Two Lafayette charter schools to open in July

Backers planning community outreach

Preliminary work to prepare the sites of two new charter schools — Lafayette Renaissance Academy and Acadiana Renaissance Academy — is underway in Lafayette Parish, said Mary Louella Cook, board president of the two schools.

“Both schools are scheduled for occupancy in July,” Cook said.

Groundbreaking ceremonies are planned for both sites — Acadiana Renaissance near Sugar Mill Pond on Savoy Road and Lafayette Renaissance in Couret Farms off of Pont de Mouton Road.

Cook is president of the Lafayette Charter Foundation, which plans to open the two K-8 schools in August and a high school in 2017.

The foundation partnered with Charter Schools USA, a Florida-based charter management company to run the schools.

The board on Thursday discussed its marketing plans, which include an outreach by mail, broadcast media and informational sessions that will begin on Feb. 11.

Board member Fernando Perez-Viart requested that marketing materials also be produced in Spanish.

“I want to make sure that people in my community have the same opportunity to enroll,” he said.

Student applications will be accepted from Feb. 1 through March 14 on both schools’ websites: lafayettecharter.org and acadianacharter.org.

Informational sessions for Lafayette Renaissance Charter Academy, to be located in Couret Farms, are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Feb. 11, Feb. 20 and March 18 at the Ramada Lafayette Conference Center, 2032 NE Evangeline Thruway.

Informational sessions for Acadiana Renaissance Charter Academy are planned for 6 p.m. on the following dates: Feb. 18, Feb. 25 and March 11 at the Comeaux Recreation Center, 411 W. Bluebird Drive.

Both schools are accepting employment applications and expect to hire leadership positions for the school by February, said Keisha Smith, director of school board governance for Charter Schools USA.

The schools are two of three planned for Lafayette Parish that will open in August.

Another charter school — Willow Charter Academy — for grades K-8 is also planned for north Lafayette in the vicinity of East Willow Street and the Evangeline Thruway managed by a different company, National Heritage Academies in partnership with the board of Louisiana Achievement Charter Academies.

Informational sessions for the Willow Charter Academy are planned for 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Feb. 4 at the Clifton Chenier Center, 220 W. Willow Street.