LAUSD 2017-18 School Calendar

lausd-2017-18-calendarWhen there’s so many pressing issues facing the Los Angeles Unified School District, it’s always good to trot out the calendar dilemma and go for a re-vote. So when, exactly, does school start next year? Here’s the low down for LAUSD students (including neighborhood schools, magnets, affiliated converted charters, language immersions and SAS programs):

First Day of School: August 15, 2017
Thanksgiving Break: November 23-24, 2017
Winter Break: Dec 18, 2017-Jan 5, 2018
Spring Break: Mar 26-30, 2018
Last Day of School: June 7, 2018

Calendar good for one year only. Look for a future vote on this never-ending debate.

*Independent charters can set their own calendars so dates will likely be different.

2017-18 Calendar

Oh, and for those already looking ahead to summer break, the last day of school this year will be Friday, June 9, 2017. You’re welcome. 😉

LAUSD logo

Charter Schools: What You Need to Know

by Tanya Anton | GoMamaGuide.com [Updated from a previous version.]

Now that it’s Charter Season, we want you to be prepared. In this article we’ll cover some basics and a few specifics you should know about charter schools.Charter Draft

First, it bears repeating that California is at the forefront of the charter movement with more students enrolled in charter schools here than anywhere else in the country. There are 23,000 101,060* 199,863* students enrolled in charter schools in Los Angeles County alone, and 49,840* on waitlists. Nearly 1 in every 4 students within LAUSD attend charters, and that number is growing every year.

*updated for the 2016 school year according to CCSA.org  

Charters are tuition-free semi-independent, somewhat autonomous schools operating with public funds, authorized by either the local school district, the county, or the state board of ed. Charters get their name from the lengthy legal document that outlines the many facets of the operation of their charter school – from the vision to curriculum to staffing to governance to fiscal, academic and campus procedures.

Some charters are chains of schools replicated on multiple sites run by large charter management organizations (CMOs), and others are small individual school start-ups launched by an ad-hoc group of parents, educators, visionaries and entrepreneurs with a shared vision of providing an alternative model of education.

All charters in California have to follow federal law, state ed codes, teach grade level content standards, and participate in standardized testing.

In Los Angeles There Are Two Types of Charters

Independent charters have the most autonomy to operate with full flexibility on staff hiring and firing (they don’t typically use the UTLA teachers contract so they are non-union), can make their own decisions in terms of budget, governance, overall school direction and operation, and are unaffected by district budget cuts or policy changes. Unless they are extremely well-endowed and can afford their own building, most independent charters apply for classroom space via Prop 39 and are given a minimum number of classrooms co-located on the side of another LAUSD neighborhood school campus. In recent years this process has been fraught with political infighting and less than transparent negotiations when it comes to which campuses have space, which do not, and which programs get offered which space. The current school board climate has been at times downright hostile to charters, thus severely limiting their ability to operate and serve students, let alone grow to accommodate their waitlists. Highly sought-after charters can sometimes have wait lists in the hundreds each year. 

The other type of charter is the affiliated conversion charter – schools that were a traditional neighborhood school that “went charter” after 51% or more of the staff voted to convert to charter status. More of a hybrid, these charters have some autonomy on teaching, curriculum and textbooks, some budgetary flexibility with monies they get directly from the state, but are bound by UTLA/LAUSD policy on things like teacher contracts (must hire UTLA teachers therefore subject to seniority and bumping rights), and are affected by district decisions such as class size increases, calendar changes, or lateral reductions in specific staff positions and programs. Think of them as a neighborhood school with some autonomy perks. Affiliated charters may have less autonomy than the independent charter, but more importantly they get to keep their facility (building), and must give enrollment priority to those who reside within the neighborhood attendance area. So the only way to assure enrollment, is to reside within the footprint. Many conversion charters are so full of neighborhood kids that few remaining seats ever go up for lottery, and if they do, hundreds of students may apply for them and be waitlisted.

In terms of applying to charters, anyone from any district may apply, and you may apply to as many charters as you like. Enrollment for independent charters is drawn by public lottery, which you can be present for or not. Independent charters give priority enrollment to founding families if it’s a start-up, staff members, and usually siblings of current students. Some charters will also give priority to those who reside within the local school district (LAUSD), a specific nearby school attendance zone, or to those who qualify for the Free/Reduced Lunch program. Affiliated charters must give priority to residents first, then non-residents. Each charter application process and lottery is overseen and run independently by each school site.

Built-in Academic Accountability

Unlike a neighborhood school that can fail year after year and nothing is done about it, charter schools face a renewal process every 4-5 years where in order to continue to stay open they are reviewed and voted on by their authorizing board. They MUST meet state requirements or they can be in jeopardy of being shut down. This can, and has happened to some charter schools.

Many charters (but not all) have had excellent academic results. Some are able to offer smaller class sizes, and a smaller overall student body size which can lead to greater individual attention and student success. Some offer alternative models of education that might fit better for some children than the traditional district model. However, sometimes due to space constraints this is at the expense of other “peripheral programs” or enrichments, such as visual or performing arts, an instrumental music program, PE or sports or outdoor green space, or a dedicated lunchroom or cafeteria, or even a library.

Not all charters outperform neighborhood schools. In fact, most recent numbers show that charters, on average, aren’t performing that much better than district schools. Some are, some aren’t. It really depends on the school.

Charters Offer Alternatives to the Traditional District Model
One thing charter schools do offer is a panoply of educational options, ranging from strictly college-prep academic, to crunchy-granola progressive schools, to language immersions, to STEM-focused (science, tech, engineering, math), to developmental project-based co-constuctivist leanings, to pumped-up traditional schools whose only difference to the garden-variety district model is a nicer demeanor, more enrichments and curricular flexibility. But there are plenty of choices. If the traditional neighborhood school is not meeting the needs of your child, there’s a whole range of charter schools out there to explore.

Prop 39 Co-Locations
Charter schools apply for District space every year via Prop 39 which requires districts to provide classroom space to charter schools. Due to space limitations, many charters are co-located on the side of another district school campus, housed in a set of temporary bungalows, or a side wing of another campus. Sometimes they share facilities, and sometimes charter schools opt for private space and set up in a church, a business park, or even a strip mall. Accordingly, the space limitations can be less than ideal. There might not be a library, or sports field for PE and recess, or an auditorium for assemblies, performances, or graduation, or even a dedicated lunchroom or cafeteria. Sometimes having a (non-union/non-district) charter on the same campus as a traditional district-union school can cause friction and a literal turf war. Sometimes co-locations can work in a collaborative way, but many times (especially of late) the schools like siblings, fight and campaign against each other, politically-speaking, pitting families against one another.

Still, charters are not going away and they provide much-needed options where district schools have failed kids. And, many of them are extremely successful. And, despite allegations otherwise, most LA charters are not-for-profit.

What makes a charter great? Could be an innovative teaching model, collaborative learning, special partnerships, flexible learning environment, enthusiastic teachers, motivated students and a great community of like-minded families. No two charter schools are alike. One must really do one’s research, tour and apply directly at each school site you’re interested in, as there is no one-stop centralized application process that covers all your charter options.

Charter Highlights:
-Can apply to as many as you like
-Apply directly at each school site
-Each school site maintains its own lottery and timeline/deadlines
-Some make you attend a mandatory open house/tour before you can apply
-Some allow you to apply online site unseen
-Conversion charters give priority to residents within the attendance area
-Each charter has its own lottery priorities: founding families, staff, siblings (sometimes)
-Some also give a priority to LAUSD residents, if you qualify for Free/Reduced Lunch program (Title 1), or come from a certain feeder school
-Charters means commuting (no transportation provided)
-No accumulating wait list or points
-Must reapply yearly if you don’t get in

What are the charters in your area? Please consult my color-coded maps on the school finder page of my website. Charters are marked in green.

Or book a consultation with me and together we’ll go over all your charter options.
In-personPhone.

Or check out the California Charter Schools Assoc for more info.

Want to use this article? You can as long as long as you include this complete blurb with it:
 
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.
© 2017 by Tanya Anton, GoMamaGuide.com All Rights Reserved. 

Get Your Magnet App In By Tomorrow!

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Hey Guys,

Don’t forget to get that Magnet application in by tomorrow, Thursday, November 8th BEFORE 5p!*

For a list of new Magnet options for 2017, click HERE.

To get straight to the application, click HERE.

Need help? Let’s talk. click HERE.

echoices-click2apply

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Must be a resident of LAUSD. Child must turn 5 by September 1st in order to apply to Kindergarten. There are no TK magnet programs. This is the app with the (weighted) “point system.” Good luck in the lottery!

Introducing Speak UP!

My work over the last decade with GoMamaGuide has been mainly to educate and assist parents in navigating the array of public school choices in Los Angeles. But choosing a school is only the first step. I’ve also encouraged you to stay active and involved no matter what kind of school you end up in, to speak up if something doesn’t feel right, and to work together to come up with solutions.

Speak Up logoBuilding on those ideals, I am excited to announce a new collaboration with Speak UP, a grassroots movement of parents and families who want a more powerful voice in shaping education policy in California.

Despite having the greatest numbers AND the greatest vested interest in our kids’ education, parents in California have historically NOT had a meaningful role in education policy decisions and have NOT engaged in the electoral process – even when the results have a direct impact on our children.

*In 2013 barely 1 in 5 registered voters cast ballots in the school board election, and fewer than 4 out of 10 voters were under age 55.

Parents, we’ve basically been ABSENT from the vote. We intend to change that!

We believe parents can be a powerful force for change if we unite and use our collective voice in our schools, communities and at the ballot box. We invite all parents from all types of schools. Our only “special interest” is our collective children.

If you believe that parent voices matter, please become a Speak UP member
(it’s FREE to join) and take our survey so you can help drive our agenda. We’re also looking for parent leaders and ambassadors to work closely with us in your communities.

Let’s spread this movement. Join us today!
http://www.speakupparents.org

Facebook page: /SpeakUpUnitedParents
Twitter: @SpeakUpParents

And no, I’m not abandoning you, I’ll still be offering all things GoMamaGuide. 😉

2016 Charter Deadlines – Elementary Schools

2016 Charter Deadlines – Elementary Schools

Not an exhaustive list. Please view my school finder maps.
All schools grades K-5 unless otherwise noted.

West:
Citizens of the World Charter/Mar Vista (TK-5) – apps/apply online, deadline Feb 22 5p, lottery Mar 7 6p
MV tours: Feb 17 6:30p
www.cwcmarvista.org

Goethe — apps avail online, deadline Mar 25 4:30p, lottery Apr 5 6p
tours: Feb 11, 18, Mar 1, 10
www.goethecharterschool.org

Ocean Charter School (TK-8) — apps closed, deadline Jan 29, lottery Feb 24 10a @MV Campus
ongoing info tours
www.oceancharterschool.org

WISH (TK-8) —  call school for more lottery info
tours: EL: Feb 10, Mar 9
www.wishcharter.org

Canyon Charter – priority given to residents, remaining seats up for lottery
apps avail now in each office, deadline Mar 14 12p, lottery Mar 18 8:30a
http://www.canyoncharter.com/resources/files/Canyon_Lottery2016.pdf

Kenter Canyon – priority given to residents, remaining seats up for lottery
Apps avail online or apply in person beginning Feb 16, deadline Apr 8 12p, Lottery Apr 22 8:30a
http://kentercanyon.org/lottery-information/

Marquez Charter – priority given to residents, remaining seats up for lottery
for lottery info, tour dates and to RSVP call 310-454-4019
http://marquezcharter.org/registration

Palisades Charter – priority given to residents, remaining seats up for lottery
tours: Feb 9, Mar 1, Apr 5, Jun 6 8:45a – call school for deadlines
palielementary.org/lottery.php

Topanga Charter – priority given to residents, remaining seats up for lottery
Tours: Feb 4, 25 9a – call school for deadlines
www.topangaelementary.org/admissions.html

Westwood Charter – priority given to residents, remaining seats, if any, up for lottery
Apps avail Feb 8, deadline Apr 8, lottery Apr 29
www.westwoodcharter.org/lottery-information

Valley:
Chime Institute (K-8) — apps avail online now, deadline Mar 4 3p, lottery tbd
tours: Feb 3, 5, 12, 17, 29, Mar 6 9a
www.chimeinstitute.org

iLEAD Encino (formerly CalSTEAM) (TK-9) – apps avail on site, deadline Mar 11, lottery Mar 25
tours: Feb 3
ileadencino.org/prospective-families

Our Community School (K-8) —  apps avail online now, deadline for K: Mar 4, deadline for Gr 1-8: May 27
Lottery for K: Mar 11 11a, Gr 1-8: Jun 3 11a
tours: Feb 10, Mar 9, Apr 13, May 4 8a
ourcommunityschool.org

Valley Charter Schl (K-8) — apps avail online now, deadline Feb 5 4p, lottery Feb 19
tours: call 818.810.6713
elementary.valleycharterschool.org
 
Central:
Citizens of the World Charter/Hollywood – apps avail now, deadline Feb 24 5p, lottery Mar 9 6p
tours: Feb 4, 19 9a, , Feb 4 6:30p
cwchollywood.org

Larchmont Charter/Hwd/WeHo (TK-12) —  one application for all campuses
apps avail online now, deadline Feb 17 5p, lottery Feb 27 9a
tours: see website
larchmontcharter.org

East:
Citizens of the World Charter/Silver Lk (TK-6) – apps avail online now, deadline Mar 1 5p, lottery Mar 15 5:30p
tours: call
cwcsilverlake.org

Gabriela Charter (K-8) – apps avail online now, deadline Mar 3 6p, lottery Mar 17 6p
tours: call
gabriellacharterschool.org

Los Feliz Charter Schl Arts (TK-6) — apps avail online now, deadline Feb 24, lottery Mar 3 3p
tours: Feb 10, 18 9a full
www.losfelizarts.org

Other:
SMASH (K-8) — apps avail online, deadline Mar 18, lottery early April (priority given to Santa Monica residents)
tours: Mondays at 9a
www.smash.smmusd.org

— Be sure to check out my Middle Schools List too!

As always, if you are troubled, confused or need guidance, I am happy to help. Together we’ll go over all your charter options. In-personPhone.

2016 Charter Deadlines – Middle Schools

2016 Charter Deadlines – Middle Schools

Not an exhaustive list. Please view my school finder maps.
All schools grades 6-8 unless otherwise noted.

West:
Animo WS MS — apps avail online for wait list, deadline Dec 1 4p, lottery Dec 10 6p
tours: Call 323.565.3251
www.greendot.org/page.cfm?p=3990

The City School (6-9+) — apps avail online, deadline Mar 10 11:59p, lottery Mar 17 4p
tours: Feb 18 7p
www.citycharterschool.org

Emerson Community Charter School – priority given to residents; non-residents may also apply
Apps avail online for non-res, deadling Apr 15, lottery Apr 17
tours: Mar 10, Apr 21 EmersonToursRSVP@gmail.com
https://emersonms-lausd-ca.schoolloop.com/enrollment

Magnolia Science Academy 4 (6-12) — apps avail online now
tours: call 310.473.2464
msa4.magnoliascience.org

Magnolia Science Academy 6 — apps avail online now
tours: call 310.842.8555
msa6.magnoliascience.org

New LA Charter — apps avail in person, deadline Mar 4 6:30p, lottery Mar 10 6:30p
tours: Feb 20 3p, 25 7p and Mar 4 6:30p
www.newlosangeles.org

New West Charter (6-12) — mandatory tour Jan 30 @SaMoHi, deadline Feb 19, mandatory verification Mar 19, 21 or 22, lottery Apr 6
www.newwestcharter.org

Ocean Charter School (DK-8) — late wait list apps avail at office, deadline Jan 29, lottery Feb 24 10a
Post lottery apps avail online
www.oceancharterschool.org

Paul Revere Charter (priority given to residents, remaining seats up for lottery) —  deadline Jan 15 12p, lottery Feb 10 9a – **can apply for the non-resident late wait list
www.paulreverems.com

Westchester Secondary Charter (6-12) — apps avail online, deadline Mar 18 5p, lottery Mar 21 5p
tours: Jan 13, Feb 17 9a, Feb 23 6p
www.westchestercharter.org

WISH (TK-8) —  call school for more lottery info
tours: Feb 9 9:30a, Mar 8 6p
www.wishmiddle.org

Other/Pilot school:
Incubator School (6-10+)– apps avail online now
tours: ongoing – sign up online
www.incubatorschool.org

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

Millikan Charter Academies — apps avail online, deadline Feb 29, lottery Mar 3 3:30p
tours: call 818-528-1600
www.millikanmiddleschool.org

iLEAD Encino (formerly CalSTEAM) (TK-9) – apps avail online, deadline Mar 11, lottery Mar 25 10a
tours: Feb 3 6:30p, call for more info 818.697.8255
ileadencino.org

Our Community School (K-8) —  apps avail online, deadline for K: Mar 4, deadline for Gr 1-8: May 27
lottery for K: Mar 11 11a, Gr 1-8: Jun 3 11a
tours: Feb 10, Mar 9, Apr 13, May 4 8a
ourcommunityschool.org

Valley Charter MS – late apps avail, deadline Feb 5 4p, lottery Feb 17 3:30p
tours: call 818.988.9128
middle.valleycharterschool.org

East:
Citizens of the World/SLK (6-7) – apps avail online, deadline Mar 1 5p, lottery Mar 15 6p
tours: ev Weds 9a, rsvp online
http://cwcsilverlake6.org/admissions

Girls Academic Leadership Academy/GALA (6th & 9th) inaugural year – apps avail online
tours: can be scheduled beginning in June, call 310.914.2123
http://www.galacademy.org

Larchmont Charter (6-12) — apps avail online, deadline Feb 17 5p, lottery Feb 27 9a
tours: sign up online
www.larchmontcharter.org

Renaissance Arts Academy (3-12) — apps avail online, deadline Mar 25, lottery Apr 28 6p
tours: Feb 11, Mar 9, Apr 5 and 21 6p; call to rsvp 323.259.5700
www.renarts.org/applications.php

— Be sure to check out my Elementary Schools List too!

As always, if you are troubled, confused or need guidance, I am happy to help. Together we’ll go over all your charter options. In-person. Phone.

LAUSD 2016-17 Calendar Is Set!

LAUSD logo

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.

Click for more info:
Calendar Press Release
Calendar Survey Results
LAUSD Fingertip Facts

Michelle King Selected As New LAUSD Superintendent

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 2.40.05 PMAfter 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.

So I’ll leave you with this Hillel Aron LA Weekly piece, and re-quote from it with what I feel are spot-on observations:

“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.”

Read the whole piece HERE.

Take the LAUSD Calendar Survey Today!

CalSurvey

Hey LAUSD Parents,

It’s bigger than a pop quiz! This survey will help decide the fate of our school calendar (First Day of School, Last Day of School, Holiday Breaks) for next fall and through 2019!

Your voice counts – please participate in the survey.

Online survey available NOW through Dec 6th.

Five little questions with big implications.

Click HERE to Do It Now!

Here’s your test prep:

2016-19 LAUSD Instructional Calendar Survey Questions

Question 1: In your opinion, the school year should start:

  1. Early August
  2. Mid-August
  3. Late August
  4. After Labor Day
  5. It does not matter to me.

Question 2: The winter break should be:

  1. Two weeks
  2. Three weeks
  3. 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.

  1. I strongly agree
  2. I somewhat agree
  3. I neither agree or disagree
  4. I somewhat disagree
  5. I strongly disagree

Question 4: It is important that both elementary and secondary schools follow the same calendar.

  1.  I strongly agree
  2.  I somewhat agree
  3.  I neither agree or disagree
  4.  I somewhat disagree
  5.  I strongly disagree

Question 5: The first semester should end before the winter break.

  1. I strongly agree
  2. I somewhat agree
  3. I neither agree or disagree
  4. I somewhat disagree
  5. 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

SITE: http://achieve.lausd.net/schoolcalendars

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.

New Webinars! Mastering MAGNETS: Everything You Need to Know, Mon NOV 2 & 9, 7p

New! Join one of my upcoming live and interactive webinars and learn from the comfort of your own home. No sitter, no driving, no parking required. Just the straight info you need without the hassle of LA traffic!

Presented by Tanya Anton, creator of GoMamaGuide.com

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Points have you clueless? Didn’t know you were supposed to be applying?

Introducing…
Mastering MAGNETS: Everything You Need to Know (Those Points!)

In this 60 min webinar you’ll learn all about the LAUSD Magnet system:

  • Magnet schools – what are they?
  • How (and when*) to apply…to get in, to NOT get in, *to get points!
  • That darn “Point System” demystified. Let’s break it all down.
  • Step-by-step instructions on the online app: I’ll walk you through it
  • Common mistakes to avoid
  • How to maximize your options for next year (and beyond!)
  • Recommended for LAUSD parents of incoming K-12th graders

TWO LIVE SESSIONS with Q&A! Both before the 2016-17 Magnet Deadline.
Got Questions? You’ll be able to ASK ME LIVE! 

Mon, Nov 2, 2015 7p
Mon, Nov 9, 2015 7p

$30 $25

register now

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Can’t make the live event? No worries. Participants will receive a special link to the replay which will be viewable for an additional 3 days afterward.