The Orleans Parish School Board Takes Action to Provide Stability for Families at Cypress Academy

May 22, 2018

OPSB Will Operate School at the Current Cypress Academy Facility on Orleans Avenue this Fall

NEW ORLEANS – (May 22, 2018) – This morning the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) announced that it will provide stability for families currently attending Cypress Academy by having the district operate the school – at the existing location – for the coming school year. The announcement follows the weekend announcement made by Cypress Academy’s leadership to close the school.

“We have worked in good faith with the board and administrative leadership of the Cypress Academy to ensure the best possible outcome for their students. Our consistent message has been that it is too late in the year to close this school and we must seek a solution that provides stability to families,” said OPSB Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr. “I want to thank the board and the administrative leadership of the Choice Foundation for engaging in discussions to develop a potential partnership with Cypress Academy. We appreciate their desire to do what is right for students. After reviewing all available facts, we have concluded that it is best for OPSB to operate a school at the current facility for next year.”

To that end, the district announced the following actions:

  1. For the 2018-2019 school year only, the OPSB administration will operate a school at the current Cypress location. All families currently at Cypress will be guaranteed a seat.
  2. For families currently assigned to Cypress who want to evaluate other options for next school year, EnrollNOLA will delay the OneApp Round 2 enrollment deadline for Cypress families for one week until June 1st at 5pm.
  3. For all families assigned to Cypress for 2018-19, the district will contract with EdNavigator and Families Helping Families to provide individual support and enrollment counseling.

“School operators must do better to ensure families have the adequate time and information to make critical enrollment decisions for their children,” said OPSB President John A. Brown, Sr. “This is an unfortunate situation for families that should have been avoided, but I am glad that the OPSB is stepping up to provide stability to current Cypress families by operating Cypress next year in their current building. I want to thank Dr. Lewis for his leadership on this issue.”

“In recent weeks, the OPSB administration has worked with the Cypress Academy board and leadership to encourage them to do whatever was possible to continue operating the school next year,” said OPSB board member Sarah Newell Usdin. “Making this decision about next school year on this timeline put families in a very difficult position with many unknowns. I want to thank Choice Foundation for exploring options to serve the Cypress students and thank Dr. Lewis for prioritizing stability for Cypress’ families and students. This is a trying moment for our families and we are doing everything in our power to put their interests first.”

The district is providing written communication to all Cypress families this afternoon and will be in attendance at Cypress’ previously scheduled community meeting tonight. The district will also host meetings for Cypress families on Thursday 5/24 and Tuesday 5/29, beginning at 6pm each night at Cypress.

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