Heads up! LAUSD has extended the Choices Accept/Decline Deadline by one week to Friday, April 16th. That means that those lucky winners have more time to mull over their offers, head over to their dashboard, and make their decisions. It also means that you waitlisted folks will be hanging on a week longer, because those lists won’t start to move now until AFTER April 16th. Waitlists will continue to move through the spring, summer, and up through the 4th week of school.
(LAUSD “Fall” start date still tbd…Aug 3, Aug 10, Aug 17??? Stay tuned. Or read THIS.)
In the interim, I have rescheduled my WAITLISTED? Now What! webinar for Wednesday, April 7th at 12p. In this 60 minute webinar, I’ll walk you through how to navigate multiple offers in multiple categories, how certain offers impact other offers, what happens when you’re waitlisted everywhere, late offers, creating a back-up plan, and basically how to mentally prep for and survive LA’s public school Lotterypalooza. This is a live event and I will be taking your questions. *Recommended for all lottery-playing parents.
Waitlisted! Now What? Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 12p $35
Please watch my latest update on the eChoices lottery results, including how and where to check, what happens if you win something, and when you need to respond by. I’ve been asked the same questions by a lot of you guys, so I thought I’d answer them for everyone in this video. Take a look.
Best of luck to everyone. Please stay safe. Be well. -Tanya
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.
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 “email@example.com” 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.
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.
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/
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.
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.
That means SAS apps are DUE by Friday, November 9, 2018 by 5p.
FOUR AND A HALF MONTHS EARLIER THAN LAST YEAR!
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 meeteligibility, 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.
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
or Hand Deliver:
L.A. Unified Headquarters/Unified Enrollment
25th Floor Reception Desk
333 South Beaudry Ave
Los Angeles, CA90017
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-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 monthsbefore 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.
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.
After 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.
“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.”
Question 1: In your opinion, the school year should start:
After Labor Day
It does not matter to me.
Question 2: The winter break should be:
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.
I strongly agree
I somewhat agree
I neither agree or disagree
I somewhat disagree
I strongly disagree
Question 4: It is important that both elementary and secondary schools follow the same calendar.
I strongly agree
I somewhat agree
I neither agree or disagree
I somewhat disagree
I strongly disagree
Question 5: The first semester should end before the winter break.
I strongly agree
I somewhat agree
I neither agree or disagree
I somewhat disagree
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
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.
Let’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: