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Military academy organizing for the new year

The board of the New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy met Tuesday to discuss preparations for the new school year.

Col. Bill Davis, NOMMA’s commandant, led a discussion of ongoing issues with the OneApp application process for prospective students.  The application has been problematic for other schools. Although NOMMA also serves students in parishes outside of Orleans, if NOMMA were to move to the OneApp process, parents from other parishes would have to fill out the OneApp, which was designed for Orleans Parish schools only.

Members complained that having parents from Jefferson Parish fill out an Orleans Parish application was confusing.

Principal Cecilia Garcia told the board that end-of-course exam results should be released in October.  Until the school has a senior class to take the ACT exam, NOMMA’s grade from the state will be based on end-of-course exams taken by its students as well as ACT tests taken by juniors.

The school currently has grades 9 through 11.

The board passed a motion authorizing the organization to retain legal representation for its pursuit of historic tax credits. Davis explained that the motion did not specify which agency would be hired, so that they could compare bids and decide.

The board also discussed NOMMA’s fundraising and development.

“We need to jump on it early in the fall,” board president Terry Ebbert said.  “It’s our job to make sure that the dollars come in to adequately fund the efforts.”

Aside from two secretaries, Garcia and Davis make up the school’s only non-instructional staff.  Ebbert said they did not have the time to spearhead fundraising on top of their other duties.

“I think we need to consider an individual to come on board the staff,” he said.

Member Carol McCall, an expert in the field of school fundraising, said that she could help train a staff member to take on these duties, as an alternative option.

The board will meet again on Sept. 19.  The board will hold its regular meeting and a hearing to pass changes in the school’s budget.

Initially, the board passed a yearly budget in April, but because state laws list several dates by which charter school budgets are due, Davis said the organization goes through the public process a second time to pass changes in the document.

Board members Maj. Blake LeMaire, Dr. Marcellus Grace, Courtney Bagneris, and Capt. Dave Whiddon attended the meeting, while James Reiss, Maj. Gen. Walter Paulson, and Gen. Jack Bergman were absent.

The meeting began at 6:04 p.m. and ended at 7:28 p.m.

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