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Founded in 1993 the New Orleans Center for Science & Math (SciHigh) operated as a half day program within the Orleans Parish School System offering specialized instruction in science, math, and technology, and providing an open door to any interested New Orleans high school student. Students attended partner schools for their other graduation requirements. The guiding principle: that students with a broad range of scholastic aptitudes can master science and mathematics concepts and information at a high level given the proper culture, faculty and school leader.
Sci High students proved us right, consistently doing as well or better than students in the selective Orleans Parish magnet schools, even though we were not selective in our admissions. They gave us evidence that even those students with weak academic preparation and a broad range of scholastic aptitudes can master science and mathematics concepts, given a culture of high expectations and a respect for work and one another.
After Hurricane Katrina
The post-Katrina public high school situation dictated a different model for SciHigh. There were only four public high schools open after the flood. Previously, there had been 22, all of which had served as feeder schools for Sci High. The demand for a half-day program had been destroyed. Therefore, in October, 2005, a mere 60 days after the collapse of the New Orleans levee system, The Advocates for Science & Mathematics Education, Inc. applied for and was granted a Type III charter by the Orleans Parish School Board. Now the founding Advocates had the full responsibility for finances and operations of their successful model.
Responding to the new environment, the half-day program became a full-day program offering all subjects that are required for graduation. The high school moved from the Delgado campus to Allen School, a former elementary building, at the corner of Nashville and Loyola avenues.