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New Orleans Public Schools Issues Statement regarding New Beginnings Schools Foundation Announcement

The following is a statement from Dr. Henderson Lewis Jr., Superintendent of NOLA Public Schools (NOLAPS), in response to the New Beginnings Schools Foundation (NBSF) vote to surrender its charters for John F. Kennedy High School and Pierre A. Capdau Elementary School:

Today the New Beginnings Schools Foundation board voted to surrender the charters for John F. Kennedy High School and Pierre Capdau Elementary School at the end of the 19-20 school year.

In response to this decision, I would like to assure the students and families of JFK and Pierre Capdau of the following:

First and foremost, both schools will remain open this coming school year and beyond.

Second, I have directed my team to expedite the process to identify and site a new charter operator that will begin to manage the schools starting in the 20-21 school year. Our process will include family and stakeholder engagement to identify the new leadership.

And third, to ensure a successful school year and smooth transition, I will take the following actions:

  • Commit experienced staff to both campuses to ensure teaching and learning is the number one priority for students;
  • Assign staff to work with the new NBSF leadership to ensure the organization can manage this transition effectively; and
  • Ensure the new charter operators are quickly integrated into the schools’ daily operations before the end of this school year.

We are committed to communicating regularly with students and families during this process and recognize these past several months have been very distressing time for all involved. And over these summer months, we have been working closely with the new NBSF leadership and are confident we can work with them to manage this transition together.

Given what transpired at JFK this past spring, revocation was being considered. However, at this time, I believe this decision by the NBSF Board is appropriate and what is best for students. As Superintendent, I have been transparent about how unacceptable I find this situation to be, students deserve our best and I expect nothing less from our charter operators.

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District based community concerns, feedback, & inquiries from school staff or community members