Charter school enrollment opens Jan. 27

Published 11:45 pm Saturday, January 11, 2014

Northshore Charter School is working to address growth while it opens enrollment for the next school year, according to reports given to its Board of Education Thursday.

Principal Julie Rodriguez said the school’s request to add a fifth-grade class as well as the third-, fourth- and 10th-grade classes it initially intended to add in its second year is on the agenda for the Jan. 14 meeting of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. She said the paperwork has been submitted, and she expects approval.

Either way, the school housed in the former Army Reserve Center next to the Bogalusa airport needs to add classrooms. The building is currently close to capacity with 169 students in kindergarten, first, second and ninth grades.

Chief Operations Officer Felicia Workman said she is in contact with three different companies that offer modular classrooms to get ideas and estimates. She said the portable buildings could be brought in and set up in 30 days, and she’d keep the board updated.

The public school will open enrollment to new students on Jan. 27. Interested parents will be able to pick up application packets at the school, 111 Walker St.

In other business, Rodriguez reported that she’d provided the school’s teachers with training on differentiated instruction in order to meet the needs of different types of learners.

Workman told the board the school is looking for a small car the high school students can convert into an electric car and that the school can then use for driver education classes. It would need to be an older model with no power steering, and “the smaller the better,” she said.

“We need someone to donate a car or sell one to us at a reasonable price,” Workman said.

During the public comment period, parent Michelle Scott expressed concerns about student safety at the school. She said the problem is primarily between students, and she’d moved her child to the charter school after a bullying incident at another school went unaddressed.

Board President Rev. R.L. Palmer responded that safety, across the board, is a primary issue at Northshore.

“One reason children don’t learn is because they are intimidated,” he said.

Palmer vowed to investigate the matter and thanked Scott for bringing it to the board’s attention.

“Your involvement is crucial to this school’s success,” he said. “Don’t ever hesitate.

“We will address this, I assure you.”

Scott said she realizes the school is new and still getting settled, and that she is generally very pleased.

“The kids get a good education here,” she said. “I love the school. I know you’ve just got things to work out. Ms. Julie is awesome.”