THE ROUNDTABLE I The Official Newsletter of Benjamin E. Mays Preparatory School ▪ Home of the Knights 3059 Higgins Boulevard, Bldgs. A&B ▪ New Orleans, Louisiana 70126 ▪ (504) 428-8711Mays Prep: Focused and Ready!In a very critical year, Mays Prep returns Bradley says, “In much of ourmore determined to exceed our first yearsuccesses. recruitment, we invited whole families into our school community mainly forOn August 9, Mays Prep scholars them to see us in action – to see our teachers teach, and to become morereturned from their brief summer intimate with how we have school.vacation to continue the work of With those efforts, parents could atpreparing for high school and college least say that they made an informedsuccess. decision.”This year, we increased our student An all important yearpopulation by 20%, adding a newsection of kindergarten, adding new With the influx of new students, westudents into remaining grades, while are very well aware that 3rd gradealso accommodating retained students scholars will take the iLEAP exam thisfrom our district school counterpart, year - and until the following year,Carver Elementary. Third grader Michael Page is among the their performance will be all that most returning Mays Prep scholars that will be observers will take interest in. “I’m taking the Louisiana iLEAP examination thisA growing school year. fine with that,” says Bradley – “this is why we do this work.” “We’re back,Of course, the addition of new students focused and ready.”requires more teachers and supportstaff – so we are growing, and ourpresence in the city has also grown. New Orleans Schools on the Move The reforms underway in New Orleans are beginning to produce radical results.School leader Duke Bradley says, “We Diagram below courtesy of *Educate Nowhad pretty minimal recruitment effortsand were able to fill the majority of ourseats before the end of last schoolyear.” “That put us in a pretty goodposition going in to the fall.”When looking at the data, we foundthat parents chose Mays Prep for avariety of reasons.Parent recommendationsgo a long wayForemost among those was ourcommitment to a disciplined andstructured learning environment aswell as the glowing recommendationsmade by current Mays Prep parents. *Educate Now is a non-profit organization dedicated to the reform of New Orleans public schools; www.educatenow.net
Mays Prep Featured On Mays Prep Attracts Top Talent With the groundswell of new schools that have taken root in New Orleans,Recently, Mays Prep was featured as part of a the ability to recruit qualitylarger story noting the proliferation of charter personnel is critical to aschools in New Orleans. Todd Johnson, reporter school’s success. Whilefor thegrio.com spent a day at the school meeting organizations like Teachwith faculty and staff, interacting with students, for America and TeachNolaand discussing New Orleans’ aggressive charter have worked to provide aschool movement. quality teacher corps from which to choose, MaysTo watch the story, visit: Prep works diligently to maintain a balance of Reading Interventionist Bridget Burnshttp://www.thegrio.com/specials/katrina---five-years- teachers - many of whom facilitates a guided reading lessonlater/charter-schools-give-new-orleans-public-schools- have varied backgrounds.hope.php Veteran teacher Ms. Bridget Burns (pictured above) joinedMore about TheGrio… the Mays Prep team after having served at the RSD’s Laurel Elementary. A native New Orleanean, she brings a wealth ofTheGrio.com is the first video-centric news experience that has proven to be immediately impactful tocommunity site devoted to providing African the school. Other teachers new to the Mays Prep team –Americans with stories and perspectives that some from surrounding Parishes and others from other localappeal to them but are underrepresented in schools also help to set the standard for the talent thatexisting national news outlets. defines the quality of a Mays Prep teacher. END.Hard Work ▪ Excellence ▪ Respect ▪ Discipline ▪ Determination ▪ Leadership DID YOU KNOW? PHOTO OF THE MONTH Dr. Benjamin E. Mays served as President of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia for 27 years. One his students, Dr. Michael Lomax, president and chief executive of the United Negro College Fund served as President of Dr. Michael Lomax New Orleans’ own Dillard University for seven years. QUOTABLE “EXCELLENCE cannot be reached without having passed through the slow and painful process of study and preparation.” -Adapted, Author Unknown Tulane University President Scott Cowen gets some “love” during a recent visit to Mays Prep.visit us online ▪ www.maysprep.org
Good News for New Orleans…and Mays Prep!Mays Prep is positioned to benefit from two big awards that will directly impact New Orleans’ public schoolsAs the country recently paused to commemorate the Read more here:5th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the education http://www.nola.com/katrina/index.ssf/201reform efforts underway in New Orleans also received 0/08/18billion_from_fema_for_hurri.htmlnoted attention. This attention comes on the heels oftwo big announcements that directly impact public When it’s all said and done, the country isschool attendees in New Orleans and the organizations taking notice of the good work being donethat have pledged to ensure that all children in the city on behalf of children in New Orleans - andhave access to high quality education. rightfully so. END.First, local non-profit New Schools for New Orleans (aMays Prep partner in education) was awarded the ultra Sidney Barthelemy, Jr.competitive federal I3 grant.________________________________________________ Installed As Mays Prep’s The I3 program provides competitive grants to New Board Chair school districts, consortia of schools, or At Mays Prep, we are partnerships between schools and non-profits to beginning our second implement new innovative practices and year with a new Board programs. Chair, Mr. Sidney_________________________________________________________________ Barthelemy. Charged with the responsibilityNew Schools for New Orleans was one of only 49 of keeping the schoolwinners nationwide, staking claim to its share of a accountable for thewhopping $650 million dollar in federal grants. demands of it charter and supporting the A recent press release from the NSNO indicated that the Sidney Barthelemy, Jr. Principal and Founder,monies will allow them continue many of the positive Mr. Barthelemy is readyreforms already in place in the city. for the challenge. He says, “There are great thingsRead more here: happening in New Orleans, and Mays Prep is a part of our progress. To me, there is nothinghttp://newschoolsforneworleans.org/press_nola_wins.p more important to the future of our city than thehp work being done with our children.”1.8 Billion To Rebuild New Orleans’Schools Sidney Barthelemy, Jr., At A-Glance:Secondly, New Orleans also received word that the Hometown: New Orleans, LA (Gentilly)federal government will award… Alma Mater:______________________________________________________________ o Brother Martin High School, ‘93 “…a lump sum payment of 1.8 billion dollars to o Morehouse College, ‘98 rebuild and repair public schools damaged by Profession: Small business owner (Home Hurricane Katrina.” Restoration and General Construction)_____________________________________________________________ Factoid: Mr. Barthelemy is the son of Sidney Barthelemy, Sr., former two term Mayor of NewOf course, this is one of the largest federal investments Orleans (‘86-’94)in public schools in American history. Among theschools slated to receive a new facility in which to serve Quotable: “I want my service to Mays Prep to bechildren is Mays Prep. Although details about the punctuated by ensuring that we become a part oftransition into the new facility have not yet been the larger community of high quality schools infinalized, Mays Prep is happy to learn that in the very New Orleans.”near future, we will be in a nice, newly renovatedbuilding.
A Learning Environment Fit For A ScholarMays Prep takes seriously the design of our classroomsAt Mays Prep, we value thequality of our physical space –and that means ensuring thatstudents are welcomed dailyinto environments conducive tolearning and where they areconstantly bombarded withmessages that reinforce whythey attend Mays Prep: TO GETTO COLLEGE!Tenet based classroomdesignEach of our classrooms arecarefully thought out andorganized according to a fewbasic tenets.First, teachers must bedeliberate in terms of how desksare arranged to maximize space._____________________________________ Prep special – and our team is: “The harder you work, the understands that.” “Even more, our “…classrooms must smarter you get.” kids deserve a space that signals tobe neat, orderly, and them that they are special and This belief manifests itself in many deserving.” accompanied by a ways – such as a banner in third grade teacher Ms. Nicole Carryl’s If nothing else, Mays Prep plan to keep them learning community which says, classrooms run well – learning is that way.” “Think you can. Work Hard. Get happening, and our kids are happy_____________________________________ Smart.” to be with us. The organization of our classrooms contributes to that.Secondly, all classrooms must School leader Duke Bradley says, END.message a deeply held belief that “These things are not simplyevery member of the Mays Prep representations of our fanaticismcommunity subscribes to, which with neatness and order, they are anecdotes of what makes MaysKeep Up With Mays Prep Be certain to check out some of the national attention that Mays Prep has received over the past couple of years. Video Audio Michigan Radio, National Public Radio (NPR) WNYC, The Takeaway, American Public Affiliate Radio http://maysprep.org/duke-bradley- “Building School Culture”; Mays Prep featured at on-the-takeaway.php 3:41, http://twocities.michiganradio.org/2010/05/13 Michigan Radio, National Public Radio /building-school-culture-video/News 21 (NPR) Affiliate “Going Charter” http://twocities.michiganradio.org/2010/0 The Charter Explosion 5/18/going-charter/ “Door-to-Door Salesman” http://columbia.news21.com/?p=2270