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  • LAUSD: Maximizing Your Chances of Admission Through Open Enrollment

    Getting in via Open Enrollment - chieffamilyofficer.com

    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 www.lausd.net 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 FreeDigitalPhotos.net 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? - chieffamilyofficer.com

    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 FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Grant Cochrane.

    LAUSD Magnet Schools: Other LAUSD Options

    Non-Magnet LAUSD Options - chieffamilyofficer.com

    As you decide what magnet school program to apply for through the Choices application, keep in mind that magnet schools aren’t the only special program that you can apply for in LAUSD. The Los Angeles Unified School District offers other programs, including:

    Permits with Transportation (PWT) – Like the Magnet Program, PWT is a court-ordered integration program. PWT is available to residents who live near a PWT “sending school.” My understanding is that PWT “sending schools” are those that are designated as overcrowded. You apply for PWT using the same Choices application that you use to apply to a magnet school. It does not appear that you get to choose which PWT “receiving school” your child will attend.

    No Child Left Behind (NCLB) – Public School Choice – NCLB requires that schools who do not achieve the required test scores be designated as “Program Improvement” (PI) schools. Under NCLB, students who attend a PI school or school at risk for PI may ask to transfer to a non-PI school. Priority for NCLB-PSC is given to the “lowest achieving children from low income families.” The annual Choices brochure contains a list of PI and at risk for PI schools. You apply for NCLB-PSC using the same Choices application that you use to apply to a magnet school.

    School For Advanced Studies (SAS) – SAS is a program for students who have been identified as gifted, highly gifted, and/or demonstrate superior academic achievement. The program provides these students with instruction that exceeds minimum state standards. Learn more about SAS here.

    Open Enrollment – If a school has space available, you can ask to have your child placed in that school. Check www.lausd.net, visit any LAUSD school, or call School Management Services at (213) 241-8044 for a list of participating schools and the number of openings at each school in May. Note that you will have to provide transportation for your child.

    Romero Open Enrollment – Students at schools on a state-wide list of 1,000 low-performing schools may enroll at another LAUSD school or a school outside of the district. Learn more about Romero Open Enrollment here.

    Charter Schools – Many charter schools are affiliated with LAUSD (and many are not). LAUSD now has a Charter School Division. Each school has its own application process that you must follow. Learn more about charter schools here and here.

    Image via FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Grant Cochrane.

    LAUSD Magnet Schools: Choices application for 2015-2016 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. This year, you will need to create an 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 (although I’ve been told that at least some schools have not yet received the brochure).

    Schools have been 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 14, 2014.

    Good luck!

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