Changes in Open Enrollment: Now Thru May 22

OE 2015LAUSD’s Open Enrollment applications are now being accepted for the 2015-16 school year and there are a number of big changes this year!

•They’ve gone online!

•They’ve centralized the lottery!

•Siblings get priority!

•Apply any time between May 4-22. Deadline May 22, 2015!

•You will hear initial application results by June 9th.

Every year LAUSD faces handfuls of seats at under-enrolled schools that are available for those who want them and apply for them. Easier than a work or childcare permit, Open Enrollment seats are up for grabs and once admitted into a school through this type of transfer, your child can stay until they complete the final year it offers. No annual renewal, no proof of residency/employment/licensed childcare paperwork to agonize over, and no lengthy application or approval process.

From the site:
“The District’s state-mandated open enrollment policy enables students anywhere in LAUSD to apply to any regular, grade-appropriate Los Angeles public school with designated open enrollment seats. While the number of total seats for next year is still being determined, it is anticipated that approximately 6,200 seats will be available at about 200 schools, based on the staff’s knowledge of new housing and other demographic trends in the local attendance area.”

Quick links:
online application:
more info:
the list of OE schools: 2015 OE List (alphabetical)

To get started, you’ll have to log in or create a new parent registration with LAUSD. (Hint: it’s the same portal where your eChoices/Magnet application history is, if you did that this fall.) Once you set that up you’ll be able to register your children and check their status for eChoices/Magnets, Open Enrollment, Schools for Advanced Study/SAS, Zones of Choice, and other permit requests, as well as be able to accept or decline potential offers online.

If you’ve never done this before, let me walk you through it.

1. Create an LAUSD account at Click on the link to “Create a New Parent Account.” You’ll enter your email which will also become your username.

2. Check your email for the confirmation email from You’ll have to click on the link they send you to agree to terms and activate your new account.

3. Create a password and fill out your Parent Profile.

4. Then add each of your children with the info they request.

5. Once all that’s set up, you can apply for Open Enrollment for each child right there from the drop down menu – which also includes late Magnet-Space Available and Incoming Inter-District Permits (from another District into LAUSD) application links. Each sibling needs a separate application. The site will automatically filter for grade-appropriate options.

6. The online Open Enrollment application lets you select up to 5 school choices, however keep proximity in mind when selecting schools as no transportation is provided. Deadline to apply is Friday, May 22, 2015.

Notable Changes:
Instead of lotteries being held on hundreds of separate campuses, the District will now centralize the Open Enrollment application process into one online lottery. Results are random, non-biased, and will go out via email (and be posted on your online portal) by June 9th. If there are more applications than seats available at a particular school, remaining students will be sequenced into a waitlist in the order they are drawn. If more seats are available than applications, any remaining seats will stay open and available until the process closes on September 3, 2015.

***Note: If your child receives more than one offer of enrollment, please notify the schools you are declining so they can offer the spot to the next student on the waitlist.

If one sibling is drawn, all other siblings who applied to the same school will automatically be granted a transfer.

After initial offers are made on June 9th, any additional offers on remaining seats will be made in order of the waitlist until all seats are filled or the program closes on September 3rd, 2015.

Open Enrollment transfers are good with no annual renewal needed and no fear of being booted off the island until the completion of the last grade offered, typically 5th, 8th or 12th grade. However, you will need to reapply for the next tier (from elementary to middle, or middle to high school) as there are no feeder pattern guarantees with Open Enrollment.

Open Enrollment options are for LAUSD neighborhood schools with available seats. You will never find magnets or charters on that list.

Here’s that link again:

Hope you found this helpful. As always, should you need additional personalized assistance, please consider a phone or in-person consultation with me. Best of luck and happy school hunting!

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.


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Magnolia Science Academy 6 — apps avail online now

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 

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

Magnet Deadline In 3 More Days!

Hey LAUSD Parents,
I’ve got a guest post over at MomsLA today announcing the looming Magnet deadline. You’re getting those applications in, right? Remember, you have until 5p this Friday, November 15th to get your application in to

Check out Yvonne and Sarah over at MomsLA:



Another Fantastic Middle School Event



Thanks to organizer Julie Hoang and the Friends of Playa Vista Elementary School, another fabulous gathering of parents convened last night curious to learn about their public Middle School options on the Westside.

It’s never too early to learn “the lay of the land” so time can be spent touring, gathering info, talking to parents and collecting school impressions –all which will help formulate your school plan.

Hot Off The Presses! New School Guidebooks for 2014!









Westside Guide to Public Elementary School


Westside Guide to Middle School

newly revised and updated for the 2014-15 school year!

$20 each. Click HERE to purchase.

2014 Magnet/eChoices Site is LIVE!

It’s Magnet Time Again!
by Tanya Anton |

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 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:

– 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 |

4 New Westside Middle School Options – Who Says We Don’t Have Choice?

by Tanya Anton |

For years I’ve heard parents say we have no “viable choice” when it comes to middle school on this side of Los Angeles. For years one particular organization’s platform was that we only had one choice in these parts, and that it desperately needed transforming. (Or put more succinctly, our children deserve better!)

While I wouldn’t argue the second half of that sentence, the first part was incorrect. We’ve always had a few choices. In fact this Westside area (from Venice to WLA to Westchester), is known as a district “zone of choice” allowing any student to enroll into any of its ring of five area middle schools. It’s just that despite some valiant efforts, most of the schools in this zone seem to be quite lackluster. And run down. And perhaps face safety issues. And most certainly staffing issues. Not to mention a revolving door of leadership. Perhaps it is choice, but to some it’s a choice-less choice.

So much potential…but just…not…a viable choice.

The continued declining enrollment speaks for itself.

As this recent wave of hands-on parents – the ones who have worked tirelessly to revitalize their elementary schools – and their children approach the middle school years, parents are getting more savvy and invested (not to mention more active) in the types of educational experience they want for their children. Many are seeking a different model altogether and are doing whatever they can to find it, transform it, or if necessary, help create it.

In the past year alone, four new Middle Schools have opened on the Westside. Five since 2011.

Say what you will about density, and impact, but I have personally watched many fine folks toil for years (of thankless unpaid labor) to get these schools off the ground. And here they are.

In any case, when it comes to Middle School options, who says we don’t have choice!

Let’s meet them, shall we?

in alphabetical order:

Animo Westside Charter Middle School – launched in 2011, this Green Dot charter was the result of the LA Parent Union/Parent Revolution movement. With small classes and a supportive infrastructure all students are encouraged to achieve academic excellence.

The City School – launched in 2012, this charter comes from some of the same folks who worked on the two highly successful Larchmont Charters as well as Valley Charter Schools. With a focus on civics, debate and writing, not to mention service learning and building good character, this charter has the intention to expand through grade 12 by 2017.

The Incubator School – opening 6-7th in 2013 and growing to 12th by 2018, this cutting edge new district pilot school will focus on tech-entrepreneurship and will utilize blended learning, design-thinking, real world project-based learning, as well as partnerships with ed, tech and Silicon Beach startup companies and non-profits.

Westchester Secondary Charter School – will open 6-9th in 2013 and grow to include 12th by 2016, offering a rigorous college-prep comprehensive education that includes the arts to athletics. WSCS looks forward to serving students in its community with the autonomy to make its own budget, curricular, staffing and governance decisions.

WISH-Westside Innovative School House – this K-5 independent charter was approved to launch a district pilot middle school but opted instead to extend their charter to include 6th grade for 2013. Steeped in research-based best-practices, and partnered with LMU’s School of Ed, this co-constructivist inclusion school is modeled after the highly successful Chime Charter in Woodland Hills.

Stay tuned for future GoMamaGuide stories that will take a closer look at these new school options.

WSMS Map13Be sure to check out my color-coded Westside Middle School map on the school finder page. Includes a complete list of all your public magnet, charter, pilot and neighborhood middle schools in WLA, Santa Monica, Malibu and Culver City.

Upcoming Charter Application Deadlines (Elementary)

Speaking of charters, we are now fully ensconced in what I refer to as “Charter Season.” The time to tour and get your charter school applications in before their deadlines and lotteries.

While not exhaustive, here’s a select list of some of the upcoming elementary school charter application deadlines and lottery dates around town. Most applications can be downloaded online on the school’s website and either mailed in or physically handed in to their office.

CharterFeel free to peruse my color-coded school finder MAPS for individual school contact info and a direct hyperlink onto their websites. All charters are marked in green on my maps.

Remember, 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 going up for lottery to non-residents.

All charters give preference to siblings of existing students, and some charters offer other priorities in their lottery structure, such as to founding families, 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.

Ok, here’s that list.

(certainly not an exhaustive list and in no particular order)

Pacific Palisades Charter Complex* Schools — apps avail now in each office, deadline March 11th 12p, lottery March 22nd 8:30a *(schools include Canyon, Kenter Canyon, Palisades, Marquez and Topanga Charters)

WISH —  apps avail online now, deadline March 6th 6p, lottery March 15th

Goethe — apps avail online now, deadline Feb 28th,  lottery in March tbd

Ocean Charter School — apps avail online now, deadline Jan 25th, lottery Feb 27th 10a

Larchmont Hwd — apps avail now online, deadline Feb 20th 4p, lottery Feb 23rd 9a

Larchmont WeHo — apps avail now online, deadline Feb 8th 4p, lottery Feb 23rd 9a

Citizens of the World/Hwd — apps avail online now, deadline March 1st 4p, lottery March 21st 6p

Citizens of the World/Silver Lake — apps avail online now, deadline tbd, lottery April 4th

Citizens of the World/Mar Vista — – info Mtg 1/31 in MV, apps avail online now, deadline March 1st, lottery April 11th

Los Feliz Schl of the Arts — apps avail online, deadline Feb 28 (by mail) or March 5th 12p (in person), lottery March 5th

Valley Charter — apps avail online, deadline Feb 8th 4p, lottery Feb 22nd 5p

Chime — apps avail online now, deadline March 8th 3p, lottery March 15th

Ararat —  call 818.994.2904

Our Community Charter — 818.920.5285

Again, please view my school finder maps for more info and links.

Westside Middle School Forum Oct 18th

Update! 2 more schools added to the lineup!

Learn all about your Middle School options on the Westside:

Middle School Forum

Thurs, Oct 18th 6-8p – FREE –
Coeur d’Alene EL Auditorium
810 Coeur d’Alene Ave,
Venice, CA
School representatives from:
Animo Westside MS
Mark Twain MS
Marina del Rey MS
New West Charter
Ocean Charter
Palms MS
Paul Revere MS
Westside Global Awareness Magnet.
Magnolia Science Academy
The City School Charter

Tanya Anton of and
LAUSD School Board Member Steve Zimmer
brought to you by Venice Neighborhood Council’s Education Committee