ReNEW Schools

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Our History

Our History 

ReNEW Schools is reinventing education in urban New Orleans. We are actively changing the status quo with innovative ways to prepare our students for college and beyond. We are transforming the city’s lowest performing schools into rigorous, college-preparatory institutions. ReNEW Schools employs a whole-school turnaround model. Our academic philosophy is founded on one core belief: all children can learn. This belief underlies every aspect of ReNEW Schools. By implementing a strong culture that is anchored on high expectations for academics and behavior, ReNEW Schools creates an environment that motivates and compels all children to achieve. Since 2010, ReNEW Schools is proud to operate six distinct schools in New Orleans:

  • ReNEW Cultural Arts Academy is working with the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities of which Michelle Obama is Honorary Chairperson, on Turnaround Arts, a program that accelerates positive change for students through robust arts education resources, including arts integration.
  • ReNEW SciTech Academy focuses on bringing science and technology into the classroom and promotes access to top-notch STEM programs, including new proposals for both blended-learning classrooms, and hands-on STEM Labs.
  • ReNEW Dolores T. Aaron Elementary, formerly Reed Elementary, saw a 32% growth in its performance score under ReNEW management. Our state-of-the-art facility opened to students in April 2013 and continues to be home to a strong community of families in New Orleans East.
  • ReNEW Schaumburg Elementary opened to students in July 2013. The PK-8 school is housed in New Orleans East and offers an advanced STEM lab, positive academics and an emphasis on reading and writing through world-class libraries. 
  • ReNEW McDonogh City Park Academy is an arts-integrated PK-8th grade campus in the heart of MidCity where partnerships with the George Rodrigue Foundation and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities empower students to explore learning through hands-on, interactive arts.
  • ReNEW Accelerated High School serves high school students between the ages of 16 and 21 by accelerating their graduation and helping them become ready to begin programs at post-secondary institutions nationwide.

As part of our commitment to the belief that all children can learn, ReNEW has developed programs tailored to individual student success:

  • ReNEW Early Childhood Centers are designed to start students on their academic journey as early as six weeks old. The ECCs provide a comprehensive learning program to children before pre-kindergarten in safe and collaborative environments created for maximum academic impact.
  • ReNEW Therapeutic Program serves students with behavioral and academic needs in a specialized atmosphere that encourages individual growth. Students participate in one-on-one interaction with educational professionals, therapists and development experts, working to achieve ambitious goals.

ReNEW’s focus on transforming under-performing schools throughout the community is evident on all levels of the organization. Our Board of Directors, comprised of local leaders and active community members, shows their leadership and passion for our students by bringing their unwavering support of our mission across the city. Our continued growth, on track to meet our goal of serving 10% (4200 students) of the city’s youth, proves our commitment to engaging families and students in preparing our scholars for college.

Since our inception in 2010, we have seen the number of scholars on-track to college more than double, going from 20% pre-ReNEW to 51% with ReNEW. Among our innovations, we provide our scholars with a longer school day and use a year-round academic calendar. Monthly, our teachers come together to intensively reflect on benchmark data to identify root causes of misunderstandings, and collaborate to strategize the most effective way to reteach objectives. Our blended learning and technology initiatives allow for students to use wireless-enabled computers at home to accelerate and enhance their learning, while instilling responsibility and accountability.

As we continue to grow, ReNEW Schools empowers its teachers and students to innovate and imagine; the future of our scholars is the future of our community. Today’s innovation will lead to future growth.

What is Turnaround?

ReNEW Schools is one of the few charter management organizations in New Orleans that truly affects every one of its PK-12 students from the first day of operation. ReNEW identifies the lowest performing public schools in New Orleans and through a vetting process with community members, staff, students, families, and the local and state School Boards, ReNEW assumes control of the existing school. This new control allows our organization and leadership the autonomy to make necessary staffing, culture, academic, and operational changes for the benefit our students' greater academic achievement. 

The Turnaround Model is both highly challenging and rewarding: by assuming control of all grades at one time, we are changing the culture, perspectives, and trajectory of years-- and in some cases, decades-- toward student and community success.