History of Community Academies of New Orleans

In 2019, the boards of Choice Foundation and Foundation Prep, Inc. established a partnership that would allow their respective schools to benefit from the organizations’ shared values, similar programming, and strong leadership. The two boards collaborated to form Community Academies of New Orleans, Inc., a new charter management organization led by a founding board comprised of former Choice Foundation and Foundation Prep, Inc. directors, as well as Myrialis King as the Chief Executive Officer.

In May of 2019, the Choice Foundation and Foundation Prep, Inc. boards voted to facilitate the process whereby both charter organizations’ schools will operate under this new entity no later than the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. In May of 2020, CANO was granted authorization from NOLA Public Schools to launch on schedule.

History of Choice Foundation

Choice Foundation was founded in 2004 by businessman Jim Huger to promote school choice issues in Louisiana. It was after Hurricane Katrina that the foundation applied for a Recovery School District charter and received it. Mickey Landry, after serving as Lafayette Academy’s principal, became the Executive Director of Choice Foundation in 2013 and served in that role until his retirement in 2019. Today, Choice Foundation governs Lafayette Academy as well as Esperanza Charter School, both award-winning schools.

Esperanza Charter School is known for high quality, specialized programming offered to students with exceptionalities as well as English Learners. Esperanza was named as one of eight ‘Equity Honorees’ in New Orleans by the Orleans Parish School Board in 2018, has been named a Top Gains School multiple times, was a 2017 Axis Award for Teachers winner, and has been an NSNO Teacher of the Year winner multiple times.

Lafayette Academy has been named a National Title I School of Distinction, a National Blue Ribbon School, a winner of MetLife Foundation’s National Association of Secondary School Principals Breakthrough Schools Project, and has been ranked in the top five schools in Louisiana for academic improvement.

About us photo collage
About us photo collage

History of Foundation Prep, Inc.

Foundation Preparatory Charter School was built and founded by Head of School, Myrialis King. Mrs. King, with the support of Foundation Preparatory’s founding Board, wrote and defended the School’s charter application to both Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) and the Recovery School District (RSD). Foundation Prep’s applications were authorized by both OPSB and the RSD – making Foundation Prep the first school to be authorized by both entities in Louisiana’s history.

Foundation Prep was the first elementary school in New Orleans to start with Restorative Practices, and is currently the only school in the parish that has a comprehensive three-tiered trauma informed, restorative practice program. Foundation Prep’s small class sizes and individualized attention, makes academic and life success available for all students, including those who are English Learners and students with exceptionalities. Foundation Prep scored in the top 10% of city schools in its first year of state testing, and holds an School Performance Score (SPS) at the top 25% of the city’s elementary schools.

In the 2019-2020 school year, Foundation Preparatory will move to its permanent location at the Medard Nelson building, where it will grow its population to include students from Cypress Academy.