SPECIAL THANKS TO THE 2016 PARENTS’ GUIDE FOR PRODUCING THIS GUIDE FOR NEW ORLEANS FAMILIES
STEP 1: WHAT DOES YOUR FAMILY NEED
Think about what is most important to your family:
• How important is it that all your children attend the same school?
• What sports, arts, or music programs would benefit your child?
• Do you think your child has a special learning need?
STEP 2: FIND SCHOOLS THAT FIT
Decide what factors are most important and look at the school pages to see which schools meet your needs. If you are enrolling for the current school year and the year has already started, contact a Family Resource Center for help identifying schools that have available spaces in your child’s grade. If your preferred schools do not participate in the OneApp process, you can contact the school or district directly more enrollment information.
STEP 3: VISIT THE SCHOOLS
Call schools to schedule a visit or find out about open houses or parent nights for new students. Ask for a tour of the school and see if you can watch some of the classes. You can also ask for a phone appointment if you cannot visit the school in person.
OBSERVE: Consider looking for these things while you walk around the school:
- Is the school neat, clean, and cheerful?
- Do students seem to be doing educational things?
- Do students seem interested? Are they discussing, asking questions, focused on school work?
- Are students paying attention even at the end of class?
- Are the school bathrooms and cafeteria working and clean?
- Is there a computer lab or computers in classrooms?
- Do the adults seem to like and respect the children?
- Is the office calm and friendly?
INTERVIEW: Consider asking these questions of the school staff:
- How are you working to make sure every child is learning and making progress?
- Please tell me about other school activities such as art and music.
- Please tell me about the qualifications of your teachers. What percent of the teachers are fully certified? What percent are certified in the subjects that they teach?
- How experienced are the teachers? How often do teachers get training?
- How are parents involved in making decisions at the school?
- Is there a handbook for parents and students?
- Will my child have textbooks to take home?
- Will my child be able to take other books or reading materials home?
- What are the school’s discipline policies?
- How do you encourage and reward good behavior? How does the school work to help students who misbehave?
FOR HIGH SCHOOLS:
- Is there a school-to-career program?
- Are there college options or courses?
- How does your counselor help students choose classes and make decisions about college and life after high school?
STEP 4: APPLY TO THE SCHOOLS
Check the “Special Programming & Admissions” and “Eligibility” sections on each school profile to see if the schools where you are applying require students to take tests or have certain grades in order to attend.
Check the “Applications Due” and “Application Process” on the school profiles to find out when you should apply for each school. Most schools in the city are part of the centralized OneApp process for student enrollment, which means applications are due February 24, 2017.
If the application deadline for a school has already passed, do not give up. You may still be able to enroll your child in a particular school if there are still spaces available at that school. Although your child is not guaranteed a seat in any specific public school, your child has the right to attend a public school in the parish where you live.
HELP: FAMILY RESOURCE CENTERS
Visit a Family Resource Center to:
- Submit a OneApp for school enrollment
- Find out about enrolling in school mid-year
- Find out about transferring from one public school to another