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Success Prep eyes tech needs and new school sign as possible uses of windfall

Directors of Success Preparatory Academy signed off on plans to spend a $175,000 budget windfall, and welcomed a new member at their April 10 board meeting.

Along with other New Orleans charter schools, the Treme-based Success Prep received the additional money as a result of an Orleans Parish School Board budgeting error in allocating tax money. (Update: The infusion of cash isn’t due to an error, OPSB officials tell The Lens.)

Officials laid out plans to spend the money, mostly on supplies for the school, including computers and other technology needs. Another chunk of the money will go toward campus beautification efforts.

The beautification efforts are in line with the school’s strategic plan, board members and officials said.

During the meeting, the board reviewed a draft of the strategic plan for school improvement. As currently framed, the plan seeks to prioritize community outreach and development, improving the school’s facilities and addressing needs in terms of staffing and board membership.

Strategic Planning committee chair Blake Poole said a new school sign would be one possible use of the beautification funds.

“We have a banner,” he said, referring to a placard that hangs on the school building. “It’s not a sign of permanence.”

The plan for spending the $175,000 was passed by the board as part of an amended budget.

The board also heard updates on several ongoing projects, including plans for repair of the elevator and better soundproofing.

According Daniel O’Connell, director of finance and operations, the elevator repairs are going to be more extensive and costly than initially expected. The estimate for the repair is about $30,000, O’Connell told the board.

Asked about the accessibility issues that the school could face with the elevator out of service, O’Connell said that no students were currently affected.

“As of right now we don’t have anyone that is incapable of getting between the floors,” he said.

A power surge several weeks ago — not the first — led to repairs of about $4,500, O’Connell said.

“This may be an Entergy infrastructure issue,” O’Connell said, referring to the local utility company.

The board also welcomed a new member, Robert Edgecombe. Edgecombe, who works in planning and demographics with GCR Inc., previously worked with the school to provide demographic information.

Board members Anderson Baker, Lee Adler, Kathryn Broussard, Avione Pichon, Shawn Preau, Avery Corenswet and Poole were present. Members Jack Carey, Benjamin Blanchard and Ryan Bates* were absent.

*Ryan Bates’ absence was not noted in the article as first published.  

This story was updated after publication to include a link to the Orleans Parish School Board’s explanation of why charters are getting more money. (April 24, 2014)

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  • nickelndime

    SUCCESS PREP: Should use the $175,000 “windfall” (that i$ wa$hed down the drains of law firms in this city doing business with these charter nonprofit boards from 9-10 AM daily) in the classrooms and on certified (credentialed) teaching personnel. Academic performance is poor.