louisiana Charter Schools Performance Compact program as a broad initiative aimed at providing charter school operators with clearer expectations for reporting, evaluation and renewal procedures.
The program hopes to tie together the many new changes to Louisiana education. Changes facing schools include: Act 1, the law requiring school administrators to tie teacher salary to student performance rather than tenure; Compass, a program designed to record and track teacher evaluations; and the new nationwide Common Core State Standards curriculum that will begin in all Louisiana classrooms next school year.
The Charter Schools Performance Compact requires schools make year-round financial and academic reports to the state. It also provides an ongoing way for the state to measure charter schools on academics, finances and organization.
Schools will be monitored on the basis of consistency in student enrollment, the quality of school facilities, disciplinary procedures, health and safety precautions, and the percentages of special education or at-risk students served.
Reynolds also spoke about a Jan. 31 meeting, which she said was attended by more than 200 parents. She discussed with them timeline for a permanent school facility, the stability of the school’s leadership, and possibly moving board meetings to the school’s campus instead of Xavier University, where they’ve been held in the past. Reynolds said she has scheduled a meeting with the Recovery School District and parents to discuss the new building’s construction, set to begin this summer and open to students in 2015.
Enrollment at the school has risen by 18 students since October to a 400 at the state’s February 1 enrollment count. The state enrollment counts on Oct. 1 and Feb. 1 determine how many per-pupil dollars a school will receive.
Board members Michael Todd, Blake Oakes, David Bailey, Damon Singleton, and Kelly Brown were present, with Nathaniel Jones attending by conference call.