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BESE's permission to increase enrollment is sought — but no more mice, please!

The Pride College Prep School Board met on Sept. 20 at 6:30 p.m. in the conference room of the Main Office Building. Two board members were absent: K. Lavon Wright and Scott Jacobs. Two teachers and a reporter for The Lens comprised the audience.

All teacher and staff positions are currently filled, except for the nurse’s positions, the board was advised. The nurse gave two weeks notice on Sept. 19 and will leave the school at the end of the month.

In other developments discussed at the meeting: As adjacent Frances Gregory Elementary School is being torn town, there has been little disruption at Pride College Prep, except for a few dust clouds. Of greater concern: mice have evacuated the Gregory building and are finding their way into Pride classrooms.

A recent burglary affected all of the campuses that share 1700 Pratt Drive: Pride College Prep, Kipp Believe Primary and Akili Academy. The burglars broke in through windows and stole laptops, projectors and keys. All locks have been changed and the schools are looking into upgrading the alarm system.

Simone Green, Director of Finance & Operations, said that Pride is seeking approval from the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) to amend its charter in a way that allows an increase in enrollment. The communication to BESE reads as follows:

“Pride College Prep is requesting a material amendment to the student enrollment projection in our charter in order to meet the high demand for high quality educational opportunities at our school. As the transformation school of Gregory Middle School, and with the closing of that school, we have experienced increased interest in enrollment at Pride College Prep. Additionally, as we prepare to move into our permanent facility in New Orleans East, we recognize the fact that we will be one of few new elementary schools open in the neighborhood, and anticipate increased demand in the lower grades. We created our initial enrollment projection with natural attrition in mind. However, Pride College Prep stands firm in the belief that we would be doing an injustice to the children of New Orleans if we deny enrollment simply because we planned not to enroll over a certain number. We hope that we are afforded the opportunity to equip as many scholars as possible with the habits and skills to excel in college and life.”

Pride Prep already attracts two busloads of students from New Orleans East. The school’s assumption is that only more students from the east will want to attend when the school moves to its permanent campus.

Upcoming events include a shelving party in the school library on Saturday, Sept. 24,  from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Pride Families Open House, on Thursday, Sept. 29, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.; field trips to the Children’s Museum (Pre-K and K), and Roller Skating (first and second grades) on Thursday, Oct. 3. The school’s Leadership team will travel to Boston on Oct. 14.

There will be an emergency board meeting on Saturday, Sept. 24, at 10 a.m. to approve the minutes before the BESE meeting. This emergency meeting will be right before the shelving party.

The next board meeting will be on Tuesday, Oct. 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the conference room of the Main Office Building.

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