Navigating NCAP NOLA Public Schools Enrollment System

including State Authorized Charters

November 4, 2021

As an Orleans Parish resident and parent of 3 young boys, I know first hand how confusing and frustrating it is navigating through the one app application process. I am hoping to help parents understand the process a little better.

Orleans Parish is an all charter school system, that means there are no neighborhood schools or district zoning. If you are an Orleans Parish resident, your child may attend any school in Orleans Parish regardless of your address. With that said, some schools do give geographical preference to students, sibling preference, and preference for economically disadvantaged student or students with disabilities (IEPs). Some schools have additional requirements such as attending a curriculum meeting or open house. Please be sure to check with each school and complete the steps required for consideration of admission for each school or your child will not even be placed in the lottery for a school that requires additional steps for admission. 

To apply to attend any Orleans Parish school or one of several BESE (Board of Elementary and Secondary Education of La) authorized charter schools you must submit a NCAP application (New Orleans Common Application Process). Submission works the same way for State authorized charters that participate in the NCAP. For Early Childhood Programs including Pre K 4 please check our article here.

The NCAP process allows parents to list their schools of choice in order of their personal preference. You may list up to 8 schools (12 for high school) in your application. Listing more than one school does not lower your chances of getting a seat at your top choice school. NCAP opens November 1st, 2021 for the 2021-22 School year applications and the deadline to apply for Round 1 is January 21th, 2022.

Once Round 1 of application closes, an algorithm assigns a random lottery number to each student and adds each student to the schools he or she chose. Each student is ordered by priority group AND lottery number. Then seats available at each school are filled in order. If your child is not assigned to your top school they may still get a seat if another child that is currently assigned receives placement at another school they applied for. 

If your child is currently attending a school and you decide to apply for another school placement, make sure it is a school you like more than your current school because if your child receives a placement during round 1, they will lose their seat at their current school.

After Round 1 results are out, and you receive a placement you must accept or decline. If you accept, you must register your child by the deadline or they may lose their placement. If your child received a placement but you choose to decline the seat offered, your child will not have a seat at any school. Remember if your child is already attending an Orleans Parish School or any school that is included in the One App, and you chose to apply for another school and your child successfully received a placement at the school you applied for, your child will lose their seat at the school they are currently attending. If you do not register your child by the deadline your child will lose their new seat and will not have a school for the upcoming school year. If your child did not receive a placement they will default back to their current school, and you may apply again to another school during round 2. The OneApp tries to match all children with an open seat preferably at one of their top choice schools but in some instances, a child may be placed at a school the parent did not list or they may not receive placement at all. In both cases, your best bet is to apply for a placement during round 2. 

For Round 2 there will be a list of schools with openings but don't think you should wait until round 2 to apply for a seat because not all schools participate in round 2. Assignment of seats for Round 2 works the same way as Round 1. Once you receive a placement you must either accept or decline. Declining will mean your child has no seat at any school. 

I recommend parents to apply to their top choice schools during round 1 and to reapply during round 2 if you did not receive a placement you are happy with. 

After Round 2 registration deadline, schools will release any seats available for late enrollment. Late enrollment allows those who were not able to apply during the two application rounds, those who recently moved to the parish or those who did not receive a satisfactory placement to get a placement at a school.  

This year, three schools previously not part of the unified enrollment system will join for the first time. Lusher, Ben Franklin High School and Lake Forest are now part of NCAP. These schools will still have additional requirements such as testing, curriculum meetings, etc. 

For Late Enrollment, NOLAPS provides a daily list of available seats at each school. I recommend checking daily as even high demand schools may have seats open during late enrollment. Availability is constantly changing; therefore, you must check daily (updated list usually is uploaded at 7am) and visit a family resource center in order to get any of the open seats. I recommend you be there before they even open if you are seeking a seat at a high demand school that may have limited availability listed. 

New to the NCAP, schools will give priority to students living 0.5 miles from the school up to 25% of the seats available. Schools that have a Geographical preference will give up to 25% of seats to students living in the zip code(s) encompassed by the geographical zone. 

If you recently moved to Orleans Parish and need to find a placement for your child for the 2021-22 school year, please visit one of the Family Resource Centers to find a school for your child. Click here for more information


If you are not an Orleans Parish resident but want to apply to one of the State Authorized charter schools that participate on the NCAP, you must only list the State Authorized charter(s) you are applying for, as you are not eligible to enroll in any New Orleans Public School. Some State charters have different enrollment process for non Orleans Parish students. Please check with each school to make sure you must apply through the NCAP. 

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