Lusher Charter School will hold its highly-anticipated kindergarten enrollment lottery April 27, but it will not be open to the public due to COVID-19, Lusher spokeswoman Heather Harper told The Lens. 

“Given Gov. Edwards’ announcement to close all Louisiana K-12 schools in the interest of public safety,  Lusher’s Kindergarten lottery will be closed to the public,” Harper wrote.

The event will not be live-streamed or broadcast, even though many public agencies are now doing that with public meetings amid the coronavirus pandemic that has shuttered much of the country. Harper did not immediately answer a question as to why not. 

Families were informed of the event in a Friday email, along with an alphanumeric code that represents their student. School officials delayed the kindergarten lottery due to Gov. John Bel Edwards’ statewide school closure order. Last week, Edwards extended that order through the end of the school year. 

Each year, the A-rated Uptown charter school receives more applications than it has seats for kindergarten — that then requires them to have an admissions lottery. This year, for kindergarten alone, there are approximately 395 applicants for 100 spots. Young prospective students must take a test and parents must visit the school and complete an arts survey. 

The event is typically held earlier in the spring, but a statewide school closure caused a delay this year. Admissions lotteries for Lusher’s high school and older elementary grades were held in mid-March. 

Lottery results will be sent no later than May 1, Harper wrote in an email.  That’s five days before the deadline of the second round city’s centralized enrollment lottery, called EnrollNOLA. Most schools move to participate in that system when their charter contract is renewed. Lusher is in the middle of a 10-year contract right now. 

“We begin processing the results immediately to let all families have the information in a timely manner,” she wrote. “A video of the proceedings also will be available in a link on the Lusher Website (Admissions Tab) as soon as the video is processed.”

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...