Live blog: School board member, superintendent holding forum in Gentilly

Orleans Parish schools Superintendent Henderson Lewis will host his fourth town-hall meeting tonight at the new McDonogh No. 35 High School.

The Lens will live blog it here.

Lewis will be joined by 3rd District School Board member Sarah Usdin.

Wednesday night, Lewis spoke at Mildred Osborne Elementary to a group of community members equal to the size of central office staff in the room. Board member Cynthia Cade was there. The public asked about school safety, mental health services, and whether state-run charters will return to the School Board.

The School Board oversees 24 schools. Most of the rest are controlled by the state-run Recovery School District which took over failing schools in the fall of 2005.

Lewis said he’s met with one Recovery School District board and will likely meet with more in the coming months as school scores are released and RSD charters learn whether they meet academic eligibility requirements to return. He said the district is working to increase access to wrap-around services, including mental health services and opened a therapeutic day center for students this year.

Lewis also suggested a common start date for schools to make scheduling easier on parents.

Lewis has been starting the meetings with a 20-minute presentation that draws from a presentation he gave to the public two weeks ago about his first 180 days as superintendent.

After the presentation Lewis and Usdin will take questions and comments from the public. Last week, the public asked about school construction, new buildings for all schools, charter schools and the relationship with the state-run Recovery School District.

First District School Board member John Brown Sr.’s meeting is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 9. He was appointed to the seat vacated by Ira Thomas who pleaded guilty to taking a bribe to rig a contract this spring.

Fourth District School Board member Leslie Ellison’s meeting is on Nov. 2 at Alice Harte Elementary School. She is running for state senate. Fifth District School Board member Seth Bloom’s meeting has not been scheduled.

Tonight’s meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the new McDonogh No. 35 High School at 4000 Cadillac St.

Live blog

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