Office of Youth & Families Advocates for More Quality Seats, Continued Improvements to OneApp Enrollment System

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May 10, 2019 

Contact: LaTonya Norton

For Media Inquiries Only
(504) 658-4962

Office of Youth & Families Advocates for More Quality Seats, Continued Improvements to OneApp Enrollment System

NEW ORLEANS – The City of New Orleans’ Office of Youth and Families has been a strong advocate for the schoolchildren of Orleans Parish since its establishment. While Mayor LaToya Cantrell recognizes the City has no direct control or oversight of public schools, we acknowledge the disappointment and frustration that some parents have encountered when trying to secure a place for their children in the school system.

Demand for seats is high and concentrated among a handful of high-performing schools. This year, 68 percent of first-round applicants got one of their top three choices and 75 percent were assigned to a school ranked on their OneApp.

We are encouraged that as trust begins to grow in the public schools in this city, more students are enrolling. The Recovery School District and Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) have made modifications to the OneApp enrollment system over the years in an effort to design a more equitable, transparent and user-friendly process. Regardless, we note the disappointment families are experiencing around the match rate, especially for the schools that are in highest demand.

“We need to double-down on working to create more high-quality seats for all of our city’s children. I urge the OPSB, policy leaders and educators to work to adapt best practices to more schools and better communicate with families about the diverse array of school choices available to them, said Emily Wolff, Director of the Office of Youth and Families. “We urge youth, parents and community members to get involved, attend school board meetings, step up into leadership roles, advocate for more resources, join or start parent leadership chapters and directly engage conversation with decision-makers. The public schools are here to serve you.”

Mayor Cantrell remains committed to listening to our residents and honoring the experiences of New Orleans’ youth and families, holding our education system leaders accountable and working to ensure the system works better for families. In the coming months, the Office of Youth and Families will be engaging with residents to hear their concerns and find more effective ways to improve their education choices.

We believe every child in our city deserves access to a quality, enriching school experience. We are committed to working with OPSB officials, students, parents and the community on a path forward.

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