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!

Hidden Rival to Charter Schools – My Response

Have you read this recent article in the Washington Post?

Hidden Rival to Charter Schools by Jay Mathews

Fascinating. Shows just how frustrated parents are with the traditional, increasingly narrow, test-driven model of education. It’s not working. It hasn’t in a long time. We are collectively, desperately, ready and pining for something new. Even if it means trying something unorthodox or doing it ourselves. I see this all the time speaking to parents and helping them navigate their public school options.

Here in Los Angeles, the forefront of the charter movement and the second largest school district in the country, we’ve also seen an increase in collaborative homeschool study groups with organized educational field trips and social group outings. Many area museums and attractions offer programs/tours designed specifically for the homeschooler, and we also have a couple of hybrid schools that offer a part-time classroom /part-time home study combo.

Parents want options other than the traditional test-driven District model. That is unmistakable. Here’s what I’ve observed:

– communities desperately trying to support, reinvigorate and revitalize their neighborhood school despite the yearly onslaught of budget cuts and set backs, frequently get frustrated by the lack of engaging, inspired teaching and learning, and the unavoidable District policy ceiling they will hit, so they

-explore all their lottery options including magnets, charters or transfers/permits to find the best-possible school option for their children, and failing that they

– band together under a united vision to launch an indie start-up charter where collectively they can participate in an alternative model of education and have the freedom to collaborate on the shaping of their school. However, the space limitations under Prop 39 continually thwart rapid enrollment growth resulting in wait lists in the hundreds for the successful models, not to mention the rather sad lack of facilities (a row of temporary bungalows co-located on the side of another district school, or housed in a church, or concrete business park with no field, no auditorium, no library, few enrichments)

– some find a way to “make it work” and make the best of what they are offered, others frustrated by these options move to another more successful, better-funded public school footprint (if it exists nearby or if they can afford it), and finally having exhausted or summarily rejected all of the above for various reasons

– look into homeschooling options, which run the gamut from filing PSA affidavits, forming co-op home study groups, meet-ups, or utilizing online courses, such as K12, Kahn Academy or CAVA. With the ubiquitous accessibility of technology, I don’t doubt we will be seeing even more online and hybrid education models in the very near future.

There is plenty of research that points to best practices in 21st Century teaching and learning, yet for some reason the policymakers continually reject what the research shows and what the teachers already know, and set public school policy (federal and local) that instead narrows the curriculum and pushes top-down test-driven results, beating the very inspiration, depth and engagement we so desperately seek, out of education altogether.

I personally know my own limitations and don’t homeschool my daughter, but is it any wonder families are exploring any and all alternative options? “Hidden rival” to charter schools sound ominous and overly threatening. I’d say it’s more like growing numbers of families exploring their options and seeking different ones than the traditional model.

What do you think about this trend?