The holidays are officially over, and Mardi Gras approaches. No matter the time of year—fun never stops in New Orleans. While many adults are planning their Fat Tuesday costumes and enjoying football playoffs, plenty of young parents are consumed with making plans that affect their little ones’ futures.
Finding the right area school for your young one can present a challenge, as there’s an abundance of quality schools with a number of different approaches to education to consider. It’s never too early to be exploring your options, from private schools founded on the guiding principles of a certain faith to public charter schools that highlight an arts or STEM curriculum—you’ll find there are just about as many approaches to education as there are area schools. Midway through the school year is a great time to be asking questions and researching what’s available for your family, and winter open houses are now underway.
Early Education / Primary Schools
Ecole Bilingue de la Nouvelle-Orléans is the only private French school in New Orleans that is accredited by the French Ministry of Education and State of Louisiana. Founded in 1998, the mission of the school is to develop globally literate students by combining the best of French and American academics.
Ecole Bilingue follows the curriculum of the French Education Nationale, considered to be one of the most rigorous educational systems in the world. Ecole Bilingue also offers rich English language arts and American mathematics and social studies programs designed to balance out and complement the strength of the French curriculum. Additionally, the school introduces Spanish as a third language in middle school. The campus has three buildings in Uptown New Orleans on General Pershing Street and will open an arts and athletics center on Magazine Street in 2019.
Classes are offered for preschool (18 months) through 8th grade. The student-to-teacher ratio is 8 to 1, allowing each student an opportunity to have personalized attention for a better, differentiated education. For more information on the school, visit EBNola.net. To schedule a tour, call 504-896-4500.
Trinity is a co-educational, Prekindergarten through Eighth Grade school. Their campus is located in the Garden District and offers a pleasant and stimulating learning environment for students and faculty. Trinity continues in the tradition of its predecessor school, Miss Edith Aiken’s Little School, and in that of Trinity Episcopal Church.
Trinity nurtures a child’s mind, body, and spirit through a fun and challenging program that offers the best in the academic disciplines, uses best practices, and is taught by a skillful, experienced, and loving faculty and staff. The School’s mission is to build confident, resilient upstanders on a foundation of academic excellence, moral responsibility, and faith, who are prepared to make a positive difference in the world. Characteristics of Trinity graduates include being an empathetic upstander, a reflective person, an ardent questioner, a fluent communicator, and a collaborative learner.
For more information or to schedule an individual tour, please visit TrinityNola.org or call the Admission Office at 504-525-8661. Open House for Grades Prekindergarten–Eight will take place at 9 a.m. on Friday, January 11.
The mission of the Stuart Hall School for Boys is to live the words of Catholic educator, Janet Erskine Stuart, RSJC: “Education is formation, not just information.” Faculty and staff are dedicated to working with parents to help each child build a foundation for a life centered on a love for learning, a desire to help others, and a commitment to Gospel values.
Now in its 35th year, Stuart Hall School is the only school in the greater New Orleans area to offer a Catholic, independent, all-boy education in a traditional, elementary school configuration (PK3-7th). Faith, honor, leadership, and scholarship are the foundations upon which Stuart Hall builds future community leaders who have an unselfish commitment to the service of others. It truly is a school “Where Good Boys Become Great Men.”
Tours are available by appointment throughout the year. For more information on Stuart Hall School for Boys, please call 504-861-5384 or visit StuartHall.org.
Known as the “Jewel of Freret,” Samuel J. Green Charter School opened in 2005 as part of FirstLine Schools. Serving grades Pre-K – 8th, Green is working to provide more seats for children from all New Orleans backgrounds to learn together. The mission of Samuel J. Green Charter School is to prepare 100% of students for college, careers, and a successful life. With a rigorous and creative curriculum, Green focuses on providing a strategic use of blended and personalized learning. This dedication to the individual needs of each student is why Green was recently recognized by the state as a top performer both in the city and statewide with an “A” rating for student growth. In addition to the academic curriculum, students at Green benefit from hands-on learning experiences daily through FirstLine’s nationally renowned gardening and culinary program, Edible Schoolyard New Orleans.
The school will host an Open House on January 24th, 5:30 – 7 p.m. School tours will be held on January 15th and February 5th at 9 a.m. For more information, visit FirstLineSchools.org/Samuel-J-Green-Charter-School, call 504-304-3532 or email email@example.com.
St. Andrew’s Episcopal School is the oldest Episcopal school in New Orleans with 61 years of experience in educating the mind, body, and spirit of young children.
St. Andrew’s enrolls boys and girls 18 months through Grade 8, offering ten+ years of nurturing yet challenging education that focuses on the Decade of Childhood.
St. Andrew’s utilizes small classes to promote a challenging learning environment where students interact with teachers and grow spiritually, socially, and intellectually. A strong academic program, enhanced by state-of-the-art technology, includes Spanish, music, chapel, fine arts, athletics, and library skills. Student publications, dramatics, interscholastic sports, and community service round out St. Andrew’s program.
See their students and teachers in action by scheduling a personal tour. Applications are currently being accepted for the 2019-20 school year. For more information, please visit the school’s website at saesnola.org/admissions.
Established in 1978 and celebrating over forty years of serving area children, University Montessori School is a not-for-profit, pre-primary school dedicated to the Montessori philosophy and method of education. University Montessori School has two complete and individual classrooms: a twenty-month to three-year-old class and a combination 3- to 6-year-old preschool, transitional, and kindergarten class.
University Montessori School devotes itself to the total child—his or her emotional, social, intellectual, and physical well-being. A child-centered classroom is the basis of the Montessori approach. In each prepared environment, the child has the opportunity to progress at his or her own rate and reach the potential that each child carries within.
By combining age groups in the preschool, transitional, and kindergarten class, the children develop a sense of community. The younger children teach the older children patience and empathy and give them a feeling of competency, while the older children practice leadership, providing younger children with assistance with work and classroom adjustment.
Continuous Education / K-12
Founded in 1867, the Academy of the Sacred Heart is a Catholic, independent, college prep school for girls, ages 1 through Grade 12.
As part of a network of 150+ Sacred Heart schools, its global exchange program allows students to visit other sister schools in the U. S. and abroad. With global exchange opportunities, thought leadership, service learning activities, a tech-forward campus, design thinking and more, Sacred Heart girls are truly inspired to go out and make change in the world.
The school’s last Admission Tuesday Tours for Ages 1 – Grade 4 is January 8 from 8:30 – 10 a.m. Academy of the Sacred Heart cordially invites students to come “Spend A Day at ASH” and invites parents to take a personal Tour. Call 504-269-1213 or visit AshRosary.org/openhouse for more information.
Ursuline Academy, founded in 1727, enjoys the distinction of being both the oldest school for girls and the oldest Catholic school in the United States. Ursuline Academy provides a broad, challenging, and contemporary curriculum in a nurturing environment from early childhood (Toddler 2) through a college preparatory secondary program (12th grade). The Academy’s strong musical, visual, and performing arts are matched by the excellence of STEM. Ursuline is the first all-girls school in Louisiana to implement a full K-12 engineering and computer science pathway program known as Project Lead The Way. Ursuline fosters spiritual formation, academic excellence, and a life-long commitment to Serviam: I will serve.
Elementary School Tours (Toddler-2 through seventh grade) will take place on January 16 and 30 at 8:30 a.m. Please register online at UANola.org. For more information, please contact the Office of Admissions at 504-866-5292 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a strong education combined with the unique qualities of an outdoor country environment, consider Arden Cahill Academy for students six weeks through 12th grade. Nestled on 12 acres, the campus provides state-of-the-art classroom learning facilities in addition to an equestrian arena, stables, and petting farm that provide unique learning experiences outside of the traditional classroom. After 50 years, Cahill is proudly expanding into high school with the addition of a freshman class this year and subsequent grades each following year.
The school focuses on cultural enrichment as one part of its education and tradition of academic excellence. Their STEM Lab, 300-seat theater, art studios, music rooms and foreign language programs ensure students’ abilities to excel in the arts, while a sports field, competition pool, gymnasium, and extra-curricular athletics allow students to excel in physical competition as well. Before- and after-school care are available. A specialized Infant Center accepts children starting at six weeks. The academy hosts Camp Corral, a 10-week summer camp.
For information, visit ArdenCahillAcademy.com or call 504-392-0902 to schedule a spend-a-day. Winter Open House is January 17 at 9 a.m. (elementary) and 1 p.m. (high school).
Lusher Charter School, a National Blue Ribbon School in partnership with Tulane University, offers a rigorous, interdisciplinary, college-focused curriculum. Lusher students engage in a comprehensive program, enhancing critical, analytical, and creative thinking. Serving 1,800 students in its K-12 program, Lusher maintains two Uptown campuses, the Lower School on Willow Street, and the Middle and High schools on Freret Street.
Arts integration starts in the Lower School; many Lusher students continue artistic pursuits in high school Certificate of Artistry programs. Students may choose an area of concentration in Humanities/Communications or Math/Science/Engineering. Beginning with introductory Engineering classes in Lower School, STEM options expand to include Aerospace Engineering, Biomedical Science and AP courses in all sciences. A Learning Resource Center and state-of-the-art science laboratories support academic excellence. Qualifying juniors and seniors earn college credit at Tulane.
Lusher’s numerous extracurricular offerings include 27 sports teams that operate with the support of Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who provided funding for Lusher’s Brees Family Field.
Call 504-862-5110 (Willow) or 504-304-3961 (Freret) to find out more about Lusher’s outstanding program.
Colleges & Universities
The University of Holy Cross encourages students to do good and to do well. A fully accredited Catholic university in New Orleans, the University of Holy Cross (formerly Our Lady of Holy Cross College) offers more than 65 majors and programs to more than 1,300 students. With 154 faculty members and a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, students enjoy a personalized academic experience on an active campus where they are encouraged to explore spiritual values and pursue service opportunities.
Some of the university’s most distinctive programs are in Business, Education, Healthcare, Counseling, and Nursing. The university was founded in 1916 as a mission of the Marianites of Holy Cross, whose distinguished history of educating minds and hearts dates to 1848. Located on the West Bank, minutes from downtown New Orleans, UHC offers an affordable, liberal arts education within a small, private university setting.
For more information, visit uhcno.edu.
Since 1869, Dillard University has been committed to providing students with a quality, four-year, liberal arts education. Dillard is a fully accredited, private, historically Black university. The product of two other HBCUs, Dillard premiered as its own separate entity in 1935 and has been serving the New Orleans community ever since.
In 2019, Dillard University will celebrate its 150th anniversary. Over that time, Dillard became the first accredited nursing program in all of Louisiana. In 2017, Dillard ranked eleventh among all HBCUs in U.S. News and World Report’s Best College Rankings. The University is known for its robust programs in film, nursing, pre-law, and physics, and in 2017, Dillard ranked second in the nation for number of graduating Black physics undergrads. Dillard is home to the Ray Charles Program in African American Material Culture, the first program of its kind at any HBCU or any other American university.
Dillard University has positioned itself for success throughout the 21st century and will continue to educate the bright, young leaders of tomorrow. For more information, including student life and athletics opportunities, visit Dillard.edu.
Schools for Those with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
St. Michael School is a Catholic school that educates over 200 students each year age six through adulthood with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Established in 1965 by the Archdiocese of New Orleans and Sr. Lillian McCormack of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, the school has served over 6,000 students in more than 50 years as a prized New Orleans institution.
Individualized instruction develops the whole child—academically, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Curriculum includes reading, religion, language arts, math, science, social studies, technology, creative arts, culinary science, independent living, community integration, industrial arts, music, and job training. Extracurricular activities include speech therapy, music therapy, adaptive physical education, club participation, student council, sports, cheerleading, and various inclusive activities with respective peer groups.
In 2017, a new transition program was added for recent high school graduates. Exploration Academy focuses on job readiness through self-determination, independent life skills, and community work experiences.
St. Michael is accredited by LDOE, AdvancEd, and recognized as a NASET School of Excellence. Open House takes place Thursday, February 7, 2019 from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Sign up for a tour at stmichaelspecialschool.com/admissions or call 504-524-7285.
Educational Programs and Resources
The New Orleans Opera Association (NOOA) serves diverse audiences throughout the region and provides educational programs that include live performances for schools and educational centers, innovative courses in musicology, world opera, hip-hopera and more, free tickets to students for dress rehearsals of opera productions, summer camp sessions, roundtable discussions with the performers, Nuts & Bolts pre-performance lectures, an annual vocal competition for high school students, and an interactive Opera Nouvelle series.
NOOA was founded in 1943, and its mission is “to enrich the lives of all people by producing opera of the highest artistic quality and providing education opportunities through traditional and innovative approaches.” NOOA’s school-based programs are continually expanding to include new initiatives, engaging students at a more academic level with opera and making it more relatable to their lives.
For more information or to find out how you can support these wonderful programs, contact 504-529-3000 or go to NewOrleansOpera.org.