The staff of Edward Hynes Charter School opened doors to parents last month to show off the school’s new, more rigorous curriculum.

Families were invited to attend class with their children as part of the school’s transition into teaching Common Core standards, Hynes Principal Michelle Douglas told board members during a monthly meeting Monday.

“While we recognize that the rigor and relevance is getting increasingly difficult, we felt as teachers and educators that it’s really important for the family to get into the classroom, during the school day, so they can get to see exactly what we’re talking about with the high-level discussions that the students are having,” Douglas said.

“So that they can – and they did – say, ‘I need to up my game at home,’” she added.

Douglas said the school’s priority was to educate and take time with families, to really explain what the impact of Common Core curriculum means.

The school has actually been easing into the new state standards over the past two-and-a-half years, but more questions have come up as other schools start to adopt the more intensive teaching methods.

“Now that it seems like other schools are beginning the process, there’s a lot of misinformation out there,” Douglas added.

“So we take the time to meet and discuss with the families, and let them know that their kids are in good hands.”

Louisiana adopted Common Core State Standards in English language arts and math in 2010.  The new academic curriculum is more rigorous and more focused, designed so kids gain depth of knowledge in core concepts so they can master more complex material.

As part of the Common Core curriculum, all classes are being taught with the same rubric, so there’s uniformity to the learning process, Douglas added.

“It’s so refreshing to hear the adults in the building using the same type of vocabulary,” she said.

Douglas also said that the school has the same number of students — 669 — for the Oct. 1 count that it started with in August.

“We’re really proud that we’ve sustained enrollment,” Douglas said.

Finally, during her principal’s report, Douglas invited board members to come teach volunteer classes during the school’s Junior Achievement Day, which is in April.

An audit for the school, presented by Silva, Gurtner and Abney, was also presented during the meeting. The audit came back clean, with no findings or questioned costs.

The meeting lasted for about 21 minutes. The agenda called for a facilities report, a legal report and an HR report, but those items were not presented.

Board member Darlene Brown was not present.

Della Hasselle

Della Hasselle, a freelance journalist and producer, reports environmental and criminal justice stories for The Lens. A graduate of Benjamin Franklin High School and the New Orleans Center for Creative...