Discovery Health Sciences Academy and Ochsner Announce Partnership to Open New K-8 School

Dr. John Ochsner Discovery Health Sciences Academy at the John Martyn campus will prepare students to pursue careers in the health sciences

Discovery Health Sciences Academy and Ochsner Announce Partnership to Open New K-8 School

Photo Caption:  Warner Thomas (President and CEO of Ochsner Health System) and Dr. Patty Glaser (Head of School, Discovery Health Sciences Academy) observe Discovery School students engaging in hands on STEM activities during a field trip to the Ochsner Simulation Center.

A new school will open in Jefferson Parish, thanks to an innovative partnership between the Ochsner Health System (Ochsner) and Discovery Health Sciences Academy (Discovery).  Last night, the Jefferson Parish School Board unanimously approved plans for the Dr. John Ochsner Discovery Health Sciences Academy at the John Martyn campus.  Once fully enrolled, this charter school will educate approximately 700 students in grades kindergarten through 8th grade. 

“We are partnering with Ochsner so that together we can offer even more students the opportunity to attend a high-quality, open-enrollment school,” said Dr. Patty Glaser, Head of School, Discovery Health Sciences Academy. “With over 1,000 families on our wait list, we are eager to grow so we can meet the needs of this community.”

“Ochsner is committed to investing in the communities we serve and creating partnerships that help educate students who may become the next generation of doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals,” said Warner Thomas, President and CEO, Ochsner Health System. “This school will open doors of opportunity for our young people and help prepare a diverse student body to succeed in life and pursue careers in the health sciences.”

This school will help meet a need for more STEM education in Louisiana by building on Ochsner’s long history of working with local schools, students and teachers to bring science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education to the community. According to the Louisiana STEM Initiative, over the next 12 years, Louisiana and the nation will see a surge in the number of job opportunities available in the fields of STEM.  However, only 10% of Louisiana students met the STEM benchmark demonstrating their readiness for math and science coursework in college. 

"The best way to develop meaningful curriculum and classroom delivery models that provide relevant workforce skill sets to our children is for industry and education leaders to enter into these types of collaborative agreements. This model leverages the partners’ combined knowledge of market demands, skills, education and our student population,” added Clay Moise, Jefferson Parish School Board, District 3.

"Discovery is a high performing school and Ochsner is a trusted community partner. The partnership will result in positive outcomes for children by providing much needed resources and strong collaborations,” said Cade Brumley, Superintendent, Jefferson Parish Schools. “A state-of-the-art campus will add value to the portfolio of Jefferson Parish Schools, especially when our average school is 54-years-old."

The school plans to open in August of 2020 (grades K-3) at an interim location at 2012 Jefferson Highway before transitioning into its permanent, new campus located at 1108 Shrewsbury Road in August of 2021 (grades K-6).  It will then grow into grades K-7 and K-8 in 2022 and 2023, respectively. 

As part of this partnership, Ochsner will finance and manage the renovation and construction of the permanent campus, at no cost Jefferson Parish Schools. Discovery will lease the facility from Ochsner to operate a Type 1 charter school and will have exclusive control of the school’s operational aspects. Jefferson Parish Schools will lease the land (1108 Shrewsbury Road) to Ochsner for the development of the school project.  Jefferson Parish Schools will also lease Discovery temporary space (2012 Jefferson Highway) to operate on an interim basis while construction in underway. 

The school will be named after the late Dr. John Ochsner - a world-renowned cardiologist and son of Dr. Alton Ochsner, founder of the health system – who firmly believed in investing in education to give Louisiana and its children a promising future.  

Applications open in Fall 2019 and admission will be awarded based on a transparent lottery system, not admissions testing. Discovery will oversee the enrollment lottery. Half of the open seats will be designated for children residing in Jefferson Parish.  Honoring the heritage of the John Martyn campus, the school will be in the heart of the Shrewsbury community and offer an admissions lottery preference to kids from the surrounding neighborhood, including the Shrewsbury and Harlem subdivisions. The remaining half will be designated for children of Ochsner employees living in Jefferson Parish in accordance with state law and in consideration of Ochsner’s donation of major capital improvements to the school.

For additional information about Discovery, please visit www.discoveryhsf.org/.

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About Discovery Health Sciences Academy

Discovery is a new and innovative school of choice for Jefferson Parish families with wait list of over 1,000 students. Our goal is to grow a successful Early Childhood through 12th grade charter network with a 21st century approach to education.  The mission of Discovery Health Sciences Academy is to provide a rigorous learning environment where students achieve academically, develop intellectual curiosity, and practice environmental responsibility while exploring health and science topics and careers.  Our concept allows us to “home grow” future healthcare professionals and healthy citizens for our community.  School culture is shaped by core values (HEART), a character skills program and restorative justice.  Discovery currently has a student body of 1,536 students and nearly 200 full-time faculty members.  Founded in 2013, the school will graduate its first class in 2020. 

About Ochsner Health System

Ochsner Health System is Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic, healthcare system. Driven by a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate, coordinated clinical and hospital patient care is provided across the region by Ochsner's 40 owned, managed and affiliated hospitals and specialty hospitals, and more than 100 health centers and urgent care centers. Ochsner is the only Louisiana hospital recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a “Best Hospital” across three specialty categories caring for patients from all 50 states and more than 70 countries worldwide each year. Ochsner employs nearly 25,000 employees and over 4,500 employed and affiliated physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties and conducts more than 700 clinical research studies. Ochsner Health System is proud to be a tobacco-free environment. For more information, please visit ochsner.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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