• YOUNG AUDIENCES CHARTER SCHOOL: Young Audiences Charter School at Kate Middleton will hold a Family Fun Day from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 15, at Mel Ott Park, 2301 Belle Chasse Highway, Gretna. Currently enrolled and prospective students and their families are invited to enjoy performances, food and fun. Plum Street Snoballs will be on hand as well to serve snoballs to all attendees. Family Fun Day is free and open to the public. Young Audiences Charter School at Kate Middleton will begin the 2015-16 school year Aug. 10 and is open to any Jefferson Parish student entering kindergarten through fifth grade. Each following academic year, the school will add one grade to serve students in grades K-8 by fall 2018. For enrollment information, visit www.yacharterschool.org or call (504) 304-6332.
  • GIRL SCOUT SUPPORTERS: Girl Scouts Louisiana East recognized the contributions of school principals and religious leaders during its recent annual meeting. Outstanding Principal Award recipients are Robert Hill, Alice M. Harte Charter School, Algiers; Jamar McKneely, InspireNOLA Charter Schools; and Mary Schmidt, St. Charles Borromeo School, Destrehan. Outstanding Religious Leader Award recipients are the Rev. Thomas McCann III, St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, Destrehan; and the Rev. Wayne Taylor, New Life Community Church, Luling. For information about Girl Scouts, call the council office in New Orleans at (504) 733-8220, or visit www.gsle.org.
  • EINSTEIN CHARTER MIDDLE: More than 80 volunteers from Crossroads Church spent two weeks helping prepare Einstein Charter Middle at Sarah Towles Reed to open Aug. 18 at 5316 Michoud Blvd. They have painted, landscaped and replaced ceiling tiles and carpeting, in a volunteer effort organized through HandsOn New Orleans. “We are so thankful to the amazing group from Crosswords Church who have made our school a beautiful place to learn in,” CEO Shawn Toranto said. “The amount of work, effort and sacrifice that these volunteers have shown is priceless, and we cannot express our gratitude enough. Our middle school has become a wonderful academic environment where our children will feel at home.” As Einstein’s third school in eastern New Orleans, Einstein Charter Middle at Sarah Towles Reed will offer innovative career and technical education programming in addition to traditional college preparatory curriculum. For information, visit www.einsteincharter.org.
  • EASTBANK COLLABORATIVE OF CHARTER SCHOOLS: The 13 public schools that are members of the Eastbank Collaborative of Charter Schools will be resuming classes soon. The remaining back-to-school dates are:
  • Lake Forest Charter School, Aug. 17 for prekindergarten and kindergarten.
  • New Orleans Charter Science and Mathematics High School, Sci High, Aug. 10.
  • Warren Easton Charter High School, Aug. 10.
  • Benjamin Franklin High School, Aug. 11.
  • Kenner Discovery Health Sciences, Aug. 12 for grades one through eight, Aug. 24 for prekindergarten and kindergarten.
  • Lusher Charter School, Aug. 17 for grades one through 12, Aug. 24 for kindergarten.
  • Hynes Charter School, Aug. 13 for grades one through six, Aug. 14 for grades seven and eight, Aug. 20 for prekindergarten and kindergarten.
  • Einstein Charter Schools, Aug. 17 for grades one through six, Aug. 18 for seventh grade; Aug. 19 for eighth grade; Aug. 24 for prekindergarten and kindergarten.
  • International High School of New Orleans, Aug. 17 for ninth grade, Aug. 19 for new students in grades 10 through 12, Aug. 20 for returning students in grades 10 through 12.
  • International School of Louisiana, ISL, Aug. 17 for grades one through eight and Aug. 19 for kindergarten.
  • Morris Jeff Community School, Aug. 17.
  • Audubon Charter School, Aug. 19 for kindergarten through eighth grade, Aug. 24 for PK4 and Aug. 26 for PK3.
  • Robert Russa Moton Elementary is a year-round school.
  • Lake Forest Charter School began Aug. 10 for grades one through eight; Warren Easton Charter High School began Aug. 10 and Benjamin Franklin High School began Aug. 11.
  • ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH: Jonathan Cuccia, a 2015 honors graduate of Chalmette High School, has been awarded $4,000 in recognition of his completion of the Tulane University Emerging Scholars Environmental Health Science Academy. The academy is a competitive program that allows high school juniors and seniors to further their interest in the sciences by participating in hands-on activities and conducting research alongside Tulane University professors. Cuccia will attend Louisiana State University, where he will major in biological engineering. Cuccia, in conjunction with a Tulane professor, published a research study titled “The Relative Potency of Methylated Chrysenes in Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor (AhR) Activation.” The study closely examined “how chemicals that are found in the environment, including burnt toast, meats cooked on the grill, and oil, can activate a receptor on human cells which can possibly cause toxicity and carcinogenicity,” Cuccia said. Cuccia acknowledged that his science teachers at Chalmette High School provided the foundation needed to be successful this summer. One teacher, however, was particularly influential. “Ms. Lindi Senez really pushed us in her class. Now I realize that she did that for our own good. She broadened my scientific horizons,” Cuccia said.