GRAMBLING, LA – On Wednesday, October 14th, the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) unanimously approved a four-year renewal of Lincoln Preparatory School’s charter agreement. Lincoln Preparatory School, a Type 2 K-12 charter school, serves families in seven parishes and prepares students for college and post-secondary success.
Robert Wiley, president of the Board of Directors of the Grambling High Foundation, which operates the charter school, said the school has worked diligently to meet standards set by BESE.
“This renewal recognizes the efforts of the late Dr. Birdex Copeland, our previous board chairman, along with our students, faculty, staff, administration, board members, and supporters.” said Wiley.
According to the Louisiana Charter School Performance Compact, charter renewals are based on a school’s academic, organizational, and financial performance. Renewal terms vary in length, with the maximum renewal term based on the school's letter grade and other performance metrics. If a charter school is not performing appropriately, then it risks non-renewal and closure..
Lincoln Prep began operations in 2016 and sought its first renewal at BESE’s October meeting. A charter school seeking renewal for the first time requires a letter grade of “D” or higher. After earning a grade of “F” in its first year of operation, Lincoln Prep improved to letter grades of “C” in 2017-18 and 2018-19. We urgently pivoted and met kids where they were, assessed their needs, and looked to our community to build up our programming to ensure student success. We increased tutoring, inventions, and partnerships with our community.
For example, we partnered with the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts (GRFA) to become a Louisiana A+ Member School. The Lincoln Health Foundation, with the United Way and other community organizations provide weekend meals for Lincoln Prep students. In the secondary school arena, we have on-going partnerships with Grambling State University, Louisiana Tech University, Northwestern State University and Southern University at Shreveport to provide dual enrollment college courses for our students. This year our first Early College Academy students will graduate with an Associate Degree from Southern University at Shreveport. To read more about our partnerships, click here.
With a “C” letter grade, Lincoln Prep not only exceeded the standard for a first renewal, but also has met the standard for second and subsequent renewals. The BESE renewal decision was based on the 2018-19 letter grade, because schools did not get letter grades for 2019-20 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s an exciting day in Grambling!” said Gordan Ford, Executive Director of Lincoln Prep. “We are extremely proud of our school community and their accomplishments. A few years ago, we faced the possibility of losing our school, which has been the only K-12 public school in Grambling for more than 100 years. This renewal and our plans to build a state-of-the-out new school campus, Lincoln Prep continues its educational journey started in 1901 in Grambling and will propel our students and the next generation into a successful future.”
Also approved at the BESE meetings this week, was a request to move the school to a new location. Lincoln Prep is in the process of moving to a temporary campus at the corner of U.S. Highway 80 and R.W.E. Jones Drive in Grambling. According to Executive Director Ford, “We will operate for the next two years at our temporary location while we construct our new school campus. The new campus is projected to be ready by August 2022.” Lincoln Prep was required to move the school off the campus of Grambling State University by the latest court order in the long-standing federal school desegregation lawsuit. The court order contemplates releasing the school from the lawsuit in October of 2021.
For more information regarding Lincoln Preparatory School’s charter renewal, you may email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the school office at 318-274-6153.
About Lincoln Preparatory School: Lincoln Prep is a Type II charter school located in Grambling, Louisiana. Our school is a college preparatory school, and we work hard to prepare our students for post-secondary success. Our student body consists of students from seven parishes across north Louisiana (Bienville, Claiborne, Jackson, Lincoln, Ouachita, Webster, and Union). Our student body consists of students from seven parishes across north Louisiana (Bienville, Claiborne, Jackson, Lincoln, Ouachita, Webster, and Union). This year we are focusing on connecting those students to our thriving community of Lincoln Parish and to tremendous opportunities that exist in the wonderful state of Louisiana. Our state has so much to offer in the area of higher education, art, industry, business, and commerce. In order to highlight opportunities, Lincoln Preparatory School has developed positive partnerships with multiple organizations to better meet the needs of their students, teachers, and overall school community. Learn more here.