Last Day for LAUSD eChoices App!

Hey my LAUSD folks,

Just a friendly reminder that today is the LAST DAY to get your eChoices application in before tonight’s 11:59p deadline. If you haven’t gotten your application in yet, take a moment, go up there, and DO IT NOW. Don’t be late.

The eChoices application includes lottery selections for Magnets, Dual Language programs, Schools for Advanced Studies, and (new for 2020), Affiliated Charter Schools for elementary students, and for secondary students, all those categories plus Permits With Transportation, and Admission Criteria Schools. Six categories all from one app!

If you have already submitted your application, you might want to log onto your parent dashboard and review your selections today, making sure all the schools you wanted are listed and prioritized exactly how you want them to be. This is the last day you can make any edits to your application, such as reorder the priority (1st-2nd-3rd) of your choices, or drop/add some choices. Whatever is on your application at 11:59p this evening, is what is being submitted, but you can still make changes up until tonight’s deadline.

***Heads up, the SAS Verification of Eligibility Form is due by 5p tonight, not 11:59p.

How Do I Check My eChoices App and/or Make Changes?

Log onto your dashboard with your email and password at eChoices.lausd.net or apply.lausd.net. (They both will arrive at the same place.)

Once you are logged in with your password, you will be at your dashboard. (If you are just getting started for the first time, you will “Apply to Programs” and follow the prompts to select your choices in each category.) If you have already put in an application and want to give it a final once over before tonight’s deadline, click on “Track/Edit Applications” to review what you have previously submitted.

 

 

 

 

Then you will see each of your children’s current applications, and you can click on one to open it up and view it. Make sure it is exactly how you want it.

 

 

 

 

If you want to add/drop/reorder anything, this is your chance. Do it here. Remember to hit SAVE at the bottom when you are done.

 

 

 

 

Once you submit your app again, you should see your confirmation number and get an auto-email alert from “applyforschools@lausd.net” with your submission confirmation. Review everything again to make sure it caught all your changes.

Repeat for each sibling.

This is it. Only on-time applications are eligible for waitlist points in the magnet category, and have the best odds overall in the lotteries. Don’t be late.

Also, don’t wait until 11:57p tonight to try to cram your app in. You know the LAUSD server will be busy!

Also, you’ve had 6 1/2 weeks to get this done.

Wishing everyone the best possible outcome in the lotteries!

Thank you for participating.

I will be offline for the weekend and will be back at my desk on Monday.

Cheers y’all!

xo

 

 

SUPERSTAR! Endorsement

Quote

 

Tanya is brilliant. She made Los Angeles feel so wide open to me in a way I’ve never experienced. Run don’t walk to have her help you.  — Molly Shannon

I haven’t updated my testimonials page in years and frankly, I don’t put much thought into it anymore. But sometimes you meet with a client, and they are so exceedingly relieved and happy after we curate a list of potential schools together and work out a school plan, that they literally write up the quote and send it to you, insisting you have it. That happened this week, so I am sharing it with you. Thank you Molly. The pleasure was all mine!

I can honestly say that, first of all, I love what I do. I love working with you guys and showing you a way through a potentially stressful process.

And I also stand by my quote in The Hollywood Reporter, below. From my vantage point, the Varsity Blues scandal has absolutely impacted the school landscape, as some private school families quite literally are exploring their public school options for the very first time. Interesting times, indeed.

Hmm. Imagine if Mary Katherine Gallagher ditched her Catholic schoolgirl uniform for pajama bottoms and a hoodie and went to a local LA high school… There’s a whole world of sketch comedy in there for sure!

Latest eChoices Updates! New Category Added!

 

The eChoices application period is now open. Visit echoices.lausd.net.

Application period: Oct 1 – Nov 15, 2019 before 11:59p.

Now with SIX different programs, from ONE common app!  Yes, you could ostensibly win a school in each category. Apply NOW for next fall!

Heads up my Valley and Westside families, Affiliated Charter Schools (Canyon, Palisades, Carpenter, Colfax, Dixie, etc) – and their non-resident waitlist lotteries – are now moved onto the eChoices Oct/Nov app!!

New! Verification of Eligibility for SAS Kindergarten form.
New! Verification of Eligibility for Grades 1-12 form.
(Incoming Kinders, you no longer need both forms.)

If you need help curating a list of potential schools or with your strategy, or are confused by all of this, we can always set up a phone or in-home consultation. Happy to help!

Best of luck in the lotteries!

 

Is It Luck or Just Good Strategic Guidance?

I don’t normally post about my client sessions because, well, they’re private. What happens in a one-on-one consultation stays in a one-on-one consultation. It’s not Vegas but we do create a safe container together.

But I want to share this story today (anonymously of course), because so many people come to me thinking they’ll never get into any good schools, it’s too competitive, too complicated, too this or too that, or they don’t have any points, and what’s even the point?

The point is, you can’t get in if you don’t apply!

And with good strategic advice, you can still do quite nicely if you have an open mind, do your due diligence, and follow through with good school guidance.

This particular client came to me in March. Well after all the school lottery deadlines had passed.

Magnets? Passed.
Dual Language Programs? Passed.
Charter lotteries? All passed.
Gifted/SAS programs? Also passed.

She was nervous. She thought she had messed up.

Undeterred, I worked with her based on her general area (Central/East) and created a strategic plan for her son. Based on my recommendations she submitted late applications in every category. Today on our third call together, she lets me know that she has received FIVE OFFERS! All tuition-free public school options. Five schools to mull over and make decisions about.

FIVE!

Magnet? – check!
Another even later Magnet? – check!
Dual Language? – check!
Charter? – check!
SAS? – check!
Open Enrollment? – pretty sure that’s going to become a check too!

Probably SIX by the time it’s all over and done with.

She says, “you saved my son’s life.”

And I say, ” Aw, I’m so happy to be able to help you.”

I’m sharing this with you to give you hope. There is always a way, no matter what the situation is, no matter what time of year it is, or what part of town. And while I can’t guarantee you’ll get into “that” school, or even more than two schools, I do know that together we can work to make a plan, go over your options, and figure it out.

And if you’re still out there hung on a couple of waitlists, don’t panic. It’s still early. There’s at least 4 schools on this client’s list alone that will have another opening very soon, as her son can only attend one of these schools. Multiply that by all the parents making school decisions. So stay strong. Those waitlists are moving. And there’s always a way through…

And another thing. If you’re lucky enough to get multiple school offers, don’t be that parent. Once you’ve made your decision, please, pah-leeez make sure you go back to the rejected school(s) to let them know you will not be attending, so they can release that empty seat to someone else. Trust me, someone you don’t even know will be silently thanking you.

[I wrote more about that HERE]

Thanks everyone. Stay strong. I’m so glad we had this little chat.

For further assistance:
In-Home Consultations
Phone Consultations

 

 

 

 

 

Get Savvy on College Funding with SmartTrack!

Are you freaking out about college tuition? 

Wondering how to pay for college without losing your home or your retirement?

For many of us just thinking about it brings up feelings of dread and inadequacy. Perhaps downright denial as the cost of college tuition keeps spiraling upward at an ever increasing rate.

Folks, rather than bury your head in the sand, it’s time to get pro-active and take a look at where you stand and how to optimize your financial situation – whatever it is – to get the most out of the college financial application process.

And while I’m an expert on navigating K-12 public school options, I’m still learning when it comes to financial planning towards college. That’s why I went to SmartTrack College Funding to work with the experts, who reviewed my financial picture and set me straight.

For instance, here’s a little shocker I learned.

Did you know that the generous savings account your grandparents set up for your kids and fund every year will actually be factored into your Expected Family Contribution (EFC – the amount you will be asked to pay for tuition based on your entire financial picture) at 20%, but if it was held in YOUR name it will only be factored at 5%?*

(Oops, sorry kids. Your account is MINE now!)

That’s just one of the many things I learned after working with my SmartTrack College Funding Coach, who helped me know which assets to move around and where, in order to minimize the sting of what colleges will expect me to hand over to them for tuition.

*Caveat: Before you start moving money around, you really need to check in with your SmartTrack College Funding Coach for the best strategies that work for your particular financial situation. To get started with your FREE assessment, use this special link.

I can hear you now, “But it’s WAAAAYYYYY too early to be thinking about that stuff, I mean, I just got my kid into middle school. We don’t even know where he’s going to high school, let alone college!!”

Folks, the prep time comes earlier than you think. (Are you listening my middle school families?)

So I sat down with Cyndi Menegaz of SmartTrack and had a little chat about all of this college financial planning intel. She’s got a lot of great info and a special deal for my GoMamaGuide families. Take a look:


Video Link: https://youtu.be/6-iK2GAmetM

Don’t despair, get prepared. Get SmartTrack.

They’ll help you figure out:

• How to pay for college
• How to pay LESS for college (yes!)
• How to maximize merit and financial aid

Don’t pay “retail” tuition. Learn how to mitigate red flags in your financial profile and lower your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) tuition calculation. Get help with your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Utilize SmartTrack’s online suite of college funding tools and handy resources, and work with a personalized SmartTrack College Funding Coach who will walk you through the financial process to save you money.

Schedule your FREE 15 min call! 818-552-0800 and mention GoMamaGuide.

To get started, sign in to your FREE SmartTrack account at:

https://collegefundingkit.com/gomama

**Specifically targeted for my 8th-10th grade families, but it’s never too early to prepare. Call for your FREE assessment today. 

Guys, your kids will be doing SAT/ACT test prep, they’ll be doing college essay prep, and parents if you’re smart, you’ll be going to SmartTrack to do financial prep.

Or, you could skip this step and just hand over all your hard-earned $$$$ to tuition! 

 

Heads Up! ECHOICES Deadline Extended One More Week To Friday Nov 16 5p!

It has been brought to my attention that the LAUSD has extended their eChoices online application deadline one extra week.

New deadline is Friday, November 16th at 5p.

Sending love and prayers to all the families who are impacted by these crazy fires. Please be safe, please help one another, and together we will get through these trying times. My heart goes out to friends who have completely lost their homes.
❤ ❤ ❤

eChoices Deadline This Friday, Nov 9 at 5p!

5 LAUSD Programs, 1 Application.

Due by 5p this Friday, November 9, 2018.

New Deadline: Friday, November 16, 2018.

Go to: echoices.lausd.net or apply.lausd.net

If you are considering Magnets, Dual Language programs, SAS/Schools For Advanced Studies programs (no, it’s not due in March anymore), PWT/Permits With Transportation, and the newly coined programs called Admission Criteria Schools for next fall, then get those applications in NOW!

You can go up and edit your application as many times as you like between now and 5p on Friday, but whatever is listed on your application at the deadline is what will be submitted.

Your Verification of Eligibility Forms and Kindergarten Readiness Checklist Forms for Gifted/SAS Programs also need to be RECEIVED by 5p this next Friday.

Should you miss this deadline and submit a late application in February, Magnet folks will forfeit the opportunity to collect any waitlist points. You will also run the risk of not getting into the more competitive programs. Just get it in on time.

Got questions? If you need a last-minute consult to review your app or strategy, I have a block of 30 min phone consultations available between 9a and 4p through Friday afternoon. You can grab your call with me here: https://gomamaguide.com/store/phone-consultations/

I turn into a pumpkin Friday at 5:01p.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will There Be A Strike? What Happens Then?

If you haven’t heard, there’s been quite a bit of rumor swirling around about a potential teachers strike as LAUSD and UTLA (United Teachers of Los Angeles) hash out their labor negotiations. What does this mean? What will happen? When will it happen? What happens to my kids’ school if there’s a strike? What if I have to work when there’s a strike? Will schools shut down? Who’ll watch my kids???

I know. I know. So many questions, so many unknowns. These are good questions. All of them. For all of us.

I received the following additional questions from a working mom today, which made me decide to tackle these questions and share my response more widely with all of you parents in the hopes that it provide you with some understanding of where we are at currently with this pending situation.

Q: As you have heard, the LAUSD is possibly going on strike. We have been told by the principal that they will still have classes that will be combined and taught by administrators should there be a strike. Further, they are saying that if we do not attend these classes that our son would be marked as absent. This seems illegal to me. Do you know who I can contact that would know about whether or not some of these suggested strike actions are legal?
.
Ok, let’s dive into this.
.

In a perfect world, LAUSD and UTLA will be able to settle their differences, and come up with a workable solution through the mediation process they are currently going through, and avoid a strike altogether. However, UTLA’s members have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike, and if they feel they need to use that tactic to get what they want, they have agreed to stand together should their leaders enact that option. Latest word I heard was that if it did happen, the strike wouldn’t be until December, but who knows. The negotiations are done privately. At any point if the mediation process breaks down, then yes, a strike is a definite possibility.

Meanwhile, LAUSD, and specifically LAUSD School Board Vice President Nick Melvoin, have assured me that should there be a strike, schools will NOT be shut down, they will bring in subs or whomever they can (administrators) to keep schools in session.

Also, understand that schools get paid by their ADA – Average Daily Attendance – money. This is just a fact of how schools are funded in our California public school system, which is why they are so adamant that attendance stay high, and if your child is not in school, why they insist you bring a doctor’s note or legitimate written excuse so they can still collect the daily attendance dollars. If a child is marked absent without an excuse, called an “unexcused absence,” schools are docked that child’s ADA amount for that day. So cumulatively, they are losing a lot of money due to absences. And this is why, at the end of the year if your child has more than 7 unexcused absences (you forgot to send the note!) they send you some threatening letter with a bunch of legalese under threat of prosecution that it is your parental responsibility to get your child to school or they will sue you. It’s all about money. And they are serious. [You can read all about excused and unexcused absences and attendance and Ed Code in this handy LAUSD tome, “School Attendance – A Parents Guide.” Or how chronically absent students cost a district millions of dollars here. And read the CA Legislative Analyst’s Office 2018 Update of K-12 Student Attendance and Funding.]

So, back to the labor issue. If there’s a strike and the majority of students walk out too – schools will not be getting paid their ADA funds multiplied by all the students who are absent during a strike. Meaning, the strike will not only affect teachers who will lose teacher pay for each day gone, but school budgets will also be impacted with lost ADA funds each day a strike wages on and students do not attend. It is NOT a win-win. It is quite a lose-lose for everyone, unless UTLA and LAUSD can end up cutting a deal they can live with and UTLA calls off the strike threat.

Complicating matters is that with the rising fiscal cliff of unpaid health and pension benefits careening towards LAUSD, taking up a significant portion of the annual operating budget and driving them towards near insolvency, if LAUSD doesn’t balance their budget, the State and County have already come knocking twice to warn LAUSD that they WILL take over if they cut a deal with UTLA that they cannot afford. So it is a dramatic time right now as both sides continue the mediation process. A process which is done between the negotiating partners, which we-the-people-the-stakeholders have no say or control over.

It’s worth mentioning that since Independent Charters have the flexibility to hire and fire and negotiate their own staff’s benefit packages directly, and have the autonomy to manage their own budgets and governance decisions, they will NOT be impacted at all should there be a strike.

But LAUSD neighborhood schools, Affiliated Converted Charter schools, Magnets, Dual Language Programs, Schools For Advanced Studies (SAS) Programs, Small Learning Communities (SLCs), Academic Criteria Schools (ACS), as well as other Specialized Academies within LAUSD, will ALL be impacted by these negotiations and potential strike.

I hope this explanation helps you understand the process and ramifications. I am holding hope that the strike is avoided and a settlement can be reached. For all our sakes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heads Up! SAS Now Included in Oct/Nov EChoices App!

Heads Up Everyone.

If you are considering applying to an SAS or Schools For Advanced Studies (gifted) program for next year, LAUSD has moved the application deadline from March (when it had previously been due), to the newly revamped Oct/Nov eChoices application.

That means SAS apps are DUE by Friday, November 9, 2018 by 5p. 

FOUR AND A HALF MONTHS EARLIER THAN LAST YEAR!

Yep.

This is causing a slight last-minute panic, both for SAS schools AND parents, however I have gathered everything you will need to get this done on time.

Here are the bullet points:

• You will have up to 3 choices for SAS on the eChoices application, so choose and sequence them wisely. You will have a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choice, so think about which SAS school you want the most, and also consider which one is most likely to have space as residents will have priority enrollment in the school before SAS applicants.

• You only have the potential to draw one SAS offer from the eChoices lottery, however you could also apply and get drawn for a Magnet AND a Dual Language Program AND an Admissions Criteria School (new category) as well. In fact, you could ostensibly win all 5 program categories on the eChoices application. Then you will have to make a choice between programs.

• So to recap, if you want to apply to some SAS programs, you will do it in Oct/Nov on the online eChoices application while you’re also applying for Magnets, Dual Language Programs, an Admission Criteria School, and also Permits With Transportation (if your school is a sending school.)

• If the SAS program you are interested in is also an Affiliated Converted Charter School, you cannot use this process. You must apply directly through the school’s onsite non-resident lottery. At a later date. Set by each school. (Valley, Palisades peeps, we’re mainly talking about you here!)

• There are NO POINTS for any program EXCEPT the Magnet program. (That’s a relief!)

• Additionally, in order to apply to an SAS program, your child must meet the GIFTED eligibility threshold and submit the necessary paperwork by the Nov 9th deadline. 

• There are multiple ways to meet eligibility, however probably the easiest method is to have your child’s Teacher and Principal or Director fill out the Verification of Eligibility Form, especially if your child is coming from preschool, private school, a charter, or another non-LAUSD program.

• In addition, for incoming Kindergarten SAS applicants, you will also need your child’s current Teacher and/or Director to fill out and sign the SAS Kindergarten Readiness Checklist Form.

To repeat, you’ll need BOTH these forms (linked below) filled out and signed:

The Verification of Eligibility Form
The SAS Kindergarten Readiness Checklist Form

Send the signed completed forms either by mail or deliver in person BEFORE the Friday, November 9, 2018 5p deadline:

U.S. Mail:
Unified Enrollment
P.O. Box 513307
Los Angeles,  CA  90051

or Hand Deliver:
L.A. Unified Headquarters/Unified Enrollment
25th Floor Reception Desk
333 South Beaudry Ave
Los Angeles, CA  90017

Don’t you love a good paperwork scramble? Yeah. I thought so.

• If your child is already enrolled in an LAUSD school and has already been identified as GATE, the District will automatically check the student’s eligibility through the school’s records so in that case you won’t need to submit these forms.

SAS Schools Alphabetical List
SAS Schools FAQ
SAS Schools List by Grade Level

=====

SAS-eChoices Commentary:
(Warning! Tanya’s getting on her soapbox. Hey, my blog, my soapbox!)

I’ve been calling around to various SAS schools for the past week to gather as much intel as possible ahead of this October 1st eChoices/SAS launch, and I can tell you after speaking with more than half a dozen SAS school office personnel, they are just as “in the dark” about these new application changes as “we the people” are. One Office Manager from a prominent SAS program asked me to call her back once I found out what the new policy was! Really? So instead of the SAS School being the source of intel, the parent has to be? Really? Another SLC Coordinator from an equally high profile SAS school in another part of town echoed similar sentiments. She just kind of sighed and resolved herself that this year “we’ll just figure it out as we go.”

Oh great. Tell that to the parents who were not informed of the changes, who will show up in March and have completely missed the SAS deadline.

Well yes, there’s a late application starting in February, but your child will then be placed at the bottom of the already sequenced waitlist. Result? Well…you do the math.

True to LAUSD form, this notion of consolidating a number of program applications onto a “common app” and moving the deadline a good 4.5 months earlier than usual should have been rolled out and announced widely months before we all found ourselves at the start of the application cycle. However that simply was not the case. It appears that some SAS schools are literally just now finding out about these new changes right at the same time you are, creating unnecessary stress and confusion in what could have been a smoother, more inclusive rollout. Or maybe the Principal or Magnet Coordinator knew about it, but the office staff fielding parent phone calls had no idea at all. I guarantee there will be disappointed parents who “didn’t get the memo” (since as far as I can tell there wasn’t one) who will bring their paper SAS apps to the schools in March just like in previous years, only to find they will now be placed hopelessly far down the waitlist and have little chance of enrollment. Because. No. Notice.

And shall I continue?

You know what’s great about producing a list of all 288 SAS programs all cutely colored and listed in alphabetical order?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing is great about that. Except for, um, at least there’s a list. 

You’ve got elementaries along with middles and high schools, all mashed together in one long alphabetical list of schools that span over 720 square miles across this vast behemoth of a city. Clearly no one on the “eChoices Common App Graphics and Strategic Planning Team” has ever ACTUALLY had to find a school for their kid within a reasonable commuting distance from where they live.

Ok LAUSD. Let me break it down for you.

For a parent seeking a school for their children, this is absolutely not helpful. I mean, if my 2nd grader needs an SAS program and I live in Van Nuys, why the heck do I want to wade through a 3-column multi-page list of hundreds of schools I’ve never heard of, mixing San Pedro schools with Silver Lake schools with schools in Cheviot Hills and KTown? And how the heck am I going to know the difference if I’ve never even heard of these schools to begin with? It doesn’t work, folks.

I feel like that scene in Spinal Tap, where Nigels’s backstage playing with his “mini” baloney sandwich….

“I’ve been working with this now for about half an hour… I can’t figure out….”

 

 

So in conclusion, parents, here is your memo.

The SAS application is now going to be part of the eChoices application which means it, and all the necessary supporting eligibility documentation, will be due by Friday, November 9th before 5p. Do this at the same time you are applying for Magnets, and Dual Language Immersions, and that other new category, ACS, and Permits with Transportation if you qualify for those.

Should you find you need assistance with this or any of your K-12 Los Angeles public school choices, please know I am available for phone and in-home consultations, and I would be more than happy to work with you to come up with your very own personalized public school plan based on your specific needs and what makes sense for your family.

Best of luck to all of you.

xo

(exit soapbox.)

 

 

PHBAO, Overcrowded and Twins Points UPDATE for 2018-19 Magnet Application

 

OVERCROWDED POINTS UPDATE
It’s been brought to my attention that there are a handful of neighborhood schools, out of the nearly 1300 within LAUSD, that will buy you an extra four “Overcrowded” points on the Magnet eChoices application.

Overcrowded points historically were assigned for zoned schools that were so full they had to operate on a multi-track year, meaning a group of students started school in the fall, and another group started in the summer or even in multiple tracks in multiple months, and school went year-round in order to fit everyone in.

After LAUSD spent all those billions of dollars worth of bond money building out 131 new schools over the past decade, (the largest buildout in the country btw), we ended multi-track schools, we ended CAP sending and receiving, (busing kids from overcrowded schools to under-enrolled schools), the final multi-track school, Bell High School, went to a single track calendar and those 4 “Overcrowded” points went the way of the dodo bird, from what I understood. They became extinct. Nobody had them.

But I just spent 20 minutes on hold with the LAUSD Office of Student Integration (you’re welcome) in order to verify this astounding discovery. While so many schools across LAUSD are now under-enrolled, there are currently 9 LAUSD schools that are in OVERCROWDED status believe it or not, according to last year’s list, meaning if you are zoned to one of these schools, you get an extra 4 points!

Now, I was told that this is last year’s list and the new list for 2018-19 will not come out until December – AFTER the Magnet deadline – however, she did confirm that these are the schools on the current Overcrowded list:

92nd Street
Bridges
Carpenter EL
Dixie Canyon EL
Franklin EL
Hesby Oaks
Kittridge EL
MacArthur Park VAPA EL
Wisdom EL

Playa Vista EL and Westwood EL, who have recently moved their TK programs off to nearby hub schools to make additional room on campus were on my mind, which I specifically asked about, and as far as she was concerned, were not on the list. Yet. Check back in December though when the list updates.

PHBAO POINTS
As for determining PHBAO status, in addition to calling your zoned school’s office, or waiting 20-30 minutes on hold for a person at the Office of Student Integration to get to your call, I found this PHBAO LIST of Schools online, (also to be updated in December), but it will at least give you a good idea of current standings. PHBAO stands for Predominantly Hispanic, Black, Asian and Other, (i.e. the majority is non-Caucasian) and if you are zoned to one of these schools, you get 4 points. We cover this extensively in my talks and consultations, and you can learn all about points in my latest guidebook, The GoMamaGuide to LAUSD.

***ALSO NEW! TWINS/MULTIPLES ADVANTAGE
For 2018-19, eChoices finally worked some magic to support families with TWINS and MULTIPLES!! Before now, each child was treated as an individual and took their shot in the lottery, which meant many times only one child would get in and the other twin was out of luck until the following year when they would get those extra 3 sibling points. Now, if one twin gets in, the other twin or multiples jump up to the next number(s) on the top of the list. Meaning, if there is one more seat available, they will get it. In essence, finally being able to allow twins and multiples to get in together in the same program in the same year.

We discussed how crazily upward trending (and by that I mean unaffordable) real estate has started to force out diversity in certain neighborhoods, so schools that once were PHBAO, are no longer PHBAO, and therefore families who have siblings already attending the magnet program who have a younger rising sibling whose zoned school has fallen out of PHBAO will likely have NO chance of getting their siblings in, since Sibling status only gives you 3 points, yet PHBAO status gives someone 4 points. Since this whole magnet system works on a weighted points-based lottery starting from the highest down to the lowest points, the way this is currently set up, a particular magnet program would have to exhaust ALL their PHBAO applicants before a Sibling-nonPHBAO student could get in to join their other sibling. Meaning, families will become divided with little chance of keeping their kids together in the same magnet program.

I asked this administrator to please take this concern to her superiors and magnet coordinators, because inadvertently this points-based discrepancy will be splitting families apart. I suggested at a minimum giving siblings 4 points – equal to PHBAO points – so at least the playing field is level. She seemed receptive to my concerns and said she would bring it up at the next meeting. If you too are concerned about this, please talk with your magnet coordinators so they can discuss potential adjustments for future years, just as they were able to do with this year’s TWIN/MULTIPLE FIX.

As always, if you have no idea what I’m talking about and your head is spinning with question marks about all these points, let’s book a call to go over your magnet strategy and I’ll do my best to shoehorn you into my schedule right now.

That’s all I got for the moment. Hope you enjoyed the update.
-Tanya