Back-to-School: New Schools for New Orleans Features Élan Academy on the West Bank

August 19, 2019

Élan is a special place, with striking academic success and a thriving culture and community. Each year in New Orleans, more and more students will be starting their year in classrooms like theirs—ones that are joyful, rigorous, and rich with opportunities for growth. item about? What makes it interesting? Write a catchy description to grab your audience's attention...

Élan Academy: Bringing the Flavor of Excellence to New Orleans

September 22, 2017

Melanie Askew loves words and language. The founder and leader of Élan Academy in New Orleans glows when discussing the importance of language education, especially amongst younger learners. Élan Academy is a K-8 public school currently enrolling Kindergarten through second-grade students. Language is a main focus of the school, named to capture the lively, enthusiastic spirit that Melanie’s team works to foster, with a nod to New Orleans heritage. Here, Melanie wants her students to feel excited and engaged in learning.

With Latin and computer coding, New Orleans school puts 21st Century spin on 'classical education'

September 14, 2017

Research indicates students who fail to reach grade level in reading by the 3rd grade are more likely to drop out of school before earning a high school diploma. That data motivates Élan Academy Head of School Melanie Askew as she works to build an elementary school where students get "a classical education school for the 21st century."

One Algiers charter school to close, two more to open next year

On the heels of news that a Gentilly charter school will close next year and be merged with an affiliated school, officials on Friday announced the closure of one Algiers charter school and the planned opening of two more in that part of the city. Algiers Technology Academy on Berkley Drive is shutting down after a nine-year run. And two new schools — the Noble Minds Institute for Whole Child Learning and Élan Academy Charter School — will open in Algiers in August.  

‘All Students Should Have the Option to Choose’: How Melanie Askew Is Charting a New Course for Education in New Orleans

January 03, 2023

During our recent trip to meet with undergraduate students in Louisiana, Tonye and I had the pleasure of meeting Melanie. After reading her story by Mike “Orie” Mosley of The Conscious Tip via Curly Nikki, we were totally inspired and decided to reach out. To our amazement, she gladly met us for lunch at the trendy Italian pizzeria Domenica inside the historic Roosevelt Hotel near Canal Street. Upon the first handshake, Melanie’s confidence and poise shined brightly, and throughout our conversation with her, we quickly realized her passion for education. What follows are excerpts from our on-going conversation with her—plus insight into her personal life, motivations and genius strategy to create the greatest school ever.                 

2 New Orleans schools to close, 2 to open in 2017

October 21, 2016

Elan Academy will span the very old and the very new, emphasing both the classical virtues of "grammar, logic, rhetoric ... Great Books" and "computer program coding, graphic design and basic web design," according to its website. Principal Melanie Askew is a Teach for America alumna who holds a master's degree in education and participated in several school leader development fellowships. Students must live in Orleans Parish.


July 29, 2016

When Melanie Askew left her job in human resources, she had no idea that education would transform her life. All she knew was that she hoped to make an impact in her community. But a massive pay cut and a leap of faith would lead Askew to do something that hasn’t been done before. In Fall 2017, the 20-something former teacher will launch Elan Academy in New Orleans. Like many millennials, she started with a career based on societal pressure before ultimately landing her dream job.

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