During the ReNEW Schools board meeting Sept. 13, board member Kathy Conklin led discussions regarding bylaw revisions to the Charter Management Organization document. Bylaws changes included an update to the conflict of interest policy and a decision to change the title of Chief Operations Officer to president.

Regarding the change in title, board members discussed an article in the bylaws whereby the board “retains the right to evaluate the performance of the COO and remove the COO by majority vote of the board…”

Some members thought that the board should have the right to evaluate and remove other positions, in addition to the president. They noted that the chief of staff, chief of instructional strategies and school leaders all report directly to the CEO. Other members said the article’s provisions should not be expanded, since the president is the one who oversees the financial department.

After much discussion the board decided to change the title of COO to president, and maintain its right to evaluate and terminate the president.

CEO Gary Robichaux outlined a new informal teacher evaluation system at the meeting. Though the evaluations do not formally factor in to teacher’s end of the year reviews, they do provide quick feedback. Robichaux invited board members to visit classrooms and complete evaluations, and said he would extend the invitation to the community.

Chief of Instructional Strategies Tammy Robicheaux informed the board only minor changes were made to ReNEW’s pupil progression plan this year. Schools can create a plan or use one provided by the state–  ReNEW Schools has opted to create its own.

ReNEW president Kevin Guitterrez said the schools’ transition to a new food service provider, Revolution Foods, has gone smoothly.

He added that ReNEW schools fared well during Hurricane Isaac, with only a few leaks and minor issues with windows.

ReNEW will host a fundraiser on November 8 called Future Takes Flight. Money raised will help fund trips allowing ReNEW students to visit college campuses.

Members Conklin, Sharon Courtney, Amy Knower, Brian Weimer, Donald Herry, Sandra Cahill, Gregg Harris, Mary Brown, Randy Roig, Elijah Feibelman, and Siona LaFrance were present.

The meeting began at 5:40 p.m. and adjourned at 6:40 p.m. The next meeting will be held October 11.

Marta Jewson

Marta Jewson covers education in New Orleans for The Lens. She began her reporting career covering charter schools for The Lens and helped found the hyperlocal news site Mid-City Messenger. Jewson returned...