Wilson Charter seeks community development director; LEAP scores prove disappointing

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In time for its June retreat, the Broadmoor Charter School Board, which governs Andrew H. Wilson Charter School, expects to have a list of possible candidates to replace member Nancy Marshall.

Discussion at the May meeting centered on the qualities they were looking for. Member Ross Anderson suggested that a younger person would provide a fresh perspective. He also favored someone who has worked in academia, so that the board wouldn’t have to rely as heavily teachers and school staff for this kind of input.

Public relations and communications experience were recommended as was putting a lawyer back on the board.

In other business, the board resolved to hire a community development director.

Finance committee members Krystyna Jones and Will Bradshaw, along with development committee member Geneva Marney, will come together with principal Logan Crowe and key school staff members to design and draft a job description for the position by June 30.

Following interviews with candidates, Crowe will make a choice during the summer.

The Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools has provided a library of materials to educate board members in their responsibilities and board chair David Winkler-Schmit said he hopes the group will facilitate the board retreat, scheduled on June 28 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Green Coast offices.

Crowe announced that the school will be losing four full-time classroom teachers this year for various reasons, a sharp improvement on the 2010-11 school year when fewer than half of Wilson teachers indicated a desire to return. A hiring fair yielded over 100 applicants for the four positions currently open, Crowe said.

In his Principal’s Report, Crowe said results of the ILEAP test were below par. Fourth graders achieved a 41 percent pass rate in math and English. The eighth-grade pass rate was 37 percent in math and 51 percent in English.

“The math is much lower than we thought, not alarming just disheartening, and it wasn’t for lack of effort, but we have a lot of work to do because we always want to at least hit the 50 percent mark,” Crowe said.

As projected, 28 of the 72 eighth-grade students will have to go to summer school and retest.

Board member Will Bradshaw pointed out that the state test scores don’t take into account what level students were at upon admission. “The largest obstacle to hitting expectations is how far behind the students were to begin with,” he said.

Crowe said he will have more detailed information on the test scores at the next meeting.

The 51 students who performed at the “mastery” or “advanced” level on the tests were treated to a party-bus tour around the city, Crowe said, and the graduating eighth-grade class took a graduation trip to Jellystone Park.

“It was great because you really got to see them be kids, canoeing and playing sports,” Crowe said.

Summer promises to be busy at Wilson, what with five programs up and running, Emily Wolff, the school’s director of community programing, said.

The Academic Excellence Committee announced that the programs will include school readiness, art, NOLA Youth Works, Rethink Summer Program and the Uptown Music Program, which has a few spots available for Wilson students.

Wolff also announced that the Finale Cook-Off went well, with 60 families in attendance.

The school has hired Shana Turner, mother of a pre-K student, as parent liaison.

Members present were Geneva Marney, David Winkler-Schmit, Will Bradshaw, Krystyna Jones, and James Baker. Members absent were Ross Anderson and Eric Griggs.

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