French Quarter as classroom #enrollatPlessy

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Why do Plessy School students take weekly walking field trips?

⚜️Because instead of reading about the Louisiana Purchase from a book, we can walk to the room (Cabildo) where it happened.
⚜️Because the science behind why yeast, flour, and water rise is easier to understand if you are eating beignets (Cafe du Monde).
⚜️Because learning to spell M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I is memorable if you are sitting in front of it (Mississippi River).

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Little Red Schoolhouse Reading Buddies Needed

Plessy teachers in the lower grades need our help to instill a love of reading in students and to improve their literacy skills.

Classes: First and Second Grades

Days: M Tu W Th

Between 8-8:45 for reading with 1 or 2 children using the green bags to build a love of reading (volunteers for this time would need to go through a short training on their first day on how to use the bags)

Between 8:45-10:15 to support with the independent reading center during literacy block. Volunteers will support by being available for children to read to them and support them with building strong reading habits (i.e. point with finger, sounding out words, etc.)

PLEASE CONSIDER A REGULAR DAY AND TIME FOR A RECURRING VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY. The program works best if students develop a relationship with the person reading with them. That being said, of course, any help is appreciated!

–YOU WILL NEED TO COMPLETE A BACKGROUND CHECK TO PARTICIPATE, which can be done at 715 S. Broad Avenue–

For more information, contact Christina Kiel (christina.kiel@gmail.com).

 

Location: Plessy School, 721 St. Philip Street

 

To sign up:

http://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080a48adac22a1fd0-reading

Maintain Cabrini Park

(Sent to NORD and City Council)
To whom it may concern:
I am writing concerning the online debate by those in favor of single-use of the park only for Homer A. Plessy students when they take over the McDonogh 15 school on St. Philip.
I am very pleased that Homer A. Plessy School is coming to the Quarter as our next charter and cannot think of a better fit, due to the historic name attached to it, the goals of the school and the engaged parents, some of whom I know personally. I sincerely wish this to be a great success so that is also why I am against cordoning off Cabrini Park entirely, held only for the school’s use for a few hours per week. That will only create a barrier between the school and the neighborhood.
I live in the French Quarter and and have done so on and off for decades since high school, when I attended L.E. Rabouin and walked through the Quarter and CBD each morning. That daily trip gained me many protectors and friends who would look out for me and greet me as I made my way to Carondelet.
The opportunity to live in a gracious, social city like New Orleans is amazing enough; to be here during one’s formative years is another gift. Children should be able to feel comfortable on their city streets and in their public spaces, not to be cordoned off from them as if all other people (neighbors!) are something to be frightened by. One of the wonderful things about our French Quarter and the little Red Schoolhouse as realized by Lucianne Carmichael is that it allows the children to be members of the neighborhood, as we see in the regular, happy use – by their parents and kids – of the coffeehouse across the street, when they line up to walk down Bourbon to the park or going on field trips to the French Market among other outings. We shouldn’t want any it any different in our public park.
And as someone who uses and has used the few green spaces for decades in the Quarter for play and at one time for my little dog’s exercise, I know how much community happens at the park, sharing notes and meeting new neighbors. For all of these reasons, I ask that the off-leash dog site and public use of Cabrini park be maintained. Not only does the school have 2 play areas of their own, the new park layout allows for multiple uses at once. Every neighborly eye on our park helps to maintain it as a safe and neighborly place; locking the doors will bring the negative activity back; it indicates to those looking for hidden corners to engage in illegal activity that this is an ideal space for that.
 The dog park will also allow for a controlled area for our many 4-legged friends. That activity also likely reduces the crime in that area and adds happy playful sounds, sounds that we all sorely need in our stressful life.
Let’s work together to build a world-class park for everyone.

The 75 year-old Little Red School House on Royal (McDonogh 15)

 

When wealthy recluse John McDonogh died in 1850, the residents of New Orleans and  Baltimore were surprised to find themselves the beneficiaries of his considerable estate.   His will specified that the money was to be used for the purpose of establishing public  schools in the two cities for “education of the poor of all castes and races.”  Over 30  public schools bearing John McDonogh’s name were constructed in New Orleans.

The mission of McDonogh 15  is to empower students with the academic skills and character traits they need to succeed in competitive high schools and colleges. According to Robichaux, 80 percent of graduates of other KIPP network schools have enrolled in college, compared with only 25 percent of public high school students in New Orleans.

Over the years, The Little Red School House suffered from neglect that left the school in disrepair, and, like many other New Orleans landmarks, endured additional structural damage during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Support from KONICA MINOLTA will allow the school to repair exterior cracks, damaged windows and deteriorating bathrooms, as well as upgrade and add playground equipment to a local park that serves as the only open green space for a school located in the middle of the French Quarter.

The money raised will go towards fixing the school’s ceiling, exterior and bathrooms, replacing windows, repainting, cleaning up the local park and purchasing new playground equipment. Beyond the structural improvements, KONICA MINOLTA will donate $20,000 worth of products for the students’ everyday use, including graphic application software, wide-format color printers and high-speed scanners.

McDonogh 15’s structural renovations serve as the entry point for longer-term initiatives KONICA MINOLTA has put into place. The company will continue to make bi-annual donations of notebooks, pens, pencils and other necessary school supplies. In addition, KONICA MINOLTA has committed to a $45,000 yearly investment to provide financial support to students who could not otherwise afford the costs of private education.

Each year, three $15,000 scholarships will be awarded to best-in-class students – one based on academic performance, one for achievement in the visual arts and another for proficiency in the musical arts. These scholarships will offer opportunities for graduating eighth grade students to attend top-rated New Orleans high schools that will provide them with the foundation to pursue higher education.

 

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Details about the school’s visionary founding principal Lucianne Carmichael from her 2016 obituary:

The next year she was assigned to McDonogh 15, an empty elementary school in the French Quarter. With the help of dedicated staff, she breathed life into a dead building and an innovative school was born. The extensive research for her various proposals, articles and workshops had introduced Lucianne to the British Infant School. In 1973 she raised funds to send four teachers and herself to England to observe. That was so successful that she arranged for a group of McDonogh 15 teachers to go to England in 1976.  In 1981 she became the first Visiting Practitioner to the Principals’ Center, Harvard Graduate School of Education. In 1985, after 20 years in public education, Lucianne retired.