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A Message from the Orleans Parish School Board

It has been a great honor to serve as the Board President and Vice President for the Orleans Parish School Board. We are proud to serve the students, families, educators, and community of New Orleans, the city that we love and call home.

At the Orleans Parish School Board, our vision for public education in New Orleans is that every student receives a high quality education that fosters his or her individual capabilities, while ensuring that they thrive and are prepared for civic, social, and economic success. And it is this goal that drives our work every day.

It’s remarkable to think about how far the Orleans Parish School Board has come in the past few years. Some highlights of the progress we have made for our school system include –

  • Successfully managed Unification and the process of returning oversight of schools.
  • Created a vision and goals statement for the school district.
  • Adopted a new Charter School Accountability Framework.
  • Expanded access to high-quality schools by approving additional campuses for proven high performing operators.
  • Invested in expansion and additional supports for the Therapeutic Day Center to provide better service to students with mental health needs
  • Implemented an effective and innovative career readiness program for high school students.
  • Crafted policy to put time limits on student pick-ups and ride times for bus transportation.
  • Implemented half-mile neighborhood preferences through OneApp, allowing students a better chance to attend schools close to home.
  • Became the first government entity to increase the wages of our cafeteria workers to $15 an hour.
  • Renewed millages to increase critical funding going to schools.
  • Raised S&P credit rating from A+ to AA- and earned “stable” rating for financial outlook.
  • Sponsored Back-To-School Fest, providing free access to the Audubon Zoo for all families in our school district.
  • Expanded charter board member and leader training, including support for parent representatives.
  • Launched Superintendent’s advisory councils, including student, parent, teacher, faith-based, retired educator and community members.
  • Worked with schools to align school calendars to better serve parents and families.

We believe these achievements have made our system stronger. At the same time, we have to acknowledge the challenges that our system continues to face. Most recently, academic progress has stagnated and even declined in some areas. Our number one priority moving forward has to be academic improvement in all schools across the city. Additionally, we have identified several system improvements that are necessary beyond academics. The Board will continue to work on identifying solutions to all types of needs across the system.

Throughout the process of Unification, we knew that the Orleans Parish School Board would assume responsibility for some of the lowest performing schools in the state. But, we have embraced the opportunity to work with the NOLA Public Schools Administration, charter board and school leaders, and community members to identify strategies and resources that lead to real improvements in outcomes and opportunities for students. And as a Board, we remain committed to pursuing better outcomes with transparency and a sense of urgency.

Moving public education forward in this city has truly been a collective effort. We want to extend a special thanks to our fellow Board Members for their service and for entrusting us with board leadership. We also want to thank the Superintendent and district staff for their hard work and dedication. But most of all, we want to thank the 44,000 students and 3,500 educators who are our inspiration and the heart of our work.

We appreciate your support and look forward to working with you to realize our vision of a high-quality education for all students in New Orleans.

In Service,
John A. Brown, Sr.
Orleans Parish School Board President
Leslie Ellison
Orleans Parish School Board Vice President  

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