Aug 17, 2012

NEW ORLEANS - In an effort to continue strengthening the charter operator matching process and to ensure the inclusion of community input and support in those decisions, today, Recovery School District Superintendent (RSD) Patrick Dobard announced the creation of School Community Councils (SCCs) for four direct-run schools included in this year’s charter application process, called the 2012 Call for Quality Schools. Louisiana received 49 charter school applications this year, the largest number ever received. Dobard is extending an invitation for community members to apply to serve on the councils, where they will be charged with leading public visioning sessions to identify key community-based priorities for school transformations that will serve as a basis for dialogue and partnership for the work involved in creating high-performing schools. The RSD is accepting applications until Thurs., Aug. 30.

"We recognize that community input is essential as we continue creating better schools and identifying high-performing charter operators to lead our remaining direct-run schools," said Dobard. "It is imperative that we include stakeholders from the local school community to participate in this process. We are looking for people who are dedicated and have an interest in supporting the successful transformation of these schools for our students."

School Community Councils are being created for the following four schools: Sarah T. Reed High, Mary D. Coghill Elementary, Paul B. Habans Elementary, and H.C. Schaumburg Elementary.

"I commend the Recovery School District for its commitment to ensuring the voice of the community is heard and for identifying a way to involve them in the school transformation process," said House Speaker Pro Tem Walt Leger III.  "Establishing the School Community Councils and working alongside the community to improve the process are important steps in the right direction.  Our students and schools will be better served as a result."

Individuals selected to serve on the SCCs will be responsible for reviewing the plans of Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) approved charter school operators and comparing those plans with the priorities identified as part of the community visioning process. SCCs will provide an assessment of the BESE-approved operators to the RSD, which will help inform the RSD’s process of matching approved charter operators with the schools identified for transformation.

"We are excited to see the RSD going above and beyond to ensure that parents and community members have the opportunity to get engaged and have their voices heard throughout this process. At Stand for Children, we continue to see a growing number of parents and community members who feel empowered to drive positive change and ensure that every decision made is in the best interest of all kids," said Westley Bayas, New Orleans Director with Stand for Children. "We look forward to supporting parents and community members on the School Community Councils in their critical role of reviewing and recommending an operator for their school and building strong, collaborative partnerships that result in every child having access to a high-quality school."

Council members will participate in activities during the visioning and transformation matching process from Sept. 10 - Jan. 5, and will be asked to commit five to seven hours of service per month. 

The councils will be comprised of key stakeholders from the identified school communities, and will include a minimum of seven members. The goal is for at least 51 percent of the council to be parents of children attending the respective school, and for high school councils to include at least two current students as members. Other stakeholders on the councils may include: community residents, alumni, affiliates of community and faith-based organizations, local businesses, and representatives fromlocal businesses and economic development organizations.

SCC members will be chosen by a selection committee, which will include RSD representatives and community partner organizations. Applicants who are not selected to serve on the council will be invited to participate in upcoming community visioning meetings and the operator introduction meetings.

Individuals can visit the RSD website at or click here to download a copy of the application. Applications can be turned in at the RSD Central Office or at one of the three RSD Parent Centers.

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