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Enrollment spike for next year holds key to overcoming slight budget shortfall

Directors of New Orleans Charter Science and Math High met May 10 for their monthly board meeting to discuss plans for the upcoming 2012-2013 school year.

A financial report indicated that cash flow has stabilized, and things are not as tight as they were in January and February, thanks in part to the flow of grant money.

School director Barbara MacPhee began her report with reference to a graduate of the school who has been charged with the murder of his two-month-old daughter because she would not stop crying.

“Something has really changed in this kid, everyone remembers him as a good student and good citizen,” MacPhee said.

In response, the head of pediatric medicine at LSU will meet with the school’s four pregnant students to discuss where to go for help when feeling emotionally stressed. The fathers have been invited to attend the discussion as well.

MacPhee also gave a promising report on the school’s enrollment prospects.

“The numbers for the coming year look really good,” she said. “Right now we have 94 freshmen, which we’ve never had before, but we will keep on pushing because we know some of them may not show up.”

Currently there are 81 sophomores, 20 of whom are newcomers, 107 juniors, 16 of whom are incoming, and 122 seniors, for a total projected enrollment of 404 students.

“Every single kid who is now enrolled has gotten or will get a call from me asking about re-enrollment information,” said MacPhee. She says during the first week in June, the school will make contact with every freshman, either in the student’s home or by arranging a visit to the school. MacPhee said she’s upbeat about coming school year.

The budget discussion established that “money is not being flushed down the drain in useless ways,” leaving few ways to cut costs and still provide students with the services they need.

“If we can get up to 410 students, that would help solve the budget issue,” MacPhee said. “If we get some funding for transportation then that would be the biggest savings in these non-payroll areas.”

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