"Thanks to the Knight Foundation for this 'knot-hole' [The Vault] through which we, the unwashed, can peer to see just how our tax dollars are being spent by City Hall. Please keep up the good work."
—Eugene B. Kordahl
It will cost $30 million to bring students to and from public schools this year, compared to $18 million the year before Katrina. The increase appears to be a consequence of citywide enrollment and the shift from a centrally-run school system. A few schools are working together to negotiate busing contracts.
Personnel changes among both directors and faculty of New Orleans College Preparatory Academies were the center of attention as the board board gathered Tuesday for a monthly meeting. Schools leader Ben Kleban said more teachers than expected had taken up his offer to move to Crocker Elementary.
Middle school students at New Orleans College Preparatory Academies are improving in math and Language Arts, according to testing data the charter organization’s top administrator shared with board members Feb. 5.
The business of transition is underway at Crocker Arts and Technology as the school prepares to hand over leadership to New Orleans College Prep on June 30.
Board president Grisela Jackson told the school’s board that she had received a month-by-month to do list from the Recovery School District, and is in regular contact with Brandie Burris, manager of school performance, who will be assisting with the transition.
Four weeks since the Recovery School District formally announced its plan to put New Orleans College Prep’s management team in charge of the struggling Crocker Arts & Technology School, leaders at New Orleans College Prep are making arrangements to expand.
ENCORE Academy will remain in its building for another year, giving the board more time to discuss adding priority zip codes to its charter and allowing the school to easily manage its own enrollment process for the additional year. “We’ve been invited to stay in this building another year,” school leader Terri Smith told the school’s board Tuesday at its regular meeting.
New Orleans College Prep leaders on Saturday laid out their plans to take over Crocker Arts and Technology this summer. News of the management transfer came last week after the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted not to renew Crocker’s charter due to its students’ poor standardized test scores.
Third and fourth graders at Crocker Arts and Technology School are getting a little more attention this year. Two para-educators were hired in an effort to improve students’ academic performance and standardized test scores.
Chief executive officer Ben Kleban began the Sept. 11 meeting of the board of New Orleans College Prep Academies with a detailed explanation of the new system by which Louisiana schools will be evaluated and ranked.
Encore Academy, one of the first charter schools approved by the Orleans Parish School Board since the board chartered the bulk of its schools following Hurricane Katrina, is ready for the 2012-2013 school year, board members announced Tuesday at their monthly meeting. The type-one charter school, which shares an Uptown campus with the new state-of-the-art Crocker Arts and Technology School, opens for classes on August 13.
As presented by the board of directors at a public hearing on July 30, the draft 2012-13 budget for New Orleans College Preparatory Academies shows an $11.2 million increase over last year last year’s in total expenditures, a 14 percent increase based on a projected enrollment of 960 students. Correction: The original story misstated the budget increase and has been corrected.
The board of New Orleans College Preparatory Academies held an unusual three-and-a-half hour closed session Saturday, in part to discuss matters that public bodies aren’t allowed to talk about privately. Further, members emerged from the closed-door session and approved two measures, neither of which were on the agenda and without providing a reason for doing so, as the law requires.
The board of New Orleans College Preparatory Academies held an unusual three-and-a-half hour closed session Saturday, emerging to announce that it was going to apply take action regarding its recent application to the state to run another charter school – a measure that wasn’t on the board’s agenda. Correction: School officials said Monday that the action was a technical change, not the initial interest in pursing a charter, which they submitted last month.
Teachers’ salaries, which have not changed substantially since 2008, were the primary focus for Principal Charmaine Robertson at Crocker’s June 30 board meeting. The board also discussed, at length, student test scores and strategies for overall improvement.
Crocker Arts and Technology School’s preliminary operating budget of $2.2 million for the 2012-2013 school year is a 15 percent increase from the previous year’s. In addition to an increase in student population, the school will be moving into a new building. The school anticipates a $240,000 increase in operational costs as a result of the move said Brendel Deemer, president of Deemer CPA & Consulting, the company the school uses for financial services. The increases include rising costs in utilities, maintenance, and inspections.
Correction: the original story stated that the NOCP board violated Local Budget Act requirements. Those claims were incorrect and have been changed.
The June meeting of the board of New Orleans College Preparatory Academies held mixed messages for its members. Though the school’s LEAP scores came in significantly better than expected, the board learned that the school is still far from being out of the woods concerning its budget problems.
Executive Director Ben Kleban demonstrated the school’s improved academic performance with his trademark PowerPoint presentations.
Correction: An earlier version of this report mistakenly described NOCP’s deficit as a debt. New Orleans College Prep Charter School faces a $1.4 million debt deficit that, if left as is, could persist into the 2013-2014 school year.
Financial issues dominated the monthly meeting of the Crocker board, on May 19. Consultant Brendell Deamer, a certified public accountant, briefed members on the preliminary budget for the 2012-13 school year.
While anticipating next month’s release of testing scores that will show whether schools are meeting academic performance targets, the board of New Orleans College Preparatory Academies was presented with a new challenge at its monthly meeting, May 8: the network faces a budget deficit which, at current rates, will leave it in the red in the 2013-14 school year. Executive Director Ben Kleban presented the board with two budget breakdowns.
The board of Crocker Arts and Technology School voted unanimously at their monthly meeting, April 21, to allow Encore Academy to share Crocker’s new space at 2301 Marengo St. for the next two years, a decision backed by the Recovery School District but left to the board’s discretion.
Detailed plans for the move to a new building this summer emerged at the Crocker board’s monthly meeting, March 24. On July 30, Crocker officially takes over a large building on General Taylor Street, and principal Charmaine Robertson is seeking another school to share the space.
The agenda for the February meeting of ADVOCACY FOR THE ARTS AND TECHNOLOGY IN NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, INC. is reprinted below:
1. Moment of Meditation
2. Roll Call
3. Pledge to the Flag
4. Approval of Agenda
5. Adoption of Minutes from the January 28, 2012 Meeting
6. Principal’s Report
7. Financial Report
8. Other Business
9. Public Comment Period
10. Next Board Meeting: Saturday, March 24, 2012
Update: The story has been updated to reflect the fact that officials at New Orleans College Preparatory Academy forwarded us the documents we requested regarding the CEO’s evaluation process.
The February meeting of the Board at New Orleans College Preparatory Academies began with a lengthy discussion of academic goals. Director and chief executive officer Ben Kleban referred to detailed graphs and Excel documents with which he keeps the board apprised of school progress on a monthly basis. Board member Ruth Kullman asked if the board could take a closer look at the fourth- and eighth-grade scores, noting that these grades are double-weighted when factored into School Performance Scores. Students in these grades also need to pass the LEAP exam to advance to the next grade.
There was good news this month for the board of directors of New Orleans College Preparatory Academies. State education officials have extended the original charter for three years and granted them another to take over Walter L. Cohen High School.
As the date draws near for moving to a new building, the board of Crocker Arts and Technology School is addressing critical issues, including the student performance score. At the their monthly meeting, Dec.
The board of directors of New Orleans College Preparatory Academies met Monday to discuss newly released Recovery School District building assignments. The Board has opposed the RSD’s proposed merger of Walter L. Cohen and Booker T. Washington high schools. Members present at the meeting included President Hal Brown, Chairman Kenneth Polite, Vice Chairman Murray Pitts, Secretary Rick Conway, Treasurer Ruth Kullman, and members Jim Raby, Monica Edwards, and Peter Harding. Also in attendance was Ben Kleban, College Prep’s founder and executive director.
Review the agenda for the New Orleans College Preparatory Academies Board of Directors Meeting scheduled for Wednesday here. Note that the meeting time is for 4:30pm – 6pm this month, an hour earlier than the normal meeting time as stated on the school’s web site.
Please note, this is a copy of the information from the revised agenda:
ADVOCACY FOR THE ARTS AND TECHNOLOGY
IN NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, INC.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Lawrence D. Crocker Arts and Technology School
1111 Milan Street
New Orleans, LA 70115
1. Moment of Meditation
2. Roll Call
3. Pledge to the Flag
4. Approval of Agenda
5. Adoption of Minutes from the August 27, 2011 Meeting
6. Principal’s Report
7. Financial Report; Budget Review
8. Student Recruitment
9. Old Business: Evaluations
10. Other Business
11. Next Board Meeting: Saturday, October 22, 2011