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The Greater New Orleans Foundation released New Orleans School Partnership Study: What Our Students Need and How We Can Help. In partnership with NOLA Public Schools and funding support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Baptist Community Ministries, the new report identifies some of our students’ most urgent needs and a roadmap for how schools and community partners can increase resources, coordination, partnership, and investments to improve student support and performance. View full report here >> 
 

Today (Nov. 8), the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) released the 2017-2018 School Performance Scores (SPS), school letter grades, and progress index scores. Scores revealed that nearly 80 percent of district schools received a progress index score of “A” or “B” for the 2017- 2018 school year.

“This year’s School Performance Scores, particularly the newer Progress Index Score, reflect the hard work of our teachers and students in Orleans Parish. Progress is being made and we need to continue building from that foundation,” said Orleans Parish School Board Superintendent of Schools Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr. “This is a new day and a new district, and these scores will serve as the new baseline for our unified district.”

Of the schools in the district, not including those that were recently closed or are alternative schools, 61 percent received a score of “C” or better.

“These gains are modest, but important because they tell us that we are headed in the right direction. We know that we still have a long way to go, but this board is committed to doing what is necessary for the students and families of our city,” said OPSB President John A. Brown, Sr.

NEW ORLEANS – (May 7, 2020) Due to the resignation of District 5 School Board Member Ben Kleban, which will be effective on June 15, 2020, the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) will receive Letters of Interest from qualified individuals seeking to fill the District 5 seat on an interim basis. To be a school board member the person must be at least 18 years old, a resident in Louisiana for the preceding two years and domiciled for the preceding year in the district to which he or she is being appointed. [La. R.S. 17:52(E)(1)].

Pursuant to OPSB Policy ABCDA and La. R.S. 18:602, OPSB has 20 days in which to fill the vacancy created by Mr. Kleban’s resignation, or the Governor will appoint a person to fill the vacancy. The OPSB intends to appoint a qualified person to fill the vacant District 5 School Board seat on an interim basis from June 15, 2020 until the December 31, 2020 to fill the unexpired term of Ben Kleban.

All interested persons must submit a Letter of Interest by Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 12:00 noon. Letters of Interest should be addressed to Board President Ethan Ashley, and mailed to the OPSB Board Office, 2401 Westbend Parkway, Suite 5055, New Orleans, Louisiana 70114 or emailed to the OPSB Board Counsel at swilliams@fishmanhaygood.com. To avoid any possible delays associated with mail delivery, submission by email is preferred.

In addition to the Letter of Interest, all persons must also submit a resume' and an Affidavit of Qualifications, [consistent with La. R.S. 17:52(E)(1)]. A copy of a current Louisiana Driver's License (or other official Louisiana identification) must be attached. The following additional documents must be attached to the Affidavit of Qualifications to demonstrate the required residency and domicile: (1) copy of lease demonstrating residency and domicile in the District or a copy of the homestead exemption claimed by the applicant; (2) copy of a utility bill bearing the applicant’s name on the account; and (3) a copy of the applicant’s voter registration card or other document indicating where the applicant is registered to vote.

OPSB also requests that applicants submit with their Letter of Interest a short Vision Statement responding to the following three questions: 1) What is your vision for public education in Orleans Parish? 2) What in your experience best qualifies you for this interim appointment? 3) What do you believe a "quality" school district looks like? 4) What are your top three priorities that you would like to address if you are selected?

For more information, please direct any questions to the OPSB Board Counsel at swilliams@fishmanhaygood.com.

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ABOUT NOLA PUBLIC SCHOOLS: NOLA Public Schools is the public school district for Orleans Parish, which includes the district’s elected school board, known as the Orleans Parish School Board and the district’s administration led by NOLA Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis Jr. NOLA Public Schools currently oversees 78 public schools. For more information, visit www.nolapublicschools.com. For updates, follow NOLA Public Schools on Facebook @NOLAPublicSchools, Instagram @nolaps and Twitter @NOLAPSchools.

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NOLA Public Schools, in collaboration with community partners, recently launched a web-based resource guide designed to assist students with disabilities transitioning into life after their high school careers. The resource guide is a virtual substitute for NOLA-PS’ third annual NOLA-PS Transition Resource Fair, which had to be canceled this year due to the COVID-19 public health crisis
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OPSB’s Commitment to Lead our District Through COVID-19

During these uncertain times, I pray that you and your families are safe and in good health. I am encouraged by the resilience and steadfast leadership of our community. My partner reminds me that sometimes stepping up requires stepping back in uncertain times to listen and learn. Listening to the stories of our community working collectively to flatten the curve and learning alongside all of you on how best to support our students, their families and all those that contribute to creating the best possible learning environment for our youth is truly inspiring.

You are doing your part as a community to ensure the long-term success of our city, and as President of the Orleans Parish School Board I want to ensure you that we are working during this pandemic to ensure the short- and long-term success of our system for our students, families, educators, support staff and community. As we contribute to managing the public health crisis, we are committed to conducting the business of serving the needs of our students and schools in a way that aligns with public health guidance and safety of our community. We are committed to ensuring that our District is:

1. Meeting the immediate needs of our students, families, educators and support staff;
2. Being transparent as we continue to move the long-term goals of the District; and
3. Working with other government, non-profit, for-profit and philanthropy organizations to continue securing the resources necessary to grow the impact of our District.

As we face the challenges of this pandemic, our District is focused on ensuring that our students are receiving proper nutrition, have access to the internet and electronic equipment during time away from our school buildings, and are supporting our schools to provide mental health services to our students. I am proud to say that our District led the state with our investment of $5 million dollars to purchase hotspots and Chromebooks to ensure that all of our students can participate in distance learning. We led the state in standing up 43 feeding sites for our students - serving more than 660,000 meals to date. We are committed to working alongside the whole community to meet the current challenges presented by this pandemic for our students and families. As such, we have put together both a community resource and COVID-19 update page for students and families that provide information on the following:

Distance Learning Resources for Families
Behavioral and Mental Health Support
Food Pantry and Community Feeding Locations
Job Opportunities
Utilities Support
Donations and Volunteer Support
Rent/mortgage assistance
Unemployment Assistance

While our first priorities are safety and addressing the needs of our students, families and educators during this pandemic, we are also committed to continuing our efforts to improve our District. We recognize and are committed to transparency in service of the students, families, school administrative and support staff of OPSB and are taking the following actions:

• Publishing our agenda earlier than legally required to ensure that our community has additional time to review our agenda.
• Allowing our community members the opportunity to email their comments on a particular agenda action prior to the meeting at this email address: boardmeetingfeedback@nolapublicschools.com. These comments will be reflected in our official board minutes. This is being allowed in addition to the usual public comment policy to ensure maximum public participation in virtual meetings being held during this pandemic.

Our school board is committed to do the work that we are elected to do and will work alongside the community to ensure proper time and opportunity for everyone to participate in creating the best outcomes possible during this challenging time for the students, families, administrative and support staff and educators of OPSB.

Partnerships continue to be a critical pathway to our success. OPSB is at its best when working alongside students and families, members of the community, faith-based and community-based organizations, government partners, the private sector, philanthropic organizations and with one another. I am grateful for the many partners who have already stepped up to support our students, educators, support and administrative staff and community.

• Our philanthropic partners have provided over $500,000 of aid to support our technology needs of our students.
• Our private communications companies have provided free and reduced internet for our families and students to connect.
• Individual city councilmembers like Jared Brossett have donated Proper Protective Equipment for our educators who are providing food through our citywide feeding program.

This shared unity of mission to work together and secure the resources needed to improve the living and learning environments for our students and families is vital during these times. I look forward to continuing to lead efforts on behalf of our District to build partnerships that result in resources.

What I am clear about in this moment is that our children not only need but deserve our very best effort to meet the challenge of serving all of our students well in a pandemic. As board President, I am committed to meeting the challenges offered by COVID-19 for our students, families, and educators; and I hope you will join and support my leadership in this unprecedented time.


In Service,

Ethan Ashley
Orleans Parish School Board President




External Resources

NOLA Public Schools. Every Child. Every School. Every Day.

2401 Westbend Parkway
New Orleans, Louisiana 70114

Phone: 504-304-3520

Hotline Number for Parents
504-527-KIDS

School-based issues or concerns from parents

24-hour Hotline Number for Community
504-522-HELP
District based community concerns, feedback, & inquiries from school staff or community members