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NOLA Public Schools Superintendent Recommends KIPP New Orleans Schools to operate John F. Kennedy High School

NEW ORLEANS – (August 22, 2019) – This evening, NOLA Public Schools (NOLA-PS) Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr. will announce that KIPP New Orleans Schools, a high quality charter operator in the school district, will be granted the authority to manage John F. Kennedy High School starting in the 20-21 school year. Dr. Lewis will make his announcement to the Orleans Parish School Board today, Thursday, August 22 at 5:30pm at the regular board business meeting.

“As a district team, we have engaged with students, families, alumni, and other stakeholders to hear their feedback on adopting a new operator for the historic Gentilly high school,” said NOLA-PS Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lewis. “In light of recent events at John K. Kennedy High School, I made this decision expeditiously to ensure students knew their future with the school.”

NOLA Public Schools’ goal is to create a process that provides for the best outcomes for parents, students and the community that is consistent and transparent for all stakeholders. On July 18, 2019, the New Beginnings Schools Foundation (NBSF) board voted to surrender the charters for JFK High School and Pierre A. Capdau Charter School at the end of the 2019-20 school year.

In light of that vote, NOLA Public Schools initiated the process of identifying a new operator for JFK High School. Over the past several weeks, NOLA Public Schools engaged with all organizations with an approved high school charter to initiate the process. One operator, KIPP New Orleans Schools (KNOS), formally expressed interest and submitted strong plans for academic turnaround, staff transition and engagement with parents, families, students and alumni throughout the transition process.

“My goal has and continues to be to ensure that the students and families at JFK are well served today and for years to come. I have no doubt that KIPP New Orleans Schools will advance the academic performance of JFK to the next level for our students and families,” said Dr. Lewis. “KIPP New Orleans’ high academic standing, strong focus on college-preparatory education, and commitment to the legacy of our city’s high schools has made them the best choice for the children who are, and will be, attending JFK High School.”

KIPP New Orleans Schools oversees eight charter schools in New Orleans and has a consistent record of operating high academic performing high schools in New Orleans, according to the Louisiana Department of Education’s rankings. Founded in 2005, KIPP New Orleans Schools is a locally-operated network of open-enrollment public schools educating more than 5,000 students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12. 

NOLA Public Schools will work closely with NBSF and K throughout this year to ensure a smooth transition of management of the school, while keeping what is most important to families consistent. An additional engagement event will be planned in the coming weeks for parents and families to meet with KIPP New Orleans Schools and provide input on the transition.

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