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New firm selected to design schoolhouse; public meeting on budget slated

Addressing Lake Forest Elementary’s board of directors at their monthly meeting, May 15, principal Mardele Early expressed frustration that results of the state’s standardized LEAP tests still weren’t available. They were scheduled for release on May 18, five day’s before the school’s last day of classes.

“I don’t know why they wait so long to release them,” Early said.

Lake Forest will conduct summer enrichment classes for math and English language arts from June 4 through June 27. Classes will be Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.  Fifteen students from the kindergarten and seventh grade will attend.

“We have three kindergarten classes.  All three will participate,” Early said. “We’re sure our parents will embrace it.” The school plans to add an additional class for either fifth or sixth graders, with funding through the federal Title I program to assist at-risk student populations.

In other business, the board learned that the architects hired to design Lake Forest’s new building, Lee Ledbetter & Associates, refused to sign the Orleans Parish School Board’s contract, citing what Early called “creative” reasons.

As a result, the school’s Parent Teacher Organization convened an emergency meeting, attended by board representatives Brian Richburg and Leila Eames. Early estimated that 125 parents were present.

Early said the contract has been offered to Imre Hegedus and Associates, the firm that designed the new Edward Hynes Charter School building. The public can meet the design team and discuss plans for the school on May 29, a Tuesday, from 6-8 p.m. at Household of Faith, 9300 I-10 Service Rd.

Nickelodeon’s “Nick News” program will feature a Lake Forest student as part of a show on the school’s celebration of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. The program will air May 27, at 8 p.m.

The school will hold an awards day on Tuesday, May 22.  “You know, we spend a fortune on trophies and awards,” Early said.  She estimated the school spent more than $6,000 on trophies this year.

“It’s worth every dime,” Eames said.

A public meeting on the budget has been scheduled for 12:30 p.m. June 19, an hour before the regular board meeting.

In addition to Richburg and Eames, board members in attendance at the May meeting were Windi Brown, Denise Williams and Gina Dupart. Donald Pate and board president Lee Caston were absent.

The Board adjourned at 3:03p.m.

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