Nelson Charter gets new principal who has plans to turn around the struggling school

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Struggling Medard Nelson Charter School is on the mend, said newly hired Principal Chauncey Nash.

Nash fills the vacancy that opened mid-October at the charter school overseen by the New Beginnings network.

Nelson also has seen sharp staff turnover as seven of its 20 teachers resigned within the first three months of the school year, leaving parents very concerned. Former principal Deidra Bradley’s last day was Oct. 17, though parents weren’t formally notified until a letter went home with students Oct. 24. Many parents said they were upset because their students informed them of Bradley’s departure before the letter arrived.

In that Oct. 24 letter, New Beginnings CEO Sametta Brown vowed to hire a principal within two weeks. In a letter dated Nov. 5, Brown announced to parents that she had hired Nash to run the 480-student elementary school.

Brown also introduced Nash at the board’s meeting on Monday. Nash previously worked for Crescent Leadership Academy, an alternative school in Orleans Parish.

Nash said he was instituting a three-year plan to turn around Nelson. The charter school’s performance score slipped from a C to a D last year, and Brown began a reorganization of the school earlier this fall.

Nash said he, with the support of network staff, has hires lined up to fill all vacant positions at the school. Nash is set to meet with Nelson parents Wednesday afternoon in Nelson’s cafeteria.

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