The monthly meeting of the McDonogh City Park Academy board, on Jan. 17, discussed interviews with potential new board members and the school’s recent acceptance into the Medicaid program before yielding to a disgruntled parent.

The school already has a full-time staff nurse, but McDonogh City Park will now be able to seek Medicaid reimbursement for some if not all of its in-school student healthcare costs. Services now covered include vision and hearing screenings, some special-ed evaluation services, and general visits to the school nurse. The students won’t notice any difference, board members said.

McDonogh City Park lost several high-performing students recently, the board learned. Most moved out of state, but “one or two” transferred to other schools in New Orleans. President Mary Kay Parker said she hoped the departing students found their way to better performing schools, because “if kids are leaving for lower performing schools, then the free market isn’t working.”

During the meeting’s public comment period, a disgruntled parent worried at length about the social problems her son was having at school and said she had difficulty getting administrators to help her. The board pointed out that the proper protocol would have been for the woman to submit her request to speak in  writing, but she was allowed to go on for 45 minutes.

At the next meeting, scheduled for February 14th, the Children’s Bureau will give a presentation on the behavior and mental health program they installed at McDonogh in 2011