Edward Hynes Charter School is striving to be more environmentally conscious, Principal Michelle Douglas announced during a meeting of the school’s board of directors Monday evening.

Officials have modified the school’s waste-management contract to allow for recycling paper in the classrooms, and the school also just started serving lunches on “real” washable plates on Monday, instead of using disposable materials.

The plates are green and compartmentalized with a Hynes logo on them, Douglas said, and are washed in the kitchen’s dishwasher.

The recycling efforts will reduce the overall waste bill by approximately $200 per month, Douglas said.

“It’s a whole new routine,” she added.

The next step will be to introduce washable utensils, Douglas said.

In other news, Douglas announced that the school has bought $107,000 worth of playground equipment to be installed once the Orleans Parish School Board approves the proposed landscaping.

The equipment was bought after the Parent Teacher Organization Playground Committee received notice that the yard is draining properly, an issue that previously prevented the school from installing any equipment.

Douglas also congratulated Joan Reilly, a former Hynes administrator who was chosen by Homer A. Plessy Community School to replace former principal Sara Leikin. Plessy’s board of directors initiated Leikin’s resignation during a special meeting in November.

“Joan has been ready to be a principal and is serving in a wonderful capacity,” Douglas said.

Reilly previously worked as a literary facilitator for Hynes, a position that has now been taken over by a former teacher at the school.

Academically, the school is working on Common Core initiatives, Douglas said.

“It’s so refreshing to see the challenging questions students are asking,” she said. “We are rocking and rolling in that department.”

On Friday, the school received an Act 1 stipend of about $50,000 to be put towards a one-time bonus, Douglas said. She said half would be used for certified teachers, and the school can decide how to use the other half.

Act 1 is an initiative that was required by the Louisiana Legislature, ensuring that compensation for teachers and other certified school personnel be based on effectiveness, demand and experience.

Under Act 1, teacher effectiveness is determined by Compass, Louisiana’s statewide educator-evaluation system.

In other financial news, the school will end the year with more than $400,700 in surplus, according to a projected budget assessment.

Most of the variance is from $226,030 in per-student funding, because the school enrolled  more students than anticipated, according to the report given by Chief Financial Officer John Gaudry.

The meeting lasted for approximately half an hour.

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...