The Recovery School District (RSD) seeks community feedback tonight on proposed school building assignments in Planning Districts 2,3,4 and 5, which include Uptown, Mid-City, Central City and Lakeview. The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Langston Hughes Academy, 3519 Trafalgar St.
As outlined in Commitment 9 of What Will It Take?, the RSD’s community engagement process is designed to gather input on its recommended building assignments for existing school programs, especially those currently located in temporary spaces. The district will announce final decisions in December.
Comments on the proposed building assignments also may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interpretation Services Now Available for Spanish- and Vietnamese-speaking parents
New Orleans, La. – The Recovery School District (RSD) has followed through on plans outlined in Commitment 8 of What Will It Take? by announcing a streamlined communications system for parents, the availability of Spanish and Vietnamese interpretation/translation services, and schedules for ongoing parent and student discussions. These services will make it easier for parents and students to get information, get issues resolved, and give the district feedback.
“We believe putting children first involves working alongside community,” said RSD Superintendent John White. “Our decisions will be better for having heard and considered the viewpoints of our parents, students, educators, and community members.”
The RSD has launched a new phone system that will allow the district to respond to parents and resolve their issues faster. By calling either the local (504-373-6200) or toll-free telephone number (1-877-343-4773), parents will have direct access to the RSD Parent-Family Resource Centers, where trained staff will provide assistance or direct parents to the appropriate division. In addition, telephone interpretation for Spanish- and Vietnamese-speaking parents is now available.
To increase communication with parents and seek their input, the district has scheduled a series of meetings at various locations around the city over the next few months. The first meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 6 p.m. at the Household of Faith Church in New Orleans East focused on the new RSD Public School Enrollment System, scheduled to launch in spring 2012.
Another round of parent meetings, in partnership with the RSD Parent Task Force, will begin in January with topics to be announced. The schedule is as follows:
- Thursday, Jan. 5 – Sarah T. Reed High School, 5316 Michoud Blvd.
- Thursday, Feb. 2 – Edgar P. Harney Elementary, 2503 Willow St.
- Thursday, March 8 – Murray Henderson Elementary, 2701 Lawrence St. Thursday, April 5 – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School, 1617 Caffin Ave.
- Thursday, May 3 – Craig Elementary, 1423 St. Philip St.
- Thursday, June 7 – Harmony Oaks Community Center, 3320 Clara St.
To continue student engagement, the RSD will seek input from students this fall regarding the new enrollment system, with help from Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association (VAYLA) and the group Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools (Rethink). The two youth organizations will convene a focus group of 14 to 20 students to provide constructive feedback on the new system.
In the spring, the RSD Student Task force will begin a multi-step process in partnership with VAYLA and Rethink to produce a Student’s Guide to Schools, which would inform students about school choice.
This parent-student engagement plan follows the RSD’s September release of What Will it Take? In the report, the RSD made 12 commitments to ensure that every student in New Orleans is on track to graduate from college or to attain a professional career.
Read What Will It Take? on the RSD Web site at http://www.rsdla.net.
First public meeting at 6:30 p.m. today at Lake Area High School to gather community feedback
New Orleans, La. – As outlined in Commitment 9 of What Will It Take?, the Recovery School District (RSD) today announced the process being used to make building assignments for schools in temporary space, as well as its specific recommended assignments. Next week, the district will host a series of community meetings to gather feedback on those recommendations. Final assignments will be announced in December.
The RSD began the process in December 2010 with the release of proposed school building assignments. The district also hosted a series of public meetings across the city in January 2011, with plans to make final assignments by Jan. 31. However, in response to community feedback, the district decided to postpone making final assignments until after the School Facilities Master Plan was revised. More community meetings were held this summer to get feedback on the proposed Master Plan revisions, which were approved by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) and the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) last month.
The final school building assignments, now due in December, will reflect prior proposed assignments with modifications based on the revised Master Plan, school program changes and additional community input.
“Now that the revised Master Plan ensures that every New Orleans student will attend school in a new, renovated or refurbished building, we must make sure that all existing schools, especially those in temporary buildings, have a long-term home,” said RSD Superintendent John White. “We look forward to engaging the community again in this process and will announce final long-term building assignments by Dec. 31.”
In addition to community input, the RSD will prioritize the following factors when making final building assignments for existing schools:
- Previous school assignments made by the RSD to schools and communities
- Alignment between the capacity needs of the school program and the prospective building (e.g., if a high school operator is able to offer robust career-technical [CTE] offerings in a setting designed to support CTE programs)
- Geographic distribution of current students based on zip code analysis
- An operator’s track record in improving student academic performance and its continued ability to operate successfully in a prospective facility.
Long-term building assignments will be contingent on the school program continuing to demonstrate excellence in meeting accountability and governance standards. Recommended building assignments for existing schools can be found under the Resources tab on the RSD Web Site: www.rsdla.net.
To gather community feedback, the RSD has scheduled the following public meetings:
- Monday, Nov. 14, 6:30 p.m., Lake Area High School, 6026 Paris Ave. – Planning Districts 1,6,7,8 (Marigny, Bywater, Gentilly, 9th Ward and French Quarter.)
- Tuesday, Nov. 15, 6:30 p.m., Schaumburg Elementary School , 9501 Grant St. – Planning District 9,10,11 (New Orleans East)
- Wednesday, Nov. 16, 6:30 p.m., Langston Hughes Academy, 3519 Trafalgar St. – Planning Districts 2,3,4,5 (Uptown, Mid-City, Central City and Lakeview)
For charter operators newly approved by BESE in December, the RSD will provide a building assignment in February, based on the following factors:
- Alignment between the school program and prospective facility capacity
- Operator’s track record of academic performance and experience, and capacity to operate successfully in a prospective facility
- Community input on school vision and citywide needs for academic programming
The building assignment process continues the RSD’s efforts to follow through on its 12 commitments to New Orleans listed in What Will It Take? Read the plan on the RSD Web site.
New Orleans, La. – Meeting its commitments outlined in What Will It Take?, the Recovery School District (RSD) today announced that it will transform nine of the lowest performing schools in the city – five high schools, three elementary schools and one K-12. Each of these schools failed to meet the required School Performance Score (SPS) threshold of 65, or a “D” letter grade, meaning as many as 60 to 75 percent of the students in these schools are not performing on grade level. These schools either will be transferred to proven charter school operators or will experience significant changes to their enrollments beginning in the 2012–2013 school year. Each transformation will be accompanied by a community engagement process which invites participation from parents, community members and stakeholders.
Previously transformed schools in the RSD have made remarkable gains over the past five years. Seventy-six percent of RSD turnaround schools have performed better than their previous iterations, improving at a rate of five times the state average. Five years ago, only twenty-three percent of RSD students performed on grade level; today forty-eight percent do, making the RSD the fastest improving district in the state. Today’s announcement also emphasizes the RSD’s commitment to transform failing New Orleans high schools. Although the 2010–2011 graduation rates improved by nearly eight percentage points from 2009–2010, RSD officials confirm today that more fundamental change is needed to build a network of great high schools.
“New Orleans schools have made unprecedented progress with their students,” said RSD Superintendent John White. “It is time that every child participate in that progress. Our parents and communities have made clear to us that they will not accept failing schools.”
The following direct-run schools are slated for transformation beginning next school year:
- Abramson Science & Technology Charter (K-8 and 9-12), 5552 Read Blvd.
- George W. Carver High, 3059 Higgins Blvd.
- Walter L. Cohen High, 3520 Dryades St.
- Joseph Craig Elementary, 1423 St. Philip St.
- Dr. Charles Drew Elementary, 3819 St. Claude Ave.
- Murray Henderson Elementary, 2701 Lawrence St.
- John McDonogh High, 2426 Esplanade Ave.
- L.B. Landry High, 1200 L.B. Landry Ave.
- Sarah T. Reed High, 5316 Michoud Blvd.
Today’s announcement indicates that schools being transformed will be done so in one of the following ways:
- The school will be fully transferred to a charter operator approved by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE), beginning next school year.
- A charter operator approved by BESE will take over operations for some grades, growing its role over time to include the entire school. Beginning next school year, the RSD and the new charter operator will provide academic and extracurricular supports for all students.
- The school’s enrollment will be changed, removing grade levels.
Building on the State of Our Schools meetings held at struggling schools earlier this fall, the RSD will work with non-profit partners on an engagement process with parents and community members for each transformation.
In early November, the RSD will host another series of meetings at each transformation school with parents, students, community members and staff to answer questions, hear concerns and discuss each group’s vision for the school. In February, new charter operators will be matched with schools based on the charter operator’s proven track record of success, their likelihood of achieving similar results, community input, facility and programmatic alignment, and citywide needs.
For details on each school being transformed for the 2012–2013 school year, click here to find a fact sheet that explains the rationale for transforming that school and implications for students enrolled at that school and those wishing to enroll in the new school program, if applicable.
This transformation process continues the RSD’s efforts to follow through on its twelve commitments to New Orleans listed in the plan, What Will It Take? Click here.
RSD SUPERINTENDENT ANNOUNCES COMMITMENTS TO NEW ORLEANS
What Will it Take? report is the result of 100 days external and internal planning
NEW ORLEANS, La – Recovery School District Superintendent John White today announced 12 commitments to the city of New Orleans during an event at Loyola University’s Louis J. Roussel Hall. The commitments, released in a report called What Will it Take? comprise concrete steps the city can take to build a system of schools capable of preparing every child for college or a professional career. The commitments are the result of 100 days of working with community members, educators, parents and students.
The 100-Day strategy began May 16, after Superintendent White convened four task force committees, consisting of representatives of four distinct groups: educators, parents, community members, and students. Eight leaders in the community were selected to serve as co-chairs of the task force groups. Over the last three months, these groups and the RSD have sought input through public meetings, comment cards, online surveys, and posts to the website: www.rsd100days.com.
Included among the commitments are:
- Continuing to overhaul charter and traditional schools where most students are not graduating or reading on grade level.
- “Equity Reports” for each school that measure not just student achievement but also how well the school serves special education students and how well the school retains students over time rather than expelling children or watching them drop out.
- A citywide enrollment system whereby parents submit one application to multiple schools, indicate the neighborhood of residence, and are guaranteed an offer of admission.
- A diverse portfolio of high schools, including career and technical high schools, high schools that share courses with colleges, and high schools tailored to students who are behind or have had behavioral issues.
- A facilities plan that gets students out of temporary classrooms, puts every child in a new or renovated building and employs as many local businesses and residents as possible.
You are cordially invited to attend
Superintendent John White’s
“What Will It Take?”
The Recovery School District’s Commitments to New Orleans
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Louis J. Roussel Hall
6363 St. Charles Ave.
New Orleans, La, 70118