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In-school suspensions, health costs reviewed as board welcomes new members and staff

The board of McDonogh City Park Academy welcomed new school staff and new board members at their monthly meeting on Feb. 14.

Behavior interventionist Delisia Davis and new special-ed teacher Rebecca Clements are now on duty.

In response to behavior problems brought to light by a group of teachers at December’s board meeting, the school has implemented an in-school suspension option to more readily punish misbehaving children without interrupting their education.

Just as the school was accepted into the Medicaid program to help offset the cost of student health services, the board was informed that its parallel program KIDMED has been cancelled. KIDMED would have paid for student hearing and vision screening, creating a revenue stream that would have been used to pay the school nurse’s salary.

Director of finance and operations Keeanya Dupre said the school’s insurer is asking to close the case on a ceiling that collapsed in September and has since caused water damage. The building is owned by the Orleans Parish School Board and leased for the school’s use by the Recovery School District. RSD wants McDonogh to pay for the repairs; the board opted not to close the insurance file.

Two new members were voted onto the board. Thomas Hooks comes from a business and law background, while Mike Plemer is a certified public accountant and a business associate of board treasurer Jim Nelson.

Present at the meeting with Hooks, Plemer and Nelson were board president Mark Kay Parker and members Laurie Charbonnet, Mike Bagot, Emily Waterfield and Lee Hampton. McDonogh administrators present included principal and chief executive officer Christine Mitchell, assistant principal Ellen Bankston, coordinator of school services Carmelite Price and as well as finance director Dupre.

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