Wednesday, April 16, 2014

WWE and Otis visit Langston Hughes Academy

Stephanie McMahon, AJ Lee and Cody Rhodes from WrestleMania visited Langston Hughes Academy first graders to celebrate reading! Otis, from Otis by Loren Long, also came along to share his story. Otis has travelled across the country on the Read Mobile, visiting students to tell them about the importance of reading. Reading is a celebration!

As a farewell gift, each student received a copy of Otis' story to share with their friends and family.

To watch a video of WWE stars reading to Langston Hughes Academy first graders - click here!

To view the photo gallery from the WWE visit - click here!

A big thank you to We Give Books and the Read Mobile and to WrestleMania!

Friday, April 4, 2014

AP Government Students Visit the Capitol

Advance Placement Government classes from Joseph S. Clark Preparatory High School, Sci High, and KIPP Renaissance travelled to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to hear testimony on two education bills (HB 381 and HB 558) which pertain to Common Core Standards and the PARCC assessment.

As individuals directly affected by the decisions made around both of these education bills, we are excited to see our students participating in the democratic process, voicing their concerns to our elected officials. While in Baton Rouge, students met with several representatives, including Representative Wesley Bishop from New Orleans and Senator Karen Carter Peterson from New Orleans.

Students also had the opportunity to sit in committee chambers and watch live testimony from State Superintendent John White. Students toured the Capitol, met with lobbyists of several education interest groups and ate lunch provided by Stand for Children.

This was an incredible opportunity for our students to witness first hand how our government works at a local level, and the power of democracy.

The Louisiana House Education Committee voted down both bills. To read more about it - click here.

Clark Prep's AP Government will also have the opportunity to travel to our Nation's capital later this month. To read more about the trip or make a donation to support our students, please click here.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

An Edible Evening 2014

It was a cloudy, drab afternoon. Rain threatened. The wind tossed damp napkins across the garden. We didn't know if the paint on our signs would dry in time, if the weather would scare our guests away, or where we'd put the Late Wave party.

But what we did know was that we were covered by a crew of talented, gracious, charming, hard-working, and conscientious individuals were dedicated to making this party work. This year's An Edible Evening, was our best one yet! The food was delicious, the music was jammin, and the wine was flowing. Our success is because of all of our staff, volunteers, sponsors and patrons, and most importantly our guests. So THANK YOU!
A special thanks goes to all of the vendors who provided this year's incredible food and drink selections:

Presqu'ile Wine
NOLA Brewing Company
Robert's Fresh Market

Tivoli & Lee

Dicki Brennan's
Bourbon House
Cafe Hope's Green Dot Cafe
French Truck Coffee
GW Fins
Good Eggs
Link Restaurant Group
High Hat
Jamba Juice
La Petite Grocery
Maurepas Foods
Mimi's in the Marigny
NOLA Pie Guy
Palace Cafe
Pizza Delicious
Red Fish Grill
Southern Hospitality Catering
St. James Cheese Co.
Sukho Thai
Swiss Confectionery
Three Muses
Whole Foods
Woody's Fish Tacos
Company Burger
Shortall's BBQ
12 Mile Limit
Dis Taco
Taceaux Loceaux

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

FirstLine Teachers Visit New York!

Group of FirstLine staff who made the trip to NYC!
A group of FirstLine staff took a trip to New York to visit excellent schools. The trip included site visits to Uncommon Leadership Prep, Success Academy, Democracy Prep, and Achievement First. All of these schools are leaders in education. While we are extremely proud that FirstLine has seen eight consecutive years of academic growth, we know there is still a long way to go. To ensure New Orleans becomes the first city in America where every child goes to a good school we must continue to be innovative and look to leaders in education for best practices. Schools across the country are working to provide all students access to high quality public schools which close the achievement gap. As we are not alone in this endeavor, we view school visits as a critical opportunity to learn from others and take away best practices in terms of culture, instruction and professional development.

The trip focused on academic rigor and engagement, student culture, and adult culture. Staff had the opportunity to explore each school and converse with colleagues.

Overall the trip was a positive experience for staff:

"This was such an amazing opportunity to see some really great schools in and around NYC as well as wonderful time connecting with colleagues from various schools in the network. I am so thankful for this trip. It really opened my eyes to what's possible and has caused me to be very reflective in my own practice as well as looking for ways to influence change at my school." - FirstLine Teacher

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

AAOS Built Ashe a New Playground!

Working hard in the rain to build "The Web"
On Tuesday, March 11, over 200 volunteers worked from 8:30am to 2:30pm to build a brand new, safe and accessible playground, for the students of Arthur Ashe Charter School and the surrounding neighborhood.  The volunteers kept up their spirits and delivered a beautiful playground - all the while working through a very rainy day.  The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons made this amazing new playground a reality!

The rain won't keep this rock wall from
being built!
Volunteers started work in a downpour and continued throughout the day.  This amazing new playground will bring joy to the students at Ashe, as well as to all the children in the neighborhood.  In addition to volunteers from AAOS, and FirstLine Schools, many college students, from local and out-of-state universities, also volunteered on the build.

Volunteers that built "The Web" testing it out
The volunteers were thanked throughout the day by Ashe students in a variety of ways.  Students walked around at lunch, handing out thank you letters.  The fifth grade came out and performed a thank you song, as well as sharing why this playground is so important to them.

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

The ribbon-cutting ceremony featured the Ashe band; Dr. Frederick M. Azar, incoming president of AAOS; Brian Egana, Vice-Chair of the FirstLine Schools Board of Directors; Cynthia Hedge Morrell, New Orleans City Councilmember; and Sivi Domango, Co-Director of Arthur Ashe Charter School.

Thank you to all the volunteers for an amazing accessible playground that will serve ALL children.
Ashe Band at the Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Wheatley Update!

John Dibert Community School is getting ready to move into their new home - the former Phillis Wheatley Elementary School campus. The school will open August of 2014.

The new building will feature a gymnasium (with views of downtown New Orleans), a computer lab, cafeteria, and even a reading porch! The new space has plenty of natural light and space for us to grow.

If you are interested in enrolling at John Dibert Community School at Phillis Wheatley, for the 2014-15 school year, please visit We accept the RSD OneApp! Main round applications have closed, but you can still visit a Parent Resource Center to enroll.

School entryway, which will be covered with a mural!
Classroom hallway

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Clark Prep Boy's Basketball wins District Championship!

Clark Prep Boy's Basketball team wins District 10-3A Championship, their first district championship since 1986. The team finished the season 17 and 12 and will be heading to the regional round next week to face-off against the winner of No. 16 Union Parish and No. 17 North Websters.

A big congrats to coach Marcell Fisher and all the guys on the team! We wish you the best of luck in your upcoming games.

To read more about the championship on, please click here.

To help support the Clark Prep basketball team, along with other Clark Prep enrichment programs, come to the 2nd Annual Treme Day 5K Run/Walk and Health & Wellness Fest. All proceeds from race registration will go directly to Clark Prep's Athletic and Enrichment programs. The event is Saturday March 29th at 9AM.