The Emerge School for Autism is accepting applications through Jan. 14 for its 2020-21 kindergarten classes. A lottery will be held for qualified applicants if there are more applications submitted than available spots.

Applications submitted by Jan. 14 will be included in the open enrollment lottery. Applications submitted after the open enrollment period will be processed based on the date and time submitted. Applications can be filled out at

Construction of a 7,000-square-foot building is expected to be completed by the spring of 2020. Until then, the school is operating out of Polk Elementary, 408 E. Polk St., in Baton Rouge.

To qualify for admission, children must:

  • Live in East Baton Rouge Parish School District
  • Qualify for special education in Louisiana
  • Have a medical diagnosis of autism
  • Be entering kindergarten.

The Emerge School for Autism opened in August 2018 and is the first tuition-free school for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Louisiana, according to a news release.

The school also implements socioemotional learning to enhance the academic performance of the students and their ability to integrate into society or back to their home school. Data-driven decision-making is an integral part of The Emerge School, as the team collects data daily and analyzes data weekly for each student, the release said.