Enrollment at Nelson Mandela Elementary

Enrollment for the 2021-2022 is now closed. We will begin accepting applications for the 2022-2023 school year in December, 2021.

Looking for our Early Childhood Development Center? Click here.

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. The process is described below for both families at the Nelson Mandela Early Childhood Development Center and for the surrounding community:

Grade Levels Accepted

Nelson Mandela Elementary only enrolls at the kindergarten and first grade level. We accept incoming kindergarteners whose birthdays are on or before June 1 of the upcoming school year. Admission at the first grade level only occurs if there is space available. Due to the rigor of our curriculum, including violin class, we do not accept any scholars entering second, third, fourth, or fifth grade. 


Nelson Mandela Elementary does not have a waitlist. If space is available, the administration will review applications on file for scholars that were not accepted in kindergarten. They will determine, based on need and best-fit, if they will accept a scholar at the first grade level. 

Mid-Year Transfers:

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

Application Process Timeline

December: Pre-application available on NME website

January: Interviewees selected based on pre-application scoring criteria

February: Interviews with the NME Administration team

March: Acceptance and denial letters mailed home

June: Accepted scholars begin Jump Start Program

Application Process


In December, a pre-application will be available on the NME website. All interested families from the community, including those enrolled at our Early Childhood Development Center, must fill out the pre-application in order to be considered for enrollment. Filling out the pre-application does not guarantee enrollment or an interview. This pre-application is a Google Form that allows the school to determine preliminary need and eligibility based on the following:

  • If a scholar lives within 1.5 miles of the school
  • If a family qualifies for Free and Reduced Lunch or Title XX
  • If the scholar lives in a single-parent household or with a non-parent as the primary care provider/custodial parent
  • If one or both parents did not complete high school with a traditional four-year experience
  • If the scholar has a sibling from the same household enrolled in NME

Applicants will be scored for each qualification listed above. Applicants with more points are considered to have higher need and are likely to be given higher priority. The pre-application will also ask questions about family engagement, preschool experience, and scholar strengths. Both the final numerical score and answers to these questions will be weighed equally in considering potential enrollment. 

Each year, Nelson Mandela Elementary can only accept an average of 40 new scholars for kindergarten. Therefore, all interested families are encouraged to fill out the pre-application early, as space is limited.


Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) Applicants

Scholars that attend our Early Childhood Development Center will automatically be granted an interview after they fill out the pre-application. This interview does not guarantee enrollment at Nelson Mandela Elementary. The administration will also evaluate a scholar’s readiness, family engagement hours, and attendance.

Non Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) Applicants

The administration will thoroughly evaluate all pre-applications when determining who will be interviewed. An interview does not guarantee enrollment. The interview will allow the administration to determine Kindergarten-readiness as well as if the family is a good fit for the school.


Acceptance or denial letters will be mailed to interviewees in early March. Those that receive an acceptance letter will receive the necessary paperwork to complete enrollment.

All accepted scholars will be asked to attend an acceptance night to finalize paperwork, take pictures, order uniforms, set up their account to track engagement hours, and celebrate their acceptance. Accepted scholars will begin our Jump Start program in June to help them transition into Kindergarten. Accepted first graders will also begin in June to acclimate to procedures, routines, and the school.

Apply today! We would love to welcome you to our Meerkat family!

Looking for our Early Childhood Development Center? Click here.