Student Priorities & Verification

 

A priority is defined as a grouping of applicants that is used to arrange applicants prior to ordering by random number. Every participating school has a priority structure which determines how applicants are prioritized for assignment in the event there are more applicants than available seats. Priority structures are determined and approved by a school’s authorizer. Applicants are considered in order of their priority groups. If any school, or grade within the school, has student priorities, the information is listed on the Admissions tab of the school’s page on the NOLA-PS Explore Schools tool

All priorities are either full priorities or partial priorities. 

  • Full priorities apply to 100% of available seats, after accounting for students with a guarantee to the school. 
  • Partial priorities apply to less than 100% of available seats, after accounting for students with a guarantee to the school. 

 

Priority Types

There are many types of priority in the NOLA-PS Common Application Process. Priorities can vary between schools and across grade levels based on their Charter Operating Agreements. 

There are several priority types that apply to many schools. 

  • Sibling Priority (full): priority that applies to applicants who have a sibling enrolled in a non-terminal grade at the school
  • Geographic Priority (partial): geographic priority is made up of two partial priorities:
    • Half-Mile Proximity (partial): applicants who live within a half mile of the school site receive priority for up to 25% of available seats
    • Geographic Zone (partial): applicants who live within the school’s geographic zone receive priority for up to 50% of available seats, except in specific cases
  • Closing School Priority (full): Applicants currently in grade K-7 and grade 9-11 who do not have a guarantee for the upcoming school year due to the closure of an OPSB charter or direct-run school, where no provision to another school has been made. When closing school priority is in effect, it is the highest priority, ranked above sibling and geographic priority.
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There are some priority types that apply to a small number of schools. 

  • Economically Disadvantaged Priority (partial): Applicants who qualify as economically disadvantaged based on financial need receive priority for a designated percentage of available seats. The percentage of available seats depends on the school. 
  • Feeder Pattern Priority (full): Applicants who attend an elementary feeder school that is linked to a high school receive priority to attend 9th grade at that school. 
  • Individualized Education Plan Priority (partial): In some cases, Type 2 schools are directed by the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) to grant priority for applicants who have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) . The percentage of those designated to receive this priority is determined by LDOE. 

 

There are a few priority types that apply to only one school. 

  • French Priority (full): Applicants currently enrolled in an accredited French school or French immersion school receive priority to Audubon Uptown French program. French programs must be accredited by the Agency for French Education Abroad (AEFE).
  • Military Priority (full): Applicants who are dependents of U.S. Military and Department of Defense personnel receive priority to New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy (NOMMA). 
  • Montessori Priority (full): Applicants currently attending an accredited Montessori program receive priority to Audubon Uptown Montessori School. 
  • UNO Staff Priority (partial): Applicants who are children of full-time UNO faculty receive priority to Hynes – UNO and Hynes – UNO French for up to 15% of available seats.

 

Schools Requiring Priority Verification for SY23-24

Families can reach out to the school to get additional information about the process for verification.   

Priority Schools that Verify
Sibling Priority

Verification required for:  

  • Alice M. Harte Charter School
  • Audubon Charter School – Gentilly
  • Audubon Charter School Montessori (including French)
  • Benjamin Franklin Elementary Mathematics and Science School
  • Bricolage Academy
  • Edna Karr High School
  • Edward Hynes Charter School – Lakeview (including French)
  • Edward Hynes Charter School – Parkview
  • Edward Hynes Charter School – UNO (including French) 
  • Eleanor McMain Secondary School
  • Lake Forest Elementary Charter School (kindergarten only) 
  • New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy (NOMMA)
  • The Willow School (Formerly Lusher, kindergarten only)
  • Warren Easton High School

See Sibling Verification Directions for more information about how to submit documentation to each school. Schools offer online and/or in person options.

Please note that Lake Forest and Willow only offer sibling priority for kindergarten applicants. 

For all other schools not listed above, sibling relationships must be linked in NCAP but do not require verification. Siblings are linked if they both appear in the same Parent Portal account. 

Geographic Priority

Verification Required: Hynes-Lakeview

If you live in the 70124 zip code, reach out to the school for more information about verifying this priority. Applicants to all other schools receive priority through NCAP based on the address entered on the application. 

Closing School Priority No verification required. 
Economically Disadvantaged

Schools may request verification. NOLA-PS completes verification after Main Round in partnership with the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) for all three schools. Schools may request documentation during Main Round, but it is not required in order to be eligible for the priority. See a list of eligibility criteria for this priority further down the page.

  • Bricolage (K only) – verification requested during Main Round
  • Lycee Francais (K-12) – verification requested during Main Round 
  • Willow School (K-12) – verification not requested during Main Round 
Feeder Pattern 

No verification required. Schools that use feeder pattern priority for 8th grade students applying to 9th grade are: 

  • Alice Harte or Dwight Eisenhower Elementary → Edna Karr High School
  • Andrew Wilson → Eleanor McMain
  • International School of Louisiana terminal grade 2 & grade 5 → International School of Louisiana
  • KIPP middle school (KIPP Believe, KIPP Central City, KIPP East, KIPP Leadership, and KIPP Morial) → KIPP High School (Booker T Washington High School, Frederick A Douglass High School, and John F Kennedy High School)
  • Pierre A. Capdau @ Avery Alexander Charter School and McDonogh 42 Elementary Charter School → McDonogh 35 Senior High School 
  • Sarah T Reed Middle School → Sarah T Reed High School
Individualized Education Plan

No verification required. NOLA-PS verifies after Main Round with the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE). 

  • International School of Louisiana
  • Noble Minds
French Priority

Verification required: Audubon French 

If you believe you are eligible for this priority, reach out to the school for more information about verification. 

Military Priority

Verification required: New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy 

If your family includes a person who is active in the military or Department of Defense, reach out to the school for more information about verification. 

Montessori Priority

Verification required: Audubon Uptown Montessori School

If you believe you are eligible for this priority, reach out to the school for more information about verification. 

Tulane Staff Priority

Verification required: Willow School

If your family includes a person who works at Tulane University, reach out to the school for more information about verification. 

UNO Staff Priority

Verification required: Hynes-UNO & Hynes-UNO French 

If your family includes a person who works at the University of New Orleans (UNO), reach out to the school for more information about verification. 

 

 

 

Sibling Priority 

Sibling Priority: If a student applies to a school that their sibling already attends and will continue attend next year, the student will receive sibling priority in the Main Round. Please note that siblings can EITHER share a parent/guardian OR a residence. 

On the student’s NCAP, there is a space for families to indicate if the student has a sibling who will be continuing to attend the school next year. For most schools, families do not need to take any additional steps to qualify for sibling priority, simply naming the student’s sibling on the application is sufficient. However, some schools require the sibling relationship to be verified in order to receive the sibling priority. 

The applying student’s sibling must be continuing to attend for the applying year for the applicant to receive sibling priority. For example, if a student applying to 9th grade at Edna Karr has a sibling who is currently a 12th grader at Edna Karr, the 9th grader will not qualify for sibling priority because the student’s sibling will not be attending Edna Karr for the school year for which the sibling is applying. 

For applying students who are multiples, the placement process is unique. If one child (but not all children of a set of multiples), concurrently applying to attend school, is matched to a school on their application, the other multiples will also be matched. Multiples will only be matched with their sibling(s) if all students have submitted timely, family-linked applications per standard enrollment procedures.

Sibling Verification 

For some schools, sibling preference must be verified. Verification of priority is a process to make sure that students who self-report they should receive priority qualify for the priority.

Schools whose entry grade (the earliest grade the school offers) filled in the previous Main Round must complete priority verification for applying students. For example, a K-8 school that met its kindergarten match target in the Main Round for SY22-23 will participate in sibling priority verification for grades K-8 in the Main Round for SY23-24.

At these schools, the sibling relationship must be verified in order to be eligible for the student priority. The family will provide documentation to the school that meets a burden of proof set forth by the district to demonstrate either:  A biological or legal sibling relationship through one or more common parents or legal guardians OR  shared household status among siblings through a common address. These priorities shall be verified in coordination between the applicant and the school. Families shall have the ability to appeal the school’s review of sibling status within one week of the close of the Main Round application. 

Required Documentation 

Documents should be submitted to the applicant’s sibling’s school. Documentation can be submitted in-person or electronically depending on the directions from the school. All applicants seeking to verify sibling priority must provide matching documentation that lists the parent/guardian’s name and the siblings’ names. Documentation should be active and issued by a governmental agency. Options include:

  • Documentation that lists all children and the parent/guardian’s name on the same document
    • Consent Judgment that names the applicant and the sibling as in the custody of the parent/guardian 
    • Department of Children and Family Services household information sheet that lists the parent/guardian name, the applicant name, and the sibling name
    • Medical insurance letter listing the parent/guardian name, the applicant name, and the sibling name
    • Letter from the Louisiana Department of Health about Medicaid coverage including the parent/guardian name, the applicant name, and the sibling name
    • LA Cafe household information listing the parent/guardian name, the applicant name, and the sibling name, such as a letter or screenshot of the online portal 
    • Letter from the Social Security Administration about benefits that lists the parent/guardian name, the applicant name, and the sibling name
    • Multiple documents of the same form that list the consistent parent/guardian name and each child’s name
    • Birth certificates for the applicant and the sibling that list the same parent/guardian

 

Geographic Priority

 

Geographic Priority: NOLA-PS 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 applicants who live near the school. There are two types of geographic priority

  • Half-Mile Priority: for students who live within a half-mile (0.5) of the school.
  • Zone Priority: for students who live in the geographic zone of the school. 

 

Most open enrollment schools authorized or directly run by OPSB offer geographic priority. Families can see what priorities a school offers at each grade level on the Explore Schools tool. For schools that offer geographic priority, applicants who live within a half-mile radius of a school receive priority to the defined percentage of open seats. Applicants who reside in a school’s “geographic zone,” also receive priority to the defined percentage  of open seats. The geographic zones are predetermined areas divided by zip codes. 

 

Applicants can see the individualized list of schools where they quality for geographic priority based on their address within the application. Most K-8 schools offer geographic priority for 50% of open seats to applicants who live in the school’s zone. Most high schools do not grant geographic priority. Type 2 charter schools do not offer geographic priority for any grade. 

 

This approach maximizes student choice and schools’ ability to provide specialized programming. Three schools (Alice Harte, Edna Karr, and Hynes Lakeview) grant geographic priority to 67% of open seats, and/or have a geographic zone that differs from the standard zones. The remaining percentage of available seats do not grant geographic priority, to help ensure that families who live further away also have the opportunity to attend. 

Applicants who reside in the geographic zone of an application school are eligible for priority enrollment in cases where: 

  • The application school offers geographic priority. 
  • The applicant resides within the specified geographic zone, in cases where application schools are authorized by OPSB policy or Charter Operating Agreements. 
  • The applicant verifies their residence in a geographic zone for application schools authorized by OPSB policy or Charter Operating Agreements to require residency verification. 

 

The geographic zones can be seen in the map; half-mile radii are drawn for each school using Google software. To see whether a particular school offers geographic priority, please go to the Admissions tab of the school’s profile on the Explore Schools tool.

 

Geographic Priority Verification 

There is only one school that requires applicants to verify geographic priority: Hynes-Lakeview. All other students automatically receive geographic priority at qualifying schools based on the student’s residence address. Applicants to programs at Edward Hynes Charter School – Lakeview who live within the 70124 zip code or who live within 1/2 mile of the school should contact the school to verify their geographic priority within 5 business days of the application closure. Families must submit proof of residency to Hynes directly in order to verify this priority. 

 

Schools must collect and retain readable copies of one or more of the following documents as proof of residency. 

  • Electricity/Gas Bill dated within ninety days of the registration date. 
  • Sewerage/Water Bill dated within ninety days of the registration date. 
  • Cable/Internet Bill dated within ninety days of the registration date. 
  • Section 8 or HANO Voucher Statement dated within ninety days of the registration date. 
  • Mortgage Agreement or Lease where the end term is a future date. 
  • Homestead exemption in parent or guardian’s name. 
  • Official letter from a governmental agency dated within ninety days of the registration date. 

 

Closing School Priority 

 

Closing School Priority: Applicants enrolled in a school which, during the application period, is scheduled to close at the end of the school year are eligible for priority enrollment. During the Main Round, students who are enrolled in a school that is closing at the end of the year receive the highest priority. 

At this time, there are no schools that are scheduled for closure at the end of the 2022-2023 school year, so no students will receive closing school priority for SY23-24. 

If any school closures are announced, students who attend the school in a non-terminal grade will automatically receive closing school priority during Main Round. 

 

Economic Disadvantage Priority

Per Act 136 (HB 130) of 2017, the Economically Disadvantaged (ED) definition includes any student who is:

  • Eligible for Louisiana’s food assistance program for low-income families (SNAP),
  • Eligible for Louisiana’s disaster food assistance program (DSNAP),
  • Eligible for Louisiana’s program for assistance to needy families with children to assist parents in becoming self-sufficient (TANF),
  • Eligible for Louisiana’s healthcare program for families and individuals (Medicaid) with limited financial resources,
  • Eligible for free or reduced lunch price meals based on the latest available data,
  • An English Language Learner,
  • Identified as homeless or migrant pursuant to the McKinney-Vento Homeless Children and Youth Assistance Act and the Migrant Education Program within the ESSA,
  • Incarcerated with the office of juvenile justice or in an adult facility, or placed into the custody of the state.

This ED definition applies to both the MFP At-Risk indicator and to the federal formula allocations.

 

 

Children of Staff

Children of staff do not receive any priority during Main Round, but can enroll after placements are released, beginning in April. Staff members should reach out to their school enrollment lead to learn more about how to enroll. 

Louisiana charter schools may offer eligible children of school staff the opportunity to enroll in grades K-12 directly at the employee’s school of work (per Act 253). In order for a child to be eligible for child of staff enrollment, the school must elect to offer all qualifying employees the opportunity to enroll eligible children. The staff member must be assigned to report to the school they seek to enroll their student each day that students are in session and not be assigned to any other schools. 

One or more of the following conditions must be met: 

  • The staff member is an employee of the non-profit organization that holds the charter for the school and receives a W-2 from the non-profit. 
  • The staff member is contracted for employment by the charter non-profit organization. 
  • The staff member is an employee of another entity the charter non-profit organization has contracted with to provide services at the school.

AND all the Child Eligibility Requirements for Children of Staff Enrollment must be met: 

  • Child must seek to enroll in grades K-12. 
  • The child must be the biological child or legal ward of the employee. 
  • The child must reside primarily at the employee’s residence. 
  • The child must meet all admissions criteria, including selective admissions criteria, as applicable. 

No student admitted to a charter school pursuant to this item shall be counted to determine whether such enrollment exceeds the capacity of a program, class, grade level, or school. These students can be enrolled over capacity. Eligible children of school staff will be offered a school start-date on or after the employed parent’s official start date, as determined in consultation with the school of employment. 

Children of staff for the upcoming school year can be assigned to the school after Main Round. School staff members should reach out to their school enrollment lead for more information and next steps for enrollment.

 

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