Issue # 17
August 2010
3rd Annual Louisiana Charter Schools Conference

Register HERE Today!

Discounted Hotel Rates Available until September 10th!

Registration is  open for the 3rd Annual Louisiana Charter Schools Conference to be held October 15-16 at the Hilton Riverside Hotel in New Orleans.  Special conference rates at the hotel are $149/nt. (Limited availability; Rate available until  September 10th).  Click HERE to reserve a room. 
Award Ceremony Nominations
We are pleased to announce the 2nd Annual LAPCS Charter School Awards.  These awards are designed to recognize the contributions of school leaders, teachers, board members, schools, and community leaders in their efforts to advocate for, support, or enhance Louisiana's public charter schools.  Nominate a charter school leader, board, teacher, student, and champion to be honored at this year's event.  Also, we have added a "vendor" category this year so you can share with your fellow charter schools who the best company in Louisiana is that you work with!  Click HERE to access the online submission form.  Deadline for nominations is September 15, 2010.

Exhibit / Sponsor

We are officially sold out!  If you would like to be placed on a waiting list in the event that we have cancellations, please contact Elizabeth Garrett (contact info below.)


Below are just a few of the topics that will be presented at the conference.

Understanding the MFP
Roles & Responsibilities of Charter School Boards
High Poverty, High Performance
National Challenges in the Charter School Movement
Value Add Accountability
Facilities 101
A Framework for Self-Assessment
Trust & Transparency in Charter Schools
How to speak Authorizer
Community Engagement
Challenges with Enrollment in Charter Schools
Building Aligned Teams
The Challenges of Turnarounds
Surviving an Audit
Special Education

and much more.......

*Special Saturday Teacher strand sponsored by Leading Educators

Keynote Speakers

Peter Groff, President, National Alliance for
Public Charter Schools

Donald Hense, Founder, Friendship
Public Charter Schools

Senator Mike Johnston, Colorado, & Founder,
New Leaders for New Schools

Stay tuned for more keynote speakers and presenters!

Questions? Contact Elizabeth Garrett at or 504-274-3651

Policy Update


BESE will meet Tuesday, September 14th to Thursday, September 16th.

On Tuesday, September 14th (time to be determined) at the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education's monthly meeting, Superintendent Pastorek will make his recommendation regarding the return of RSD charters and direct operated schools to the Orleans Parish School Board. This decision will impact ALL New Orleans Type 5 charter schools.

While a final decision by BESE won't be made until later in the year, we expect there will be much discussion on the issue including laying out the process BESE will go through to make their decision.

We will keep you updated on the results of this meeting.
Fordham Institute Names New Orleans Most Reform Friendly City In U.S.
In a study released today entitled "America's Best (and Worst) Cities for School Reform: Attracting Entrepreneurs and Change Agents" conducted by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, New Orleans was named the top city for school reform in the United States.

The study evaluated 30 major cities in the U.S. on the following categories:
  • Human Capital
  • Financial Capital
  • Charter environment
  • Quality Control
  • District Environment
  • Municipal Environment
The study pointed to New Orleans' strong human capital pipelines, including programs like The New Teacher Project and New Leaders for New Schools. It also noted the city's strong financial capital, the positive charter environment, and the quality control mechanisms in place as pro-reform characteristics of New Orleans.  The absence of a collective bargaining agreement and Mayor Landrieu's support for education reform also helped push the city to the top.

New Orleans was joined by cities like Washington D.C., New York City, Denver, Jacksonville, Charlotte, Austin, Houston, and Fort Worth in the top cities for reform. Cities that were ranked as the worst cities were San Jose, San Diego, Albany, Philadelphia, Gary, and Detroit.

To read the entire report or learn more about the study, click HERE.

5th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina Sparks National News on New Orleans Education Reform

Kids Face Differing Realities In New Orleans Schools
August 24, 2010

New Orleans Schools Seize Post-Katrina Momentum
Education Week 
August 24, 2010

New Orleans Education System Remade After Hurricane
August 24, 2010

Region's Schools Turn Storm's Havoc Into Transformation
Education Week
August 25, 2010

Necessity Is the Mother of Invention
August 26, 2010

Post-Katrina, New Orleans Rescues a Drowning Public School System
Huffington Post
August 27, 2010

Public Schools See Post-Katrina Turnaround
NBC News
August 27, 2010

Students After Katrina
August 27, 2010

After Katrina, How Charter Schools Helped Recast New Orleans Education
Christian Science Monitor
August 29, 2010

After the Deluge, A New Education System
Wall Street Journal
August 30, 2010

Job Listings On LAPCS Website
Please note that the LAPCS website now has a statewide job vacancy posting page on our website.  Please let your HR or recruiting staffer know that this resource is available. To access the page, click HERE.
The Eastbank Collaborative of Charter Schools also has a New Orleans job vacancy page available.  To access this site, click HERE.

Grant Opportunities

The LAPCS is pleased to bring you a comprehensive list of grant opportunities that may be of interest to Louisiana's charter schools.  The list is updated daily with new and interesting grant opportunities, so check back often! To visit the list click HERE.

Youth Change Awards


The Gulfsouth Youth Action Fund, a youth philanthropy initiative that engages youth as leaders and empowers them with the resources to make strategic investments in their peers and their communities, is seeking nominations for the 2010 Youth Change Maker Awards. These prestigious awards honor outstanding young people, ages 7 through 25, who have shown exemplary leadership in recovery, education, entrepreneurship and community service initiatives in the Gulfsouth region. If you are or know of a young person who fits these and the following criteria, please fill out and return the nomination form HERE. Self-nominations are accepted.
School Leadership Center Response to Intervention supported by Differentiated Instruction

Date:  October 19-20, 2010 - Elementary Educators
Presenter: Melissa Dickson, Staff Development for Educators
Date:  October 21, 2010 - High School Educators
Presenter: Judy Stoehr, Staff Development for Educators
                                 Congregation Gates of Prayer
                                 4000 W. Esplanade Avenue Metairie
To register, you must complete and mail your check and registration form (Click HERE) to SLC by Sept. 18, 2010.  Limited Seating-First Come First Serve Basis.  You May Fax (504-267-7243) A Copy Of Your Registration Form To Notify Us That Your Check & Registration Is In The Mail.
Charter School Board Training on Special Education: What Board Members Need to Know

Date: Tuesday, September 14th
Time: 5pm-6:15pm
Location: Uptown Square, 200 Broadway St, Suite 108A Conference Room
RSVP: Please RSVP to Beth Giovannetti at

*We urge every school to send at least one of their board members to attend to report back to their full boards. 
New Orleans Center for Creative Arts
Hosts Arts College Fair For Students

Arts Conservatories, Colleges & Universities From Across The Nation Offer Information To Students From Across The Region

New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) invites public, private, parochial and homeschool high school students to attend a special Arts College Fair on Wednesday-October 13, 5 PM, at NOCCA, 2800 Chartres Street, New Orleans-70117. The event will serve as a resource center for students as they make decisions on their next steps of education and post-secondary opportunities in the arts and academics. The NOCCA College Fair is free and open to the public.

Several prestigious institutions have confirmed their participation at the College Fair.

Exhibitors include:

The American Musical & Dramatic Academy
Bard College
Bennington College
California Institute of the Arts
Columbia College Chicago
Emerson College
Florida State University Music Department
Jackson State University Music Department
Johnson & Wales University
The Juilliard School
Kansas City Art Institute
Louisiana Culinary Institute
Louisiana State University College of Music & Dramatic Arts
Louisiana Tech University Visual Arts Department
Loyola University New Orleans
Mannes College The New School for Music
Maryland Institute College of Art
Mount Holyoke College
The New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music
New York University
Nicholls State University John Folse Culinary Institute
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
Oberlin Conservatory of Music
Ohio State University
The Oxbow School
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
Roosevelt University Chicago College of Performing Arts
Savannah College of Art & Design
Stephens College
Tisch School of the Arts New York University
Tulane University
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of New Orleans Department of Film, Theatre & Communications
University of North Carolina School of the Arts
At the fair, institutional view books, college applications, and general information will be available to guests. Colleges will also be offering information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities as well as providing art portfolio review stations.

Interested students are encouraged to visit or call 504.940.ARTS for more information.

1st Annual Green Schools National Conference
October 24-26, 2010
Minneapolis, MN

We are proud to announce Philippe Cousteau, Environmental Activist, chief spokesperson for K-12 Environmental Education for Discovery Education and is the host for OCEANS Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and Planet Green will be a Keynote Speaker. Philippe will also be working with our high school students who will be attending the GreenSchool Student Summit.  Please take advantage of discounts by registering by September 12th as we have established an Early Bird registration rate for teachers/parents/university student at the rate of $215.00.  Individual rate for administration and other school personnel is $280.00. 

We have also established a special discount code for Green Charter Schools Network members.  To join the GCSN please log onto   By joining the GCSN the rate for teacher/parent/university student is $195.00 which is $20 off the lowest rate. 

Individual rate for administration and other school personnel will be $195.00 which is $85 off the lowest rate. 
We are encouraging both comprehensive and emerging Green Schools from across the United States to participate in this Green Schools historic event.  The Green Charter Schools National Network is hosting the 1st Annual Green Schools National Conference, October 24-26, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.   Please check out the conference website at  the time is right for this groundbreaking event to bring together public, public charter, independent school leaders, educators, students, business, community leaders and policymakers to focus on the overall topic of greening our nation's schools.  
The theme of the conference is "Growing Green Schools Across America" This event will provide a unique forum and opportunity for the national K-12 education community to meet, network, learn and share ideas around greening our nation's schools.  The projects and experiences shared at this event will lay the groundwork for preparing future generations of green citizens who will make the world a better place to live in.

We are encouraging all comprehensive and emerging Green Charter Schools to participate in this inaugural event.  Green Schools have developed and implemented models that can be replicated in all schools.  They have developed sustainability models for their schools by reducing energy consumption resulting in reduction of operating expenses.  Sustainability for their students by providing Green & Healthy facilities which include healthy eating programs, along with sustainability for our Earth; by recycling, reducing waste and Earth restoration projects.  

For general conference questions please email: 
Or call 1-800-280-6218
Articles of Interest 
"NOLA: Charter Issues 2.0"
August 2nd, 2010

(Guest Post by Sarah Newell Usdin and Neerav Kingsland, New Schools New Orleans) Five years ago, New Orleans was perhaps America's worst school system. The FBI convicted over twenty district officials for stealing from kids. A valedictorian of a local high school failed the high school exit exam. Five times. Her school had failed her. Her district had failed her. Her school board had failed her. At every level, the system was broken.

"How to Close the Achievement Gap"
August 16, 2010

All over the world, your chances of success in school and life depend more on your family circumstances than on any other factor. By age three, kids with professional parents are already a full year ahead of their poorer peers. They know twice as many words and score 40 points higher on IQ tests. By age 10, the gap is three years. By then, some poor children have not mastered basic reading and math skills, and many never will: this is the age at which failure starts to become irreversible.

"Results in National School-Reform Contest Spark Complaints"
August 25, 2010

While celebrations were breaking out in Massachusetts, New York, Hawaii, Florida, Rhode Island, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Georgia, North Carolina, and Ohio after the 10 were named winners of round two of the Obama administration's national education-reform competition, Race to the Top, controversy was mounting over some of the more surprising winners and losers.

"Region's Schools Turn Storm's Havoc Into Transformation"
Education Week
August 25, 2010

When Hurricane Katrina swept through the Gulf Coast town of Pass Christian, Miss., wiping away an elementary and a middle school, community leaders used the destruction as a chance for a new start.
About Us 
The mission of the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools (LAPCS) is to increase student achievement by supporting, promoting, and advocating for the quality charter school movement.

Caroline Roemer Shirley, Executive Director
Contact Caroline at
Andrea Chen, Membership & Programs Director
Contact Andrea at
Elizabeth Garrett, Communications Director
Contact Elizabeth at

Renita Thukral, Policy Director
Contact Renita at

Sherman Whites, Business & Operations Director
Contact Sherman at
In This Issue
2010 Conference
Policy Update
Fordham Institute Study
Katrina Coverage
Job Postings
Grant Opportunities
Youth Change Awards
Conference Sponsors


New Schools for New Orleans receives federal i3 grant

NSNO will receive a $28 million grant to continue work in New Orleans and expand to Memphis and Nashville.  Read More...

ACSA awarded grant for teaching American History

Algiers Charter School Association was awarded a grant by the DOE to improve the quality of teaching American history in our nation's schools. Read More...

Hynes Charter School breaks ground on new building
View the FOX 8 video on the groundbreaking HERE.

NOLA Law Firm donates 200 uniforms to New Orleans College Prep

Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann L.L.C. continues their philanthropic relationship with the charter school by donating uniforms to the schools 200 new students

Warren Easton Charter High School to open Warren Easton Health Clinic

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu joined Oscar-winning actress, Sandra Bullock,  to announce the opening of the Warren Easton High School health clinic on Sunday, August 29.  Read More...


Interested in saving 15-85% off the list-price on office and classroom supplies? 

 Learn more about our STAPLES Statewide Charter Schools Buying Program open to all LAPCS members!  Click HERE!
Questions? Email

Click HERE to become a fan of the LAPCS Facebook Page!