3.2 Design and implement a unified enrollment system


+ A unified enrollment (UE) system can simplify the admissions and enrollment processes for families and ensure that more families have access to high-quality schools.

The term “unified enrollment” (UE) encompasses a set of policies designed to give parents a simple, informative, transparent, and fair way to access any school in the district.

A UE system can give greater access to school information and school quality for parents and a simplified, streamlined process to enable them to apply to multiple schools.

A UE system can reduce the administrative burden for schools, and provide earlier information about school enrollment that supports better budgeting, staffing, and overall planning at the central office.

Lastly, a UE system can provide more visibility into what families want (demand data), more stability (less, or more predictable, student movement), and greater equity (fair enrollment) across the system.

+ A UE system is a combination of several policies and tools.

UE systems include:

One application: A majority of schools (and hopefully all) – both district and charter – opt into a system that lists all school options and provides a simple process for families to choose a number of schools to apply to on one common timeline.

A matching algorithm: All applications are placed in a central clearinghouse and student matches are developed through a transparent (and verifiable) algorithm. Algorithms generally support a number of “preferences” that are applied to specific students. These preferences will favor some students over others for placement in a school. For example, a common preference is “sibling preference.” If a student applies to a school that her sibling already attends, she will be given precedence over another student who does not have a sibling attending that school. The development of preferences is a collective effort among the central office and schools, and a critical component of the UE work.

One system administrator: Rather than giving authority to multiple entities to enroll students, a single system administrator implements the school admissions process and provides “school matches” to families. The system administrator works with individual schools to enroll students throughout the year.

Refer to the Essential Resources for Lever 3 and the Resource Exchange for more information and resources.