GNOCCS children in classroom

About Greater New Orleans Collaborative of Charter Schools

In 2005, following Hurricane Katrina and the failure of the New Orleans levee system, seven Orleans Parish public school principals formed the “Eastbank Collaborative of Charter Schools” – or “ECCS” – to improve school operations in key areas, including legal services, facilities support, financial reporting, teacher recruitment, curriculum development and group procurement. The major goal of the organization was to ensure the sustainability of the public charter schools by decreasing back office costs and providing a unified voice in interactions with local, state and national agencies. Furthermore, ECCS worked to help make its members and ancillary members more efficient in their operations so that more staff time could be focused on meeting academic standards and goals.
Over the years, ECCS grew in scope and membership. Thus, in 2015, the Collaborative was renamed the “Greater New Orleans Collaborative of Charter Schools” – or “GNOCCS” to reflect its broader geographic range through its expanding membership in both Orleans and Jefferson Parishes.

Presently, GNOCCS schools serve over 9000 public charter school students in grades PK through 12. The Collaborative’s accomplishments include the following:

  1. Created a centralized mechanism for Collaborative and Louisiana charter schools to facilitate the recruitment of quality teachers. The main features of this effort are an on-going system of website-posting of applicant resumes and charter school available positions as well as an annual Spring Teachers Fair.
  2. Formalized an association with the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools, a state non-profit speaking on behalf of the common needs and concerns of Louisiana charter schools.
  3. Organized to secure 30 percent of federal Restart Funds, a share totaling $3 million.
  4. Provided briefings on issues such as MFP (Minimum Foundation Program) and finances.
  5. Worked with Orleans Parish School Board to prepare a public education campaign on the 2008 millage renewal dedicated to public schools and the 2014 School Facilities Preservation Fund Millage.
  6. Established four subject area “Cohorts.” Each Cohort includes school leaders and administrators whose jobs involve one of four areas of responsibilities: Curriculum and Instructional Programs, Development and Communications, Business and Finance, and Facilities and Operations.
  7. Provided support for the Development Cohort to secure over $5 million in federal competitive grants.
  8. Created a system whereby email reports of school board meetings keep constituents informed of important decisions impacting schools and students.

The GNOCCS is a cooperative. The organization is led by an Executive Director and governed by a Board of Directors comprised of member school CEOs and Principals. GNOCCS is the “DBA” of the Louisiana Charter School Alliance, which is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation registered in Louisiana.

GNOCCS Mission Statement

  • With a vision that all families in the GNO area will have the opportunity to choose schools where their children thrive, the mission of GNOCCS is to advance our students’ futures by providing opportunities for visionary leaders and educators to collaborate, learn, and advocate.
  • We do this through
    • Supporting charter school leaders in their work
    • Providing a voice for local charters in educational policy development
    • Building capacity within, and collaboration among, charters with respect to programs, operations, and services
    • Advocating for charter autonomy, accountability, and sustainability
    • Collaborating and partnering among internal and external peer groups
    • Sharing information among schools and within the general community
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