School board members vote to offer Mahalia Jackson school site to Dryades YMCA


An Orleans Parish Faculty Board committee Tuesday (Nov. 14) unanimously voted to shut Mahalia Jackson Elementary Faculty subsequent yr. That committee additionally voted to show over the pre-Okay via sixth grade Central Metropolis faculty to Dryades YMCA, a nonprofit group planning to relocate some college students from its close by James Singleton Constitution Faculty.

Nearly all of public faculties in New Orleans are charters approved by the independently elected OPSB and the state-run Restoration Faculty District. Mahalia Jackson at 2405 Jackson Avenue is certainly one of OPSB’s 4 remaining direct-run faculties. The complete faculty board is predicted to satisfy Thursday to debate whether or not it is going to approve the committee’s selections.

In April, superintendent Henderson Lewis Jr. stated Mahalia Jackson ought to get closed in June 2018, however officers at Tuesday’s assembly stated a closure will more than likely occur July 1st. The C-rated elementary faculty dropped to a D-score this yr, in accordance with final week’s launch of the state Schooling Division’s annual faculty efficiency scores and letter grades.

OPSB chief technique officer Colleston Morgan stated Mahalia has since not enrolled any new college students among the many one hundred seventy five youngsters at present taught there. No modifications are deliberate for Mahalia’s present faculty yr, and Morgan stated households will obtain “closing faculty precedence” within the metropolis’s centralized enrollment course of for the 2018-19 faculty yr. 

The district engaged in additional than 10 conferences with households over the spring and fall to debate the suggestions. Drawing consideration to the suggestions and considerations from the varsity’s mother and father, Lewis acknowledged OPSB’s “very tough begin” regarding the Mahalia Jackson closure. He additionally burdened that households and college students “are first on this robust course of.” 

“I can really say the place we’re ending up on this course of right here is actually placing college students and households first — even in probably the most troublesome state of affairs — as we speak about a change at any specific faculty,” Lewis stated.

OPSB acquired a single proposal from Dryades YMCA to handle the Mahalia Jackson website after the district in September introduced it was in search of one other group to function the power. The constitution group presently manages the C-rated Singleton Constitution faculty at 2220 Oretha C. Haley Boulevard. Enrollment figures from the 2017 EnrollaNOLA faculty information present Singleton teaches 414 college students in Pre-Okay by means of eighth grade.

Morgan stated Dryades YMCA’s proposal would keep the location’s preschool program. The constitution group additionally proposed to switch a few of its Singleton college students over to the Mahalia Jackson website. The transfers would come with college students who’re presently being taught in “short-term locations” like trailers.

The constructing additionally homes a library department and a well being clinic. Morgan stated Draydes YMCA’s proposal included “letters of help” from these present tenants, whose continued presence on the website is being contemplated by the constitution group.

Fifth District member Ben Kleban referred to as the…



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