Abramson Sci Academy
Governed by Collegiate Academies of New Orleans
The governance committee of Collegiate Academy’s board of directors met Tuesday night to discuss whether to remove Sci Academy from the state’s Recovery School District and place it under the oversight of the Orleans Parish School Board. Sci Academy is the only of Collegiate Academy’s three schools that qualified to move to governance by the parish school board.
Charter boards overseeing 17 schools must decide by the end of the year if they want to move from the Recovery School District to the Orleans Parish School Board. But there are still reasons for schools to stay put, such as funding issues and concerns about the management and leadership of the local school system.
It will cost $30 million to bring students to and from public schools this year, compared to $18 million the year before Katrina. The increase appears to be a consequence of citywide enrollment and the shift from a centrally-run school system. A few schools are working together to negotiate busing contracts.
The board of Collegiate Academies met in January to discuss financial data and an article published in the Advocate, which described the correlation between high suspension rates and low school performance scores in charter schools throughout the New Orleans area. In the article, Collegiate’s Sci Academy is mentioned as having the second-highest suspension rate at 49.2 percent, though also demonstrating a break in the suspension-school performance relationship by maintaining a B level performance score.
Collegiate Academies board of directors met Wednesday night at the new George Washington Carver High School campus to discuss committee goals for the upcoming school year, including the establishment of firm guidelines on credit card use throughout the charter management system. With the addition of new charters and new campuses this year, the board agreed to add four additional credit cards—for a total of six— to be distributed to school leaders.
The Collegiate Academies school board met July 18 to review the year-end financial picture, discuss parent handbook revisions, and thank retiring board members. The 2011-2012 school year left Collegiate Academies with a surplus of $243,000, at least $87,000 of it the result of successful fundraising over and above set goals.
The board of Collegiate Academies met Wednesday night to discuss plans for the new George Washington Carver campus and to announce the approval of a building plan for Sci Academy’s permanent facility on its current location. Only one night before the board meeting, the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) approved the Recovery School District to hire the architecture firm of Rozas Ward to build the long-awaited school building that will house Sci Academy on Read Blvd.
The budget for the Collegiate Academies of New Orleans, the board that operates Sci Academy, remains flat for the upcoming school year compared to 2011-2012, coming in at around $3.6 million. The budget for the 2012-2013 school year includes projections for two new schools opening on the Carver campus and anticipates a 60-student increase in enrollment.
With 95 percent of the school’s first graduating class accepted by a four-year college, Sci Academy is seeing increased interest among prospective ninth-grade enrollees, the school’ board of directors learned at its April board meeting. As of April 1, 377 current eighth-graders listed Sci Academy on their high school applications, a 14 percent rise from last year.
Just under 40 members of the George Washington Carver High School community attended Collegiate Academies of New Orleans’ March board meeting. They were generally opposed to the proposed phase-out of Carver, a failing school run directly by the Recovery School District, and its replacement with two charter high schools to be run by Collegiate.
The governing board of New Orleans Charter Science and Math Academy cancelled their meeting which had been scheduled for 6pm tonight. The board informed The Lens at about 4:30pm this afternoon that, due to unforeseen circumstances, not enough board members would be present for a quorum, and that the meeting was cancelled.