Get Your Magnet App In By Tomorrow!

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Hey Guys,

Don’t forget to get that Magnet application in by tomorrow, Thursday, November 8th BEFORE 5p!*

For a list of new Magnet options for 2017, click HERE.

To get straight to the application, click HERE.

Need help? Let’s talk. click HERE.

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*Must be a resident of LAUSD. Child must turn 5 by September 1st in order to apply to Kindergarten. There are no TK magnet programs. This is the app with the (weighted) “point system.” Good luck in the lottery!

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Introducing Speak UP!

My work over the last decade with GoMamaGuide has been mainly to educate and assist parents in navigating the array of public school choices in Los Angeles. But choosing a school is only the first step. I’ve also encouraged you to stay active and involved no matter what kind of school you end up in, to speak up if something doesn’t feel right, and to work together to come up with solutions.

Speak Up logoBuilding on those ideals, I am excited to announce a new collaboration with Speak UP, a grassroots movement of parents and families who want a more powerful voice in shaping education policy in California.

Despite having the greatest numbers AND the greatest vested interest in our kids’ education, parents in California have historically NOT had a meaningful role in education policy decisions and have NOT engaged in the electoral process – even when the results have a direct impact on our children.

*In 2013 barely 1 in 5 registered voters cast ballots in the school board election, and fewer than 4 out of 10 voters were under age 55.

Parents, we’ve basically been ABSENT from the vote. We intend to change that!

We believe parents can be a powerful force for change if we unite and use our collective voice in our schools, communities and at the ballot box. We invite all parents from all types of schools. Our only “special interest” is our collective children.

If you believe that parent voices matter, please become a Speak UP member
(it’s FREE to join) and take our survey so you can help drive our agenda. We’re also looking for parent leaders and ambassadors to work closely with us in your communities.

Let’s spread this movement. Join us today!
http://www.speakupparents.org

Facebook page: /SpeakUpUnitedParents
Twitter: @SpeakUpParents

And no, I’m not abandoning you, I’ll still be offering all things GoMamaGuide. 😉

LAUSD 2016-17 Calendar Is Set!

LAUSD logo

After a prolonged study weighing costs and data results, the proposal of 6 different options, much deliberating, negotiating, as well as the failed “telephonic survey” which attempted to capture parent input, the LAUSD School Board has decided the instructional calendar NOT for the next 3 years as anticipated, but for the 2016-17 school year only. And just what is their decision, you ask with baited breath?

Well, basically, it’s the same Early Start calendar as this year.

Because if after all the data drilling, surveying, bargaining, and deliberating you can’t make a decision, just delay it (again) and keep the status quo. (Insert emoji of your choice here.)

At least we have a decision and everyone can make plans.

Announcing the LAUSD 2016-17 Calendar:

First day of school Tuesday, Aug 16, 2016
1 week Thanksgiving Break Nov 21-15, 2016
Semester ends Fri, Dec 16, 2016
3 week Winter Break Dec 17, 2016- Jan 8, 2017
2nd semester begins Mon, Jan 9, 2017
1 week Spring Break- April 10-14, 2017
Last day of school Friday, June 9, 2017

(2017-18 and 2018-19 to be determined later.)

If you’re interested in learning the results of the District Survey from September, 2015, click HERE.

More than 58,000 parents and employees responded to the (glitchy) phone survey in September. Total responses from parents and employees (54,236) reflect elimination of duplicates and unverified responses.

On the first spreadsheet, according to the data listed LAUSD received 41,345 Survey Responses from Parents.

542,433 students are currently enrolled in LAUSD, according to its own Fingertip Facts. That’s not a high turnout by anyone’s standards.

By comparison, 7,684 Employees responded of 59,823 District Employees. (12.8% participation)

*Remember, the 101,060 students currently enrolled in Indie Charters are not impacted by LAUSD calendar decisions as those schools have the autonomy to create their own calendars.

Well the show is over folks, you can get on with it. At least for now. Stay tuned for the repeat engagement next year.

Click for more info:
Calendar Press Release
Calendar Survey Results
LAUSD Fingertip Facts

Michelle King Selected As New LAUSD Superintendent

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 2.40.05 PMAfter an exhaustive and arduous search, the LAUSD School Board has voted in our new leader, former Deputy Superintendent, former Local District Supe, former admin, principal, teacher and LAUSD graduate, Michelle King.

One of the questions that continues to swirl around her is will she be a visionary leader who boldly goes after solving any of the many problems that plague the district, or will she be a placater spouting platitudes about “building pathways” and “educational outcomes” that lead to “student success.” Only time will tell.

So I’ll leave you with this Hillel Aron LA Weekly piece, and re-quote from it with what I feel are spot-on observations:

“Either we keep doing what we’re doing, which is blaming charter schools as the reason for declining enrollment, or we really roll up our sleeves and figure it out,” Rodriguez concedes. Which is why some are wondering if maybe the board should have chosen more of a visionary than Michelle King.

“The exodus to charter schools is the biggest indicator that parents have lost faith in the district,” says Nicholas Melvoin, a former LAUSD teacher, who’s now a lawyer and school reform advocate. For the school board to value unanimity in making decisions, he says, “doesn’t mean anything. I’d rather have 4-to-3 board votes — and know that the district is innovating.”

Read the whole piece HERE.

Take the LAUSD Calendar Survey Today!

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Hey LAUSD Parents,

It’s bigger than a pop quiz! This survey will help decide the fate of our school calendar (First Day of School, Last Day of School, Holiday Breaks) for next fall and through 2019!

Your voice counts – please participate in the survey.

Online survey available NOW through Dec 6th.

Five little questions with big implications.

Click HERE to Do It Now!

Here’s your test prep:

2016-19 LAUSD Instructional Calendar Survey Questions

Question 1: In your opinion, the school year should start:

  1. Early August
  2. Mid-August
  3. Late August
  4. After Labor Day
  5. It does not matter to me.

Question 2: The winter break should be:

  1. Two weeks
  2. Three weeks
  3. It does not matter to me.

Question 3: The District should explore a different, “modified early August” calendar. This option provides a four-week intervention during a shortened summer break. In addition, the winter break would be extended by four weeks to provide interventions. The winter break would last about seven weeks.

  1. I strongly agree
  2. I somewhat agree
  3. I neither agree or disagree
  4. I somewhat disagree
  5. I strongly disagree

Question 4: It is important that both elementary and secondary schools follow the same calendar.

  1.  I strongly agree
  2.  I somewhat agree
  3.  I neither agree or disagree
  4.  I somewhat disagree
  5.  I strongly disagree

Question 5: The first semester should end before the winter break.

  1. I strongly agree
  2. I somewhat agree
  3. I neither agree or disagree
  4. I somewhat disagree
  5. I strongly disagree

Ok, now you know what the questions are. Get to the SURVEY and get it done!

Splash page with links to a deep dive of additional info HERE

SITE: http://achieve.lausd.net/schoolcalendars

Please note: “Survey opinions will inform Los Angeles Board of Education members when voting to approve the calendar. Their decision will cover the next three years.” It will still come down to the School Board vote.

Westside Elementary School Forum Nov 10

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I’ll be giving the opening talk at this year’s Westside Elementary School Forum, hosted by Westchester Parents Nursery School and held at Loyola Village Elementary School.

Over 30 area schools will be represented including neighborhood schools, magnets, charters, parochial, even privates! UPDATED: In addition Wiseburn Unified will also be coming to talk about their schools (Anza, Cabrillo, Da Vinci, and more), St Anthony, Westchester Lutheran, Venice Lutheran, St Mark’s and for the first time, private Los Angeles Area Independent Schools (laais.org) be represented well!

It’s going to be big!

Bring your questions and an open mind and meet the school reps! I’ll also have a table and will be selling my latest edition guidebooks there, so stop by and say “Hi!”

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 
7-9p

Loyola Village Elementary School Auditorium
8821 Villanova Street
LA , CA 90045

$10 suggested donation/free for WPNS members.

Call WPNS for more info: 310.670.5522

New Webinars! Mastering MAGNETS: Everything You Need to Know, Mon NOV 2 & 9, 7p

New! Join one of my upcoming live and interactive webinars and learn from the comfort of your own home. No sitter, no driving, no parking required. Just the straight info you need without the hassle of LA traffic!

Presented by Tanya Anton, creator of GoMamaGuide.com

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Points have you clueless? Didn’t know you were supposed to be applying?

Introducing…
Mastering MAGNETS: Everything You Need to Know (Those Points!)

In this 60 min webinar you’ll learn all about the LAUSD Magnet system:

  • Magnet schools – what are they?
  • How (and when*) to apply…to get in, to NOT get in, *to get points!
  • That darn “Point System” demystified. Let’s break it all down.
  • Step-by-step instructions on the online app: I’ll walk you through it
  • Common mistakes to avoid
  • How to maximize your options for next year (and beyond!)
  • Recommended for LAUSD parents of incoming K-12th graders

TWO LIVE SESSIONS with Q&A! Both before the 2016-17 Magnet Deadline.
Got Questions? You’ll be able to ASK ME LIVE! 

Mon, Nov 2, 2015 7p
Mon, Nov 9, 2015 7p

$30 $25

register now

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Can’t make the live event? No worries. Participants will receive a special link to the replay which will be viewable for an additional 3 days afterward.

LAUSD’s Next Superintendent: Your Voice Counts!

MONSTER JOB: EXECUTIVE STAR SEARCH:

StarSearchLet’s see, candidate must be able to manage $8B annual operating budget, a divisive and entrenched Board, multiple labor unions, shrinking budgets, decimated enrollment numbers, lackluster and at times unproductive staff, unmotivated students, bitter and at times hostile parents, direct and blatant competition, corporate interests, litigious volleys from all sides, allegations of misconduct, corruption, extortion, non-compliance, liabilities, misrepresentation, constant 360 criticism, mixed agendas with conflicting cross purposes, corporate interests dangling multi-million dollar contracts, dilapidated facilities next to state of the art glass houses, lowering standards in a volatile environment while outsiders are chomping at the bit for a hostile takeover…

…and on the upside? Holding the potential of children, our future, our next generation, in the palm of your hand, being the Voice of Reason (or Nonsense) or God, facing the mighty challenge of reversing a downward slump, swerving through potholes, setting a New North, becoming a hero, a savior, a rising star in the City of Angels, in shimmering lights, for a shiny new penny, the second-largest school district in the country, the greatest show on earth, the sandbox of creators, makers, and dreamers, where tiny feet tread, and egos clash. Oh, the highs, the lows, the revolving door…that is the helm of LAUSD.

It might be dysfunctional, but it’s OUR dysfunctional.

Surely SOMEBODY’s up for the challenge. And WE need YOU!

Parents, name your candidates; what you want to see in our new leader. The new Superintendent.

According to LAUSD, they’re listening and your voice counts!

Here’s more on the Supt SEARCH
Take the SURVEY
Attend one of 24 community MEETINGS covering all points North, South, East, West:

LASupt Community Meetings LASupt WMtg Oct2615

It’s Official: Magnet Season Has Begun!

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The 2016-17 Magnet/eChoices application period is officially open as of today, October 1, 2015 for next Fall.

Deadline to apply is Fri, November 13, 5p.

I’ll have much more info for you on Magnets in the coming week, but in the meantime, the site is now up and live:

Visit http://echoices.lausd.net/

LAUSD Parents Surveyed On School Calendar Changes

LAUSD logoLucky us! LAUSD Supt. Ray Cortines robo-called LAUSD parents today announcing we will be receiving a “telephonic survey” consisting of 5 questions, as the District begins planning the instructional calendars for the next 3 years. (Um, is telephonic a word? nvm.)

Hello folks!

This is our chance to return the start of the school year back to September and out of the heat!

Just say NO to Early Start!

I also propose we lose the whole week at Thanksgiving and make the holiday breaks more evenly distributed, but priorities! Return the after-Labor Day school start date. So parents, answer those survey calls and make your voice loud and clear!

#AugustIsForSummerVacation #FixTheAC #NoMoreEarlyStart!

UPDATE: They’re calling from 213.241.4544 – so look out for that number and answer it when they call you. It only took me 2 mins. 5 questions.

Courtesy of Angel Zobel-Rodriguez, MagnetAngel, here is the list of LAUSD survey questions:

First Question: School should start in Early August, Mid August, Late August, Early September.

Next questions use a five-point scale, Strongly agree, somewhat agree, neither agree or disagree, somewhat disagree, strongly disagree.

Second Question: Winter Break should be 2 weeks,

Third Question: Elementary and Middle/High school students should be on the same calendar, (isn’t this a no-brainer?)

Fourth Question: Create a longer winter break with an “intersession*” (apparently a 5 day/wk – 5 wk intervention for those students needing remediation) and another one during the 7-wk summer. *think mandatory summer school during both the winter and summer breaks for kids below basic. And everyone else can just hang out for another few weeks while their parents go to work. Oh that’s gonna be popular! Not.

Last Question: First semester should end before Winter Break. (clue: that’s why we have the August start date to begin with.)

Be prepared. They will only make 3 attempts to call you, and once answered they will not call back. Good luck!  (Thanks for sharing the questions Angel.)

And, If you want to add more weight to your voice, sign the Change.org petition here:
LA Kids Deserve Summertime – Start School After Labor Day

Also, email Supt. Cortines and your board members directly here:
superintentdent@lausd.net
george.mckenna@lausd.net
monica.garcia@lausd.net
scott.schmerelson@lausd.net
steve.zimmer@lausd.net
ref.rodriguez@lausd.net
monica.ratliff@lausd.net
richard.vladovic@lausd.net