New Orleans’ annual public school enrollment period opened this week, a process in which parents rank their top choices among dozens of independent schools and spend the ensuing months hoping for the best.
The application, commonly called OneApp, covers almost all public schools in New Orleans, plus private schools that participate in the state’s voucher program and early childhood education programs that receive public funding.
The application is for parents of students changing schools or entering school for the first time in the 2018-19 school year. Parents who wish to keep their children at their current schools need not fill out any forms.
A computer matches schools and applicants, with some preference for students who have siblings at the school they apply for, or who live close to the school.
Only three public schools in New Orleans do not participate in OneApp. They are Lusher Charter School, Lake Forest Elementary Charter School and Benjamin Franklin High School.
Parents have until Jan. 12 to apply to schools with selective admissions criteria, such as those with language immersion programs, and until Feb. 23 to apply to most other schools. Results will be mailed by April.
Last year, roughly three out of four applicants were matched to one of their top three choices.
More than 90 percent of students were matched to schools that one of their siblings attended, and more than 90 percent of students were matched to schools of their choice near their homes, according to a report provided by the Recovery School District and the Orleans Parish School Board.
To apply, families can go to www.EnrollNOLA.org or visit any of three Family Resource Centers that are open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.