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Hynes leaders discuss summer remediation, budgeting and post-LEAP celebration

Edward Hynes Charter School will host a summer program this year for students in need of academic remediation.

Scheduled for June 3-14, the program will be funded with federal Title I money, Principal Michelle Douglas said during the school’s April 29 board of directors meeting.

“It’s for students who could use extra enrichment,” Douglas said.

Teachers use multiple measures to assess which students could attend the program, including their academic grades, Douglas said.

During her principal’s report, Douglas recognized the Hynes staff for their work and a successful year. She said this time of the year would be focused on celebrating student success.

Awards for first- through seventh-graders are scheduled for May 15. LEAP results will be available on May 17, Douglas said.

“We are planning hopefully a big celebration around that,” she said.

Douglas said that two Hynes staff members were selected by their colleagues and recognized by the Orleans Parish School Board to compete at the state level for the Louisiana Teacher of the Year award. Similarly, Douglas said she was chosen to compete in the Principal of the Year contest.

Douglas said she was “cautiously optimistic” about the school’s latest Entergy bill, which she said totaled about $9,000. Previously the bill had been as high as about $30,000, she said, but had steadily decreased over the past two months.

In January, the Lens reported that the Hynes’ soaring energy bills prompted school officials to meet with city energy officials to try to remedy the problem.

During the legal report, the board voted to approve the school’s federal tax filings for the year ending June 30, 2012. The filing included the school’s Form 990 required of nonprofits. According to the form, Douglas was paid $114,209 during that period.

A financial report shared with the board shows the school was operating more than $184,000 over its projected budget for the period ending March 31. But higher than anticipated revenues during that same period put the school in the red by less than a third of that: $57,676. Despite that, the figures anticipated a surplus of $70,620 by the end of June 30.

The preliminary 2013-14 budget is slated to be placed for public review on May 29, chief financial officer John Gaudry announced. A budget hearing will be held on June 10, and the budget will be submitted to the Orleans Parish School Board on June 15.

Elected Orleans Parish School Board member Sarah Usdin attended the board meeting, and spoke highly of Hynes during the public comment section.

“We need to have schools of excellence like Hynes, like Lusher, like Franklin in our community,” Usdin said.

Usdin told The Lens after the meeting that she had come by to say hello, and that she wanted board members to know that she was available if they needed anything.

She also said she wanted to “build bridges” between members of the education community.

“I care most if the school is doing right by the children,” Usdin said. “We need to be very honest, and have apples to apples conversations about what’s needed.”

The May 27 board meeting has been moved to June 10, according to the Hynes website.

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