Einstein charter board OKs lease for extension campus

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With classes already underway, Einstein Charter School’s board of directors officially approved a lease for the school’s extension site on Wednesday.

The board unanimously signed off on the lease from the Recovery School District for the site at 5316 Michoud Blvd. The building formerly housed Intercultural Charter School, which did not have its lease renewed.

School leaders received a $1 million grant to help pay for the expansion, but were previously concerned about mold, rotting floors and other issues at the building. Those issues were mostly under control as of August.

A written report from school CEO Shawn Toranto indicated 394 students were already taking classes at the site.

In other enrollment news, the school’s financial chief was hopeful that a surplus in expected students would cover the school’s costs.

Business manager Douglas Guidry projected the school would have about 845 students when the state begins one of two official census counts of students on Oct. 1.

“That’s 65 more students than we budgeted for,” Guidry said, referring to the 775 students the school built its 2013-14 operating budget around.

The money from the 65 extra students would help make up for additional costs from a five-day professional development program for staff, as well as retirement costs that were running over budget, Guidry said.

Guidry said he remained “cautiously optimistic” that the projections would pan out, noting that the school lost about 50 students at the beginning of the 2012-13 school year.

“It fluctuates on a daily basis,” Guidry said of enrollment. “The single most important date is that Oct. 1 date.”

Board members also noted that the Orleans Parish School Board continued to push back the date for supplying four new portable units for the school’s main campus. Previous portables on the school property were damaged and rendered unusable.

OPSB said it would deliver new units to the school containing two classrooms each in May, but has continued to put off the date. The school has enough space, but the classrooms are necessary to provide proper space for LEAP and iLEAP testing, school officials said.

 

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