OPSB may shuffle, combine campuses

By Jessica Williams, The Lens staff writer |

The Orleans Parish School Board has announced next year’s school building assignments and schools’ long-term homes for the 17 schools they govern.

Some changes may be news to parents, though others were detailed at previous board meetings. Next year, McDonogh No. 35 and the Architecture Design and Engineering Preparatory High School will combine, with McDonogh No. 35 eventually going on to the old Phillips and Waters school site, as had been previously announced.

Encore Academy, a new charter school that the board recently approved, will share space with the Crocker Arts and Technology School site temporarily next year, pending the Crocker board’s approval later this month. Edna Karr Charter High School will eventually go to the former Jo Ellen Smith hospital site on Gen. Meyer Avenue, and the Lake Forest Charter School will go to the Greater St. Stephen site on Lake Forest Boulevard.

It’s unclear what the future permanent locations of Encore Academy, the New Orleans Science and Math High School, Robert Moton Charter School, or the Audubon Charter School’s Carrollton Avenue campus will be.

The merger announcement of McDonogh No. 35 and the architecture school drew disgruntled comments from board members at Thursday committee meeting. Board member Ira Thomas asked the principals of the two schools whether they’d solicited opinions on the merger from alumni at McDonogh No. 35 and parents at both schools.

“I don’t know if y’all have ever talked to those groups. I don’t like it,” he said.

Superintendent Darryl Kilbert said that the merger “had not been done in isolation,” and that community groups were brought into discussions.

Vice-president Lourdes Moran said she needed more information about the merger, including how many classes faculty from both schools will take on and what curriculum will exist at the school, among other details.

The full board will consider these changes at its regular meeting on Tuesday.


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