IDEA Oscar Dunn

Proudly serving the parents, families and students of New Orleans, Louisiana.

IDEA Oscar Dunn Mascot Royals


IDEA Oscar Dunn sets high expectations for every student and goes the extra mile to make sure every student realizes their own potential. IDEA Oscar Dunn will serve grades K-7 in the 20-21 school year. IDEA Oscar Dunn opened its doors to 400 students when it launched in 2019.

Four reasons parents love IDEA Oscar Dunn

1) College-Prep Academic Model. Through structured, challenging coursework, IDEA Public Schools focuses on college preparation for all children. In fact, we are on track to send 100% of our seniors to college for the 14th straight year.

2) Sports & After-School Activities. Our athletic programs are competitive and award-winning, instilling in students a strong work ethic, dedication, and accountability. In addition to sports, IDEA offers clubs that span the interests of our students.

3) Family and Community Partnerships. Parents and community members play a vital part in the success of children at our school. This is why we prioritize partnerships with the New Orleans East community.

4) Whole Child Development. One of our many goals is to help children become well-rounded and develop their sense of self. We do this by offering a variety of resources, including on-site social workers.


Year Founded


Students Currently Enrolled

K – 7th

Grade Levels


2019-2020 Board of Directors Open Meetings

For more information regarding IDEA New Orleans’ Board of Directors, including members names and previous meetings, click the button below!

IDEA's Special Education Program

The Special Programs team provides resources, training, and support for all campuses that service students who are English Language Learners (ELL) and/or receive 504, Homebound, Dyslexia, or Special Education services. Additionally, we provide resources, training, and support for the Response to Intervention (RtI) process and for campuses that service students who receive a specialized remedial curriculum for additional academic support.

Campus Leaders


Christopher Joyce

Founding Principal, IDEA Oscar Dunn Academy

Christopher Joyce believes that graduating from college is the avenue for all children to have equitable life outcomes. As Founding Principal of IDEA New Orleans Academy, he works to provide every child the academic, social, and emotional skills and knowledge to be on the path to and through college.

Christopher began his teaching career in 2008 in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. He taught all subjects in 4th and 5th grade and later helped launch the turnaround program at McDonogh 26 in Gretna as TAP Master Teacher in 2011. From 2012 to 2015, Christopher served as Principal at Terrytown Elementary School where his team boasted the most growth on state assessments for any elementary school in Louisiana in 2015. After his time in Jefferson Parish, Christopher joined ReNEW schools in New Orleans as Lower School Principal and School Director.

When IDEA’s charter in New Orleans was approved, Christopher jumped at the opportunity to combine the great successes of IDEA schools in Texas with his knowledge of the New Orleans community. In 2017, he joined the IDEA Team & Family as Principal in Residence at IDEA Quest Academy in McAllen, Texas. This year, he has returned to Southern Louisiana to support our schools in Baton Rouge as Director of Instructional Coaching while he prepares to launch IDEA’s first New Orleans campus in the fall of 2019.

Christopher holds a Bachelor of the Arts degree from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York and a Masters in Educational Leadership degree from Our Lady of Holy Cross College in New Orleans, Louisiana. In his free time, Christopher enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children, cooking, and watching his favorite sports teams.

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Merisa Marsh

Principal, IDEA Oscar Dunn College Prep

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Merisa Marsh

Principal, IDEA Oscar Dunn College Prep