Close to 1,300 students apply to Lafayette charter schools

Nearly 1,300 students have applied so far to the three charter schools set to open in August, according to information provided by the schools’ organizers.

Informational sessions for the community to learn about the schools began last month and will continue in the next two weeks before the initial application period for the schools closes March 31.

Two separate charter school management companies will operate the schools in partnership with local, nonprofit boards.

Willow Charter Academy, a K-5 school that will expand to grade eight, will be managed by National Heritage Academies, a charter management company based in Michigan.

The school will be housed in the former Albertsons store, adjacent to the Northgate Mall. Renovations of the building will begin within a month, said Jennifer Hoff, NHA communications manager.

As of Friday afternoon, Hoff said, 424 students had applied to Willow Charter.

The other two charter schools — Lafayette Renaissance Charter Academy and Acadiana Renaissance Charter Academy — are managed by Charter Schools USA, a charter school management company based in Florida. Those two charter academies will open in August for grades K-6 and will also expand through grade eight.

As of early Friday, 572 students applied to Acadiana Renaissance Charter Academy, under construction near Sugar Mill Pond in Youngsville, and 293 applied to Lafayette Renaissance Charter Academy, under construction in Couret Farms, a new neighborhood located off of Pont des Mouton Road, said Colleen Reynolds, a spokeswoman for Charter Schools USA.

Upcoming charter school information sessions are scheduled as follows:

Acadiana Renaissance Charter Academy: 6 p.m. Monday and 6 p.m. March 24 at Comeaux Recreation Center, 411 W. Bluebird Drive. Info:

Willow Charter Academy: Tuesday at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Clifton Chenier Center. Info:

Lafayette Renaissance Charter Academy: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and 6:30 p.m. March 25 at Ramada Lafayette, 2032 NE Evangeline Thruway. Info: