International High School has settled a disagreement with the Recovery School District over a $47,000 bill for school nutrition services, the school’s board of directors learned at its Jan. 23 meeting.

According to Nan Ryan, International’s assistant head of school, the school has a contract with the Recovery School District to provide breakfast, lunch and other nutritional services to its students.

Harry Blumenthal, the board’s finance committee chairman, said International received a $47,000 bill from the state regarding the service, but school administrators were able to prove that International only owed $8,500.

Ryan said the state was charging International for students who were never enrolled. The state-run RSD has since hired an outside company to deal with billing issues for the nutritional services program, Ryan said, as other schools have had similar problems.

Student enrollment is slightly less than projected at 435 compared with 450, Blumenthal said. In spite of that, the school is maintaining a 5 percent budget reserve.

Board chairwoman Karen Mayer-Dwyer said she planned to update the board on eight requirements for charter renewal based on information she received at a recent meeting she attended for the Louisiana Association of Charter Schools.

She said she initially thought the charter renewal process was scheduled for the spring, but later learned that the spring visit the state has planned for the school is a “much lighter version” of the charter renewal process slated for fall.

Dwyer told board members she would reschedule the charter renewal update for a later date.

International’s Head of School Anthony Amato, in his monthly head of school update, said he school has joined a vendor training program at that enables nonprofit organizations and school groups to raise money while working concessions during Superdome events.

Students and volunteers are trained and then assigned to work as vendors during events at the dome. Each volunteer receives $45 per event, and the school receives 15 percent of the total profit grossed by the volunteers.

Amato said funds raised through the Superdome program will go towards clubs.

The school’s headmaster also updated board members on the status of mid-year reviews currently underway for teachers. He said there is only one International teacher so far who will finish his Teach for America stint this year and may not return to the faculty next year. All other teachers, Amato said, have expressed an interest in coming back.

Meanwhile, the International drumline, which Amato said was “literally created overnight,” will march in five Mardi Gras parades. The International drumline took part in the Martin Luther King Day Parade as a practice run for their upcoming events, he said.

Heather Miller

Heather Miller is a freelance writer and a regular contributor to The Lens' Charter School Reporting Corps. She is a former staff writer for The Independent in Lafayette, and is now based in New Orleans.