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Moving day ahead for several KIPP schools; gala brings $2.2M fundraising goal within reach

The KIPP New Orleans school board met Feb. 9 to discuss school relocations and to prepare for their annual fundraiser luncheon.

KIPP New Orleans holds six charters and operates nine schools across New Orleans, from the French Quarter to Central City to Bywater. A planned move puts KIPP within easier reach of students who live in eastern New Orleans.

Renovations to the Douglass campus, currently housing KIPP McDonogh 15 Middle School, KIPP Renaissance High School, and KIPP New Orleans Leadership Academy will begin within 18 months. Students from these schools will move to temporary campuses until permanent buildings are completed.

In early 2013, KIPP New Orleans Leadership Academy will move to a permanent location in the former Colton School building on St. Claude Avenue. KIPP McDonogh 15 will move to a temporary campus in Gentilly until a permanent facility is built at the Gaudet site on Hayne Boulevard, and KIPP Renaissance High School will return to Douglass once renovations there are complete.

The new Gaudet campus, situated on the lake closer to New Orleans East, will eventually house KIPP McDonogh 15 primary and middle schools.

The schools also will be adding an  eighth grade next year at a cost of about $250,000, primarily in staffing expenses. Finance committee chair Mike Dunn reported that staffing currently makes up the largest part of the budget, including unforeseen expenses for additional paraprofessionals in special education. He said the budget can handle the added costs because it “has conservatism built in.”

In a brief presentation on fundraising, Jen Walcott of the development committee said they are within 75 percent of their goal for fiscal 2012, which is  $2,209,097.

A luncheon for around 160 donors will be held at the Roosevelt Hotel on April 5.  Mike Feinberg, president of KIPP’s national board, will be the keynote speaker.

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