One of nine holdouts from the OneApp enrollment system considers joining early

On Thursday, the board of New Orleans Charter Science and Mathematics High School will consider whether to participate in the city’s centralized enrollment system next year.

The OneApp system is meant to ease the enrollment process for both parents and schools. Prior to OneApp, parents would apply to many independent charter schools and could be offered seats at multiple schools or none.

All Recovery School District Schools and several Orleans Parish School Board schools participate in the process, which includes several rounds of placements. However, Sci High and eight other schools overseen by the Orleans Parish School Board chose not to participate, requiring students to apply directly at those schools.

But that admission independence will eventually end. Those seeking renewal, which must happen at least every 10 years, are required by Orleans Parish School Board policy to join the OneApp system. Participation is also a requirement of any new charter granted by the board.

Of the nine now not participating, charter renewal will force six to join for the 2017-18 school year, and three for 2021-22.

At the request of its school leaders, Sci High’s board will discuss participation in the OneApp process for the 2016-17 school year.

“We aren’t up for charter renewal for another two years and we are considering all options at this point,” said Chana Benenson, principal of student development and school culture.“There are many elements that go into making this decision and we [leadership and board] plan to make the best decision for students, families, and the community at large.”

The board meets at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday at the high school.

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About Marta Jewson

Marta Jewson covers education in New Orleans for The Lens. She began her reporting career covering charter schools for The Lens and helped found the hyperlocal news site Mid-City Messenger. Jewson returned to New Orleans in the fall of 2014 after covering education for the St. Cloud Times in Minnesota. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with majors in journalism and social welfare and a concentration in educational policy studies.

  • nickelndime

    “principal of student development and school culture” – well that’s a good one. Here’s a question: HOW MANY OVERPAID PRINCIPALS DOES IT TAKE TO RUN A CHARTER SCHOOL IN NEW ORLEANS? (Hint: Not anywhere else, just here!) 03/17/2015 1:32 PM

  • nickelndime

    The last time pressure was “attempted” to be placed upon OPSB-authorized charters to participate in the OneApp (when it was time for their 10-year renewals), Lee Reid, Esq. of Adams and Reese, LLP, openly and quite frankly told the OPSB in a public meeting that there would be “litigation” if charters were forced to join. Since Lee does business with the ECC – EastBank Charter Collaborative – (which the OP charters utilize for “their” applications), it meant that the litigation would apply to both open-admission (Warren Easton, Hynes, Einstein, Sci High…) and selective-admission charters (Lusher, Audubon, Lake Forest, Franklin…). Alexina Medley, CEO of Warren Easton, currently serves as president of ECC, but at the time of this study (Jabbar & Harris), Kathleen Riedlinger, CEO of Lusher, was president. These schools pay for membership in ECC, so they expect something in return, and Lee Reid provided it when he got the OPSB to back off. Consequently, these OPSB charter schools will not be required to participate in OneApp until their next renewal, which for some will not be until 2021 or later. Until it is time for renewal, they (Hynes, Franklin, Warren Easton, Audubon, Lake Forest, etc.) are going to opt out of the OneApp, and maybe these schools will never be required to participate. When OP charter CEO salaries range from $165,000 to $313,000, they are not necessarily interested in student choice – especially at-risk student choice. There is “public,” and then there is “PUBLIC.” 03/27/2015 11:57 AM/REPOSTED 10:26 PM

  • nickelndime

    Ten principals in the Jabbar study admitted that they used a variety of techniques to pick students, even though their schools are open-admission schools. Five of the ten were from OPSB charters, and five were RSD school principals. One of the OPSB charter principals said that, next year her/his school would be using the OneApp. Could this Principal X be the Sci High administrator who openly admitted to Jabbar that this was NOT something (OneApp) that Principal X was looking forward to? Or was it another OPSB open-admissions charter administrator (5 of the 9 holdouts)? One has to wonder (at least I do) why these charter boards pay these administrators so damn much money ($165,000 and up) because I am looking at them and they just do not look or sound that sharp to me. 03/27/2015 10:42 PM