2015 Charter Deadlines Looming!

Enroll now

Hey folks, it’s Charter Season, meaning if you are looking for charter school options for the Fall of 2015-16, NOW is the time to get those applications in.

Each charter school is responsible for running their own admissions and application timelines, so be sure to check with the charter schools you are interested in to get all the specific details. If you applied and were waitlisted last year, you need to apply again this year. (Luckily there are no points to worry about!)

Independent charters open their lotteries to anyone from any district. Affiliated conversion charters, an LAUSD hybrid type charter, gives first priority to those residing within the school’s attendance area with any remaining seats lotteried off to non-residents.

All charters give preference to siblings of existing students, and many charters offer other priorities such as to founding families or staff members, students residing within LAUSD or even a specific LAUSD school’s attendance area, or students who qualify for the Free/Reduced Meal Plan. To be sure, read the fine print on the application.

To learn more about what a charter school is, go HERE.
To learn more about affiliated conversion charters, go HERE.
To peruse my color-coded school finder maps, go HERE. (Charters are in green.)

To make it easy for you, here’s a quick list of some of the more popular charter tours, application deadlines and lottery dates. Most applications can be downloaded online on the school’s website, and either mailed or physically handed in to the school’s office. Also, if you missed the deadline, you can usually put in a late wait list application, although your mileage may vary.

Ok, here’s that list! Middle Schools are below the Elementary list.

2015 Charter Deadlines – Elementary Schools
Not an exhaustive list. Please view my school finder maps.

West:

Palisades Chtr Complex (Canyon, Palisades, Marquez, Kenter Cyn, Topanga ELs all share same deadlines) – priority given to residents, remaining seats up for lottery
apps avail now in each office, deadline Mar 23 12p, lottery Mar 27 8:30a

Citizens of the World Charter (Mar Vista) – apps/apply online, deadline Feb 16, lottery Mar 3 4p
tours: Feb 6, 9 and 11 9a
www.cwcmarvista.org

Goethe — apps avail online, deadline Mar 27, lottery Apr 14 6p
tours: Jan 22 and 29, Feb 5, 19 and 26 8:15a
www.goethecharterschool.org

Ocean Charter School (TK-8) — apps closed, deadline Jan 30, lottery Feb 25 10a @MV Campus
Info mtgs: Jan 27 8:15a, Jan 27 6p, Jan 29 8:30a
www.oceancharterschool.org

WISH (TK-8) —  apps avail online, deadline Mar 18 6p, lottery Mar 27 @LMU
tours: Jan 21 9a & 6p, Feb 18 9a, Mar 18 6p
www.wishcharter.org

Valley:

Chime Institute (K-8) — apps avail online now, deadline Mar 6 3p, lottery tbd
tours: Feb 13, 20, Mar 6 9a
www.chimeinstitute.org

New Horizons Charter Academy (TK-8) — apps avail online, deadline Jan 26, lottery Jan 30
Tours/Late WaitList: Call 818.655.9602
nhcharteracademy.com

Our Community School (TK-8) —  apps avail online now, deadline for K: Mar, deadline for Gr 1-8: May
tours: Feb 4, Feb 18, Mar 4, Apr 8, May 6 8a
ourcommunityschool.org

Valley Charter Schl EL — apps avail online now, deadline Feb 6 4p, lottery Feb 20 3:30p
tours: call 818.810.6713
elementary.valleycharterschool.org

Central:

Larchmont Charter/Hwd/WeHo (TK-12) —  one application for all campuses
apps avail online now, deadline Feb 18 5p, lottery Feb 28 9a
larchmontcharter.org

Citizens of the World Charter/Hollywood – apps avail now, deadline Feb 17 5p, lottery Mar 12 4p
tours: morning tours sign up list, Jan 15 6:30p Feb 10 6:30p
cwchollywood.org

East:

Los Feliz Charter Schl Arts (TK-6) — apps avail online now, deadline Feb 24 (by mail/fax) lottery Mar 3 3p
tours: Jan 29 9a, Feb 19 9a, Feb 23
www.losfelizarts.org

Citizens of the World Charter/Silver Lk – apps avail online now, deadline Feb 15, lottery Mar 17
tours: Feb 10 11a
cwcsilverlake.org

Not a charter but another option:

SMASH (K-8) — apps avail online, deadline for K: Mar 31, deadline for Gr 1-8: Apr 30, K lottery early April (priority given to Santa Monica residents)
tours: Jan 27 9a, Feb 5 9a, Feb 24 9a, Mar 24 9a, Mar 31 9a
www.smash.smmusd.org

2014 Charter Deadlines – Middle Schools
Not an exhaustive list. Please view my school finder maps.
*All schools grades 6-8 unless otherwise noted. 

Animo WS MS — apps avail online now for wait list, deadline Dec 3 4p
tours: Feb 4, 11, 18, 25 9a, Feb 12 & 26 5:30p, Mar 11, 18, 25 9a, Mar 12 & 26 5:30p
www.greendot.org/page.cfm?p=3990

The City School (6-9+) — apps avail online now, deadline Mar 6 11p, lottery Mar 12 4p
tours: Feb 12 7p
www.citycharterschool.org

Larchmont Charter School (6-10+) — apps avail online now, deadline Feb 18 5p, lottery Feb 28 9a
www.larchmontcharter.org

Magnolia Science Academy 4 (6-12) — apps avail online now, deadline Jan 16 4p, lottery Feb 7 10a
tours: Every Weds 3p
msa4.magnoliascience.org

Magnolia Science Academy 6 — apps avail online now
msa6.magnoliascience.org

New LA Charter — apps avail in person, deadline Mar 6 6p, lottery Mar 13 6:30p
tours: Feb 14, 17, 27 and Mar 6 6p
www.newlosangeles.org

New West Charter (6-11+) — mandatory tour Jan 24 @SaMoHi, deadline Feb 6 4p, verification Feb 11 & 25 2-6p, lottery Mar 11 2:30p
Wail list apps for all grades accepted until June 2015
www.newwestcharter.org

Ocean Charter School (DK-8) — late wait list apps avail at office, deadline Jan 30, lottery Feb 25 10a
www.oceancharterschool.org 

Paul Revere Charter (non-resident lottery) —  deadline Jan 16 12p, lottery Feb 11 7p
**can apply for the non-resident late wait list
www.paulreverems.com

Westchester Secondary Charter (6-11+) — apps avail online now, deadline Mar 20 5p, lottery Mar 23 5p
tours: Jan 14, Feb 11 9a, Mar 4 6:30p
www.westchestercharter.org

Wish Charter (TK-8) — apps avail online, deadline Mar 18 6p, lottery Mar 27
tours: Jan 21 9a & 6p, Feb 18 9a, Mar 18 6p – call 1st 310.642.9474
www.wishmiddle.org

Not a charter but another option:

Incubator Pilot School (6-9+)– apps avail online now, guaranteed admission if paperwork in by Feb 13 4p
tours: ongoing – sign up online
www.incubatorschool.org 

As always, I’m here for you if you need assistance. Good luck!

It’s Charter Season!

Now that the Magnet deadline is fully behind us, it’s time to get your charter school applications in for next year. Each charter school is responsible for running their own admissions and application timelines, so be sure to check with the charter schools you are interested in to get all the specific details.

To learn more about what a charter school is, go HERE.
To learn more about affiliated conversion charters, go HERE.
To peruse my color-coded school finder maps, go HERE. (Charters are in green.)

For guidance on which charters are the best fit for your family, consider either an in-home of phone consultation with me, read more HERE.

Independent charters open their lotteries to anyone from any district. Affiliated conversion charters, an LAUSD hybrid type charter, gives first priority to those residing within the school’s attendance area with any remaining seats lotteried off to non-residents.

All charters give preference to siblings of existing students, and some charters offer other priorities, such as to founding families or staff members, students residing within LAUSD, or students qualifying for Free/Reduced Meal Plan (ie. low socio-economic status.)

Each lottery is independently operated and instituted by each individual charter school. Applications are handled directly with each school site. There are no points involved, thankfully. If you applied and were waitlisted last year, you need to reapply this year.

While not an exhaustive list by any means, here’s a quick list of some of the more popular charter tours, application deadlines and lottery dates around town. Most applications can be downloaded online on the school’s website, and either mailed or physically handed in to the school’s office.

Ok, here’s that (partial) list.

Select 2014 Elementary School Charter Deadlines:
(child must turn 5 by Sept 1, 2014 for entry into Kinder 2014)

Palisades Chtr Complex ELs (Canyon, Palisades, Kenter Cyn, Marquez, Topanga – all share same deadlines) — apps avail now in each office, deadline March 21 12p, lottery April 25 8:30a

Ocean Charter School (TK-8) — apps avail online now, deadline Jan 24,
lottery Feb 27 10a


WISH (DK-7) —  apps avail shortly, deadline March tbd, lottery March 28 8:30a
EL tours: Feb 19 9a, Mar 12 6p
www.wishcharter.org

Citizens of the World Charter/Mar Vista (TK-3) – apps avail online now, deadline March 3, lottery March 28 4p
tours: Jan 31 8:50a, Feb 12 7p
Citizens of the World Charter/Hollywood – apps avail online now, deadline March 3 4p, lottery March 24 4p
tours: Jan 28 6:15p, Feb 11 6:15p, Feb 20 9a
Citizens of the World Charter/Silver Lk – apps avail online now, deadline March 3 4p, lottery March 20 7:30p
tours: Feb 11 10:30a, Mar 4 6:30p
cwcsilverlake.org


Goethe
 — apps avail online now, deadline Feb 28,  lottery in March 18 6p
tours: Jan 30 9a
www.goethecharterschool.org

Larchmont Charter/Hollywood (K-12) & WeHo (K-8) — apps avail online now, deadline Feb 19 5p, lottery Mar 1 9a
www.larchmontcharter.org  and www.larchmontcharterweho.org

Los Feliz Charter Schl Arts (K-6) — apps avail online now, deadline Mar 4 12p (by mail/fax) lottery Mar 4
tours: Jan 21 5p, Feb 4 5p, Feb 18 5p
Valley Charter Schl EL — apps avail online now, deadline Feb 7 4p, lottery Feb 21 3:30p
tours: Jan 14 8:45a or 9:15a, Sat Feb 1 Community Fair
elementary.valleycharterschool.org
.
Chime Institute (K-8) — apps avail online now, deadline March 7 3p, lottery March 14
tours: Feb 5 9a, Feb 12 9a, Feb 19 9a, Feb 26 9a, Mar 5 9a
.
Our Community School (K-8) —  apps avail online now, deadline for K: Mar, deadline for Gr 1-8: May
tours: Feb 5, 8a, Feb 19 8a, Mar 5 8a, April 9 8a (818) 350-5000

SELECT 2014 Middle School Charter Deadlines: 

Animo WS MS — apps avail online now for wait list, deadline Dec 6 5p, lottery Dec 19, 2013 5p
 
The City School — apps avail online now, deadline Mar 3 10p, lottery Mar 13 4p (new location tbd)
tours: Jan 25 10a, Feb 1 10a, Feb 6, 7p, Feb 22 10a
 
Larchmont Charter/Hollywood (K-12) & WeHo (K-8) — apps avail online now – one application for all campuses, deadline Feb 19 5p, lottery Mar 1 9a
 
Magnolia Science Academy 4 — apps avail online now, deadline tbd
tours: Every Weds 3p
 
Magnolia Science Academy 6 — apps avail online now, deadline tbd
 
New LA Charter — apps avail online soon, deadline Mar 7 6p, lottery Mar 13 6:30p
tours: Jan 23 7p, Jan 31 8:45a, Feb 11 7p, Feb 22 3p, Feb 26 7p, Mar 7 6p (deadline)
 
New West Charter — apps avail at mandatory tour, deadline Apr 9 4p, verification Apr 11-15, lottery Apr 23 4p
tours: Jan 25 10a, Feb 5 6p, Apr 3 6p @SaMoHi
Ocean Charter School — apps avail onsite, deadline Jan 24 3p, lottery Feb 26 10a
Info mtgs: Jan 7 8:30a & 6p, Jan 9 8:30a, Jan 23 8:30a & 6p
Paul Revere Charter — apps closed for 2014, deadline Jan 17 4p, lottery Feb 19 7p
can apply for the 2nd non-resident wait list
 
Westchester Secondary Charter (6-10) — apps avail online now, deadline Mar 21 5p, lottery Mar 24 6p
tours: Feb 3 9a, Feb 17 9a, Mar 3 9a, Mar 17 9a
 
Wish Charter  — questions can be sent to wish secondary@gmail.com or call 310.642.9474
MS Info: Jan 29 6p, Feb 12 6p, Mar 12 9a app deadline Mar 12, Lottery Mar 28 8:30a
Other – NOT a charter, but a semi-autonomous District school of innovation:
Incubator Pilot School — no enrollment info yet for 2014
Chime Institute (K-8) — apps avail online now, deadline Mar 7 3p, lottery Mar 14
tours: Jan 22 9a, Feb 5 9a, Feb 122 9a, Feb 19 9a, Feb 26 9a, Mar 5 9a
Our Community School (K-8) —  apps avail online now, deadline for K: Mar, deadline for Gr 1-8: May
tours: Feb 5, 8a, Feb 19 8a, Mar 5 8a, April 9 8a (818) 350-5000
.
Valley Charter MS — apps avail Sept 1, 2013, deadline Oct 23, lottery Oct 25, 2013
tours: Jan 28 9:30a, Jan 30 9:30a, Feb 6, 11, 13 @9:30a
middle.valleycharterschool.org
.

For more info and schools, please view my color-coded school finder maps HERE.

The Conversion Charter…Trending Now

by Tanya Anton | GoMamaGuide.com

With 6 LAUSD neighborhood schools converting to affiliated charter status last year and 25 more schools converting this year, we ask, is it contagious? A sign of the times?

 Why would your perfectly good neighborhood school convert to affiliated charter status anyway, you ask?

It all comes down to the 3 Fs. Flexibility, Freedom…and Funding.

An affiliated charter is a unique sort of “charter lite” or hybrid model that was created in LAUSD to pacify all parties. While this type of charter doesn’t have the full autonomy an independent charter school has, they do have increased autonomy from the traditional district model.

A typcial LAUSD neighborhood school that converts to an affiliated charter school can keep its existing campus and facilities -no fighting for space or co-locations via Prop 39. They also keep their attendance area -maintaining the feel of a neighborhood school with priority enrollment given to area residents. The UTLA teacher contract and District-paid union positions stay in tact -but with it so does tenure and seniority-based bumping rights. The school gains some limited freedoms from the district – and the feeling of semi-autonomy. Most importantly the school once converted can apply to the state for a block charter grant -direct funds based on enrollment numbers, which can make up some of the budget shortfalls the school sustained as a non-charter.

While still overseen by LAUSD, an affiliated charter creates its own site-based governance system typically made up of parents, staff, and administration, so the decision-making body of the school resides on campus, not downtown. The school also gains flexibility in curricular focus, textbook selection, selecting programs and materials, as well as freedom in deciding how to allocate, manage and spend the funds that come unrestricted from the state.

The district still oversees and controls many policies in an affiliated charter, and when lateral budget cuts are made – when a staff position or program is reduced or eliminate districtwide – affiliated charters are affected. When the district decides to change the calendar and implement “Early Start,” or makes changes to the bell schedule, or the number of instructional days, class size ratios, or changes to the graduation A-G requirements – affiliated charters are affected. So ultimately, it’s a compromise. The District maintains some control, the unions maintain their contracts, and the school site gains some autonomy without going full-out independent charter.

There is money involved, surely, particularly important for schools that have fallen just below the now higher Title 1 (poverty level) school threshold. In fact, the majority of the schools that have converted one by one (or seven by sixteen) to affiliated charter, are schools that have lost their Title 1 status, meaning they have lost their additional federal funding. The loss in federal funds, in additional to the continued onslaught of yearly state and district budget cuts, has been devastating.

For an elementary school in LAUSD, already 48th in the country in per-pupil spending, the Title 1 funding loss can amount to $80-150,000 annually from a school’s operating budget. For a secondary school such as the highly-lauded LACES, the loss from their budget this year was $460,000. For Millikan Middle School, the loss was about $600,000. You can see the kind of fiscal pressure a school is under, and why that charter block grant, not to mention the thought of gaining some autonomy, starts to look not only attractive, but necessary for survival.

Read some commentary on it from School Board member Tamar Galatzan HERE. And KPCC takes a look at the issues HERE.

But what does this mean in terms of trends where predominantly high-performing motivated middle class schools capable of self-governance are converting to charter 25 – 30 at a time? What does it mean for the rest of the district’s schools, where high staff turnover, low parent participation, and unmotivated communities do not, or can not, advocate for their schools?

In California we have more students enrolled in charter schools than anywhere else in the nation. Ten years from now, will the majority of our schools be charters? Will the District be bankrupt? Will we (the people, the policy-makers) make public education a priority, an undeniable human right, a necessary investment in our collective futures, or will it become an obsolete novelty gone the way of social security and pension plans?

In updating my color-coded Valley Elementary school map with all the recent charter conversions, there is a clear green line. The charter line. Schools south of the Ventura Freeway in the foothills, in North Hills, and Granada Hills, see the most conversions. Make no mistake, they’re also the areas with the highest property values.

GoMamaGuide’s Valley Elementary Schools Map.

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Tanya Anton is the creator of GoMamaGuide.com helping parents demystify and navigate their public school options in Los Angeles. To read more articles by Tanya or to learn about her Guidebooks, House Chats, Consultations, and Seminars, visit GoMamaGuide.com or email us at GoMama@mac.com.
© 2012 by Tanya Anton, GoMamaGuide.com All Rights Reserved.