Orleans Parish School Board Meeting Recap – November, 2017
November 17, 2017
ORLEANS PARISH SCHOOL BOARD MOVES TO DISCONTINUE SCHOOL PROGRAM AT MAHALIA JACKSON ELEMENTARY, ADOPTS STRATEGIC VISION AND GOALS, HONORS GROUPS SERVING STUDENTS THROUGHOUT ORLEANS PARISH
NEW ORLEANS – (Nov. 16, 2017) – At the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) Board Business Meeting Thursday evening the board voted to approve several items on the agenda including upholding the Accountability Committee’s recommendation to both discontinue the school program at Mahalia Jackson Elementary and designate a leader for the school site’s operation. The board also adopted its vision and goals for the future and took time to formally honor several groups and organizations working within the community to better the lives and expand opportunities for young people in New Orleans.
Board Moves Forward with Adoption of Strategic Vision and Goals
At the Board Business Meeting Thursday evening the board voted to adopt A Unified Path Forward: Our Vision and Goals for Public Education in New Orleans, which will guide the work of the unified district over the next three years, and represents a milestone of a year-long process soliciting and incorporating feedback from the community through a variety of means including public board work sessions, a student visioning process, a citywide survey and subsequent focus groups, and a series of town hall meetings.
OPSB’s stated vision is to ensure every student receives a high-quality education that fosters his or her individual capabilities, while ensuring that they thrive and are prepared for civic, social and economic success.
Board Approves Dryades YMCA to Operate Mahalia Jackson Site
The Accountability Committee has recommended that the board approve the discontinuation of the district-operated school program and site at the Mahalia Jackson ES building. The board approved the discontinuation, which is scheduled to take effect at the conclusion of the current 2017-18 school year. OPSB will no longer operate a direct-run school at this location.
Additionally, at today’s board meeting the OPSB approved Dryades YMCA’s application to operate the Mahalia Jackson building for the 2018-2019 school year. The new operator plans to have K – 3 classes from James M. Singleton Elementary on the Mahalia campus. The two locations are less than a half mile from each other. The current partnerships with Total Community Action (TCA) and St. Thomas Health Clinic will be maintained. Dryades YMCA is also exploring other potential community partnerships.
Throughout the spring and summer, the OPSB administration has held a series of discussions and community meetings with parents and stakeholders concerning the future of Mahalia Jackson Elementary school.
Organizations Honored for Their Contributions to City’s Youth
The OPSB honored several organizations and groups for their continuing dedication to New Orleans youth throughout the city at Thursday evening’s meeting. The organizations honored include The Silverback Society, Son of a Saint, 100 Black Men of Greater New Orleans, the Beautiful Foundation, Youth Run NOLA, Girls on the Run, and The Pontchartrain Chapter of the Links.
The board was also happy to hear presentations from students at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA).