New Orleans schools superintendent set to hold last town-hall meeting tonight

Orleans Parish schools Superintendent Henderson Lewis will host his final town-hall meeting tonight at Lake Forest Elementary School.

The Lens will live blog it here.

Lewis will be joined by newly elected 1st District School Board member John Brown Sr. He was initially appointed to the seat vacated by Ira Thomas who pleaded guilty to taking a bribe to rig a contract this spring.

Lewis has already held six meetings across the city as he made his way through each of the city’s seven school board member districts. The meetings appear to be part of a new strategic plan in the works for the district.

In October, the public asked Lewis how he would help schools carry on pre-Katrina tradition and legacy, how he would expand high-performing schools, and about the need for more computers at host school McDonogh No. 35.

The School Board oversees 24 schools. Most of the rest of the city’s public schools 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 charter 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. Four RSD ninth- through 12th-grade high schools are eligible, but elementary, middle and combination school scores are not expected to be released until next week.

At his meeting with board member Cynthia Cade, Lewis 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 an early October presentation he gave to the public about his first 180 days as superintendent.

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

Tonight’s meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the Lake Forest Charter Elementary School at 12000 Hayne Blvd.



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