Audubon Charter School

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Audubon Charter School is a public charter school that offers either a Montessori or full-immersion French education to students in grades pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. The school operates two campuses in Uptown New Orleans, a lower school on Broadway Street and upper grades at the vacant McDonogh 7 building on Milan street.

Audubon Charter is governed by French And Montessori Education, Inc. The board chair is the Rev. Cornelius Tilton and vice chair is Carlos Zervigon. The French consul general also has an honorary seat on the board. The board generally meets on the fourth Saturday of the month[1].



Audubon Charter School's 2010 school performance score was 114.1, which garnered it a three-star rating (out of five) from the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (a "B" school under the ratings to be used after 2010) and placed it well within the top 10 highest-performing schools in New Orleans. Of its population of 731 students, 46 percent were receiving free and reduced lunches, and 43 percent were African-American[2].

In September 2011, an analysis by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University found that Audubon was one of 28 charters in the city improving students' reading and math skills at a significantly faster rate than traditional schools.[3]


The Montessori component of the school was first established in 1981 and the French curriculum was added in 1986. The school was closed after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and re-opened in January 2006 with a charter from the Orleans Parish School Board[4].

Audubon Charter School Broadway campus (via Uptown Messenger)

Audubon Charter School campus'

Mcdonogh 7 campus on 111 Milan st. prior to renovations for Audubon Charter

Lower Level Broadway campus | Audubon's Broadway campus is slated for extensive renovations and additions that are intended to give existing students more and better space, without actually expanding the student population[5]. The renovations will require the students to leave the campus for two years starting in January 2012, during which time they will be housed in modular classrooms the Orleans Parish School Board is constructing at the vacant site of the former Jean Gordon School in Gentilly[6]. (The temporary campus was originally slated for a vacant lot on Annunciation Street in the Lower Garden District, but outcry from parents over high levels of lead in the soil[7] prompted state environmental officials to deny Audubon permission to move there[8].) The Broadway campus issues continue despite plans to move into the renovated campus in the summer of 2014. Due to leaning structure and not parallel floors and staircases, the campus move is predicted to be postponed for at least another year. The lower level school has been in modular buildings in Gentilly since January of 2012. [9] The postponing of the Broadway campus move is said to be at the fault of the contractors, a construction company that won the Orleans Parish School Board bid in 2012, F.H. Paschen.[10]

Upper Level Carrollton campus | The Carrollton Extension campus has long been considered a temporary site, and the building has major structural deficiencies. No timeline has been suggested for choosing a permanent site, but Audubon has requested the use of the Allen building on Loyola Avenue when New Orleans Charter Science and Math High moves out (as has Lusher Charter School)[11]. Meanwhile, both the Orleans Parish School Board and state officials were considering allocating money to "stabilize" the Carrollton campus at the time before the move to McDonogh was proposed in the Spring of 2013[12].

Upper Level McDonogh 7 campus | The Carrollton Extension campus for Audubon school fourth through eighth graders prepared to move to a temporary location on Milan street at the vacant McDonogh 7 building. The students were meant to move to the temporary location in the fall semester of 2013, however an outcry from parents about lead in paint and potential air quality dangers held the move until January of 2014. The new location needed lead-paint remediation, portable classrooms and refurbished walkways — all of which was completed in time for the school to move following holiday break. There are still no plans for a permanent location for the upper level portion of the school but since the renovation of the Milan st. campus, "A lot of work has gone into the building,” said Audubon operations manager Alisa Dupre. “It looks 100 percent better than it did.” [13]


Audubon is a selective admission school in its upper grades, requiring students to meet a certain score on an admissions matrix that includes their grades, standardized test scores, parental involvement and attendance.[14] Students in its lower grades are selected by lottery, with preference given to groups of students that are already attending similar Montessori or French classes.

See also


  1. FAME, Inc. meeting schedule
  2. The Tulane University Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives: The 2011 State of Public Education in New Orleans, page 19
  3. "New Orleans charters see reading, math scores rise faster than traditional schools," Sept. 14, 2011
  4. Audubon Charter School: History
  5. "Audubon Charter’s expansion takes shape as temporary Uptown campus is sought," Jan. 19, 2011
  6. "Audubon Charter to build temporary campus at Gentilly site," Aug. 19, 2011
  7. "Audubon Charter site has 'highest lead I’ve ever seen' in city, scientist says, but promises it can be contained," May 26, 2011
  8. "Audubon Charter renovations postponed indefinitely because of lead at temporary campus site," June 15, 2011
  9. The Lens : "Audubon will be stuck in modulars for another year because of contractor’s error," Jan. 27, 2014
  10. The Lens : "Audubon will be stuck in modulars for another year because of contractor’s error," Jan. 27, 2014
  11. "Uptown charter schools plead their buildings’ cases," Jan. 13, 2011
  12. "Audubon, Lusher to get long-sought structural repairs," Aug. 20, 2011
  13. Uptown Messenger: "Audubon Charter prepares for holiday move to new Milan Street campus," Dec. 17, 2013
  14. Audubon Charter School: Admissions
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