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Collegiate Academies Awarded $1.3M Grant to Increase Supports for Students with Disabilities
Collegiate Academies is Louisiana’s Sole Recipient Among 10 Charter Management Organizations in the US to Receive Funding

NEW ORLEANS, LA – Collegiate Academies announced today that it received a $1.3 Million, three-year grant to increase supports for students with disabilities in two of its New Orleans high schools, Livingston Collegiate Academy in New Orleans East and Rosenwald Collegiate Academy on the Westbank. Collegiate, Louisiana’s sole recipient of such a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, plans to utilize the funds to implement best practices to improve outcomes for students with disabilities.

“Our consistent pursuit of student growth sets our schools apart,” said Benjamin Marcovitz, CEO of Collegiate Academies. “We are grateful to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for supporting our program development and helping us aim even higher for our students. This work is personal: as a parent of a child with a disability, I know it is critical to respond to the specific needs of families and students. Our team is relentless in pursuing and sharing the knowledge required to create high-quality programs to meet diverse needs.”

Collegiate will utilize the funds to pilot new staffing structures and refine curricula and instructional tools for teachers. It aims to replicate the enhanced student experience across all five high school campuses it operates in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, as well as develop a professional learning community to share best practices locally and with other grantees nationwide.

“These grant funds are vital to schools to provide one-on-one support to meet student needs and increase resources for our teachers to build their expertise for our families,” said Evan Stoudt, Principal, Livingston Collegiate Academy. “Our school community includes nearly 20% of students with disabilities and we are passionate about growing into a school of excellence in meeting their unique needs.”

As part of the grant. Collegiate will work among a cohort of national charter management organizations with a shared North Star.

“I am excited to engage with other schools around the country and learn new, proven strategies in serving students with disabilities,” said Benjamin Davis, Principal of Rosenwald Collegiate Academy. “Over the next two years, we are scaling to serve 9th through 12th grades and as we grow, we are thankful to the foundation for providing resources to create a comprehensive menu of diverse services to support students.”

Grantees of the Pilot Community Initiative – a cohort of 10 charter management organizations – will identify opportunities to implement practices that will improve leading indicators for math, ELA, transitions to post-secondary opportunities, and/or factors of student engagement, including attendance and discipline for their students with disabilities who are Black, Latinx, and/or low-income. Collegiate will be able to leverage lessons learned and deep dive into how others implemented innovative practices that increased outcomes for students with disabilities.

More about the grant:

Ninety-one percent of students in this community of 10 CMOs are Black or Latinx, and 83% live in low-income households and among them, the investment will focus on students with disabilities. Grants are for three years, from 2019 to 2022. Grantees will engage in a planning period and implementation of their plan over the span of two years. The Pilot Community will work together on a common aim and each CMO will identify their contextualized goal and implement an action plan.