I’ve just gotten reports that John McDonogh, run by Future is Now and Steve Barr, is being closed at the end of the 2013-2014 school year. My source claims John White is reported to have notified the teachers at John Mcdonogh Thursday, January 16th. The following year John McDonogh is going to be closed for renovations that White had previously allocated 35 million dollars for, almost 2 years ago. The RSD had reported that the school did not want to move to a temporary site, because they feared such a move at the beginning of the program could disrupt the school culture they were trying to foster.
On Wed, Sep 4, 2013 at 10:12 AM, Zoey Reed <Zoey.Reed@rsdla.net> wrote:
“Also, as far as timeline, the charter schools work with the RSD on timing, FIN of John McDonogh asked the RSD not to start renovations because students would have to move and they were building school culture and didn’t want the disruption. “
This culture produced a 9.3 out of 150 on the state’s SPS scores last year. Last year Steve Barr also infamously contacted Oprah Winfrey to have his charter school filmed as part of the ill-conceived BlackBoard Wars that promoted John McDonogh as the “Most Dangerous School in the Country.”
On this season of Blackboard Wars, we saw the students, staff and teachers at John MacDonogh High make their way through a challenging yet rewarding school year. Though the school was faced with the effects of violence, homelessness, mental illness and’ ‘community opposition,’ ‘the rough patches also brought to light inspiring moments of courage, dedication and perseverance.
The funding provided for this filming was never accounted for and has largely been assumed it was absorbed by Steve Barr and his administrative costs which included a 115,000 dollars for principal for ninth graders (around 13 of them.) Additionally New Schools For New Orleans provided an 800,000 dollar grant last year that was largely dedicated to hundreds of thousands in extra salary for Steve Barr as well as for many of his executive staff and very little for school supplies or renovations, while this year they were facing a 900,000 shortfall.
Many thanks to all the reporters at that kept pressure on this horrible charter abomination that was a blight on the community as well as the souls of many of the children it so poorly served. This is what happens when you allow entrepreneurs to experiment on kids with little oversight or controls.
Here are some of my previous articles on John McDonogh.
I will update you on any new developments.
Updated response (Press Release) from LDOE as of 1/17/14
1615 Poydras Street. Suite 1400. New Orleans. LA 504.373.6200 http://www.rsdla.net
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Cay Kimbrell, Chief of Staff for External Affairs
504.373-6200 ext. 22140 (o)
Recovery School District to Renovate John McDonogh Starting Summer 2014
State-of-the-art Facility on Esplanade Avenue will Speed Academic Transformation
NEW ORLEANS, LA (January 17, 2014) – Following through on the commitment to serve every New Orleans child in renovated, refurbished, or new school buildings, the Recovery School District (RSD) announced today plans to accelerate the renovation of the John McDonogh High School facility in order for students to occupy the renovated school by the 2016-17 school year. The renovation will serve as a further catalyst in the ongoing revitalization of the cherished Esplanade Ridge high school.
“We are making good on our promise to provide a state of the art facility for our students,” said RSD Superintendent Patrick Dobard. “At the same time, we must make academic progress at a faster clip than we are today. Speeding up this renovation will help to speed up the day when students can benefit from a world-class education at the John McDonogh High School facility.”
In 2011, the RSD launched plans for transforming and improving struggling high schools in New Orleans. The district commenced those plans at George Washington Carver High School, Joseph S. Clark High School, Walter Cohen High School, L.B. Landry High School, and John McDonogh High School.
As part of this process, to assist in the transformation of John McDonogh, the RSD dedicated funding for the complete renovation of the landmark facility on Esplanade Avenue. When construction is complete, the new facility will be designed to LEED Silver standard and will include redesigned new academic classrooms, new science labs, space for performing and visual arts, a new gymnasium and cafeteria, and a new media center. An architect will be hired to begin design on the project this spring with occupancy of the building scheduled for the 2016-17 school year.
The renovation of the facility is one of the many rebuilding projects encompassing the School Facilities Master Plan for Orleans Parish, an unprecedented school construction program launched as a result of the devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina. The $1.8 billion plan, approved in November 2008 by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Orleans Parish School Board, is the first major facilities plan for Orleans Parish schools since 1952.
Renovation of the facility will require that the building be empty and unused throughout its construction during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years. Because of this, all John McDonogh students who are not graduating in May 2014 will transition to a new school in the subsequent school year. Schools for current John McDonogh students to choose from through the OneApp process are listed in the table below.
Each student will have priority status in the city’s OneApp choice enrollment system. The RSD will provide individualized support to assist students and families in deciding which school to attend. Additionally, individualized support will be provided to the school’s staff to assist them in transitioning to a new position for the following school year.
The application window for OneApp is currently open and families have until February 28 to submit their application and rank up to 8 schools of choice. Parents and students will receive specific information on the support being provided in the coming weeks. For general questions related to the OneApp process, families should contact the RSD’s Family Resource Centers at 1-877-343-4773.
The RSD will work with Future is Now New Orleans to ensure that students successfully complete the school year and engage with community stakeholders to determine the future of the John McDonogh High School facility.