Lake Forest Elementary Charter has been nominated as a National Blue Ribbon School.

At the Feb. 21 meeting of the board, Principal Mardele Early said she and staff had worked long hours preparing the school’s application.

In eastern New Orleans, Lake Forest is an A-rated school, according to the state Department of Education. More than 82 percent of the students there are eligible for the federal free and reduced lunch program.

Josh Fertitta, the schools’ director of development, said the school is one of six in to be nominated by the state of Louisiana for the award. The application process took about a week, he said.

Winners are expected to be announced by the U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in September.

Early also said the school’s report card pick up went well. Around 92 to 93 percent of student report cards had been picked up by parents or guardians, an improvement over last year. Teachers hold individual conferences with parents as they come to the school to pick up their children’s report cards.

Lake Forest’s eighth graders will take the ACT Explore on March 6.

Students in all grades will also take the school’s incremental assessments March 8-14. Fourth- and eighth-graders will take the LEAP Phase I on March 19.

On Jan. 18, the Mother’s Helpers mentoring company hosted a literary benefit that honored Early. Board member Gina Dupart said that the organization was honoring Early for the work she had done being a good mentor to parents.

Facilities manager Bernell St. Cyr said that school officials expect to get a start date for needed roof repairs. He told the board that there were more leaks in the roof after the Recovery School District made $400,000 in repairs than there were before that work was completed.

Operations manager Robin Gorman said school has been working to include more variety in the cafeteria food, especially fruits and vegetables. A wellness committee has been trying to include non-Louisiana-native vegetables like cauliflower to the students’ diets, he said.

The committee also purchased two pieces of exercise equipment to begin a small staff wellness center, he said. The school still needs to identify a location for the center, though.

Present at the meeting were president Lee Caston, Gina Dupart, Denise Williams and Brian K. Richburg, Sr.  Also present was Bernell St. Cyr and Robin Gorman.  Absent were Windi Brown, Leila Eames, and Donald Pate.