Letter from FSME Chair Florence André
Greetings Friends of Science & Mathematics Education,
This time of year always serves as a reminder to look back at what was accomplished and to look forward to what is yet to be done and what new goals can be set. Some of us count calories, others count dollars, then others tally their awards. Some of us older folks also count years! The Foundation for Science and Math Education is doing all of the above, and then some.
Sci High was only five points away from being ranked an “A” school according to the most recent state testing results. We are one of the city’s top high schools and the increased numbers in the freshman class attest to Sci High’s continued reputation for instilling confidence and achievement in all students.
Thanks to a stellar and dedicated faculty, students’ accomplishments continue to grow—even beyond math and science. In the past year, achievements range from a student summer service trip to Peru to a visit to the beaches of Normandy by our winning teacher/student National History Day team.
You may have thought I was joking about those calories, but at Sci High we take health seriously. Beginning with a partnership between the school and Dr. Oz’s Healthcorp program, we have expanded our commitment to student wellbeing this past year.
Thanks to our donors and benefactors, the Foundation has been able to provide the school with more than $330,000 in programmatic, after-school, and instructional funding annually. National and local gifts support additional teachers, summer internships, college trips, student social services, and sports and arts enrichment after hours. This kind of national and community support has not changed since the school’s inception 20 years ago.
Which brings me to counting the years. Twenty years ago I was privileged to work with three very energetic and committed university professors who wanted to establish a high school of math and science for any student in Orleans Parish who had an interest, regardless of their grades. They believed that young minds can achieve incredible feats if they are nourished, mentored and inspired.
In 1992, the school was just a vision. By the next year there was a small but dedicated faculty, a group of students who spent half of every day at the school and a temporary building. Several years after moving onto Delgado’s campus and into unused lab space, we were close to realizing our vision for a new school facility. And then Hurricane Katrina changed not only Sci High’s plans and dreams, but set the entire school system on its head.
Always up to a challenge, no matter how daunting, Sci High was the first high school to re-open in New Orleans after Katrina, but this time as a full-day program in the former Allen school building Uptown. Our dream remains to occupy a building with new labs, adequate space and our own gym. We remain undaunted.
I hope you will join us at the end of this school year when we celebrate the fact that Sci High is 20 years old! Those who attended Allen School are also welcome. We will be celebrating the vision of our founders, the commitment of our faculty and the successes of our many young graduates. I look forward to seeing you in school.