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Bricolage board passes $1.4 million budget for first year of operation

A little more than one month before Bricolage Academy of New Orleans is set to open its doors for the first time, the school’s board passed its first budget Thursday night.

The $1.4 million spending plan provides funding for 75 kindergarteners in the Orleans Parish School Board charter’s inaugural class, which will hear its first bell in the halls of Touro Synagogue on Aug. 19.

School Leader Josh Densen told board members that 70 students are enrolled now, but 75 are expected by the time school opens.

The school has offered admission to five additional students. Even if those students don’t accept, the school has about 20 more on a waiting list, and could additionally turn to students who have chosen Bricolage in rounds two and three of the OneApp enrollment process.

“I really don’t see a scenario where we have less than 75,” Densen said.

Densen, whose son will be a member of the school’s first class, founded the school with input from families aimed at preparing students in lower grade levels for the changing economy.

The school, which employs 14 full- and part-time teachers, is aiming to have all materials and facilities ready to go by Aug. 1, providing 18 days to work out any remaining issues, Densen said. The school leader said he would’ve taken board members on a tour of the building, if they “weren’t shampooing the carpets.”

“Right now they are empty, but they look beautiful,” he said of the classrooms.

The school held a budget hearing July 2. The biggest change to the budget since that hearing was the Academy’s initial transportation contract. The contract was negotiated down from $450 a day to $400 day. The school will use a mix of buses and vans to transport students who request the service.

“Anything we’ve done to alleviate that is really good,” said board member Jeff Teague, noting the hefty costs of transportation expenses for many schools.

The budget leaves about $10,000 in excess funds to carry over to the following school year, and includes a $94,000 reserve.

During a discussion of the finance committee’s goals for the next year, board members noted the need to create a policy around the reserve funds, so they can be put toward long-term goals, such as finding a new building for the school.

“We’ve got an advantage…that we don’t have to put in too much depreciation,” since the school is new, board chair Alan Phillipson said.

The Bricolage board will hold its next meeting Aug. 15, four days before the beginning of the new school year.

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  • nickelndime

    How do you say I-D-I-O-T in French? O my. That is how you say “idiot” in French. Bricolage Academy of New Orleans! OMG. Fess up. OPSB Deputy Superintendent Kathleen Padian’s 4- year old is enrolled. Am I right? Who is responsible for this? A kindergarten charter school, approved by the OPSB, and master-minded on the playgrounds of “uptown” (Laurel Street) New Orleans.

  • nickelndime

    bri·co·lage
    [ br kō l ]
    something constructed from materials at hand: something that is made or put together with whatever materials happen to be available. Yeah, it’s called MONEY, and thank you OPSB and Kathleen Padian, Deputy Superintendent of Charter Schools!

  • RampartStreet

    Hello Nick…usually you and I are in agreement (I used to be Alan on this forum, but Disqus has somehow morphed my moniker and I haven’t figured out how to change it back)…but from what I understand of this school, it does in fact represent what charters were originally supposed to be about, and that is empowerment of parents and teachers and not corporate interests.

    I may be mistaken–and if I am, I am certain that someone with more facts will present them here–but my understanding is that this is not a charter school run by a “Learning Corporation” or by venture capitalists. Instead it was started by parents who wanted direct influence over their children’s education in a school setting rather than through home schooling. Contrast that with the many charters run by professional charter operations, whose conduct (along with the RSD and BESE) indicates that they clearly don’t give two rat’s patooties about what parents want. That’s a major difference.

    There are still lots of potential problems which may yet reveal themselves, and if they do, then your comments will have been prescient. If this turns out to be another segregation academy in charter disguise, or if it fails academically year after year but still magically has its charter renewed–then we’ll know something’s wrong. And, of course, there are the many inefficiencies endemic among charter schools (too many Overpaid Grand Poo-Bahs, School Bus Bamboozles, The Intractable Dilemma of Food Service, the byzantine concoction which is One App) which may yet throw a spanner into the works. But this one may be different, and if that does in fact prove to be the case, that’s a good thing.

    Time will tell.

    Best regards,

    RampartStreet (formerly A.M.)

  • nickelndime

    Hey Alan! Glad to hear you are there. Was wondering what happened to you. Have enjoyed your explanations and commentaries. Yeah – unfortunately, I got a problem with this one too! Not what it appears to be. Looks clean on the surface. Some say I am a couple of years ahead – but that’s not a lot. Go with it, Alan! I will be looking for you.

  • nolacotton

    Nicklendime,or as I lovingly refer to you as “cheap 2 cents,” why do you choose to always attack Ms. Padian? She didn’t approve Bricolage, the OPSB board does that. Further, when you say her daughter goes to Bricolage, how do you know? In fact, how do you know she has a 4 year old daughter? The school isn’t opened yet nor should they be giving out their enrollment list to anyone, so how do you know? More importantly, who cares if she does? I’d actually be impressed if more people involved in education were sending their kids to these schools! Quit loading these boards with your personal grudges and attacks.

  • nickelndime

    nolacotton – your slip is showing, dear. I didn’t say Kathleen Padian has a 4 year-old “daughter.” You did. You must know her personally – I don’t. LOL and rolling on the floor.

  • nolacotton

    I do know Ms. Padian as I have seen her with a young girl that I assume is her daughter at a school event on the West Bank and at an OPSB meeting. You still don’t answer the question though. Do you know for a fact she attends Bricolage or did you just make stuff up? I’m guessing you make stuff up to be as inflammatory as possible.

  • nickelndime

    nolacotton – you have posted, “I do know Ms. Padian as I have seen her with a young girl that I assume is her daughter at a school event on the West Bank and at an OPSB meeting.” This is almost…humorous, but you are serious, aren’t you?