Charter Schools

Staff commits to raise school's performance by 15 points; enrollment jumps by almost 100 students

The board of the recently reorganized Harriet Tubman Charter School met for an hour on Sept. 21, starting at 6 p.m.

Nine board members were present, including one who was connected to the meeting by phone. Two people were in the audience, one of them a reporter from The Lens.

By December, Tubman should have a new roof paid for with FEMA dollars funneled through the Recovery School District, the board learned.

The latest data shows an enrollment of 535, up from last year’s 442. The school currently uses 6.5 buses (.5 because one bus makes two trips). Seventy percent of last year’s students returned to the school. Most students Algiers residents. Seven commute from the east bank.

In Tubman’s first year since leaving the Algiers Charter School Association, one third of students are more than three grade levels behind.

The school’s academic score is currently 60.9, the board was told. It needs to be 75 or higher to meet minimum state standards. The staff has set a goal of increasing the score by 15 points, Lause said.

To that end, teachers are utilizing “guided reading” and phonics training. Attendance is improving though still shy of the school’s goal of 96 percent.

Principal Julie Lause said the staff is focused on school culture, not just academic scores. They want to motivate students in the classroom and help them feel comfortable and cooperative in their learning environment, she said.

There was one fight during the first week of school. Staff felt that is was well handled.

The board expressed satisfaction with the level of diversity within the staff.

The board’s Finance Committee reported that the school is applying for a line of credit with Iberia Bank. The good news: $124,000 in federal Title Funds are rolling over from last year. Title funds do not follow schools, they follow students.

Parent Night will be Halloween themed, but the date has not been set.

The next board meeting is Oct. 19, a Wednesday.

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