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More than 500 apply for about 85 charter school positions at Crescent City Schools

During a 50-minute Crescent City Schools April board meeting Wednesday, board members discussed hiring updates and board fundraising, among other topics.

Crescent City has received more than 500 applications for an estimated 85 open positions all across its organization, Mehok said. Of those, about 360 were interviewed by phone, or screened.

Next year, the organization will take over Paul Habans Elementary School, so most hiring efforts have been focused on Habans. Still, all schools are looking for applicants.

Habans’ soon-to-be principal Litouri Smith is nearly halfway through the hiring process, with 26 out of the 57 slots filled, Mehok said.

Smith has interviewed current Habans teachers and those from another nearby school, Murray Henderson Elementary, which is closing at the end of this year. None of those teachers have been hired yet, Mehok said.

Harriet Tubman Charter School principal Julie Lause has filled three of the 13 available staff spots.

And Akili Academy principal Julie MacFetters has hired four of an estimated 15 available spots. Several Akili teachers are still making final decisions, and the organization will know more about who’s staying on after its spring break next week, Mehok said.

The board also kicked off its fundraising campaign Wednesday, an initiative that will run through June 19. The board hopes to raise $25,000 from its own board members. With $15,250 in the bank so far, they’re more than halfway there, board fundraising leader Julius Kimbrough, Jr. said.

The range of board gifts has been anywhere from $250 to $10,000, including corporate matches from board members’ employers. So far, just more than half of board members have contributed.

Other important happenings:


  • Crescent City applied for a $250,000 Walton Family Foundation grant for Habans. School leaders had an interview with the Foundation on Thursday. Tubman and Akili have both received Walton grants in the past.

  • Akili will host a community breakfast on May 16. “This is your last chance to see the amazing things that they have been able to do while they were in trailers,” Director of  Development Alison Mehr told the board. Akili, who now holds its classes in modulars, will start classes at the renovated William Frantz Elementary School building next school year.

Board members present included Kimbrough, Doug Harrell, John Hummel, Coleman Ridley, Agnieszka McPeak, Carolyn Chandler, Tim Bryant, and Anna Burrell. Board member Aimee Eubanks Davis listened in by phone. Mehok, Mehr, Chief Operating Officer Chris Hines, and Former Councilwoman Peggy Wilson was also present, as well a Lens reporter.

The next board meeting is on May 15 at 6 p.m., at Tubman.

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About Jessica Williams

Jessica Williams stays on top of the city's loosely organized collection of public schools, with a special emphasis on charter schools. In 2011 she was recognized by the Press Club of New Orleans for her reporting on charter school transparency and governance. In 2012, she was part of a team that received a National Edward R. Murrow Award for their work following a New Orleans family's recovery after Hurricane Katrina. She graduated from Edna Karr Secondary School in Algiers, and she obtained her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Loyola University New Orleans. She can be reached at (504) 575-8191.

  • nickelndime

    What are the qualifications for being a board member at Crescent City? I hope it is not based on the ability or wherewithall to make financial contributions to charter schools. It appears that is exactly what is happening in certain schools (Audubon, for one, has called upon its board members to make financial contributions, and it is (“expected”) of Lycee Board members). This will create differential academic environments alright (but not in a good way) between rich and poor charter schools. Haven’t we seen enough of what this does (dejure vs. defacto)? Rich boards, poor boards (it wil be either/or). Think about it this way. Would the board members who are 6/7-figure attorneys, etc. appreciate sitting on boards (and conversing) with individuals on boards that have trouble recruiting members? And, I think it gives the wrong message, that the rich (well-heeled, expensive tastes, live very well…) have the right (know better – to govern) poor or middle income parents who send their children to public schools.