OPSB Superintendent Lewis Announces Charter Renewal Recommendations, Statement About Network Schools Transition
NEW ORLEANS – Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis Jr. recommended that the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) renew all seven charter schools for additional terms. All seven charter schools were eligible for renewal in 2016.
The charter schools recommended for renewal are Audubon Charter School, Einstein Charter Schools, Encore Academy, Edward Hynes Charter School, Robert R. Moton Charter School, New Orleans Science and Math Charter High School and Warren Easton Charter School. The OPSB administration reviewed each school’s history, along with renewal applications and conducted site visits this fall prior to making its recommendation.
“After a broad review of each school’s performance, we are excited to recommend all seven of these OPSB schools for renewal,” Superintendent Lewis said. “We believe each recommendation reflects the appropriate term length, and we are eager to see what accomplishments the school leaders will drive in student achievement over their next charter terms.”
Renewal determinations, per state law and local policy (R.S. 17:3992; Act 91; OPSB Policy HAB), are based upon a comprehensive review of the school’s academic, financial and organizational performance histories, with a primary focus on each school’s academic outcomes over the charter term, specifically its School Performance Score (SPS).
Schools are eligible for a base renewal term based on their most recent letter grade. Modifications to the base term can arise in two primary ways: first, additional years can be added based upon specific academic accomplishment and second, years may be subtracted or added based upon performance on the district’s Financial and Organizational Performance Frameworks over the charter term.
The recommended term lengths are summarized below. Upon renewal, Einstein Charter Schools will be separated into four specific site codes, given that it is currently operating four school sites. Therefore, each school will receive its own charter contract and contract term.
“I thank the school leaders on their hard work over the past charter term and look forward to seeing their schools, and specifically their students, achieve new and greater heights,” Lewis said.
Lewis also released the following statement addressing the interest in converting the OPSB network (direct-operated) schools to charter schools:
“I notified OPSB members at their monthly meeting that the administration has received expressions of interest from the current principals of our remaining five network elementary and high schools to convert to Type 3 charter schools. These schools seek to charter with the OPSB for the 2017-18 school year. As a conversion of an existing school, a Type 3 charter will retain students from the existing school. The schools’ principals have notified staff and parents and will further engage their school communities.
“As Superintendent, it is my responsibility to present recommendations to convert existing schools to Type 3 charter schools, based on the results of the district’s review of the submitted materials. While I cannot comment directly on any specific charter proposal at this time, pending receipt of each proposal, it is my intention to carefully review in detail. If the proposal passes review, I will seek to implement my recommendations. Further detail about this process can be found on the OPSB website.
“We welcome the opportunity to empower our network school leaders and their school communities to determine the best path forward and access to the same financial resources and operational autonomy as other schools in our city enjoy. I have full confidence in the leadership of our schools to make informed, student-centered decisions that continue to elevate the values of excellence, commitment and tradition that these schools have already embraced.
“OPSB operates an annual charter application process, which provides for both the approval of new start (Type 1 charter schools) and the conversion of existing traditional and charter schools (Type 3 charter schools). To date, OPSB has had ten schools convert to Type 3 charter schools, some of which have become the state’s highest performing schools: Audubon Montessori, Warren Easton High School, Benjamin Franklin High School, Alice M. Harte Elementary School, Edward Hynes Elementary School, Edna Karr High School, Lake Forest Elementary School, Lusher School, Robert R. Moton Elementary School and New Orleans Math and Science High School.
“OPSB remains committed to providing the highest-quality educational opportunities for all of our city’s students.”