Recognizing Great American Schools for over 30 Years

Lake Forest Elementary Charter School – New Orleans, LA

Award Year 2013

Lake Forest Elementary Charter School

12000 Hayne Boulevard

New Orleans, LA 70128-1127

Phone: (504) 826-7140

Mardele S. Early, Principal

500 Students, Grades: PreK – 8

Charter School

School Website

Orleans Parish School Board



To provide a nurturing environment for children that facilitates maximum student achievement through a rigorous, accelerated academic program which incorporates visual, cultural and creative arts.

Student Demographics

  • Black/African American: 91%
  • Hispanic: 2%
  • Asian: 6%
  • Other: 1%
  • ELL: 6%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: 82%
Student plays flute.

Student plays flute.

Lake Forest is one of the highest-performing elementary schools in Louisiana. Home to a diverse student population, Lake Forest is a welcoming campus where students, teachers, administrators, staff, and parents are all equal partners in education. Together, we envision developing students who embrace a high-level of learning, completing a four-year university degree, and becoming global, contributing citizens.

The original school, established in 1988 in the New Orleans East neighborhood as Lake Forest Montessori School, was severely flooded by Hurricane Katrina. Talk of completely demolishing the neighborhood threatened the school’s existence. But the determination and persistence of Lake Forest teachers and administrators to re-establish the school galvanized the success of Lake Forest Elementary Charter. The school was granted a public charter to operate in January 2006 and Lake Forest is celebrated as one of the key institutions that encouraged families and businesses to return to the New Orleans East community.

Lake Forest’s educational plan is the keystone to our student’s achievement. Referred to as a “Gumbo,” our plan encompasses a plethora of best practices including research-based methods, differentiated instruction, individualized instruction, data-driven professional development, and unwavering parental & community support. Furthermore, our instructional team and teachers are implementing new learning practices that are aligned with the Common Core State Standards.

The school also offers a variety of unique programs that further wholly develop our students’ leadership skills including community service projects, foreign language, jazz band and strings ensemble, an on-site swimming program, and special education services.