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Sci High gives bonuses to teachers

At its meeting on Jan. 16, the board for New Orleans Charter Mathematics & Science High School was told that the school is using additional state funding for teacher bonuses.

Director of Finance Claudia Kent provided a comprehensive financial report that included information on additional state funding as well as money received when the Orleans Parish School Board corrected an error regarding how much sales tax it had collected.

Sci High received about $33,000 in additional funding from the state. Half of that has been distributed in bonuses, and the rest will be paid out at the end of the school year.

OPSB’s sales tax error resulted in about $73,000 being distributed to the school, which is $30,000 more than Kent had budgeted.

As of Dec. 31, 2013, Sci High had increased its financial reserves by about $25,000.

Sci High also received a grant from Rex’s Pro Bono Publico, which Co-Principal Chana Benenson mentioned during her School Director’s report.

Benenson discussed goals for the current school year, including increasing the cohort graduation rate to 85 percent and boosting the number of science and math classes that must be completed by graduation

Most of the school’s goals focus on increasing test scores and emphasizing “STEM” (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) classes. Sci High is currently developing a STEM pathway for the class of 2016 that will include programs focusing on digital, biomedical, and engineering careers.

Angie Brown of Sci High’s Louisiana State University-based health clinic gave a special presentation describing LSU’s outreach and services.

In addition to normal services provided three days a week, the clinic offers physicals and tests for sexually transmitted infections and diseases. Benenson said she believes that the partnership is beneficial because it gives students a multifaceted look at careers in health care.

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