Week in Review: Trauma is the norm for many New Orleans kids. This school was made for them.

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Trauma is the norm for many New Orleans kids. This school was made for them.

Nine-year-old Misty Johnson, who has ADHD and bipolar disorder, has been in the city’s program for students with behavior disorders for two years. Her mom, Dawn Johnson, said Misty is almost ready to return to a charter elementary school.

Johnson admitted that she was worried when she first visited the center. “The other kids were just like Misty,” she said, adding that she thought it might be overwhelming for her daughter.

Over time, however, she saw improvements in Misty’s behavior and academics.

The New Orleans Center for Resilience is a nonprofit K–8 school with two locations in the city. The 27 kids enrolled in the center’s program have some of the most extreme behavior needs in the city, often stemming from trauma or mental illness. A typical student may have exhibited verbal and physical aggression, caused property damage or refused to do classwork. It’s a place for kids who have almost nowhere else to turn — when they’ve been asked or told to leave their previous schools.

“A lot of the kids who are referred here have experienced significant complex trauma,” said Liz Marcell Williams, the center’s director. “Whether they themselves have been victims of trauma or they’re exposed to violence in the home or in the community or have experienced significant loss of a loved one due to long-term incarceration or death.”

Algiers Charter school employees must reapply for their jobs next year

Employees at two West Bank charter schools must reapply for their jobs at the end of the school year.

The new policy at Algiers Charter comes as the charter-school network is preparing to shrink — from four schools under its control to two by the end of this school year. Orleans Parish schools’ Superintendent Henderson Lewis Jr. did not renew the charter contracts of F-rated McDonogh 32 Charter School and William J. Fischer Academy. They will close at the end of this school year.

At its height, Algiers Charter ran nine schools and was one of the first to reopen schools after Hurricane Katrina. Now, employees at its remaining two schools — Landry-Walker High School and Martin Behrman Charter School — are unsure whether they’ll keep their jobs next year.

Behind The Lens episode 13: ‘Tell me what makes you burn inside to tear tourism down’

This week on Behind The Lens, a fight is brewing between New Orleans City Hall and one of its biggest industries: tourism and hospitality. Mayor LaToya Cantrell is pushing to redirect taxes generated by tourism — which are now mostly used to pay for tourism and entertainment marketing and infrastructure — toward services used by residents.

Cantrell says the city needs between $80 million and $100 million annually to repair aging infrastructure, and she wants more of those tourism tax dollars going to city government.

Then, host and producer Tom Wright talks to reporter Marta Jewson about her recent collaboration with HuffPost: a profile of the New Orleans Center for Resilience.

The school serves kids with some of the most extreme behavior needs in the city, often stemming from trauma or mental illness.

Behind The Lens is available on Apple PodcastsGoogle Play and Stitcher.

Fishing for good news? Here’s a breakthrough food lovers can celebrate

Chef Dana Honn fills us in on the nation’s landmark fishing law that limits overfishing and how it affects consumers and local chefs:

“When 2018 began, it seemed a near certainty that Congress would revisit the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA), the nation’s landmark fishing law that limits overfishing and makes sure future generations will have access to abundant seafood. The question was whether they would gut or renew it. Traditionally MSA has been reauthorized every 10 years and it had been 12 years since the last major overhaul.

But though the law has successfully rebuilt 45 fish stocks in 20 years, while still increasing the economic output of the nation’s fish harvest, not everyone has been happy with the gains. Powerful interest groups within the industrial, commercial and the private recreational sectors think the law’s conservation measures should be relaxed. They have been working relentlessly to gut MSA.”

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