OPSB Extends The 2017 Charter Application Deadline To March 6
NEW ORLEANS – The Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) announced it has decided to extend its deadline for charter application submissions until Monday, March 6, at noon.
Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis Jr. stated, “In the past year, we have expanded our outreach efforts and partnerships in order to educate and cultivate local applicants. We are pleased with the tremendous response from our community to the charter application process so far and look forward to reviewing this year’s applications. However, we want to extend the deadline to ensure that all prospective applicants are afforded the opportunity to submit proposals, particularly in light of the Mardi Gras holiday.”
To date, OPSB has received notices of intent from 12 diverse non-profit organizations seeking to operate charter schools, including nine applicants for new start schools. Each charter applicant will provide a thorough proposal outlining the school they wish to open and their financial and organizational capabilities to implement the steps of their plan from approval to inception, OPSB reps said. Each charter school application that is deemed eligible by OPSB administration will be reviewed by independent, third-party evaluators as well as by district administration.
In December, OPSB received interest from the school principals of its five direct-operated schools, expressing their desire to convert each of the network schools into Type 3 charter schools for the 2017-2018 school year. As Type 3 charter schools, these schools may be able to access additional financial resources, while ensuring the continued opportunity for all current students to attend the school.
OPSB has conducted a series of community meetings with parents at each of the OPSB network schools, reps said. In each scenario where multiple applicants have been identified, OPSB has committed to providing the faculty and families of the school community with the opportunity to meet representatives of the proposing organizations. These conversations will be scheduled after the close of the charter application period with specific meeting dates, times and locations to follow, reps said.
“At each school I visit, I meet parents who care deeply and advocate for their children,” Superintendent Lewis said. “I hear what they love about our schools and the ways our schools are enriching the lives of these students. This is what I am committed to preserving no matter the result of charter applications.”
OPSB has received expressions of interest from two organizations. In order to provide clarity to families and time for the transition of any school approved for conversion, OPSB intends to present Superintendent Lewis’ recommendations for Type 3 conversions no later than the School Board’s April 2017 meeting cycle.