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Dec 152016
 
(Photo by Marta Jewson for www.MidCityMessenger.com)

(Photo by Marta Jewson for www.MidCityMessenger.com)

Warren Easton Charter High School officials are battling a scam that’s stolen several thousand dollars from area businesses.

Regina Wilkins, director of development at Warren Easton, warned the Mid-City Neighborhood Organization about several individuals and organizations that solicit businesses for T-shirt sponsorships, though none of the money raised goes toward the school. The scammers approach local businesses and ask for a donation – usually in the $1,000 to $2,000 range – toward a T-shirt that features the business’ name printed on the back.

The T-shirts are made and distributed to the businesses but those soliciting are not doing so on Warren-Easton’s behalf, Wilkins said.

“We don’t see any of that money,” Wilkins said.

School officials have been battling similar scams for years, most notably in 2014 when administration debated taking legal action against a group who misused the school’s name online to pocket alumni money. Several websites were selling false alumni memberships and gear, ex-officio board member Arthur Hardy said.

Warren Easton staff have made phone calls, written letters and issued cease-and-desist letters to the scammers, Wilkins said. So far, there’s been no more legal action.

Alexina Medley, Warren Easton’s principal, said legal action in the future may be possible.

“We also will be consulting attorneys to see what our next steps are as we continue to gather information,” she said.

Wilkins advised MCNO that any solicitations for donations or scholarships for Warren Easton are only valid if issued with the school’s letterhead or signed by principal Alexina Medley.

Emily Leitzinger, MCNO interim president, asked Wilkins if any other area high school has had similar problems, but Wilkins denied hearing about similar scams elsewhere.

If anyone has questions about a Warren Easton solicitation, please contact Amanda Winfield-Buford at 324-7426 or Wilkins at 324-7436.

Dec 142016
 
The International School of Louisiana's Camp Street campus. (UptownMessenger.com)

International School of Louisiana students from the Dibert building in Mid-City will return to the school’s Camp Street campus in Uptown next year. (UptownMessenger.com)

With the Mid-City campus no longer an option and an uncertain future for the Jefferson Parish campus, parents at the International School of Louisiana pleaded with school leaders Wednesday night for answers that no one yet seems to have. Continue reading »

Dec 092016
 

Housed in a home-like setting, Mathilde Hall provides a visually rich and stimulating environment for one, two and three year olds in McGehee School’s early childhood program, Little Gate. Designed to inspire learning and spark the imaginations of both students and faculty, Mathilde Hall opened its doors in August in the architecturally rich setting of this historic St. Charles Avenue home. Mathilde Hall is at the heart of Little Gate, a local leader in early childhood education.

L to R: McGehee Headmistress Eileen Powers, Richard Currence, George Young, Mathilde Villere Currence

L to R: McGehee Headmistress Eileen Powers, Richard Currence, George Young, Mathilde Villere Currence

With the October 20th ribbon cutting and dedication of Mathilde Bernard Villere Hall at 2318 St. Charles Avenue, Mathilde Hall becomes the fourth alumnae name to grace St. Charles Avenue between First and Philip Streets on McGehee’s historic Garden District campus. This beautiful renovation compliments the Reggio Emilia philosophy, acknowledging setting and space as important components to teaching. Mathilde Hall houses seven Little Gate classrooms, collaborative playspaces, and an atelier. The grounds include elaborate green spaces as well as a small fruit orchard and vegetable garden. As the first independent school in the New Orleans area to incorporate Reggio Emilia into its curriculum, Little Gate repurposed and renovated Mathilde Hall to meet the needs of one, two and three year olds in a warm and nurturing environment. Headmistress Eileen Powers spoke at the dedication.

For a quarter of a century, Little Gate has been the local leader in early childhood education with a curriculum that focuses on developing the whole child — intellectually, socially and emotionally. Little Gate faculty are experienced professionals who create unique environments where students have every opportunity to investigate, explore, problem solve, communicate, pretend and build. Little Gate’s Tinkerlab and Butterfly Garden, an outdoor classroom, provide additional, important spaces for these young students to explore their creativity and  natural curiosity.

Little Gate Head Betsy Dobson commented, “Research shows that children develop more synapses in the first five years of life than over their entire lifetime. Little Gate provides an environment that gives multi-dimensional experiences rich with endless opportunities that ensure more and more of those synapses are developed, extended and making connections. The architecture, attention to detail, exposure to natural light and shadow as well as the connection to the amazing outdoor landscapes of Mathilde Hall allows nurturing and experienced teachers limitless exposure for creating stimulating and engaging opportunities for growth.”

Thanks to generous leadership gifts from donors, Fran and the late George Villere, Marsha Miller Wedell, an alumna from the Class of 1959, her husband Henri Wedell and a grant from the Edward G. Schlieder Foundation, led by lifetime trustee and alumna Betsy Shaw Nalty ’60, our youngest students (ages 1, 2 and 3) are now learning and thriving in this beautiful building which is immediately adjacent to the school’s recently dedicated outdoor classroom, the Mary Alice Quinn ’54 Butterfly Garden.

L to R: Chris Villere, Mathilde Villere Currence, Fran Villere, Lamar Villere, (seated) the late George Villere

L to R: Chris Villere, Mathilde Villere Currence, Fran Villere, Lamar Villere, the late George Villere (seated)

The Villere family is a four generation McGehee family and “Mathilde Hall” earns its name from George Villere’s sister, Mathilde Bernard Villere Young, a graduate of McGehee’s Class of 1953. Mathilde was the daughter of a McGehee girl and mother of two others, Yvette Young Semmes from the Class of 1977 and Coco Young Bancroft from the Class of 1983. A passionate early childhood educator at McGehee, Mathilde taught at the school for many years and was beloved by her students, peers and fellow faculty members alike. The building also honors Fran and George Villere’s daughter, alumna Mathilde Bernard Villere Currence of the Class of 1989, current parent of Lucy Morrison Currence ’17 and Frances Villere Currence ’20 and beloved niece of her namesake. Mathilde Currence had the honor of cutting the ribbon.

Nov 222016
 

inspirenola-scores

InspireNOLA Charter Schools achieved impressive academic results for the 2015-2016 school year at all three of the schools that it operates, continuing its status as the highest performing open-admissions charter network in New Orleans and Louisiana.

InspireNOLA’s two foundation schools, Alice M. Harte Charter School and Edna Karr High School, both achieved A letter grades for the second year in a row. Alice Harte’s school performance score (SPS) rose to a 104.3, with 45% of students scoring mastery or advanced on state assessments – far surpassing the district and state averages of 27% and 33%, respectively. Continue reading »

Nov 212016
 
Letter-grade increases highlighted in blue; decreases in orange. (chart by MidCityMessenger.com, source: Louisiana Department of Education)

Letter-grade increases highlighted in blue; decreases in orange. (chart by MidCityMessenger.com, source: Louisiana Department of Education)

School performance scores in Mid-City barely budged between this year and last year, according to data released last week by the Louisiana Department of Education.

Warren Easton Senior High School saw the biggest change with a drop of nearly 9 points, from 109.4 to 100.7. The school’s “A” letter grade was preserved, however, as the drop in score wasn’t enough to knock it down. Continue reading »

Nov 202016
 
Angel Dabon and Daryl Dabon Jarvis, both of New Orleans, read beside the Big Lake at City Park. Thousands came to The New Orleans Book Festival on Nov. 12, 2016. (Photo by Alliciyia George)

Angel Dabon and Daryl Dabon Jarvis, both of New Orleans, read beside the Big Lake at City Park. Thousands came to The New Orleans Book Festival on Nov. 12, 2016. (Photo by Alliciyia George)

By Alliciyia George, Loyola Student News Service

The New Orleans Book Festival attracts thousands of people who are passionate about books especially children and aspiring writers. They came to meet authors, listen to music, eat food and participate in the activities — and, of course, to get the free books. Continue reading »

Oct 252016
 
Morris Jeff Community School (Alicia Serrano, Mid-City Messenger.com)

Morris Jeff Community School (Alicia Serrano, Mid-City Messenger.com)

By Claire Byun
Special to Mid-City Messenger

With two years until its planned opening, Morris Jeff Community Schools’ new high school has some details set in stone, and others still up in the air.

The proposed high school is slated to open in Autumn 2018 and offer students a traditional high school degree – with extra incentives, according to Lisa Smith, director of high school. Morris Jeff’s Board of Directors met Monday afternoon and heard updates on the high school.

Students who complete the two-year high school program – traditionally 11th and 12th grades – will receive an International Baccalaureate Diploma on top of a Louisiana High School Diploma. The IB program allows students to enroll in either all college-credit courses or to pick and choose which subjects to focus on, much like traditional Advanced Placement classes. Continue reading »

Oct 202016
 

By Claire Byun
Special to Mid-City Messenger

Warren Easton's new athletic field will be dedicated on Friday (photo by Claire Byun).

Warren Easton’s new athletic field will be dedicated on Friday (photo by Claire Byun).

After more than a decade of waiting and wishing, Warren Easton Charter School will officially dedicate their very own athletic field.

Legacy Field, which neighbors the Canal Street school, will be dedicated Friday during a special ceremony. School officials have been working toward a green space of their own since Hurricane Katrina, and with help from Orleans Parish School Board the “dream” was finally achieved.

“It’s just a dream come true,” said principal Alexina Medley. Continue reading »

Oct 062016
 

New Beginnings Schools Foundation (NBSF) has announced that Pierre A. Capdau Charter School is scheduled to move to a new state-of-the-art facility in the heart of Gentilly for the 2017-2018 academic school year. Capdau, which has called 4621 Canal St. home since 2005, will now be located at 5800 Saint Roch Ave.

The new Pierre A. Capdau Charter School is scheduled to move to a new state-of-the-art facility located at 5800 Saint Roch Ave (via New Beginnings Schools Foundation)

The new Pierre A. Capdau Charter School is scheduled to move to a new state-of-the-art facility in Gentilly (via New Beginnings Schools Foundation)

Continue reading »