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bricolage by design



Dear Friends, I am thrilled to share our 2015-2016 annual report with you. We achieved many important milestones this year: we enriched our students’ lives, connected with educators from around the world, and attracted the attention of major news outlets. These accomplishments and more are detailed in this year’s report. As a way of introduction, though, I would like us to take a step back and consider our school’s name: Bricolage. The word bricolage has a variety of meanings, but it is most often used in art to mean a creation made from a diverse range of available things. Someone who practices bricolage is called a bricoleur—an inventive problem solver who figures things out as he or she goes. Due to our diverse student demographics, Bricolage is often categorized as “Diverse by Design.” That term is as accurate as it is limiting. Our school is “a bricolage by design.” That is, we are a school that brings together people who don’t typically come together to create something new, and we are a place where everyone learns by innovating—by tinkering, experimenting and sometimes, simply by playing. I hope this annual report shows you who Bricolage is and displays the progress we’re making. More than that, though, it is my hope that this annual report inspires you to join us in reinventing, reimagining and redesigning our school and our future. Sincerely,

Josh Densen Founder & Executive Director




Mission Advance educational equity by preparing students from diverse backgrounds to be innovators who change the world. Values Empathy, integrity, innovation Board of Directors Alan Philipson, Chair Jade Brown-Russell, Vice-Chair Jeffray Teague, Treasurer Robert Garda, Secretary Jeff Hebert Tonya Johnson Yvette Jones Jen Medbery M. Cleland Powell III Quick Facts for 2016-2017 • Free, open enrollment • 5 applications for every seat • A staff of 45 • A 12:1 Kindergarten studentto-teacher ratio • A 25:1 2nd grade studentto-teacher ratio • A 27:1 3rd grade studentto-teacher ratio


of our staff call Bricolage a “great place to work.”


of our parents are “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with Bricolage.

Number of students per zip code 70119 38 students

70128 8 students 70114 10 students 70125 10 students 70117 12 students

70122 35 students

70131 14 students 70126 15 students 70118 22 students

70115 27 students 70124 23 students

REMAINING: 70116 6 students 70113 4 students 70127 4 students 70130 4 students 4



Charter updates Bricolage received a two-year extension from the Orleans Parish School Board to complete our original charter agreement of five years. (Initial charter agreements are reviewed after three years, and if successful, are extended full-term.) To further our mission of advancing equity, Bricolage passed a new charter amendment to sustain and grow our diverse student body. We know diversity significantly develops students’ empathy for others who come from different backgrounds, raises achievement levels for all students, and broadens students’ sense of community and belonging. The new amendment allows us to give admission preference to students from economically disadvantaged households.

“ The bond between child, parents, and staff is amazing! My child has received a lot of attention and guidance from staff this year. I thank my stars for the loving and patient staff everyday!”

of students are economically disadvantage (any student who qualifies for SNAP, TANF, Medicaid or is homeless) according to a 2015 state measure that includes eligibility for several social programs.

—Julie Ricca, Bricolage Parent


of students qualify for the Special Education.

Student demographics






Asian descent



Native American


99 girls

133 boys 5

Building by design Bricolage has finalized renovation plans for our new location at the John McDonogh High School campus. Once the campus undergoes a multi-milliondollar renovation, the school will accommodate K-8th grades. Renovations will be complete in 2018–2019 school year with approximately 525 students, representing K-5th grades. Thereafter, we’ll continue to grow our student body and staff until we reach full capacity. Plans for the new school include: • A new gymnasium • Outdoor space for two playgrounds and an open green space • Auditorium with seating for 450+ • Library • Two maker spaces (one for elementary, one for heavy duty equipment) • Two science labs


• Dance/movement/chorus room • Band room •F  lexible work environment spaces •F  our Kindergarten classrooms with connected restrooms • Two SPED classrooms • Two art studios


John McDonogh School Renovation Exterior Renderings

Esplanade Avenue

New Gymnasium—Barracks Street

New Gymnasium—N. Rocheblave Street

New Gymnasium—N. Rocheblave Street


Development by design When Bricolage relocated to a new building in 2015, we needed to reimagine our school in a new space. Thanks to the generous support from Baptist Community Ministries, we partnered with a design thinking coach—formerly of Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design—to help guide us. Our staff learned how to use design thinking as a creative process to solve our most challenging problems and discover new opportunities. Our staff confronted the question: “How might we continue to build a school community that belongs to all families?” We interviewed parents, students and staff to empathize with their needs and brainstorm new ideas. Then we created prototypes, tested and iterated upon them. 8

The result: we redesigned our parent engagement strategy and outreach among parents and families. We hosted a Kindergarten welcome breakfast, created a system for family buddies—connecting new families to returning families—re-worked our room-parent relationship among parents and teachers to better the classroom experience, and added a parent to the Board of Directors. This process has become a standard for how we approach and improve our school. We examine what each user experiences, adjust our mindsets, and work smarter to meet their needs.

Collaborators by design SXSWedu Conference Following our success with design thinking, three Bricolage staff members—Executive Director Josh Densen, innovation teacher Alex Owens, and 2nd grade teacher Jasmine Araujo—presented a design thinking workshop to more than 60 educators, entrepreneurs, and funders from around the country at the SXSWedu Conference in Austin, Texas. During the two-hour workshop, the Bricolage team challenged participants to design, brainstorm ideas, and prototype a plan for creating a sense of community with their own students and parents. Following the workshop, 78% of participants responded that design thinking could have a significant impact on their schools.

Ashoka U Exchange Ashoka U Exchange, an initiative of the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs, invited Bricolage to be a site-visit host for the New Orleans 2016 exchange. Nearly 30 educators from around the world partnered with a Bricolage student to experience our school through their eyes. Instead of an everyday school tour, visitors saw empathy in action as they joined students for recess, workshops and classes. New Orleans Mini Maker Faire The Mini Maker Faire is an extension of our innovation classroom and our mission to create innovators. The third annual New Orleans Mini Maker Faire saw the biggest community response yet, drawing 3,000 attendees and more than 90 makers to the Bricolage campus. Makers ranged from tech enthusiasts,

hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, commercial exhibitors, and more. Visit www.nolamakerfaire.com to learn more about the 2017 New Orleans Mini Maker Faire. 4th Annual New Orleans Mini Maker Faire April 22, 2017 Delgado Community College 615 City Park Ave. “I love the core values— integrity, empathy, and innovation. My kids are learning and growing in every way.” –Anna Palmer, Bricolage Parent


“ My son is so happy and learning so much. His reading and math skills are developing nicely, and he’s already learning about circuits in Kindergarten!” –Lauren Hodges, Bricolage Parent 11

Bricolage reading levels

Learning by design At Bricolage, our academic and social/emotional approach is personalized, proactive and developmentally appropriate for each child. Our instructional model favors classrooms with high levels of student agency, teacher responsiveness and differentiation. Our curriculum includes a balanced literacy approach with daily reading and writing workshops, daily math workshops, content area studies (primarily science and social studies), and co-curriculars, including visual art, physical education, innovation, and music. Reading Workshop We teach key reading behaviors and deep comprehension strategies using a predictable structure with direct instruction and student practice. The Reading Workshop includes: • a mini-lesson on a specific reading skill or strategy, • an independent reading time, • share time for students to present their hard work to their peers, and • small group meetings for students to meet with teachers on specific reading strategies. Writing Workshop Our Writing Workshop empowers students as readers, thinkers, and makers of meaning. Students learn new writing strategies and practice ones that have already been introduced. The Workshop includes: • a mini-lesson with 10 minutes of direct instruction, • a high-structured, responsive environment for drafting and revising instruction, • an individual or small group conference for teacher guidance, and • a chance to follow up by sharing about the day’s topic. Math Workshop During our daily Math Workshops, students use manipulatives to explore attributes of objects, likenesses and differences—the baseline for all problem solving. We focus on deep understanding of small numbers, which enables students to work with large numbers, discover shapes and space in their environment, and apply their knowledge of attributes to measure width, length, weight, and capacity. Innovation Classes Two times a week, students work independently and collaboratively to design, invent, and create things with materials like Legos, Magna-tiles, cardboard, sticks, straws, string, and blocks of all kinds. After teachers give students a mini how-to lesson or project challenge, students start inventing.


read on or above grade level


above grade level

Bricolage math levels


score on or above grade level


above grade level Fountas and Pinnell Reading Assessment AMC Math Assessment Bridges Math Assessment


Personalized by design Personalized learning Following our co-teaching model for Kindergarten classes, first grade classes now each have two teachers to facilitate the academic success of each student. This allows teachers to customize instruction for each student, encourages student autonomy, and gives the supporting teacher an opportunity to build upon classroom management skills. Intervention Students not meeting growth targets are included in an ongoing, personalized academic, and social/ emotional intervention program. Our team of interventionists—literacy, math, social/emotional development, and special education specialists— meets biweekly with teachers to monitor student growth and address student challenges. Interventionists work with students one-on-one or in small groups to put students back on track within six to 14 weeks. 12

After school In partnership with Communities in Schools of New Orleans, we offered more than 25 after school classes in 2015-2016, with 10 to 13 classes meeting each day. The after school program is a chance for students to develop new skills, discover new talents and passions, and interact with projects that continue to stimulate their physical, emotional and mental developments. More than 75% of our student body participated in one or more classes. All classes experienced a 96% average attendance rate. At the end of each semester, we hosted a series of showcase evenings for students and their families. Teacher professional development Throughout the year, we give teachers professional development opportunities on campus and beyond Bricolage. We continue to send teams

to Columbia University’s Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, where teachers attend workshops with leading literacy experts and children’s book authors. New staff additions For the 2015-2016 school year, we added a full-time innovation teacher to develop our elementary Innovation Program. In partnership with Young Audiences—a network of arts and music educators—our new part-time music teacher introduced K-2nd grade students to various music genres, rhythms and repetition. We also added a part-time physical education teacher and a full-time school counselor.

“ We’ve been blown away by the well thought out curriculum as well as all of the programs and events Bricolage has sponsored. Excellent teaching staff and administrators who are focused on the whole person.” –Amanda Nastiuk, Bricolage Parent 13

Thriving by design.

2015-2016 Expenses Fundraising 1% School Operations 6% Transportation 5% General & Administrative 9%

In Louisiana, the Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) determines the cost to educate students and allocates local and state funding from government sources on a per student basis. The gap created between public MFP funding and program costs does not deter our pursuit of educational equity. We supplement this gap through private support—19% of our 2015-2016 revenue came from private support. The total per student cost will shrink as we continue to grow.

Facility 10%

Instructional 11%

2015-2016 Revenue





Personnel 58%

Cost of educating each student vs. MFP funding $20,000

$19,200 Actual Cost

$17,500 $14,200 Actual Cost


$13,148 Actual Cost

51% gap

$12,300 Projected Cost

$12,500 33% gap

27% gap

$10,000 $7,500

MFP $9,500

MFP $9,500

22% gap

MFP $9,700

MFP $9,600

$5,000 $2,500 0 14




Projected 2016–2017

2015–2016 PARTNERS

Thank you for your partnership! Our community makes our mission achievable. We appreciate and thank the Bricolage community and our supporters near and far for your commitment to our mission of advancing educational equity and creating innovators. INDIVIDUALS

Benjamin and Andree Arendt Brian Beabout Peter Bodenheimer Melissa Bossola Hailey Bowen Lori Brandt William and Helaine Braunig Jody and Gilbert Braunig Tania Castellanos Laura Cespedes Mark Christopher Jeff Clary and Victoria Lintott Dorothy Compeau Lucy Connors Phyllis Lawton Cosentino Cynthia Cox Keith and Elizabeth Crawford Nicole DeAbate Mark Densen Michelle Doyle Halley Hastings Jack and Elizabeth Egle Arian Elfant Jonah Evans Tony Figurelli Nelson and Carrie Fisher Alan Franco Rob and Fiona Garda Tim and Barbara Gilbert Kara Gipson Marcus and Candice Glover Johnathan and Nicole Graas Tahmineh Haug Jodi Hermes William and Susan Hess Lauren Hodges Sharon Howard Krystal Howard Henry George Hobor and Jenny Irons Daniel Irons Terry Jones Patsy Kanter Joseph Johnson and Takako Kawamura Dr. Tina Kearney Robbie Keen Katie Kirley Angela Denise Kyle Katie Lasky Barbara MacPhee Tracie Madison John and Dorien Mahoney Joe and Mary Claire McNair Molly McNamara Timothy and Katherine Mehok Sue Mobley Kevin and Kerry Murphy Cynthia Nuesslein Jennifer Oberfell Katell Orjubi Sara Orton Rupa Parekh James Parker Christine Parry The Pedrotty Family–Mike, Kate, Gil, and Mary Rose Alan and Arlene Philipson

Luke Price Adam Quintana Kevin and Lora Reugger Rebecca Robb Mr. and Mrs. Ruben Saenz II Melissa Samuels Jario and Kathryn Santanilla Claire Cathryn Sather Rose Sedita Karen Smith Owen and Cindy St. Amant Michael Stone Paul and Beth Strickland Patrick and Laura Templeman George and Fran Villere Amy Walters Scott and Melissa Warren Barbara Wilson Christopher Wilson Boatner Reily Family Fund Bob and Margaret Reily Fund Bricolage Community Association Goldman Sachs Matching Program


Baptist Community Ministries Bruce J. Heim Foundation Greater New Orleans Foundation, GiveNOLA Day Jerome S. and Grace H. Murray Foundation Marketing Research Educational Foundation New Schools for New Orleans Pro Bono Publico Foundation The Campbell Foundation The Stephen and Sandy Rosenthal Family Foundation The Toler Foundation


Baptist Community Ministries Covington Brewhouse Cox Communication Entrescan, LLC Gambit IBERIABANK IDIYA Jay M. Lapeyre Kickboard Madetech Mary Louise Killen Urban South Brewery Winn-Dixie


Melissa Alonzo Andree Arendt Jacob Barclay Donald “Bucks” Barkemeyer Diane Monroe Black Tania Castellanos Kanitra Charles Anna Clark

David Clary Jeff Clary and Victoria Lintott Cynthia Cox Artasha Crawford Kathryn Fazekas Lauren Godo Nicole Graas Akeem Guillemet Chrissy Hardy Joshua & Sarah Hess Trixey Kimler George Krausser Jenny Lintott Dani Lisotta Tara Madden Maren Marina Evelyn Meckes James Michalopoulos Carol & Gary Morris Kassandra Nero-Turner Toni Osbey Johathan Padgett Johann Palacios Becky & Michael Robb Esme Robert Thomas Shepley Julie Skjolaas Rebecca Snedeker Belinda Tanno Paul & Sue Troyano Ruby Troyano Taralyn Webster Ryan Wentworth Robyn White


1000 Figs 5 Happiness Audubon Nature Institute Bao & Noodle Boucherie Café Reconcilie Café Degas Cavan CC’s Coffee Chorus Girl Project City Park Commander’s Palace Dat Dog Defend New Orleans Deta Robb Accounting & Tax Services Dickie Brennan’s Dinner Lab Dooky Chase Restaurant Doson Noodle House Dr. Bob’s Folk Art Empire Gymnastics Fair Grinds Folklore Salon Gray Studio-Architecture & Interior Design Green to Go Half Shell Oyster Bar Higher Power Cycle Yoga Jakamo South Fishing Adventures Jones, Swanson, Huddell, and Garrison LLC

Kayak-iti-Yat Kitchen Witch Krewe of Chewbacchus Little Pnuts Toy Shoppe Lola’s Mariza Mauxbar Melissa’s Fine Pasteries Midway Pizza Molly McNamara Jewelry Design Mondo Natura NCIS: New Orleans Neely Whites Tax & Financial New Orleans Cooking Experience New Orleans Jazz Orchestra New Orleans Pelicans NOCCA NOLA Couture Nurture Nannies Ole Mans Spice Rub Pace Group, LLC Paladar 511 ParkFirst Holdings,LLC Parkway Bakery and Tavern Pick-a-Petal Floral Design Pizza Delicious Rare Designs Jewelry Revolution Foods Ricca’s Architectural Sales Robb Consulting, LLC Romney Salire Satsuma St. James Cheese Company Sucré Sun-Shields Sylvain The Audubon Group @ Morgan Stanley The Bead Shop The Brass Camera The Company Burger The Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine The Rusty Nail Tiger-Rock Marital Arts of Metairie Toups’ Meatery Two Jacques Urban South Brewery Vamanos Wodehouse Day Spa Yogurtland

COMMUNITY PARTNERS Bricolage Community Association Communities in Schools Young Audiences of Louisiana If you’re interested in donating money, time or talents to Bricolage, you can learn more at www.bricolagenola.org or contact Holly Robbins, Director of Development, at hrobbins@bricolagenola.org or (504) 439-1756.


3368 Esplanade Ave. New Orleans, LA 70119 (504) 539-4505 bricolagenola.org


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Bricolage Annual Report 2016  

Bricolage Annual Report 2016