New Webinars Just Added!

The GoMamaGuide “Lunch & Learn” Webinar Series has officially launched and I want to thank everyone who has participated so far! I am loving the no-driving part, seriously. Brilliant.

Since it’s eChoices season and several of you weren’t able to jump on those first few webinars, I’ve added two more that will directly help you with your eChoices application.

An additional Mastering Magnets webinar is scheduled for this Thursday, October 11…

And since SAS joins Gifted Magnets as part of the eChoices app this year, you might want to also check out Understanding Gifted Options next Tuesday, October 16 where we cover all your GIFTED worries, and break down the goods on SAS, GATE, and that string of acronyms: GHA, HG, HGA, IHP.

All Webinars start at 12p and run 60 mins. But if you can’t make it live, don’t sweat it, as long as you sign up BEFORE the start of the webcast, you’ll get the replay for another 7 days afterward. To sign up, just CLICK ON THE PICTURE (above) of the event you’d like to attend. If you have related questions you’d like me to cover, you can email them to me in advance, or use the live interactive Q&A feature during the webinar. Learning has never been so easy, informative, and focused on just what you need to hear. It’s like we’re together, but without all the LA hassle.

So grab a snack and your burning school questions, and join me for a Lunch & Learn Webinar. Book your spot today!

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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.)

 

 

SAS Applications Now Through March 30th (It’s earlier this year!)

GATE
Hey folks, heads up! They moved the SAS date up a month!

If your child qualifies, NOW is the time (March 1-30, 2017) to apply for LAUSD’s Schools For Advanced Studies (SAS) programs for next fall. The deadline to apply for the 2017-18 school year is March 30, 2017. Acceptance notifications come out April 21st.

In order to apply to an SAS school, students must meet specific eligibility requirements, either by being identified as Gifted and Talented (GATE), verified by their teacher and principal, or by meeting specific testing thresholds.

What is an SAS school? It is a specialized program for qualified students that (hopefully and depending on the strength of the program and staff) delves deeper into course material at an accelerated pace. From the LAUSD website: “Gifted/Talented Programs creates high end learning opportunities which allow students to flourish in stimulating academic and social environments. In designing challenging educational opportunities, we strive to raise the floor, remove the walls and eliminate the ceiling on learning.”

If your gifted child is wait listed at their magnet choice and you haven’t yet heard if they got into that charter school, the possibility of an SAS program can be another school option to consider. You can apply to more than one SAS program, you apply directly at your desired SAS school site, and the school will determine which applicants get accepted or not by the end of the application period. Some schools handle applications on a first-come first-served basis, and most schools base student acceptance on a more selective criteria which might include a student interview plus review of work samples, cumulative grades, teacher recommendations and SBAC test results.

*Note: For middle and high school, they will look at your child’s grades going back 2-3 years, making your child’s grades and test scores from 3rd, 4th and the 1st semester of 5th grade particularly important when applying for middle school, and 6-8th grade outcomes critical for high school applications.

For more on SAS (Schools for Advanced Studies) programs, see: achieve.lausd.net/gate

SAS application and criteria: achieve.lausd.net/Page/2033

All about GATE options and “The List” of SAS programs by area/grade begins on page 5: List

You can pick up applications at each SAS school office during the application period, or download it here: achieve.lausd.net/Page/2033

Transportation is not provided for these programs, so keep that in mind when applying.

As always, if you want to discuss anything further, I’m here to help!
phone consultation
in-home consultation

The 2016-17 Magnet Application Highlights

The 2016-17 Magnet Application Highlights
by Tanya Anton | GoMamamGuide.com

Hey LAUSD Residents: With just under three weeks left, it’s time to get your Magnet applications in!

What’s a Magnet?

Magnet programs are court-ordered voluntary integration programs that provide a diverse, enriched, theme-based educational environment for lucky lottery winners. With 210 magnet programs throughout LAUSD, there are lots of specialized school opportunities to apply to, with transportation provided if you qualify.

Additionally, since it’s based on a weighted lottery system, there are those confounded POINTS! If you’ve picked up one of my guidebooks or attended one of my talks, you should be well-versed in the ins and outs of magnet point collection and selection strategy: How to get in. How NOT to get in. How to maximize your options for future years.

(Confused? Don’t panic, I’ll walk you through it! Either by phone or my new step-by-step webinar!)

In any case, between Oct 1st and Friday, November 13th, 2015 BEFORE 5p, LAUSD residents can apply online to the Magnet programs of their choosing for the following year. Visit echoices.lausd.net to apply. It’s paperless. It’s easy. And it’s free.

The Basics:

– Must be an LAUSD resident to be eligibleFalsified applications will be disqualified and removed from the program.

– No longer accepting late applications. But you can amend your online app up until the Nov 13th 5pm deadline.

– First round of Notification letters will go out by the end of March and will be sent via email if applied online. After that, additional admissions opportunities will be offered in the order of the wait list until all seats are full.

– If you “Don’t Answer” the call/email it’s still considered a pass – and you lose all accumulated wait list points.

– Students MAY be contacted with an opening up until the 4th week of school.(This DOES happen. The late notification.) Waitlist points will finalize after the 4th week of school if you haven’t gotten an offer.

So, let’s get those Magnet apps in!

The Highlights:

– You can select UP TO 3 MAGNET Choices on the application. Points will only attach to your 1st choice. (Optional 2nd and 3rd choices will be entered with 0 points.) If you aren’t selected in any of your choices during the initial automated lottery, you are placed back on the waitlist of only your 1st choice.

– You are not required to select 3 choices. If accepted to ANY magnet program at any point and turn it down, you will lose ALL accumulated waitlist points.

– Only submit ONE application per child. (Check with other parent to make sure you didn’t both apply.) Must be applying for the correct and appropriate grade for 2016. State Law governs age eligibility:  5 by Sept 1st for Kinder, 6 by Sept 1st for 1st Grade.

– You may change your selection(s) every year. The points follow the child.

– Student info (address, telephone, grade) MUST MATCH info at child’s current LAUSD school. Any changes of address must be made at your child’s LAUSD school of attendance before the application deadline to be considered for the assignment of priority points. It’s the Parents’/Guardians’ responsibility to verify student info.

– Twins are treated as individuals and require separate apps. There is a space to enter sibling info on each app. If only one gets in, sibling points will apply the following year.

– If currently attending a Magnet and wish to stay there…DO NOTHING! If you apply elsewhere and are selected into another magnet, you will be unceremoniously dropped from your current magnet program and auto-enrolled in the new one. (This has happened to folks trying to collect points while attending a magnet program. No! That’s what Matriculation points are for.)

– Gifted/High Ability and Highly Gifted applicants must provide verification AHEAD of the Nov 13 deadline. See: echoices.lausd.net/Magnet/GiftedCriteria.

If this seems overwhelming or you want to discuss strategy or how the points work, please contact me for a consultation. Or sign up for one of my upcoming Magnet Webinars HERE. I’m happy to help. Magnets are just one of many public school options.
– Tanya Anton | gomama@mac.com

SAS Applications Now Thru April 30th

GATEIf your child qualifies, NOW is the time (April 1-30th) to get those Schools For Advanced Studies, (SAS) applications in. The deadline to apply for the 2014-15 school year is April 30, 2014.

Acceptance notifications come out in early May. In order to apply to an SAS school, students must meet specific eligibility requirements, either by being identified as Gifted and Talented (GATE), verified by their teacher and principal, or by meeting specific testing thresholds.

What is an SAS school? It is a specialized program for qualified students that (hopefully and depending on the strength of the program and staff) delves deeper into course material at an accelerated pace. From the LAUSD website: “Gifted/Talented Programs creates high end learning opportunities which allow students to flourish in stimulating academic and social environments. In designing challenging educational opportunities, we strive to raise the floor, remove the walls and eliminate the ceiling on learning.”

If your gifted child is wait listed at their magnet choice and you haven’t yet heard if they got into that charter school, the possibility of an SAS program can be another school option to consider. You can apply to more than one SAS program, you apply directly at your desired SAS school site, and the school will determine which applicants get accepted or not by the end of the application period. Some schools handle applications on a first-come first-served basis, other schools base student acceptance on a more selective criteria which might include a student interview plus review of work samples, cumulative grades, teacher recommendations and test results.

*Note: For middle and high school, chances are excellent they will look at your child’s grades going back 2-3 years, making your child’s 3rd, 4th and 1st semester 5th grade grades particularly important when applying for middle school, and 6-8th grade grades critical for high school applications.

For more on SAS (Schools for Advanced Studies) programs, see: New LAUSD GATE website!
achieve.lausd.net/gate

SAS application and criteria: achieve.lausd.net/Page/2033

List of SAS programs by area/grade:
List

You can pick up applications at each SAS school office during the application period, or download it here:
achieve.lausd.net/Page/2033

As always, if you want to discuss anything further, I’m here to help!

phone consultation

in-home consultation

 

2014 Magnet/eChoices Site is LIVE!

It’s Magnet Time Again!
by Tanya Anton | GoMamaGuide.com

Choices2014It’s time.

The site is LIVE. The 2014-15 Magnet/eChoices brochure is now available and the application window has officially opened. Apply online now!

Beginning today, Tuesday, October 1, 2013 through the deadline Friday, November 15, 2013 at 5p, LAUSD residents may apply to the Magnet Program or Permits With Transportation (PWT) program for next year.

Visit echoices.lausd.net. It’s ONLINE. 24/7. It’s easy. It’s fast. It’s paperless.

Highlights for 2014:

– No longer accepting late applications. But you can make changes to your online app up until the final Nov 15 deadline. You’ve got 6 weeks to do this folks. Don’t be late. Do this now, get those apps in on time!

– NO NCLB PSC Program! No Option B Magnet/PSC Program Combo!
Due to LAUSD’s NCLB waiver being approved by the US Dept of Ed in August 2013, the NCLB PSC option for students enrolled in PI (Program Improvement) schools is no longer available and will be phased out for current PSC students. (Don’t know what I’m talking about? Don’t worry. It’s not available anymore.)

– Notification letters will go out by the end of March and will be sent via email if applied online.

Students MAY be contacted with an opening up until the 4th week of school. (This DOES happen. The late notification. It happened to us this year.) Waitlist points will finalize after then. *Students may also be called during the first 2 weeks of the spring semester. (I don’t personally know anyone who got this call, but beware, it’s in the fine print.)

eChoices screenshot

The Basic Highlights: (Covered in much more detail in my Guidebooks)

Must be an LAUSD resident to be eligible. Falsified applications will be disqualified and removed from the program.

– Can select UP TO 3 MAGNET Choices. Points will only attach to your 1st choice. 2nd and 3rd choices will be entered with 0 points. If you aren’t selected in any of your choices during the initial automated lottery, you are placed back on the waitlist of your 1st choice.

– You are not required to select 3 choices. If accepted to ANY magnet program at any point and turn it down, you will lose ALL accumulated waitlist points.

– Only submit ONE application per child. (Check with other parent to make sure you didn’t both apply.) Must be applying for the correct grade for 2014. State Law governs age eligibility:  5 by Sept 1st for K, 6 by Sept 1st for 1st.

– Student info (address, telephone, grade) MUST MATCH info at child’s current LAUSD school. (Think robo-call info.) It is the parent’s responsibility to complete the application correctly or it will be rejected.

– Twins are treated as individuals with separate apps. There is a space to enter sibling info on each app. If only one gets in, sibling points will apply the following year.

– If currently attending a Magnet and wish to stay there…DO NOTHING! If you apply elsewhere and are selected into another magnet, you will be dropped from your current magnet program. (This has happened to people I know trying to collect points while attending a magnet program. No, No, NO! That’s what Matriculation points are for.)

– If NOT currently in a Magnet and would like to be for next year, apply now. Apply every year until you get in. Waitlist points only go back 3 consecutive years.

– Gifted/High Ability and Highly Gifted applicants must provide verification AHEAD of the Nov 15 deadline. See: echoices.lausd.net/Magnet/GiftedCriteria

– To find more detailed info about each Magnet program, click on the 7 digit school code. To find out which Magnet programs are near you, use my School Finder maps.

If this seems overwhelming or you want to discuss strategy, please contact me for a consultation. I’m happy to help. Magnets are just one of many public school options.
– Tanya Anton | gomama@mac.com

SAS Applications Accepted Now Through April 30th

GATEIf your child qualifies, NOW is the time to get those SAS applications in. (SAS stands for Schools For Advanced Studies.) The deadline to apply to an SAS school is Tuesday, April 30th for the 2013-14 school year. Acceptance notifications will come out May 6-10th.

In order to apply to an SAS school, students must meet eligibility requirements, either by being identified as GATE (Gifted and Talented), verified by their teacher and principal, or by meeting specific testing thresholds.

If your child is wait listed at their magnet choice and you haven’t yet heard if they got into that charter school, SAS programs (if they qualify) can be another school option to consider. You may apply to more than one SAS program, you apply directly at the school site, and the school will determine which applicants get accepted or not at the end of the application period. Sometimes its handled on a first-come first served basis, other schools base student enrollment on a more selective criteria and student review.

For more on SAS (Schools for Advanced Studies) programs, including eligibility requirements and the list of school programs in each local area, see:

http://www.lausd.net/lausd/offices/GATE/prog-opt-3.html