Frequently Asked Questions about
Lincoln Preparatory School
We understand that there are many questions being asked about the charter school. Please understand that our school was in jeopardy of closing because of both funding and desegregation issues that we had to deal with.
For starters, GSU had never fully complied with court desegregation orders from 1984, so the Department of Justice revived the 1966 desegregation case. In its 2011 court filing, GSU asserted that our school was, "a lasting vestige of
the de jure segregation declared to be illegal by Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954)." As a result, the court was considering a request to close the school. Once we were able to get the charter approved, they agreed to work with us on a new desegregation order.
2. When does school start?
Lincoln Preparatory School
3. Will the new school have the same school schedule as Lincoln Parish or GSU?
August 12, 2016
4. Can uniforms be purchased locally? What are the uniforms?
Lincoln Prep will follow the same schedule as the LPSB except for spring break. LPS spring break will be the same as GSU’s . . . Monday, April 10 – Monday, April 17, 2017.
Update: Calendar was also changed to move 2 days from December to May. So the last day of school is now Friday, May 26th (half day).
5. Is there a school supply list?
Uniform shirts are forest green, black, white or gray and have the school logo embroidered on them. They are available at the school. You may also purchase shirts and have the logo embroidered at local shops in Ruston and Grambling. Standard khaki uniform pants can be purchased from many retail outlets.
Outerwear is in the works and will be available soon.
6. What are the school colors and mascot?
It is available on the website or at the school.
7. Will there be tuition? If not, where will funding for the school come from?
Colors are Forest Green, Black and White. We are the Panthers.
8. Will all students that applied be accepted in the school? If not, what is the acceptance process?
There will be no tuition. School will be funded by state and federal education funds in accordance with Louisiana Charter School Laws.
9. Should I enroll my child at another school just in case the new school does not open?
LPS will be unable to enroll all students that have applied. DOJ has proposed using the size of the combined GSU Lab Schools (349) as the baseline for the charter school instead of 480 as approved in our charter application. We have asked multiple times, but they are not inclined to consider a larger number. Increasing the size of the school beyond 349 will be based on meeting desegregation goals. Per state law, since we have more applications than seats, we will be required to hold a lottery to fill seats in the school. All students that attended the Grambling Lab Schools and their siblings will be exempt from the lottery. Additionally, the draft consent order will exempt all white students and their siblings from the lottery. All students not selected in the lottery process will be placed on a waiting list in the order that they applied.
Update: U. S. District Court in Monroe approved a baseline size of 370 instead of 349.
10. Will parents outside of Lincoln Parish have to provide transportation?
We fully expect the school to open on time. But students that applied after May 5th that do not meet one of the lottery exemptions categories may not have the opportunity to enroll this year.
11. What sports will be offered at the new school?
Louisiana Charter school law requires the school to transport all children residing in Lincoln Parish. Students living outside of Lincoln Parish may be required to pay a transportation fee for bus transportation. If so, there may be opportunities for transportation scholarships. Transportation fee schedule, if necessary, will likely be similar to previous Lab School tuition fee schedule.
12. Where will football and basketball games be played?
At the high school level, Lincoln Prep have been approved by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association and will compete in in Football, Basketball (Boys and Girls), Baseball, Softball, Track (Boys and Girls). Sports for K-8 grades are still being considered.
13. Has the new football scheduled been released?
Home athletic contests will continue to be played in GSU facilities.
14. Will the new school have an independent website?
Yes. It is nearly identical to last years’ GHS schedule as the contracts were for 2 years and Lincoln Prep was required by LHSAA to honor those contracts as a condition of admission into the Association.
15. How will communication with the parents on updates, admissions, etc. be handled?
The school has a website.
16. Is the school considering to go year-round?
LPS will communicate with parents via email, text message and telephone as appropriate. Enrollment information will be communicated to the email addresses on the student enrollment forms.
It has been discussed, but is not currently being instituted.17. What is the process of filing a complaint with a teacher?
18. Why is the desegregation case from 1984 still affecting the school in 2016?
Any complaints about faculty, staff or any other matter regarding the school should be brought to the attention of school administration.
19. What are the requirements of the DOJ?
The lawsuit was originally filed in 1966 against the Lincoln Parish School Board. Grambling Lab Schools and A. E. Phillips were added to the lawsuit in 1980. In 1984, GSU, La Tech and LPSB entered into aconsent order to desegregate all of the public schools in Lincoln Parish. Several parts of that consent order have never been complied with, so the court has ordered “To the extent that they [GHF, GSU, and ULS] move for authorization to transfer control and governance of the Laboratory Schools to the Grambling High Foundation (“GHF”), the motion is also GRANTED, but only if GHF accepts the transfer subject to GSU’s desegregation obligations and under the other conditions detailed in the Court’s Ruling.”
20. Why the delay in notification on the opening of the new school?
The final conditions are still being negotiated with DOJ. Settlement documents are confidential until approved by the court. The final conditions will be made public.
21. Does the school have an outside council? Has an attorney been retained? If so, who is the legal counsel representing the school in the DOJ case?
The delays have all been due to the extended negotiations with DOJ.
22. What is the relationship between the charter school and TMCF, Responsive Ed.?
The Grambling High Foundation is represented by Tyler G. Storms of Ruston.
There are no current formal relationships with either.
24. Who makes the hiring decisions?
There is now only one K-12 school. Gordan Ford is the Executive Director of Lincoln Preparatory School. As the initial Executive Director, he was named in the charter application and approved by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE). As Executive Director, he has the authority of superintendent and principal. There are 2 Assistant Directors that are responsible for supervision of the school’s academic programs: Phaedra Burks, K-5 and Melanie Colvin 6-12.
25. Have all of the open teacher and administration positions been filled?
The Board of Directors chooses the Executive Director. The Executive Director is the hiring authority for all other faculty and staff members.
26. What are the responsibilities of the Foundation Board?
27. How long are the Foundation Board positions and how were they chosen?
The Grambling High Foundation is the operator of the school the GHF Board of Directors serves as the school board for Lincoln Prep and is responsible for oversight of the school.
28. Why were the past principals dismissed? Was it due to job performance?
Once appointed, Foundation Board Members serve indefinite terms. Vacancies on the Board are filled by majority vote of the remaining Board Members.
29. What will happen to the GHS memorabilia at the school? Will it be destroyed?
All faculty and staff members (except Dr. Pamela Payne and classified staff members) were dismissed by GSU when the Lab Schools closed. Dr. Payne was a tenured Associate Professor in the Curriculum and Instruction Department at GSU and returned to that position. In the course of negotiations with DOJ they made it clear that they felt that the Lab School principals should not be a part of the new charter school, in part, due to GSU not complying with the 1984 desegregation order. The draft consent order does not allow and GSU professor to work in the charter school.
The draft consent order sates, “The Grambling Foundation will memorialize the former Grambling Lab Schools’ history—including the cultural significance, academic accomplishments, and athletic achievements of their students and alumni—at Lincoln Preparatory Schools’ facilities as appropriate and in a manner consistent with the goals of this Consent Order.”30. For Alumni Association members, what will the recurring dues go to now that GHS is closed.
Basic alumni dues are $25 per year. All recurring dues paid above that level were used to support school operations in areas not covered by state funding. No Grambling High Alumni Association funds have been used to support Lincoln Preparatory School.
32. Is there a plan for a new school in the future? If so, what school year is that expected?
There are many improvements planned for the schools. Some have already begun. The full list is included in the draft consent order.
33. Are there any new positions that have been hired that can be announced?
The goal is to have a new school within the next 2 years. It will depend on funding availability.
34. Why such a drastic change?
Stand by for a full list of faculty and staff.
The DOJ desegregation expert witness testified that unless our name reflected a clear break from the old school, we were unlikely to ever attract non-black students. Unless the change could be "reasonably calculated" to result in desegregation, we could not be approved to open the school.
35. Why isn't "charter" in the name?
There are many types of charter schools, some good and some bad. What our experts told us was that they avoid using charter in the names of their schools because when one charter school does something wrong, other schools become guilty by association.
If there are other questions please email them to us or post them to Facebook. We will do our best to answer all of them.