The Orleans Parish School Board and the Recovery School District are partnering together to provide students and families with the opportunity to choose a school that best suits their interests and needs. New Orleans has long had some citywide access to public schools. The elimination of neighborhood schools in favor of universal school choice was a step forward in increasing access. It also demonstrated the need for an enrollment system that facilitates school choice for all families and ensures families are enrolled fairly.
As early as 2007, families began advocating for unified enrollment that would provide fair access to all schools. In 2011, EnrollNOLA was established in response to continued calls for greater accountability and a clear, equitable unified enrollment system. EnrollNOLA manages admissions, readmissions, and transfers for 92% of New Orleans public schools and 84% of its students.
EnrollNOLA also administers OneApp, the unified application process, which offers students the opportunity to easily apply to all participating schools using one application. K – 12 Families may now apply to up to 12 participating schools of their choice, anywhere across the city. The application is open to families who are new to New Orleans, new to public school, or who would like to apply to transfer for the upcoming school year. OneApp has adapted over time to include a diverse portfolio of schools with various programming models, governance structures, and admissions criteria.
EnrollNOLA.org provides detailed information on all publicly-funded Early Childhood Education programs and public K-12 schools so you can make informed, deliberate choices based on what is most important to you and your family. To help narrow down your options, try filtering your school choices by the things that matter to you, such as school performance, neighborhood, and more. You can also “favorite” school profiles to review later. For help getting started, check out our step–by–step guide or FAQs, learn more about OneApp, or visit a Family Resource Center.
EnrollNOLA is guided by three principles:
Every student should have fair access to every school, so EnrollNOLA policies apply to all students in the same way.
EnrollNOLA procedures are clearly detailed and publicly available to all schools and families.
Families fill out a single application with all of their school preferences, and receive a single best offer to one of their preferred schools.
Have more questions about how the placement process works? Watch the video below!
Click here to see Spanish or Vietnamese version (end of page)
EnrollNOLA understands that, for some families, attending a school close to home is very important. That’s why nearly all elementary and middle schools that participate in OneApp give priority to half of all open seats to applicants who live in the school’s geographic zone. Students enrolling in most high schools will not receive geographic priority. This approach maximizes student choice and allows schools to specialize in particular programs and areas. Families should consider these factors when selecting schools and planning for next school year.
Geographic priority for most schools is determined by “geographic catchment zones,” a way of splitting up the city by zip code. The zones we use to determine placements can be seen in the map below. Applicants who reside in a school’s geographic catchment zone receive priority to 50% of the available seats at that school, unless stated otherwise. The reason that geographic priority only applies to 50% of available seats is to make sure that families who live further away can also have an opportunity to attend.
EnrollNOLA understands that families often want all of their children to attend the same school together. OneApp honors parents’ ability to choose either to send all of their students to school together, or to choose different schools based on each student’s individual interests and needs, in two important ways:
If a student applies to a school that their sibling already attends, the student will receive priority in the lottery. For sibling priority to take effect, the sibling must be scheduled to remain enrolled in the school for the coming school year. This means that the sibling of a graduating senior, for example, will not receive sibling priority to their sibling’s school.
Family Link is how OneApp tries to keep siblings together when a parent / guardian submits an application for more than one child to attend the same school. During the 2015-2016 OneApp Main Round, 82% of family-linked students were matched to school together.
For example: let’s imagine a family that is looking for a new school for their rising first and second graders. The parent lists the same schools on each child’s application, in the same order. The family’s first-choice school only has a seat for the first-grader, but both students can be matched to their second choice together. In this scenario, OneApp would match both to their second-choice school.
Please note that Family Link will only apply to students applying to public schools. If you include nonpublic schools on your application, Family Link will not apply. Family Link does not give you priority to the schools you list on your application.
Louisiana law (R.S. 17:3991) sets forth required enrollment percentages for Economically Disadvantaged students and Students with Disabilities (i.e.: students who have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), other than Gifted & Talented) for charter schools statewide. The law also requires that, if more students apply than spaces are available, schools operate a lottery that ensures compliance with the law. This requirement is designed to ensure all students have equal access to all public school options in Louisiana, and to cultivate diverse student bodies representative of our student population.
If a school or schools(s) is found to not be meeting the requirement, the schools(s) may be asked to prioritize one or more of these applicant groups in the OneApp lottery by their authorizer. Schools’ priority structures can be found on their individual profiles here. To learn more about LDE’s work supporting special student populations, click here.