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  • LAUSD Magnet Schools: What to expect after submitting your Choices application

    After the Choices Application -

    Once you’ve submitted your Choices application, you might be wondering what happens next.

    In December, the Student Integration Services office (which administers the Choices programs) will send out a Confirmation/Correction letter. If things stay the same as in years past, online applicants will receive an email stating that the you can view the letter online. If you submitted a paper application, SIS will likely send your letter via snail mail.

    The Confirmation/Correction letter states that your application has been received, indicates which school you applied to, and any priority points your child may have. It also states whether any corrections are required.

    If you applied to a Gifted/High Ability or Highly Gifted magnet program, you will receive a separate notification in January regarding your child’s eligibility or ineligibilityfor the program. You can learn more about gifted magnet programs here.

    Notification letters will be sent out in March. If things stay the same as in the past, all letters will be sent via snail mail, regardless of how your applied. However, online applicants may be able to view their letters online even before receiving their snail mail letter. If your child is accepted to a school you’d like him or her to attend, be sure to follow the instructions in the letter to claim your spot. And congratulations!

    Original image via by Grant Cochrane.

    LAUSD Magnet Schools: Choices application for 2016-2017 school year available today

    Choices Application 2015-2016

    The eChoices web site is now live with everything you need to complete this year’s application.

    If you’re ready to go, start here. You must have a LAUSD Parent Account to apply online.

    If you want a little more information before you start completing the application, go here and here.

    The paper version of the Choices brochure should be available at your local LAUSD school, Educational Service Centers and PCSB Offices, and Los Angeles Public Libraries. (I recommend calling to make sure copies are available before you head out to pick one up.)

    Schools have begun hosting tours, and you can find out about them by checking each school’s online calendar or calling their office. You can also check out magnet schools by attending the handful of scheduled Magnet Fairs.

    Don’t forget that the deadline to apply is November 13, 2015.

    Good luck!

    Original image via by Grant Cochrane.

    LAUSD: Maximizing Your Chances of Admission Through Open Enrollment

    Getting in via Open Enrollment -

    What can you do if you want your child to attend an LAUSD school that’s not your “home school” or a magnet school, and you don’t qualify for any of the priority options like Public School Choice or Romero Open Enrollment?

    You can try to get your child in through Open Enrollment, by which a school will accept students who wish to attend if there is space available. I have friends whose children have gotten into schools with excellent reputations via Open Enrollment, so this process is a viable one. You will need to provide transportation for your child, and admission is not guaranteed.

    Because admission is not guaranteed, you should call the school you want your child to attend in mid-April to find out when you should contact them about applying via open enrollment. Most likely the date will be in May, but you want to make sure you’re high on the wait list to maximize your chances of getting in so call to make sure the date isn’t earlier. Note that some schools will not accept any students via open enrollment due to lack of space.

    In addition to calling the school, you should check often beginning in mid-April to check if the list of schools with open enrollment availability has been posted. As soon as you see that list go live, give the school a call to see if or when you can apply for admission. Be prepared to go to the school in person, with your child, along with documentation the school may require (like your child’s birth certificate), in order to complete the application/enrollment process.

    Image via by Supertrooper.

    2015-2016 LAUSD Magnet School Acceptance Letters Have Been Sent

    LAUSD Magnet Schools Info | Chief Family Officer

    I’ve heard that 2015-2016 school year Magnet School Acceptance letters have been sent out. You should be able to view your letter online at the eChoices web site.

    If your child has been accepted, you must notify the school that you want the slot by the date indicated in the letter.

    Good luck!

    LAUSD Magnet Schools: Is a Magnet School right for your child?

    Is a magnet school right for your child? -

    Many parents think that since magnet schools are “better” schools, their children should attend a magnet school if at all possible. However, while magnets are often “better” schools, they are not one-size-fits-all.

    Factors to consider include:

    The school’s theme – Each magnet school has a specialized theme that should be considered when choosing a magnet school, along with the child’s interests and abilities. For example, a child interested in performing arts might be well-suited for a Fine, Performing and Visual Arts magnet program but ill-suited for a Math/Science/Technology magnet program. Or a child may not be able to handle the extra academic workload at Gifted/High-Ability magnet programs. Carefully consider whether your child and the school will be a good fit for each other.

    The reputation of the school and its staff – You’ll need to talk with other families who know the school you’re considering, but this is the only way you’ll be able to find out how responsive the teachers and staff are to parents, and what the atmosphere at the school is like. Again, this information will help you determine whether the school will be a good fit for your child.

    The school’s facilities and programs – Some magnet schools are attached to other schools or share their campus, while other magnet schools are free-standing and have their own campus. Magnet schools that share a campus with non-magnet schools may have access to greater facilities and programs. For example, I know one parent who chose not to apply to a free-standing magnet because the school did not offer any after-school care programs.

    Location – LAUSD will provide transportation if the student resides certain boundaries. The district recommends that parents contact LAUSD’s Transportation Branch at (323) 342-1340 before applying to a magnet school to determine if the closest pick-up/drop-off point is a reasonable distance from your home.

    Other options – I know many parents whose children attended a magnet elementary school, but went on to a different type of program in middle school. Many schools have other educational programs, such as GATE (gifted and talented), SAS (School for Advanced Studies), academies, learning communities, and more. Like my friends, you may find that one of these programs, rather than a magnet program, is the better fit for your child.

    Learn more about LAUSD Magnet Schools here.

    Image via by Grant Cochrane.