RECOVERY SCHOOL DISTRICT AND ORLEANS PARISH SCHOOL BOARD LAUNCH IMPROVED ENROLLMENT PROCESS FOR THE 2013-2014 SCHOOL YEAR

Jan 16, 2013

OneApp features new online application that now includes all OPSB direct-run schools

NEW ORLEANS – The Recovery School District (RSD) and the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) are excited to announce the launch of the 2013-2014 OneApp, the New Orleans Public School Enrollment Process. OneApp allows parents to apply to up to eight schools on one application and rank schools in order of preference. OneApp, celebrating its second year, touts efficient changes like a new online application process and inclusion of OPSB direct-run schools. These changes were inspired by parents’ feedback from last year’s process.

“We are constantly looking for ways to improve our process, so we created a parent advisory committee this year,” said Superintendent Patrick Dobard. “For years, parents in this city have sought a seat at the table; we had an honest conversation about what they needed and what would work for them. We’re proud of the end result, and we’ll continue to ask our parents to step up and engage with us on every level. “

It’s Dobard’s hope that the momentum fueling family engagement in the OneApp process will translate into other forms of parent participation throughout the city.

“We are dedicated to continuing to improve school choice for our families,” said Dobard. “Our partnership with OPSB is just one more exciting chapter in our ongoing efforts to ensure that all New Orleans students have meaningful access to a quality education. This is just the beginning.”

The RSD highlights the key changes for OneApp this year:

  • Orleans Parish School Board’s direct-run schools are participating, increasing the number of options available to families.
    • Mary Bethune Elementary (PK-6)
    • Benjamin Franklin Elementary Math & Science (PK-8)
    • McDonogh 35 High (7-12)
    • Eleanor McMain High (7-12)
    • Mahalia Jackson Elementary (PK-2)
  • A web-based parent portal was created so parents can learn about their school options and submit applications for their children online. Families can access the online application at www.enrollnola.org.
  • Eligible families can also apply to non-public schools participating in the Louisiana Scholarship Program.
  • Parents with students entering Pre-K 4 will be provided a separate application that clearly explains the process and policies for pre-kindergarten programs.
  • By selecting “Family Link,” parents wanting to move multiple children to a new school together will be able to make that clear by ranking their school choices in the same order on each of their children’s application.
  • Through a partnership with the New Orleans Public Libraries, families can also apply online at any participating public library, where library staff will be on hand to assist families with the OneApp process.

“It is important that all of our families are able to access the many school choices in New Orleans in a fair and transparent way,” said Stan Smith, acting OPSB Superintendent. “OPSB is excited to add its direct-run schools to OneApp this year and looks forward to the future where all New Orleans public school options are offered in one application.”

OneApp ensures all children have equal access to an excellent education and provides families the ease of one application with many choices. The RSD and OPSB encourage parents to explore their options by visiting schools, attending OneApp workshops and/or visiting one of four Family Resource Centers:

RSD Family Resource Center, Gentilly
Mary D. Coghill Elementary School
4617 Mirabeau Ave.  70126
8 a.m.  to 4 p.m.

RSD Family Resource Center, Uptown
Crocker Arts & Technology
2300 General Taylor St. 70115
8 p.m. to 4 p.m.

RSD Family Resource Center, Westbank
L.B. Landry High School
1200 L.B. Landry Ave. 70114
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

OPSB Family Resource Center
3520 General De Gaulle Drive
Suite 1050
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In addition to RSD and OPSB family resources, community organizations like the New Orleans Parents’ Guide and the Urban League of Greater New Orleans have created tools to help parents make school decisions for their children.

The 7th edition of the New Orleans Parents’ Guide to Public Schools is set to be released in early February and provides essential and easily accessible information about the landscape of public schools in New Orleans, as well as basic advocacy tools to help parents and community members improve their schools. In addition to the printed guide, the organization will launch a new mobile phone app, NOLA Schools Guide. To learn more about the guide and new app, visit http://neworleansparentsguide.org. To view a searchable online database of information about public schools visit http://LASchoolfinder.com.

“Our mission is to support families in finding and advocating for quality schools,” says Aesha Rasheed, Editor of the Parents’ Guide. “We are committed to helping parents get access to information, so they can make well-informed decisions and are glad to work in partnership with the RSD, OPSB and community organizers to create and disseminate the guide to families.”

Families can pick up this year’s guide at participating schools, RSD and OPSB Family Resource Centers, all branches of New Orleans public libraries and at events like the Urban League of Greater New Orleans’ free Schools Expo on February 16th at the Mercedes Benz Superdome from 10 a.m. -2 p.m.  Families are invited to come out and meet with school representatives and learn about the Louisiana Scholarship Program.  They will also receive free backpacks, school supplies, and uniform vouchers.  A new addition to this year’s Expo is the dedication of an early childhood provider room.  Families looking for more information on the Expo can also call 504.620.2332.

“We know that it’s critical for parents to have an opportunity to directly interact with schools so that so they can fully engage in conversation with school administrators and have all of their questions answered prior to making a decision about their child’s education,” says Erika McConduit-Diggs, Interim President and CEO of the Urban League.  “We are happy that Expo provides the safe space for that dialogue to happen.”

The RSD and OPSB encourage all families to take advantage of their resources and those offered by community groups during this decision-making process. The deadline for submitting OneApp applications is March 15 and placement notifications will be mailed to families the week of April 15. For more information on OneApp, upcoming events, and to access the application online, log onto www.enrollnola.org.

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