The Race Has Begun: Lake Forest Charter School Begins their 2017-2018 Enrollment

Despite the criticism Lake Forest Charter School has received over the years for being one of the few public schools with selective enrollment, it isn’t stopping New Orleans’ parents from trying to claim a stake in the city’s school choice melee.  

As described in an article from The Times Picayune which focused attacking the city’s only three selective-enrollment schools (now only two with Audubon Charter now an open-enrollment school),

these three schools impose mind-numbingly complex application processes that test a parent’s savvy, access to transportation and ability to get off work.”

Having maintained their position as a high-performing K-8 school for years, #18 in the state during the 2016-2017 school year 2013 Blue Ribbon School), especially in the everlasting disapproval of the city’s past and present school system, which was aired by upset parents and students alike during the NAACP’s visit to the city earlier this year,  I can understand why a school would elect to maintain their admission standards to remain a separate entity from the chaotic conversations; however, some members of the community, including school staff of open-enrollment programs find the process of schools like Lake Forest Charter to be a daunting one based upon class rather than need.  

Orientations, assessments, and application submissions just about sum up the process, but to community members who support inclusion and children from low-income households being given as many opportunities as those with resources, selective schools like Lake Forest Charter School are problematic for the city’s youth.

As not only an employee of an open-enrollment charter school, but also the mother of a child who was not placed in a Pre-K program through the city’s open-enrollment program (One-App) due to my income being considered too “high” for Pre-K and only eligible for tuition-based Pre-K programs (which limited the availability), I for one have certainly looked into the application process for Lake Forest Charter School after my dissatisfaction with the One App process and its algorithmic lottery system.  

The uncertainty of the open-enrollment application process is just as emotionally taxing as rearranging my schedule to visit the school for an assessment and orientation (which occur simultaneously).  

I can’t argue with what is fair in terms of how a school chooses to admit students, but what I can say is during a time in my life where I am most concerned about fostering my son to ensure he is armed with an excellent education to combat his identity markers of being a black (no privilege) male (greater privilege), I cannot afford to take a gamble on where he is assigned to spend the next nine years of the most pivotal time of his foundation.  

And if that means engaging in whatever the “mind-numbing” application process, it’s a challenge that I am willing to take.

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