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Attendance at 95%; fundraising tops $1 million; board to set goals at October meeting

The board of New Orleans Charter Science and Math Academy met at 6 p.m. Sept. 21 for 85 minutes. All board members were present. A reporter from The Lens was the only member of the public in attendance. Topics included enrollment, finances and setting timelines for committee goals.

The school is at 95 percent capacity, Head of School Ben Marcovitz reported, with 119 freshmen, 95 sophomores, 62 juniors, and 54 seniors—the first graduating class. Some students who enrolled over the summer never showed up, but the waiting list has been exhausted, Marcovitz said.

The Pupil Progression Plan, submitted to the state department of education, was given to the board. The major update to this year’s plan includes a broadening of class descriptions for transfer students to help keep them on track for graduation. As in previous years, 24 credits are needed to graduate.

The finance committee submitted its report on a new, more condensed balance sheet, intended to make information more accessible to board members. The committee reported a loss for the first two months, explained as resulting from the cost of beginning-of-the-year school supplies and because the amount the school must allocate to instruction under the state’s Minimum Foundation Program is higher this year, while the school is still working through last year’s lower allocation.

The committee also reported that the audit submitted to the state has raised no questions so far.

The board’s monthly action item included a review of each committee’s goals. The fundraising committee announced a goal of $2.1 million, of which $1.3 million is in hand. The money will cover technical needs, advisory programs, and educational trips.

Each committee agreed to work on setting specific deadlines, to be adopted at next month’s meeting.

After discussing how to get more feedback from parents, the board adopted Marcovitz’s goals without amendment.

The board also voted to include the titles of board members in the next meeting’s agenda.

The meeting concluded with a look at recent letters, including one from the mother of a special-needs freshman who is flourishing, one from a Times-Picayune reporter who had a positive interaction with a senior student, and one from a teacher whose advisees passionately tried to convince a fellow student to stay enrolled.

Marcovitz also showed a video from Take a Shine, a scholarship program that has recently partnered with the New Orleans Charter Math and Science Academy. The video can be seen on their website at:

The next meeting is Oct. 19, at 6 p.m.



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