Homer A. Plessy Community School will take over Joseph A. Craig Charter School this summer, the CEO of Craig’s charter group confirmed Thursday. 

The decision, a directive from NOLA Public Schools Superintendent Henderson Lewis Jr., comes one week before the deadline to apply for schools through the city’s centralized enrollment application called OneApp. Knowing which charter group will run a school can be a big factor for parents in that decision.

Friends of King CEO Velta Simms confirmed the news Thursday morning. The charter group runs Craig and one other school. Craig was rated an F by the state last fall and did not meet the district’s requirements for a charter renewal. As a result, in November, Lewis recommended that Friends of King lose the contract to operate Craig. In December, an Orleans Parish School Board attempt to overturn Lewis’ recommendation was unsuccessful. 

Plessy is currently operating out of historic McDonogh 15 school in the French Quarter, and parents say the school will outgrow the building. Both Plessy and Craig serve kindergarten through eighth grade students. 

Plessy will take over the Craig building this summer, and it appears the site will serve as a campus for middle grades. Plessy’s CEO Meghan Raychaudhuri did not immediately return a phone call. 

If the move requires Plessy to seek a new charter, the superintendent would have to publicly make this recommendation in front of the Orleans Parish School Board. And the school board could opt to take a vote to overrule him. 

If it is simply a “siting” decision — allowing Plessy to expand to two campuses without a new charter — then no presentation is required. Neither case would require a board vote. NOLA Public Schools officials did not immediately respond to questions about the type of expansion Thursday. 

Simms said Plessy would absorb Craig students. 

“They’re supposed to take over the entire student population,” Simms said.

Simms said Plessy administrators have been communicating with Craig families. 

Craig was one of two F-rated schools to lose its charter late last year. The other was Mary D. Coghill Charter School. But the district said no eligible group applied to run Coghill. Instead, Lewis announced late last year that the district will operate it directly for the 2020-2021 school year.

Marta Jewson

Marta Jewson covers education in New Orleans for The Lens. She began her reporting career covering charter schools for The Lens and helped found the hyperlocal news site Mid-City Messenger. Jewson returned...