I have been working with Plessy for a couple weeks now. I’m very impressed with the passion of the community and the head-of-school. I have to admit that moving to NOLA from San Diego, CA definitely left me predisposed to anxieties. One of the greatest of those was that I would have a completely different approach to education reform than my head-of-school. Thankfully, Sara and I were so aligned that we even had matching nail colors the night we met. It’s inspiring to be working with such great and knowledgeable people building a new school.
Yes, the rumors are true. Homer A. Plessy Community School is real and on its way down from the clouds into the Bywater, St. Roch, and Marigny neighborhoods. This new public charter school is not meant to compete or detract from other schools in the neighborhood, such as Arise Academy (Kylie) and KIPP, but rather to fill a need and offer an alternative style of education. Our curriculum focuses on “art integration” and learning through play, which is a stark contrast from other charter schools now available to NOLA children. We will also be offering a Pre-K program that will help alleviate the burdens of impacted schools close-by. We are currently fighting for the Colton school site and should hopefully know by the end of this month, but don’t hold your breath for bureaucracy. We will start classes next fall.
So…what are you doing now, you might ask. Well, schools always need more money, so that has become a priority through fundraising and grants. Also, settling the structure of the school and getting paperwork done. Most importantly, we are reaching out to the community to make sure parents and families understand that we are another option that may be better suited for their child. I’ll be interested to see how things fall into place as decisions are made by OPSB and RSD.
In other news, I AM ABSOLUTELY LOVING NOLA! I can’t thank everyone enough for being so welcoming and helpful.
Till next time! ~Jean