Update On Public Schools in Mid-City

Many changes have taken place with our public schools in Mid-City, and here is a brief overview as to what will be happening in our neighborhood as we begin the 2007-2008 school year:
John Dibert Elementary
Dibert is set to reopen on September 4th, once again as a pre-K through 8th school in the Recovery School District. The new superintendant of the RSD, Paul Vallas, determined that Dibert will be a cluster center for non-English speaking students in the RSD, as Mid-City has historically had a large Spanish-speaking population. He has also said that he is determined to keep class size reduced to 20 students. That would bring the total student population down from 415 to 300 students, a number that better fits the facility. There are also plans to move the 7th and 8th grade students to Thurgood Marshall in October. Keith Bartlett will continue as principal, and he can be reached at Kbneworleans@aol.com. Cardillia Lamb will be the principal of the Middle School at Thurgood Marshall when it opens.
Warren Easton High
Warren Easton began the school year on August 8th, and will continue to teach students in grades 9-12. Easton will again be run by the Warren Easton Charter Foundation, with Alexina Medley as principal. More information can be seen at the Warren Easton website. We would still love to find a way to purchase the block of land that is for sale next to Warren Easton on Canal Street, so please let us know if you have any creative ideas.
Capdau-UNO Early College High
Thurgood Marshall’s building will be shared by two charter schools, and we would like to welcome them into our neighborhood. The largest of the two will be the Pierre Capdau-UNO Early College High. They are starting with approximately 250 students, half in the 9th grade, and half in the 10th. They plan on adding an 11th grade the following year, and a 12th grade the year after that. They will be led by principal Shannon Verrett, and are set to open on September 4th. Principal Verrett can be reached at sverrett@uno.edu.
NOLA 180
Thurgood Marshall will also be used temporarily by NOLA 180, a group chartering the Langston Hughes Academy. The plan is for them to move back near the Fairgrounds into modular buildings at some time in October, though Principal John Alford said it might be over the Christmas holiday. Once they move back, then the 7-8 grade students at Dibert will move to Thurgood Marshall Middle School, governed by the RSD. For more information, concact John Alford at (504) 274-3626 or jalford@nola180.org. You can read more about Principal Alford at this recent article in New Orleans Magazine.
Esperanza is the Spanish word for “hope.” UNO, not the University of New Orleans as with Capdau-UNO, but UNO as in United Neighborhood Organization based in Chicago, will be operating this school with about 260 students grades K-8. Jacob Perez is the principal. Principal Perez has said that there is hope to make Esperanza a community center especially for our Spanish speaking neighbors in New Orleans. More information on United Neighborhood Organization can be found at www.unocharterschools.org. You can reach Jacob Perez at (504) 251-1008.
There is still no word on what will become of the heavily damaged facility at Fisk-Howard. We are hoping to have a new pre-K-6th school built there. You can voice your opinion by going to this site and leaving comments. This facility matches quite well with the criteria needed for a new school in Council District B.

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