McGehee School

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Louise S. McGehee School
McGehee School.JPG
The Louise S. McGehee School
Address
2343 Prytania Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
USA
Coordinates 29°55′55.33″N 90°4′54.46″W / 29.9320361°N 90.0817944°W / 29.9320361; -90.0817944Coordinates: 29°55′55.33″N 90°4′54.46″W / 29.9320361°N 90.0817944°W / 29.9320361; -90.0817944
Information
Type private, nondenominational, all-girls' college preparatory school
Denomination Non-denominational
Established 1912
Founder Louise S. McGehee
Chairperson Gene Dry, Chair, Board of Trustees
Dean Debby Pigman, Val Whitfield
Administrator Kristen Dry, Margaret Ann Minihan
Lower School Principal Whitney Drennan
Middle School Principal Connie Harlan
Upper School Principal Jolayne Gotzkowsky
Head of school Eileen Powers
Faculty 102 (2015)
Grades PK12
Gender Girls
Number of students 515 (2015)
Student to teacher ratio 8:1
School colour(s) Red and Grey
Athletics conference Louisiana High School Athletic Association
Sports volleyball, soccer, golf, basketball, tennis, softball, swimming, track, cross country
Mascot Hawks
Accreditation Independent Schools Association of the Southwest, National Association of Independent Schools, National Coalition of Girls' Schools
Yearbook Spectator
Website

The Louise S. McGehee School is an all-girls private, independent school in the Garden District in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States.[1] The McGehee campus, which is one city block, has ten buildings and over 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2) of space.

Louise S. McGehee School was founded in 1912 by Louise Schaumburg McGehee and opened in September of that year at 1520 Louisiana Avenue and in 1914 relocated to 1439 Louisiana Avenue. In 1929, Miss McGehee’s School moved to the current location at 2343 Prytania St. and became a corporation known as the Louise S. McGehee School. In the fall of 1929, there were 209 students and classes began with the fifth grade. In 1962, a new Lower School building was dedicated for grades K through sixth and in 1973, the first Pre-Kindergarten class started school. In the 1990s, McGehee started an Early Childhood Program “Little Gate” which is a co-educational program for ages one through four. Today, Little Gate has an enrollment of over 150 students.[2][page needed]

Eli S. Evans, author of The Provincials: A Personal History of Jews in the South, described the school as "[t]he debutante West Point, the playing fields of Eton, the New Orleans version of Choate-Chapin-Cordon Bleu all rolled into one".[3]

History[edit]

The school, founded by Louise McGehee, opened in September 1912. It was originally called Mrs. Chapman's School. It later moved into a mansion in the Garden District.[4] The 1938 Works Progress Administration New Orleans City Guide described it as one of the most popular private schools in New Orleans.[5]

Evans said that "For decades McGehee has been the institution by which the elite in New Orleans shield their young women from the blacks, the Jews, the poor, and the different, protecting them from ideas and associations that might lure them from their manifest destiny."[3]

Louise S. McGehee School was founded in 1912 by Louise S. McGehee and opened in September of that year at 1439 Louisiana Avenue with thirty students. In 1929, Miss McGehee’s School moved to the current location at 2343 Prytania St. and became a corporation known as the Louise S. McGehee School. In the fall of 1929, there were 209 students and classes began with the fifth grade. In 1962, a new Lower School building was dedicated for grades K through sixth and in 1973, the first Pre-Kindergarten class started school. In the 1950s, the school added grades Kindergarten through fourth grade. In the 1990s, McGehee started an Early Childhood Program “Little Gate” which is a co-educational program for ages one through four. Today, Little Gate has an enrollment of over 150 students.[6]

Pre-Hurricane Katrina the school had about 500 students. After Katrina hit in August 2005, the school resumed classes in October and by November 2005 the school had about half of its pre-Katrina enrollment.[7]

Campus[edit]

The campus of McGehee has evolved quite a bit since moving to the current Garden District location. McGehee currently encompasses almost an entire city block with nine buildings and over 100,000 square feet of space. The school celebrated its centennial celebration during the 2011-2012 school year. The Bradish Johnson House serves as the main building for McGehee and was formerly a private home in the Garden District. It was designed by James Freret and constructed in 1872 for Bradish Johnson, a man whose family fortune was based on sugar cane plantations. According to tradition, the home was built at a cost of $100,000. The Louise S. McGehee School moved to its present campus in 1929. Located in the Bradish Johnson House are the school libraries, classrooms and the office of the Headmistress.[citation needed]

Little Gate[edit]

McGehee’s pre-school Little Gate is a co-ed early childhood program based on the Reggio Emilia philosophy. Little Gate focuses on developing the whole child – intellectually, socially and emotionally. 2015-2016 enrollment at Little Gate is 162.[8]

Academics[edit]

Lower School science lab and specialist immerse young girls in scientific concepts as early as Pre-K. Lower School uses “Everyday Math” curriculum developed by University of Chicago. French language begins in Pre-K, with French and Spanish offered in Middle and Upper Schools. Latin requirement in Middle School Nationally recognized Service Learning program in Middle School Oldest Honor Code in the city, adopted in 1921 Honors courses offered in every academic discipline in the Upper School Senior student/faculty mentorship program[citation needed]

As of 1997 McGehee is the oldest surviving New Orleans school that offers the German language as a course subject.[4]

Technology[edit]

1:1 Laptop program integrated in grades 5-12

Extracurricular[edit]

Competitive athletic program including volleyball, cross country, soccer, softball, tennis, basketball, swimming, golf, and track Volleyball team captured the State Championship title in 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2015. Extracurricular opportunities include choir, Service-Learning, student government, and Mock Trial, 2008 State Champions.

Service Learning[edit]

McGehee is a National Service Learning Leader School and was awarded the NAIS Leading Edge Award in Community Service.

Students[edit]

2015-2016 enrollment of 515 students Student retention rate of 96% Minority enrollment of 18% and 20 different cultures represented 100% of McGehee graduates attend college

References[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Garden District Historic District." (Archived 2013-03-30 at WebCite) City of New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission. Retrieved on March 30, 2013.
  2. ^ Smith, Sarah Caskey. The Past, The Present, The Promise, 2011 (ISBN 978-1-4507-9656-9)
  3. ^ a b Evans, p. 209.
  4. ^ a b Merrill, p. 235.
  5. ^ New Orleans City Guide, p. 77. "New Orleans has had a number of private schools, only a few of which, however, survived the depression. The Louise S. McGehee School for Girls, an accredited elementary and high school founded in 1912, is one of the most popular in the city."
  6. ^ Smith, Sarah Caskey. The Past, The Present, The Promise, 2011 (ISBN 978-1-4507-9656-9)
  7. ^ Williams, Mike. "Few school bells ringing in this city Already plagued by bad scores, decrepit buildings, district has made little progress on repairs." The Austin American-Statesman. November 25, 2005. News p. A36. Retrieved on March 31, 2013. "At the Louise S. McGehee School, a private prep school for girls in New Orleans' lightly touched Garden District, classes resumed in October, and enrollment has climbed to about half of the pre-Katrina level of about 500 students." Available on LexisNexis.
  8. ^ "McGehee's Little Gate: Discover Little Gate". littlegate.com. Retrieved 2016-01-25.