FAQs

Who qualifies for your school?

Students between the ages of 18-22 living in Orleans Parish with intellectual disabilities or autism qualify. You do not need to have a high school diploma to enroll. Students who turn 22 during the school year attend through the end of the year.

Does any student with an IEP qualify?

OA’s programming best serves students with intellectual disabilities. If you aren’t sure if your student qualifies, contact Kathleen Coverick at 504-503-1421 and she can arrange to review your student’s IEP and academic history and determine his/her qualifications for our program.

How do I apply?

Students must apply to attend via EnrollNOLA’s OneApp process. You can fill out an application and list 111: CA-Opportunities Academy. From there, our team will need your students IEP to verify eligibility. 

My student is 21 now. Does he/she qualify?

Students can stay in OA through the end of the academic year when he/she turns 22. So, if a student turns 22 after Sept 30 of this year, he/she could stay in school until the end of May.

Can my student earn a diploma in your school?

OA can issue LEAP Connect diplomas to students who meet graduation criteria set by the State of Louisiana.

What documents do you need to enroll?

Families who enroll complete enrollment paperwork, and we also need a proof of residence, birth certificate, IEP, and evaluation to confirm eligibility. If you don’t have all of these documents, we can schedule an appointment with our evaluation team to determine your student’s eligibility before moving forward.

What are the hours?

OA is a full-day, year-round program (though we have a few extra breaks during the year). Our day begins at 8:45 and ends at 3:15, Monday through Friday.

How many students do you serve?

We have 69 students this year, with 43 staff. We expect similar numbers for the 20-21 school year.

Do you have a uniform?

Students have the flexibility to choose their own school-appropriate clothing, but many intern and externships may require that a student adhere to a specific dress code or uniform like have a nametag, or wear all black, or an OA t-shirt.  Students receive an OA shirt upon enrolling, and additional items can be purchased at school.

Do you provide transportation?

Students ride a school bus to and from school, and occasionally during the day to get to and from their jobs or community trips. We also practice riding the RTA with, and eventually without, support. OA provides bus fare for trips where students utilize the RTA.

Are there any after school or co-curricular activities?

OA partners with several organizations to offer a wide array of recreational and arts programming for our students.  Additionally, our students and teachers are encouraged to plan community trips to engage in recreational activities that build community, and students have an elective at the end of each day where they participate in a leisure activity of their choice.

Examples of these include: 

  • LOOP-Outdoor recreation
  • Love Music Therapy / Lyrica Baroque-music therapy
  • Special Olympics-sports
  • Community Trips: to the Ogden, Aquarium, Insectarium, Botanic Gardens, Laser Tag, Picnics in City Park

When does school start?

New students joining us for the 20-21 school year will start on August 10, 2020.

How is Opportunities Academy different than a high school?

Our programming focuses not on core academic areas like math/reading/science, but instead on functional skills in the areas of independent living, community access, and employability.

All of our students have an on or off campus job (that they may be eligible to get paid for!) where they can practice both technical skills and workplace essentials like communication, timeliness, and personal organization that they’ll need in future work settings and make connections with potential employers.

Examples of on-campus jobs: carwash, rOAst, custodial/maintenance, reception

Examples of off-campus jobs: Centerplate, Habitat ReStore, Heard Dat Kitchen, Covenant House, SPCA, New Orleans Public Library

My student has been really excited about going to college, but I’m not sure he/she is ready.

Another pathway we offer is a certification in computer coding through a partnership with Operation SPARK. Students attend classes 4 days a week and learn software engineering skills in a small, supportive environment that more closely resembles a college or post-secondary training program.

What additional supports do you offer?

We provide all related services written into your students’ IEP - speech, PT, OT, counseling, and paraprofessionals. We also have a transition coordinator to help connect our students and their families to resources that will help them continue to access supports after they exit our school.

How can I learn more?

  1. Call/email Kathleen at 504-503-1421 or hello@collegiateacademies.org to set up a visit.