Re: “Guide to Schools.” January 2009 issue.
As Headmistress of Louise S. McGehee School, I would like to clarify our statistics in your January 2009 Guide to Schools. Recently we were asked to provide such numbers to New Orleans Magazine as part of a guide to schools. Raw statistics of this nature do an injustice to a school such as ours where a highly personalized and individualized classroom experience is one of our most treasured attributes.
Additionally, they do even more harm when they are inconsistently portrayed or inaccurately collected.
The first discrepancy is the chart separating secondary schools from elementary schools. We followed those guidelines very carefully, counting enrollment strictly by the instructions provided. However, as anyone can see, many of the schools simply gave their total enrollment PK-12 in both categories, making McGehee appear to be a much smaller school than we are.
On the other hand, in the section under Class Size, we were instructed to provide the average total enrollment by grade. While we average about 32 students per grade, we have always gone to great efforts to consistently maintain our small student to teacher ratio. For example, our current Kindergarten has 54 students in three different classrooms with two classroom teachers in each section. These numbers do not reflect the nine enrichment teachers who also work with our girls every day. The student to teacher ratio in this particular class is 9:1. Our current Pre-K has 39 girls with five classroom teachers (plus enrichment teachers) and that student to teacher ratio is less than 8:1.
I would ask you to not only reflect my comments in an upcoming issue of New Orleans Magazine and on your Web site but to also consider restructuring next year’s annual guide to provide your readers a more accurate picture.
Thank you for attention to this matter.
Eileen F. Powers
Louise S. McGehee School
Reply: We regret the mistakes and will take your suggestions into consideration. We have great respect for Louise S. McGehee School.
To correct information from January’s issue, please note that Benjamin Banneker Elementary, George Washington Carver Elementary, Mary D. Coghill Elementary, Joseph Craig Elementary, John Dibert Elementary, Frances Gregory Elementary, Paul Habans Elementary, Edgar P. Harney Elementary, James Weldon Johnson Elementary, Laurel Elementary and Sarah T. Reed Elementary and High Schools and the Wicker Literacy Academy are not charter schools, but RSD traditional public schools. Further, St. Scholastica Academy is a secondary school and the address of the New Orleans Science & Math Academy is 3625 Loyola Ave.