Welcome to the 2019-2020 academic school year. At our three schools – Harriet Tubman Charter School, Akili Academy, and Paul Habans Charter School – we welcomed a record number of more than 2,500 scholars to our campuses. As we begin our ninth year operating schools, we remain focused on providing excellent, open-enrollment schools that raise the achievement of all students and prepare them for college.
As demand for our schools continues to grow, we recognize that to meet the needs of the community, we need more space. I am excited to share that we have purchased and are renovating an 11-acre campus in Algiers to be home to our innovative Pk-2 Tubman montessori program. We were able to undertake this expansion, in part, with funding from a $2 million grant we were awarded by the U.S. Department of Education to support the expansion of high-quality charter schools. Our montessori-based, one-of-a-kind program has a proven rate of academic success with young scholars, and this dedicated campus will include multiple buildings with covered walkways, ample outdoor play space, outdoor classrooms, a gymnasium, and much more to support the development of our students.
While meeting the need to expand is critical to our mission, our commitment to academic excellence remains our key driver. Top Growth data for the 2018-19 school year released by the Louisiana Department of Education shows that all of our schools continue to outperform the state average in ELA and Math growth and are improving outcomes for students. Specifically, Paul Habans is the second highest ranked open-enrollment K-8 school in Orleans Parish for overall top growth. Akili Academy and Harriet Tubman are both in the top half of ELA and Math growth of all K-8 open-enrollment schools in New Orleans. We are celebrating that our open-enrollment schools are continuing to make real progress with our scholars, and we are proving that we can compete with the best selective admissions schools in New Orleans.
Our success with growing scholars and striving to meet the needs of the community would not be possible without our dedicated team. An annual tradition at the start of every school year is our Back to School Bowling Party where we celebrate with our 375 staff members and friends and family. At this year’s party, we recognized 109 team members who have been with us for five or more years. We are also celebrating that we have been recognized as one of the 2019 Top Work Places by The Times Picayune/NOLA.com. This award is especially meaningful because it is based solely on feedback offered through an employee survey.
We could not have gotten here without your support. I am excited by all of the opportunities the 2019-2020 school year holds, and I look forward to sharing our accomplishments with you as we embrace our mission to raise student achievement and prepare students for college. On behalf of all of Crescent City Schools, thank you and we look forward to another inspiring year.
Kate Mehok, CEO