High Graduation Rate At West Bank’s New Orleans Maritime and Military Academy

A unique charter school based in Federal City, on New Orleans’ West Bank, was recognized as one of the top four New Orleans public high schools which had the highest percentages of students scoring 3 or above on AP exams along with a 97% graduation rate for the 2017-18 school year.

New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy (NOMMA) opened its doors in 2011. The public charter school is mainly for military families that are stationed in New Orleans and offers free education to their children. Civilian families can attend the school which is 8th through 12th grades but military families do have priority.

All students who attend NOMMA are cadets of JROTC(Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Program) and wear uniforms at all times. In fact, NOMMA has the largest JROTC unit in the United States but only 15% of NOMMA graduates join the military. JROTC duties at the school are taught by ten retired Marines and include military drills and marching, marksmanship, color guard competitions, education bowls and physical competition.

Civilian teachers do teach core subjects to the students which do include maritime industry, cyber engineering, digital media and business management. The main curriculum is STEM-focused so students are well versed in reading, English language arts and math.

“We are a college preparatory school and we also offer career and technical education in the form of Louisiana’s Jump Start programs,” NOMMA Commandant Col. Chris Schlafer says. “The idea behind that is a student will take a certain pathway of courses in ninth through 12th grades. By the time they graduate as seniors, they have earned nationally recognized credentials and certifications that will allow them, upon graduation, to enter the workforce, because college is not for everybody.”

“Our focus is to try to inculcate in them core values, honor, courage, community and instill in them habits of respect, self-discipline and respect for others — habits that will serve them well in whatever field they choose,” says Schlafer.