Parents of students at ReNEW Schools’ McNair campus may be in for a shock as OneApp school placement results are released this week — the Uptown location won’t be open this fall.
The campus houses an early childhood center and a therapeutic day program for students with “with complex socioemotional and behavioral needs.” Two years ago, ReNEW then-president Kevin Guitterrez said the therapeutic day program serves “some of the neediest kids in the city.”
The four-school charter network’s spokesman Scott Satchfield confirmed the plan Tuesday. McNair preschool students will go to other network schools and its therapeutic day program students will go to ReNEW Schaumburg, about 12 miles away in eastern New Orleans.
“The pre-k programs currently operating at McNair will be relocated to our existing PK-8 campuses for the 2019-2020 school year,” Satchfield wrote in an email. “ReNEW made this decision because we believe our early childhood students will benefit from the resources at those facilities.”
It’s unclear if the charter has directly told parents yet. But if they don’t already know, they’ll learn soon.
OneApp results, the centralized application for the Orleans Parish school district’s EnrollNOLA program, are expected to be released by Wednesday. The ReNEW Early Childhood Center at McNair was an option on the OneApp enrollment lottery when the application closed in February, so parents were able to list it as one of their choices.
“EnrollNOLA will directly notify parents of their child’s placement for the 2019-2020 school year,” Satchfield wrote. “Following that official release of information, ReNEW staff will provide additional information and context.”
Satchfield wrote the network “does not intend to occupy the McNair building after this current school year.”
District spokeswoman Ambria Washington confirmed the plan, noting ReNEW had informed the district in March that it did not want to renew the lease at the Carrollton Avenue school. It’s unclear why neither appears to have informed parents of the relocation prior to this week.
“ReNEW has a plan to continue offering services for all of the students assigned in the match,” Washington wrote in an email. “McNair staff will reach out to all assigned families to discuss their options and determine final placements. Our enrollment team is working closely with the McNair staff on outreach and final results.”
The network’s footprint has shrunk in recent years. One of its elementary schools was taken over by FirstLine Schools last summer and another closed. The charter network’s board is expected to vote tonight to transfer ReNEW Accelerated High School to the organization that runs The NET, another alternative high school in the city, for the 2020-21 School Year.
The McNair building already has at least one suitor. Building turnover is common in New Orleans’ nearly all-charter landscape.
On Monday night, the McNair campus appeared on Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans’ charter board’s agenda. Board chairman David Amoss said the board has not officially submitted a letter of interest, but said the board endorsed one on Monday night.
“OPSB has publicly expressed an interest in having the building re-allocated for the 20-21 school year,” he wrote in an email.