If you are a parent of a school-aged child and you aren’t thinking about schools for the fall yet, you should be! For so many in our community, this important decision point passes and the window for some of Baton Rouge’s highest-performing schools closes without much fanfare — leaving them locked out of opportunity for another year.
When the priority pool enrollment window closes for magnet schools and some of the city’s most in-demand charter schools, families will be left with a limited set of options that may not serve their student’s needs.
Imagine needing to purchase your student’s school supplies a year in advance and going into a store a month prior to the first day only to find everything sold out. This is akin to what happens to parents who wait to consider their child’s school options after the first enrollment round ends. This complicated, confusing system has created two tiers of enrollment in Baton Rouge: those who have the time, knowledge, and wherewithal to go through the laborious application process for high-performing schools and those who do not. This advantages certain families and is unnecessarily tedious for everyone.
School and system leaders can better collaborate on policies creating a common timeline and process reaching all families in the city, helping them to better understand their options and making it accessible to apply.
Baton Rouge families deserve an enrollment system designed with them in mind. Parents deserve one platform inclusive of all schools, a common application and timeline, as well as resource centers staffed with experts to help them navigate their options and complete the application process.
Families need the School Board in East Baton Rouge Parish to take immediate action implementing improvements prioritizing ease, equity and accessibility in enrollment.
ADONICA PELICHET DUGGAN
Baton Rouge Alliance for Students