Louisa Blue, a nurse and mother of eight, lives in Boston, where school assignment is anything but straightforward.

When it came time to rank schools for the district’s school lottery, Blue didn’t have the time to investigate what each school had to offer.

“It wasn’t clear if what was listed on paper is really the experience my children were going to get,” Blue said.

Blue was thrilled when she started getting help from a surprising place — her employer. Hebrew SeniorLife, a health care and housing provider in the Boston area, last year began offering access to education “navigators” as a workplace benefit to its employees.

EdNavigator, which started in New Orleans, tries to help parents become more engaged in their children’s education by assigning them advisers to help with everything from attending parent-teacher conferences and assessing a student’s academic strengths and weaknesses, to offering strategies to address those weaknesses.

Blue’s navigator, a former middle school teacher named Victoria Paulino, has helped her find schools, after-school programs and summer camps that Blue — who graduated from Boston Public Schools and already has two children in college — didn’t know existed.

Paulino surveyed her children individually and, Blue said, “tried to balance me wanting them to push academics and them wanting to have the time to do the things they want to do, like track and volleyball.”

Paulino has also persuaded Blue’s children to take on challenges their mother was unable to convince them to try. For instance, Blue’s daughter, a junior in high school, took an SAT preparation course this summer after the navigator explained how it was different than a class she took at school last year.

“I was very happy about that,” Blue said.

Perhaps the most critical part for a busy mom like Blue is that Paulino meets her at work. Blue wouldn’t have signed up for the service if it weren’t so convenient, she said.

“Sometimes to reach parents we have to find other means,” said Tim Daly, a founding partner at EdNavigator. “That’s part of what we see navigators doing — meeting parents where they already are, building a relationship with them that’s convenient for the parents and not asking schools to do everything.”

It’s not clear yet what impact navigators have on student achievement. Academics at Tulane University are tracking families in New Orleans who use the service. Skeptics say having a navigator might not help much if a student is stuck in an under-performing district with few other options.

EdNavigator started in New Orleans four years ago and focused on helping parents choose schools in a school system that was decentralized after Hurricane Katrina. The nonprofit targeted the hotel industry there, making the case that the benefit could help employers stem high turnover among low-salaried workers.

The organization turned to Boston as its second market because of its “high quality leadership” among employers, Daly said, when it comes to thinking of ways to retain employees. They also thought parents here needed their help.

“Massachusetts has one of the best school systems in the country, but it is also one of the most complex. And it’s clear that lower income families don’t benefit from the excellence of the system the way that they could,” he said.

As examples of complexity, Daly pointed to Boston’s exam schools, where students take a test in sixth grade for admission, the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) program that places Boston children in suburban public schools, and an inter-district school choice program that allows students across the state to attend school in districts where they do not live.

This fall, EdNavigator will start a pilot with another Boston-area company — a large university that confirmed its participation, but doesn’t want to be named.

Companies that sign up for EdNavigator spend between $300 and $450 per employee who uses the service. Companies typically ask workers to chip in with a co-pay, according to Daly. EdNavigator raised a combined $1 million from the Barr Foundation, Lynch Foundation and Michael and Susan Dell Foundation to help pay for the Boston work, which includes five navigators.

In Boston, Hebrew SeniorLife moved from piloting EdNavigator last year to offering it on a permanent basis this year. Internal surveys show that 97 percent of workers who used the service were satisfied, and 72 percent said it helped them remain focused at work.

“Even if you don’t have the majority of your employees needing it or taking advantage of it, it can have such significant impact for those employees that do,” said Deb Lemmerman, the head of human resources for Hebrew SeniorLife.

Our coverage of K through 12 education is made possible with support from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation.