Officials at the New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy are planning an April 8 groundbreaking for the school’s future home.

Col. Bill Davis, commandant for the Federal City charter school, said Sen. Mary Landrieu is expected to serve as a guest speaker for the event. Cadets will sing the Marines hymn as concrete begins to flow into molds, he said. A reception will follow.

Davis, who discussed the plans with NOMMA board members during their March 14 meeting, said that a quorum of the board would be present at the event, meaning it constitutes a public meeting that requires public notice.

Patrick Walsh, executive director in the Recovery School District’s Office of School Performance, commended the board for what appeared to be a strong concern for open meetings law.

Walsh spoke to NOMMA’s board about the new Louisiana Charter School Performance Compact, which outlines how school’s will be graded under the state evaluation system.

Under the new system, schools will have their charters renewed for a set number of years, based on academic performance (six years for A schools and three years for schools that are renewed with D or F grades). Schools that score within the A to C range can also have additional years added for performing well in financial and organizational areas.

Twenty-five percent of the schools’ evaluations will be based on student performance on the state’s end-of-course exams. Twenty-five percent will be based on ACT performance. The school’s rate of entering freshmen who go on to graduate will count another 25 percent. And the rest of the evaluation will be based on a school’s graduate cohort calculation.

Classes were cancelled March 14-15 after a water main broke due to nearby road construction. The work lowered water pressure at the Federal City campus, causing officials to issue a mandatory boil water notice.

Mike Samuels, head of Sureway Transport, which provides two school buses to the school, was at the meeting.

“With an open Type 2 charter, transportation is a big deal,” said board president Terry Ebbert. “To do so efficiently and safely is important to us.”

Also present were Board President Col. Terry Ebbert, members Carol McCall, Maj. Blake LeMaire, Lt. Gen. Jack Bergman, and Maj. General Walter Paulson.  Absent were Dr. Marcellus Grace, Courtney Bagneris, Capt. Dave Whiddon, and Mr. James Reiss.