Voices of Educators

Abramson Sci Dean of Students Cornelius Dukes (right) has mentored senior Walter Bell (left) since the fifth grade. Now Bell is headed to the University of Southern Mississippi.
Collegiate Academies

Schools in New Orleans are looking for alternatives to suspension. At some schools, that alternative is called restorative practices — students and teachers sit down together, talk it out, and come up with a plan to prevent future conflicts. Cornelius Dukes runs restorative practices at Abramson Sci Academy.

Carver senior and drum major Mytrell Allen leads the band during Muses.
Natalie Yahr

High school marching bands spend months preparing to entertain Carnival revelers along parade routes and compete for prime spots near the front of the parade. One school with a rich marching tradition is George Washington Carver High School in the Ninth Ward. But the school was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina, and it took several years for Carver to restart a marching band. 

Mallory Falk / WWNO

Throughout the county, many schools have scaled back physical education classes and cut down on recess time. But kids need a chance to release their energy and express themselves through movement. That's what Chanice Holmes believes. She's a dance instructor at ARISE Academy and teaches elementary school students to communicate and channel stress through dance.

Chanice Holmes was placed at ARISE Academy tbrough Up2Us Sports, a national sports-based youth development program, and the local nonprofit Dancing Grounds.

Mallory Falk / WWNO

Eric Parrie teaches history at G.W. Carver Collegiate Academy. Recently, he gave his students a broad writing assignment: tell the story of a meaningful moment and just tell it as powerfully and beautifully and in as detailed a way as you can.

Those stories are published in a new book called History Between These Folds. Parrie partnered with the non-profit Big Class and the writer Kiese Laymon to launch a personal history project, collecting stories from about 80 juniors at Carver.

Mallory Falk / WWNO

This school year there's been a lot of talk about how to fund special education, as the Recovery School District and Orleans Parish School Board move toward a unified funding formula. But what actually happens inside a special education classroom?