Clicking on a Tablet



We serve all students who are eligible for high school and those eligible for dual enrollment at Delgado Community College.


We are a non-public high school strictly for students to participate in dual-enrollment within a supportive and nurturing environment. Students’ course progression will allow them to graduate with both a high school diploma and an associate degree.


The 1881 Vocational School was formed to address the deficiencies in education within the African American community in New Orleans. Data from the  Urban League of Louisiana’s 2018 Advancing Educational Equity Report shows that  only 19.7% of African American 3rd-8th graders are performing at or above mastery (see graph below). However, the same report shows that  African American graduation rates are at 70.7%.


Historically, test grades at the 3rd-8th grade have been used to predict the trajectory of students by the 12th grade. 1881 believes that there is a discrepancy between the percentage of African American 3rd – 8th grade students performing at mastery on the LEAP test and the African American high school graduation rate. It is improbable that New Orleans Public Schools were able to address these deficiencies in such a short time before high school graduation. However, it is probable that high school graduation rates are increasing while academic proficiency is not.



Students are prepared for dual enrollment courses in a technical field.


In 2015, The 1881 Institute submitted a charter application to the Orleans Parish School Board. The application prescribed a rigorous hands-on curriculum to prepare African American students to enter undergraduate programs in engineering. The organization’s philosophy was that African Americans have the ability to succeed in science and engineering disciplines but the current state of high schools were not challenging students to meet this expectation. Nevertheless, 1881’s charter application was denied by the Orleans Parish School Board. However, parents who were unsatisfied with their OneApp choice for high school asked if we would start a school. 

Learn more about our Charter Application here


FALL 2013, 1881 started as a weekly coding class for teens at VAYLA in New Orleans East. 


FALL 2014, 1881 ran a 5-week engineering boot-camp during 4.0 Schools' Launch program where 14 students were introduced to mechanical engineering, designed a playground in Google Sketchup, and built the playground they designed. The students culminated the boot camp by presenting their playground designs to a manager at Lockheed Martin in Michoud and the manager explained the application of what they learned to the aerospace industry.


SUMMER 2015, 1881 hosted a 9-week engineering camp where students were taught Intro to Electronics, Algebra 1, and ACT preparation. Also, students learned concepts in Architectural Structure Design through their participation in the construction of a Tiny House. Students took a pre- and post- practice ACT exam and their scores increased by an average of 33%.


WINTER 2015, 1881 hosted a 3-week after school program at Landry Walker High School where special needs students built balloon rockets, air-propelled cars, LED Christmas cards, and learned fundamentals of math and science.


SUMMER 2016, 1881 was a New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC) summer partner and received funds to offer a STEM summer camp to teens who registered through NOLA Youth Works' Job1 program. Eighty campers, 13-15 years old, participated in ACT Prep, mathematics, sports and STEM activities that included: (1) Intro to Electronics & Robotics, (2) Mechanical Dissection, and (3) Computer Aided Design. As a result of this work, the executive director was selected as a White House Champion of Change. 


FALL 2016, 1881 started a multi-year pre-apprenticeship program focused on robotics at 4 NORDC facilities - Joe Brown, St Bernard, Cut-off, and Lyons Rec Centers - with approximately 20 students within the first year’s cohort. The pre-apprentices built robots to compete in robotics competitions. Participants were assessed on their character, work habits, work place competencies, quality of engineering journal, and presentation. A stipend was given to each student based on a composite score of these assessments.


SPRING 2017, 1881 was approved by the Louisiana Department of Education as a course choice provider to offer high school credits in computer aided design, mechanical dissection, electronics, and robotics. During the 2017-2018 school year, 1881 partnered with St. Katharine Drexel Preparatory Academy to teach an elective class in robotics.


SUMMER 2018, 1881 ran two camps; its annual Teen Career Camp in partnership with the New Orleans recreation department and its first annual Robotics Academy. These camps were commenced on the heels of concluding the organization's in-school and after-school workforce development programs. 1881 also partnered with Delgado Community College, to start a new Robotics Engineering department. 1881 created the curriculum and is responsible for delivery of the curriculum, while Delgado is responsible for student registration and maintaining student records. While the curriculum is being approved by the state, 1881 is establishing the New Orleans Robotics and Mechatronics Center (formally, the New Orleans Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing Center) on Delgado’s Sidney Collier campus. This center is also in partnership with The NASA Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) who has agreed to help streamline students from the center to work at NASA MAF by 2020.


SUMMER 2018, 1881 was recognized by the City of New Orleans and 1881 was a recipient of the New Orleans’ Next 300 Challenge award. The Next 300 Challenge is an idea competition that sought to generate and seed innovative and collaborative solutions to some of the most systemic and generational challenges facing New Orleans.


FALL 2018, 1881 began teaching corporate classes in mathematics, mechanical engineering, and deductive reasoning. 1881's initiatives to address the barriers to employment facing disenfranchised populations were recognized by Entergy Corporation and Entergy selected 1881 as a workforce development partner within Entergy’s Impact Hiring initiative. The purpose of the initiative is to develop pathways of opportunity for young people to work at Entergy as part of their effort to build a diverse and inclusive employee population.