OPSB Issues Statement in Response to NBSF Investigation

June 21, 2019

Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) statement in response to the New Beginnings School Foundation (NBSF) investigation: 

The Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) continues to monitor and oversee activities at John F. Kennedy High School to ensure the New Beginning Schools Foundation (NBSF) staff are meeting the requirements set forth by the state as eligibility is verified and keep students best interests front and center. We recognize this has been a very distressing time for all the students and families involved and one that none should have had to experience. While we are very pleased that students and families know now what final actions are needed to receive their diplomas, we remain deeply dissatisfied with the actions taken by JFK staff that lead to this unacceptable and troubling series of events. 

“I am deeply troubled by the findings which have been shared regarding graduation eligibility at John F Kennedy High School,” said Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr. “The students and families impacted were underserved and misled by those they trusted with their education, and the outcome is both heartbreaking and completely unacceptable. OPSB will hold the New Beginnings Schools Foundation accountable for these egregious acts, and my team will work to ensure students quickly receive the support they need to complete their requirements.”

Working with NBSF and the Louisiana Department of Education, the OPSB has confirmed the following actions have taken place:

  • NBSF has confirmed that students that were deemed eligible for graduation have been receiving their diplomas.
  • NBSF has confirmed the outstanding students’ eligibility status of seniors at John F. Kennedy High School.
  • The school administration has begun to contact the families of those students to inform them of what is needed for each student to receive their diploma and how JFK will provide the necessary supports.
  • Students will begin receiving support through an extended summer school.

OPSB will continue to monitor and inform actions NBSF takes to support these students through the receipt of their diplomas. Additionally, OPSB plans to oversee work done by the new administrative team at JFK in preparation for the 19-20 school year.  At this time, revocation proceedings have not been initiated. OPSB’s investigation remains ongoing. Therefore, no final determination or consequences have been issued yet.

Additionally, OPSB recognizes that more must be done to prevent this situation from occurring in the future. The district has begun efforts to identify ways we can improve our oversight and support of high schools in tracking and monitoring student progress towards graduation.

If you are a concerned parent or guardian with a student at John F. Kennedy High School, please contact Kevin George, the NBSF CEO, at (504) 267-8811 or by email at kevin.george@newbeginningsnola.net with any questions.

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