The Will and The Way

I always get encouragement to do my best every day.

Lake Forest Elementary Charter School

When floodwaters from Hurricane Katrina devastated large portions of New Orleans East, the Lake Forest Elementary Charter School was one of the few buildings in the area that survived relatively unscathed. In 2006, it became the first school to reopen east of the Industrial Canal and was a ray of light and hope amid a city whose educational system was cast in uncertainty. 

The school, which received charter approval in January 2006, immediately became a beacon for families and children in the area. Like most charter schools with selective admission policies, the school was able to pick from the brightest applicants, making for one of the most successful and highest-achieving elementary schools in the city. As far as infrastructure was concerned, there was still much work to be done. In early 2014, city officials broke ground on a new building for the school at 11110 Lake Forest Boulevard, a project costing roughly $34 million drawn from $1.8 billion in federal funding dedicated to post-Katrina recovery efforts. In January 2016 the school moved into its new—and current—home, a gated 125,000 -square-foot facility on a tree-lined stretch of Lake Forest Boulevard.

The school had initially been planned for a different site. Community members advocated for the school to return to the community after which it was named. The school’s rigorous accelerated learning program is now matched by a facility that boasts state-of-the-art equipment including computer labs, a mobile library, and physical fitness areas. The school’s Eagle Café now provides a place where the school can fully embrace a healthy food initiative, working closely with the school’s food provider, Fresh Food Factor, to develop healthy and balanced meal plans for the students.

The before and after school program, Eagle Care, includes supervised instruction with academic enrichment activities that range from arts and crafts, sports, ballroom dancing, and homework assistance, among others. The majority of the school’s students are African American, and the school is continuously ranked as one of the city’s top elementary schools, evidenced by high-ranking LEAP scores each year. The school continues to push for strong academic performance supplemented by visual and creative arts and rounded out by extracurricular activities which help to create a well-rounded educational approach.