Einstein Charter’s board of directors has embraced a proposal for a new telecommunication service that is expected to save the school thousands of dollars, starting next fall.

At the board’s monthly meeting, Feb. 7, Phong Ha Tran, who manages the school’s information technology and data, presented the proposal to switch service providers.  The school currently pays the Orleans Parish School Board for telecommunication services.

With 93 percent of Einstein students eligible for free/reduced lunch, the school qualifies for a 90 percent discount on telecommunication services through the federal E-Rate rebate program.  By switching to an independent service provider under the E-Rate program, Einstein could realize telecommunication cost savings of more than 90 percent. The school likely will make the switch in the next academic year, after the OPSB contract expires.

In committee reports, the academic excellence committee said it will finish its evaluation of principal Shawn Toranto in time for discussion at the board’s March meeting.

-At the request of board president Ramona Perkins, the finance committee will create a timeline of requirements for producing the school’s budget projection for next year.

-The bylaws committee is aiming to have a draft of new bylaws available for review in March.

-The community outreach committee is continuing to look for additional parental and organizational support.

Member Roland Doucette and Toranto engaged in spirited discussion about how to get the community and parents more involved.  Toranto said he would like to see the board become more visible in the community.  Doucette said he has been working with the school’s parent-teacher organization, but  attendance at PTO meetings remains low. Both men agreed they are working toward the same goal: an improved school and community.

The board held a short executive session with attorney Lee Reid regarding pending litigation.

Members Ramona Perkins, T.K. Tieu, James Pineda, and Roland Doucette were present.  Member Margaret Nyugen arrived late.

Marta Jewson

Marta Jewson covers education in New Orleans for The Lens. She began her reporting career covering charter schools for The Lens and helped found the hyperlocal news site Mid-City Messenger. Jewson returned...