By Yomi Akinyemi, The Lens charter school reporter |

Pride College Prep’s finances are in excellent shape, according to the Recovery School District’s Office of School Performance. Now comes closer scrutiny of school facilities and services for students with disabilities, RSD officials Adam Hawf and Bayoji Akingbola told board members at their monthly meeting, May 8.

“One of our main goals is to make sure schools are in compliance with the set guidelines and show a commitment to serving students with disabilities on the highest level,” Hawf said. “We want this to be a priority at all schools.”

The review is part of Pride College Prep’s application for  extension or at least probationary extension of its type-five school charter. Full renewal of the charter, a third option, is considered less likely.

According to BESE, schools are granted an extension if they meet the following criteria:

  • Financial risk assessment in year three does not require “dialogue.”
  • The chartered school has committed no violation of legal or contractual standards.
  • The school meets at least one of the following performance standards: an SPS score in year three above Academically Unacceptable School status or an Assessment Index in year three above unaceeptable status.

The school’s performance score for the 2010 – 2011 year was 64.4 on a scale of about 200. That’s 10.6 points below the state minimum of 75. Its Assessment Index was 69.

The office of school performance will make its final recommendation to BESE in October.

In other business, school leader Michael Richard spoke about Pride’s upcoming move to the Mildred Osborn building in eastern New Orleans. Richard said he doubts work on the building will be finished by the June 15 deadline. “There was still a lot of work to be done in a short time span,” he reported. Richard said he plans to meet with RSD officials concerning the matter.

The board announced that it is applying for several grants to help with a shortfall in classroom equipment, mainly computers. Richard said Pride will need at least 60 new computers next fall to adequately serve students.