Enrollment for Grades 1, 2, and 3 at Nelson Mandela Elementary

Thank you for your interest in Nelson Mandela Elementary. The pre-application for grades 1, 2, and 3 is now closed. Pre-Applications for grades 1, 2, and 3 for the 2025-2026 school year will be available March 1, 2025.

Eligibility requirements:

  1. Incoming scholars must be entering grades 1, 2, and 3 for the upcoming fall school year.  
  2. Selected applicants must be available to participate in the full-day, summer Boot Camp Program in June and July before the school year starts in the fall.
  3. Your child must have all required immunizations. We do not accept waivers or exemptions of any kind. 

Looking for kindergarten enrollment? Click here.

Read More About Our Enrollment Process Below

Thank you for your interest in having your child attend Nelson Mandela Elementary (NME). At Mandela, we strongly believe in our mission: The mission of Nelson Mandela Elementary is to provide quality instruction that demonstrates ALL scholars can learn and develop academically, emotionally, socially and physically. Nelson Mandela Elementary is committed to maximizing the educational success of all scholars and bridging the learning and achievement gaps.

In order to fulfill our mission and make sure we are best serving our community, we have a thorough application process. Please read all details below to understand the process.


Grade levels: Incoming scholars must be entering grades 1, 2, and 3 for the upcoming fall school year. Nelson Mandela will not accept any scholars entering grades 4 or 5.

Summer Availability: Selected applicants must be available to participate in the full-day Summer Boot Camp Program in June and July before the school year starts in the fall.

Immunization Requirement: We require all incoming scholars to show proof of immunizations. No exceptions.


At the conclusion of the application process, families will receive communication containing the status of their enrollment, including if they are on the waiting list and their number placement on the list.

Mid-Year Transfers:

Each school year begins in August. Nelson Mandela Elementary does not accept mid-year transfers. 

Class Size and Availability

Mandela has two classes per grade level, with an average of 18 scholars in each class. Acceptance in grades 1, 2, and 3 is based on space and availability in each grade level.

Grades 1, 2, and 3 Application Process Timeline

March 1: Pre-Application is available for all interested applicants on the NME website.

March 1 – April 30: Selected pre-applicants will participate in parent interviews and complete a full application.

April 30: Pre-Application closes.

June: Selected applicants (scholars) will participate in the Summer Boot Camp Program.

July: Accepted scholars will be participate in Acceptance Night.

Grades 1, 2, and 3 Application Process


On March 1st, a pre-application will be available on the NME website. All interested families from the community must fill out the pre-application in order to be considered for enrollment. Filling out the pre-application does not guarantee enrollment. This pre-application is a Google Form that allows the school to determine interest, need, and eligibility.

After completing a pre-application, families will receive communication detailing whether or not they will move forward in the application process. Families who are invited to move forward in the process will schedule a parent interview and pick up a full application.

Parent Interviews and Full Applications

Parent interviews:

Parent interviews will take place with the parent(s)/guardian(s) and a member of the NME Administration. It is an opportunity for the school to ask questions, get to know the family, and determine whether NME is a good fit for their scholar. Parents also have the opportunity to ask any questions they have about the school.

Full Applications:

All selected applicants will be asked to pick up and complete a full application packet which includes:

  • Scholar Application
  • Scholar Health Information Sheet
  • Scholar Readiness Form
  • Universal Field Trip Form
  • Universal Permission to Treat Form
  • Release of Information form
  • Media Release
  • Sprouts Permission Form

Families must also submit:

  • Physical and immunization record
  • Medical statement for special meals if applicable
  • A raised seal Birth Certificate (a copy will be made to keep in scholar’s file)
  • Guardianship Documentation if applicable
Summer Boot Camp Program

Selected applicants (scholars) will be asked to participate in the full-day Summer Boot Camp Program. In the mornings, they will learn the Spalding reading and writing curriculum, explore Zearn math, and begin the violin basics. They will then join their current grade level for lunch in the afternoon and participate in enrichment activities.

School Hours (8:00-3:30 or 3:45):

Arrival: The school day begins promptly at 8:00am. Scholars can be dropped off as early as 7:00am. Breakfast is served between 7:20-7:55am. It is highly encouraged that scholars who want to eat breakfast arrive before 7:45am so they have time to eat and still be on time for class. Any scholars arriving in the building or still in the cafeteria after 8:00am are considered tardy. Scholars who arrive late must be signed in by a parent/guardian.

Dismissal: Scholars in grades K-2 dismiss at 3:30. Parents can pull up to the main parking lot. Scholars will come to the car. If parents would prefer to walk with their scholars they can park in the lot across the street and wait outside the building. Scholars in grades 3-5 will dismiss at 3:45 across the street. Parents wait in the parking lot across the street. Scholars will be escorted by a team member.

Scholars who are leaving early must be signed out at the front desk by someone on the scholar’s authorized pick up list. Anyone picking up not on that list must be verified via phone call from a parent/guardian.

After Care: After care is available to all of our families, free of charge, via the program Kids Can! An application must be completed and approved before scholars can attend the program.


Scholars will wear the 5th term, tie-dye t-shirts and khaki bottoms in the summer. The shirts can be purchased from the school. Youth sizes are $12. Adult sizes are $15. Khaki bottoms can be purchased from any retailer but cannot contain pockets, or embellishments. Scholars will have selected days to visit the splash park at Miller Park and will be asked to bring a swimsuit, towel, and water shoes (if desired) to change into on those days.


Scholars will receive an official acceptance letter in July and be asked to attend Acceptance Night where they will finalize paperwork, take pictures, order uniforms, set up their account to track engagement hours, and celebrate their acceptance.

We would love to welcome you to our Meerkat family!