OneApp Pre-K Results Are In… And I’m Frustrated

The Nola-PS NCAP, formerly known as the One App, results for early childhood were released today and I’m annoyed for multiple reasons.

For context, I have spent a decade working as an administrator in charter education here in the city. I consider myself very familiar with the One App/Common App and the Nola-PS enrollment processes. I don’t love or agree with several of their practices, but I understand the purpose many of them they were designed for.

Before this year, my experience was only as an administrator. However, this application year I had my first experience with the application process as a parent, and the experience has been far less than favorable.

My journey started in February when applications opened, and I applied for my child. My first red flag was during the application process. After entering my household income and household members, I was alerted that I only qualified for tuition, non-income based seats. No problem, I understood that. What I couldn’t understand was, why, as a tuition only applicant, did the portal force me to upload paycheck stubs and financial info? That didn’t make sense to me and I didn’t have that information readily available. So, I had to pause my application, compile all of that, and complete it the next day. The system would not let me proceed without uploading this information, even though only tuition spots populated for me. I completed my application within the application window and received my email confirmation of the submission.

Fourteen (14) days later I received a notification asking for check stubs. Again, I was confused. I had already uploaded this information, and again, I was not applying for an income-based seat. Each time I logged in and saw no issues. I breathed a sigh of relief and just assumed the email was a glitch. Red flag number 2

My final red flag was the amount of time that passed with no contact or updates. There was no ETA about results. Absolutely none. I knew the early childhood window was after the main K-12 round so I assumed that we would get results in an equivalent time stagger. Nope. That date came and went … crickets. I received an email in late March (because of a listserv I’m on as an Administrator) with the information below stating that Early Childhood results would be available later this SUMMER … at that point I gave up hope.

I’m familiar with how enrollment works and I know that applicants are not guaranteed a Pre-K placement. Which is also something they don’t do a great job at communicating to parents, in my opinion. So while I navigated this process, my Plan A, I simultaneously worked on a Plan B.

The frustrating thing about Plan B is that it’s almost impossible to navigate Plan B without having ANY information about when a decision from Plan A may come. We are working parents and childcare / school is a must. My child is currently in daycare, and I had to give notice in the spring (before NCAP/OneApp results) that we would not be returning in the Fall. So just staying at daycare if we don’t get a public school spot isn’t an option.

For our family, Plan B meant private school. We toured in November, applied in December, tested in February, and received a decision in March. We had a deadline of April 15th to put a deposit down to secure that spot. I eagerly hoped we would have OneApp results before then. It is not lost on me that for so many families private school is not an option. I was educated in New Orleans public schools my entire school career and hoped to say the same for my children.

My April 15th deadline came and I paid a $750 deposit to hold my child’s spot at the Plan B school. There had still not been a single piece of communication from Nola-PS. At this point, our Plan B was already hosting new parent socials and sending calendars and information for the upcoming school year. How much longer could we possibly wait?

The 2022-2023 school year ended last week at every school across the city, and incoming Pre-K families still had no indication of where their child may be in starting the next school year. Well, the wait finally ended today. On MAY 30th results were finally released.

My child did not get a spot.

My portal has my child listed as “not considered” for every school we applied, to and we are number 77 on the waitlist at our third choice. The “not considered” is very confusing and unclear to me. The Nola PS guide lists “not considered” as meaning:

  • Schools/centers ranked lower than the school where your child was accepted – I wasn’t accepted anywhere so this can’t be true.
  • Your child was not eligible for the ‘not considered’ choice(s) – We meet all eligibility requirements for each school we applied to.
  • It’s possible your child did not meet residency or age requirements – We are Orleans Parish residents and my child turns 4 in June. I uploaded all residency documents and his birth certificate.

To say I’m frustrated is an understatement. Yes, I know a spot is not guaranteed. But knowing that, shouldn’t it be a best practice to make this information available as early as possible? We luckily had already secured Plan B. The entire process screams inequitable, indicative of poor operations and honestly, shows a vast lack of concern for our city’s youngest learners.

To all the PreK parents who are now stuck scrambling 2 days before June – I’m sorry.

To everyone now committed to a very expensive Plan B – I’m right there with you.

To NOLA PS – Please do better next year. Transparency and communication seem like minor things to ask for.


    • No, but every child has the right to a public education. To deny a child at the begging of their educational career should not be a norm.


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