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Live blog Friday: What’s the future of John McDonogh High School?

The future of John McDonogh High School, the Treme charter school slated to temporarily close at the end of the 2014-15 school year, will be the focus of a community meeting Friday.

I will live-blog the meeting below, starting at 2 p.m. It will be held in the school library at 2426 Esplanade Ave.

The high school will close for renovations a year from now and will reopen for the 2016-17 school year, according to the Recovery School District and the president of the school’s current charter operator, Steve Barr.

A member of the John McDonogh Advisory Committee, a community group formed to provide oversight to the charter operator, Future is Now: New Orleans, pegs the opening for a year later.

Friday’s meeting, spearheaded by the advisory committee and the John McDonogh Alumni Association, is envisioned as a forum for students, parents, teachers, alumni, community leaders and political leaders to “express their vision” for the school when it reopens, according to Ann Marie Coviello of the advisory committee.

Under management by Future Is Now: New Orleans, the school received a School Performance Score of 9.3 out of 150, had low enrollment, and suffered from budgetary problems. The school was also the subject of an Oprah television network docu-series, “Blackboard Wars,” which drew criticism from some parents and students.

Recovery School District superintendent Patrick Dobard told Times-Picayune that the charter will have expired by the time renovations are complete, and Future Is Now won’t be eligible for renewal.

According to Coviello, the goal is to relaunch John McDonogh as an open-admission, academically rigorous high school with arts and music offerings as well as sports programs.

Live blog, 2 p.m. Friday

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About 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 Arts, Hasselle lived in New York for 10 years. While up north, she produced and anchored news segments, wrote feature stories and reported breaking news for, a hyperlocal news site. Before that, she worked at the New York Daily News. She obtained her master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She can be reached at (917) 304-6121.

  • nickelndime

    WHAT’S THE FUTURE OF JOHN MCDONOGH SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL? Do you want me to get cryptic or what? Oh, it’s like that, is it? It’s WHAT?! Here’s a couple of names that carry local, monetary weight on the Esplanade (McKenna, Marshall, I/Sr, II/Jr, /III). That’s enough. You didn’t actually think that the State DOE d/b/a the RSD would continue to fund Steve Barr after all the negative publicity (Blackboard Wars, misspent funds, etc.), did you? How in the hell does a school score 9.3 out of 150? Even random scores are higher than that – which reminds me – you might want to look into that (setup). Renovations. When all else fails, close the building for renovations. Give yourself a pat on the back, Patrick Dobard. Your former boss, Paul G. Pastorek might have been given the boot, but even he had somewhere to go (thank god for the O’Keefes) after all was said and done. Can the same be said for you when it is time for you to be booted out? Look at Kenneth Campbell. Ken looks sick.

  • Lee Barrios

    The lies are different now than in 2009 but still lies and guess who is perpetrating them – John White. Here he is in 2009 promising $35 mil to remake John McDonogh into a world class culinary arts school.

    How quickly we forget and how easily the lies of Dobard and White et al flow over the tongue.

  • nickelndime

    JOHN MCDONOGH SENIOR HIGH ON THE ESPLANADE: Half truths are still lies! A little bit of this and a little bit of that. Thanks for the 2009 footage, Lee Barrios. I hadn’t seen it. I hope Paul G. Pastorek squirms every time he hears the names of John White and Patrick Dobard or sees their smiling faces (sounds like a piece of hell – rewind – over and over again) when Paul’s nearly half a million $ salary got washed down the drains of those expensive law firms’ board rooms. What did Paul say when questioned about that salary back in 2007-2008? Paul said he works hard and deserves it (every time I think about that one, I fall off of my chair and start laughing).

  • Clarence Robinson, a member of both the advisory committee and the school’s governing charter board said “We’re losing our heritage,” Robinson says. “There are less black marching bands or football teams that our kids can identify with.”

    WAIT! Black kids identifying with Marching Band (e.g Rap Star) and Football Teams(e.g pro athlete)???

    Isn’t that the problem with Black Male Kids today? They all want to either a rap star or a pro athlete? Maybe that’s why these Black Charter Schools fail so much and the Black race is headed toward extinction?

    If you got a charter board member thinking a marching band or a football team are the most important part of schools, then that’s where a big part of your problem is.

  • nickelndime

    JOHN MCDONOGH SR. HIGH: Location! Location! Location! Yeah, you got that right. November 2009, Digger and John! What happened to the 35 million in FEMA money? Somebody should put out an arrest warrant for John White, Patrick Dobard, and BESE. Culinary High School, my jack a$$!