Looking ahead at potential plans to rebuild or remodel Martin Berhman Charter School for Creative Arts and Sciences, the Algiers Charter Schools Association plans to hold a public meeting with Algiers community members on Oct. 8 at 5:30 p.m. in the Berhman auditorium.
Facilities committee chair John Edwards said that there are now two locations in consideration for a new building: one on a 4.1 acre lot on Patterson Drive and another on Opelousas Avenue that’s roughly 8 acres.
“With the size of our population, it [the new building] wouldn’t fit on the Patterson site,” said Berhman assistant principal Brian Young, noting especially that the auditorium space at similarly sized schools like Edward Hynes Charter School would not be enough for Berhman’s focus on the arts. “We want to serve our purpose, we don’t want to be a cookie-cutter school.”
The board also approved new rules for purchasing aimed at reducing paperwork and getting supplies to students faster. Under the new system, all ACSA schools’ operations officers can use purchasing software to order materials with a spending limit of $2,500. Before any payment is actually made, a purchasing officer at the school-support center will clear the transaction to avoid fraud or inappropriate expenses.
Chief Financial Officer Charlie Mackles said that previously all transactions went through the purchasing officer directly, sometimes delaying orders of school supplies by up to two months.
An additional three-year $14,999 contract for Barracuda web filtering also gained approval. Mackles reported that the service, which blocks unwanted websites from student access, is a requirement of the federal E-Rate program that funds much of the charter organization’s technology. Previously, the organization had been paying $6,999 a year but was able to secure a lower rate through a third party technology firm, Bencom Tech.
Board members Dee Fuchs and D’Juan Hernandez did not attend the meeting. The next meeting will be Oct. 30 at Landry-Walker.