History of FirstLine Schools
1990: Summerbridge (now called Breakthrough)
The roots of FirstLine Schools trace to the founding of this unique summer program designed to help 5th and 6th grade students gain acceptance into top middle schools in order to gain admission to college preparatory high school programs.
1992: James Lewis Extension
Working with a group of concerned parents, Jay Altman and the Summerbridge team founded this school, with 100 students and four teachers. Dr. Tony Recasner became the school’s director in 1993.
1998: New Orleans Charter Middle School (NOCMS)
James Lewis Extension converted into the city’s first charter school and adopted a new name. NOCMS became the top-performing open-admissions middle school in New Orleans. Flooding from Hurricane Katrina destroyed the building and led to NOCMS’ closure.
2005: Samuel J Green Charter School
Middle School Advocates (the former name of FirstLine Schools) was approached by the state and asked to take over the failing Green Middle School. Green opened as a K-8 charter school the week before Katrina. The school reopened in January 2006.
2007: Arthur Ashe Charter School
Using the NOCMS charter to open a new K-8 school (later renamed Arthur Ashe), the school opened with fewer than 50 students and has grown to its current enrollment of over 400 students. In 2012 Ashe is moving to a brand new campus in the Lake Park neighborhood of Gentilly.
2010: John Dibert Community School & Langston Hughes Academy
Dibert became a FirstLine school in the Fall of 2010, after a request from the community to get involved. FLS began operating Langston Hughes Academy, via a management contract, at the same time.
2011: Joseph S. Clark Preparatory High School
The doors opened on the newly chartered Clark Prep in August 2011. FirstLine’s first high school is a turnaround of an existing school.