Facts About McDonogh 35

July 17, 2018

I heard McDonogh 35 is not accepting new students. Is McDonogh 35 closing? NO.
• McDonogh 35 is restructuring to improve academic outcomes for its students. To accomplish this, it is not currently accepting new students.
• Beginning 2019-2020, the newly restructured 35 will begin accepting 9th grade and will build the student body starting from that group.
• Leadership at McDonogh 35 and OPSB are working on a plan to ensure continuity in graduation cohorts from 35.

I heard McDonogh 35 is going to be a private charter school. Is McDonogh 35 being privately run? NO.
• The Orleans Parish School Board is currently operating McDonogh 35 as one of its two direct-run schools.
• Further, charter schools are not private schools, they are run on public dollars and are all accountable to the OPSB as their authorizer. OPSB oversees and regulates the activities of its charters through extensive policies and procedures.

So, what is the future of McDonogh 35?
• Once OPSB finds an excellent operator for McDonogh 35, it will become a public charter school.
• OPSB has created a Request for Applications (RFA) to run McDonogh 35 that will be released on Tuesday, July 17th, this is in alignment with OPSB’s current Fall RFA Cycle.
• That RFA dictates that applicants must show a commitment to the McDonogh 35 Alumni Association, the New Orleans and McDonogh 35 communities, and McDonogh 35 legacy in terms of academic rigor, college preparation, and traditions (inclusive of the Name, Roneagle mascot, as well as school colors of Maroon & Gold). McDonogh 35 will have robust courses, dual enrollment career pathways, multiple languages, JROTC, STEM, honors offerings, and a strong University partnership.

I heard McDonogh 35 doesn’t have teachers because they’re all laid off. Does McDonogh 35 have teachers? YES.
• There are currently 76 faculty and staff employed at McDonogh 35.
• Leadership at McDonogh 35 and OPSB made the decision to not accept a new 9th grade cohort at this time so we can focus and provide the current student body with support to be successful.
• Because the enrollment is now 485, some teachers were laid off. This layoff or reduction-in-force was conducted pursuant to state law which dictates that temporary positions, substitutes and uncertified teachers be released first and then the teachers with lower performance ratings.

I heard the principal left. Does McDonogh 35 have a principal? YES.
• Mr. Harold Clay is the new Executive Director of McDonogh 35. He is the former principal of Edna Karr, an “A” rated school here in New Orleans. He has 11 years of school leadership experience. He is a graduate of Warren Easton High School, Dillard University and has a Master’s degree from Tulane University. He reports directly to OPSB’s Chief of Schools Rene Lewis –Carter, former Principal of the Year during her tenure at Martin Behrman Charter School.

Does OPSB really understand the significance of McDonogh 35? DEFINITELY YES.
• OPSB views McDonogh 35 as a historic beacon of New Orleans as the first high school for African-Americans in New Orleans. It has provided the city and country with outstanding, productive citizens and leaders over its 101 years of existence.

Is OPSB listening to the alumni of the school? YES.
• OPSB meets regularly with the leadership of the elected board of the established Alumni association, has incorporated their desires into its planning, and partnered with the Alumni Association to operate summer school this year.
• In addition, we have had opportunities for stakeholder engagement around the future of 35.

What will happen to the legacy of McDonogh 35?
• McDonogh 35 will continue its legacy without disruption. The history, name, mission, colors, mascots and alumni will persist with the support and endorsement of OPSB.

What is OPSB doing to support the students enrolled at McDonogh 35 right now?
• OPSB just funded and managed a large scale summer school for over half of the student body of McDonogh 35.
• This effort was hugely successfully in that the vast majority of students attending were able to obtain credits towards graduation, over 230 credits provided in total. The student body was highly engaged with 26% achieving perfect attendance and 80% attending daily. OPSB conducted this effort in full partnership with the alumni association.
• OPSB has also restructured McDonogh 35’s schedule to a 4 x 4 schedule which will enable students to obtain credits faster and help students graduate in a timely fashion.
• One notable bright spot of summer school, more than half of the students that took Algebra I and Geometry not only passed the course to receive credit, but also passed the corresponding End of Course exams. In addition, we will have several students graduate this summer based off of their opportunity to earn credits in summer school.

What is OPSB’s commitment to the children and families of McDonogh 35?
• OPSB is fully committed to and focused on the children and families of McDonogh 35. Last week, the Superintendent sent home a letter to every family member updating them about the school, the progress of summer school, and setting the tone for a positive and productive school year. He plans to maintain this open style of communication and collaboration with the McDonogh 35 community.

Where is McDonogh 35 located?
• A brand new, state of the art facility at 4000 Cadillac St, New Orleans, LA 70122.

Current Data about McDonogh 35
# of students 485
# of faculty and staff 76

This document was prepared by The Orleans Parish School Board:

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