- Associated Press - Saturday, April 19, 2014

GRETNA, La. (AP) - Organizers say a new charter elementary school proposed in Jefferson Parish would focus on college preparation and literacy.

Nola.comThe Times-Picayune reported (https://bit.ly/1qX37mZ) Laureate Academy would operate on the parish’s west bank and would open in August 2015.

The proposal was submitted to the Jefferson Parish public school system in March.

Under the operating plan, the school, if approved, would enroll 60 kindergarten and 60 first-grade students then expand one grade each year until it becomes a kindergarten-through-eighth grade school.

Admission would be open to all residents of Jefferson Parish.

Laureate Academy is one of two schools under development with the help of a partnership of the public school system and a Massachusetts-based nonprofit organization called Building Excellent Schools.

The organization seeks to train potential charter school leaders.

Last year, the Jefferson School Board approved a $500,000 contract, funded in part by the state Department of Education, to work with the organization.

Laureate Academy would have a longer school day.

“Our mission is to prepare every child for rigorous high schools, competitive colleges and professional careers,” said Claire Heckerman, school leader and Building Excellent Schools fellow. “We believe all students can go to college and succeed in college with the right environment.”

In the past, Building Excellent Schools has partnered with the New Orleans school board in opening two charters: Akili Academy in the 9th Ward and New Orleans College Prep in the Central City neighborhood. The organization has also helped open 54 other charter schools around the country.

If approved, Laureate Academy would be the fifth charter school in Jefferson.

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Information from: The Times-Picayune, https://www.nola.com


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