Mayday, Mayday, The LAUSD School Finder Is Lost!

Tues, 10/31 UPDATE: The School Identifier is back up, thankfully!

Dear LAUSD,

You couldn’t have picked a worse time to have your Resident School Identifier go down. It’s been 4 days now. We are at the height of school admission frenzy as we make our final sprint towards that November 9th eChoices deadline. People are trying to look up their “zoned schools” to determine their options, or if they have suddenly become zoned into one of your 35 new (!) magnet schools, or a dual language program, or your newly created “zone of choice” areas, and/or if they will have residential priority (aka “Continuous Enrollment”) at one of these new magnet schools or other programs, and right now your link is completely dead. DEAD. Nada. And has been since Friday. And this other page you send us to, to “find a school” in the above matters, is frankly, USELESS.

Leader in technology?  Not so much. This is basic stuff here LAUSD. C’mon. Folks need to find their zoned schools right now. It’s rather critical. And time sensitive. If you refuse to  publish the actual maps mapping out school boundary lines, and insist we use your digital Resident School Identifier, but then even that doesn’t work, parents got nuthin’!

Hope you get on it and fix it, like, stat!

Thanks so much for letting me vent…

…on behalf of all of your dear parents who are feeling the squeeze!

xo

UPDATE: Monday afternoon: I called LAUSD and was told they are aware of the situation and are “working on it.”

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PHBAO, Overcrowded and Twins Points UPDATE for 2018-19 Magnet Application

 

OVERCROWDED POINTS UPDATE
It’s been brought to my attention that there are a handful of neighborhood schools, out of the nearly 1300 within LAUSD, that will buy you an extra four “Overcrowded” points on the Magnet eChoices application.

Overcrowded points historically were assigned for zoned schools that were so full they had to operate on a multi-track year, meaning a group of students started school in the fall, and another group started in the summer or even in multiple tracks in multiple months, and school went year-round in order to fit everyone in.

After LAUSD spent all those billions of dollars worth of bond money building out 131 new schools over the past decade, (the largest buildout in the country btw), we ended multi-track schools, we ended CAP sending and receiving, (busing kids from overcrowded schools to under-enrolled schools), the final multi-track school, Bell High School, went to a single track calendar and those 4 “Overcrowded” points went the way of the dodo bird, from what I understood. They became extinct. Nobody had them.

But I just spent 20 minutes on hold with the LAUSD Office of Student Integration (you’re welcome) in order to verify this astounding discovery. While so many schools across LAUSD are now under-enrolled, there are currently 9 LAUSD schools that are in OVERCROWDED status believe it or not, according to last year’s list, meaning if you are zoned to one of these schools, you get an extra 4 points!

Now, I was told that this is last year’s list and the new list for 2018-19 will not come out until December – AFTER the Magnet deadline – however, she did confirm that these are the schools on the current Overcrowded list:

92nd Street
Bridges
Carpenter EL
Dixie Canyon EL
Franklin EL
Hesby Oaks
Kittridge EL
MacArthur Park VAPA EL
Wisdom EL

Playa Vista EL and Westwood EL, who have recently moved their TK programs off to nearby hub schools to make additional room on campus were on my mind, which I specifically asked about, and as far as she was concerned, were not on the list. Yet. Check back in December though when the list updates.

PHBAO POINTS
As for determining PHBAO status, in addition to calling your zoned school’s office, or waiting 20-30 minutes on hold for a person at the Office of Student Integration to get to your call, I found this PHBAO LIST of Schools online, (also to be updated in December), but it will at least give you a good idea of current standings. PHBAO stands for Predominantly Hispanic, Black, Asian and Other, (i.e. the majority is non-Caucasian) and if you are zoned to one of these schools, you get 4 points. We cover this extensively in my talks and consultations, and you can learn all about points in my latest guidebook, The GoMamaGuide to LAUSD.

***ALSO NEW! TWINS/MULTIPLES ADVANTAGE
For 2018-19, eChoices finally worked some magic to support families with TWINS and MULTIPLES!! Before now, each child was treated as an individual and took their shot in the lottery, which meant many times only one child would get in and the other twin was out of luck until the following year when they would get those extra 3 sibling points. Now, if one twin gets in, the other twin or multiples jump up to the next number(s) on the top of the list. Meaning, if there is one more seat available, they will get it. In essence, finally being able to allow twins and multiples to get in together in the same program in the same year.

We discussed how crazily upward trending (and by that I mean unaffordable) real estate has started to force out diversity in certain neighborhoods, so schools that once were PHBAO, are no longer PHBAO, and therefore families who have siblings already attending the magnet program who have a younger rising sibling whose zoned school has fallen out of PHBAO will likely have NO chance of getting their siblings in, since Sibling status only gives you 3 points, yet PHBAO status gives someone 4 points. Since this whole magnet system works on a weighted points-based lottery starting from the highest down to the lowest points, the way this is currently set up, a particular magnet program would have to exhaust ALL their PHBAO applicants before a Sibling-nonPHBAO student could get in to join their other sibling. Meaning, families will become divided with little chance of keeping their kids together in the same magnet program.

I asked this administrator to please take this concern to her superiors and magnet coordinators, because inadvertently this points-based discrepancy will be splitting families apart. I suggested at a minimum giving siblings 4 points – equal to PHBAO points – so at least the playing field is level. She seemed receptive to my concerns and said she would bring it up at the next meeting. If you too are concerned about this, please talk with your magnet coordinators so they can discuss potential adjustments for future years, just as they were able to do with this year’s TWIN/MULTIPLE FIX.

As always, if you have no idea what I’m talking about and your head is spinning with question marks about all these points, let’s book a call to go over your magnet strategy and I’ll do my best to shoehorn you into my schedule right now.

That’s all I got for the moment. Hope you enjoyed the update.
-Tanya

 

 

 

 

 

2013-14 Magnet/eChoices site is LIVE!

Magnets, Lotteries, Points, Oh My!
by Tanya Anton | GoMamaGuide.com

It’s that time of year again. Only earlier.

The 2013-14 Magnet/eChoices Brochure is available, the echoices website is now LIVE and accepting applications, and the application deadline is ONE MONTH EARLIER than last year.

Beginning today, Monday, October 8, 2012 through the deadline Friday, November 16, 2012 at 5p, LAUSD residents may apply to the Magnet Program, Permits With Transportation (PWT) and/or the Public School Choice (NCLB-PSC) program.

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

Highlights for 2013 – There Are Several Notable Changes:

-The Big One:  This year you will get to list up to THREE magnet choices. (Yup!!) Your points will only go towards your 1st choice, so your 2nd and 3rd choices will go to the bottom of the wait list, but still it’s a better chance than if you hadn’t applied at all.

-For what it’s worth, most competitive (ie. highly desirable) Magnet programs rarely exhaust their wait list, so being added to the bottom of the list with no points seems like a choiceless choice to me, but hey, it has the “appearance” of offering students more choice.

-Caution: Only select magnet programs you might actually WANT to get into, otherwise if you do get into a magnet program (even your 2nd or 3rd choice) and turn it down, you will lose your accumulated wait list points, so think carefully about your selections. Tread lightly, and smartly. As always, I’m here to help consult if need be.

– If your home school is Program Improvement (most middle and high schools are PI), you will now be able to apply to BOTH the NCLB-PSC program (the District will select ONE non-PI school assignment for you) AND up to 3 Magnet choices. Select Option B-the combo platter. Once you are accepted into a program, you will be removed from other programs and NO wait list points will be accrued. (In previous years you had to choose either the Magnet or the PSC program. Now you can select Option B and go for both.)

The Basic Highlights:

-Only open to LAUSD residents

-The application timeline is a month EARLIER than last year

-You can apply online 24/7 during the application window: Oct 8, 2012 – Nov 16, 2012 5p at echoices.lausd.net

-You can also pick up a paper booklet/application at most local schools and some libraries

-Minimum age: your child must turn 5 by Oct 1, 2013 to be eligible for Kindergarten in 2013

-Make sure you select a Magnet program your child is age-appropriate for, (some Magnet programs don’t start until 2nd or 3rd grade; you can’t apply to Kinder when your child is 3)

-Twins: each child needs a separate application and are treated as individuals. If only one gets in, the Sibling points will apply the following year.

-Magnet tours are happening now, October through mid-November, so get out there and tour some schools!

-There are virtually no more “overcrowded points” due to all the newly built schools and the entire district going on Early Start Calendar. (3 exceptions: Del Olmo EL, Cahuenga EL, Bell HS)

-Points are based on your zoned school determined by your residential address regardless of whether you attend or not

-Transportation is available if you live 2 miles or more from your elementary magnet school, and 5 miles or more from your secondary (middle/high school) magnet school

-The maximum riding time guideline for all students (K-12) one-way is 90 minutes

-The more points you have, the better your chance of getting into your 1st choice Magnet.

-It’s a random lottery so anything can happen.

-If you are currently attending a Magnet school, you don’t need to re-apply each year unless you are matriculating (from EL to MS, MS to HS, or wish to enter the lottery to switch to another magnet school

-You will be notified in writing of either acceptance or wait list status by March, 2013.

-Students may be contacted regarding an opening all the way up through the first MONTH of school. (Used to be the first 10 days of school)

-First day of school for LAUSD will be Tuesday, August 13, 2013. (Yeah, love that Early Start! Not.)

-Falsified applications will be disqualified and kicked from the program.

Again, 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.

If you are hunting for a middle school and live on the Westside, come to a free Westside Middle School Forum where 10 area middle schools will present under one roof next Thursday, October 18 at 6p at Coeur d’Alene Elementary School in Venice. details.

Magnet Madness: The Recap

by Tanya Anton | GoMamaGuide.com

echoices.pngBetween now and December 16th, getting in that Magnet application choice is on many of our minds…

Which Magnet should I choose, how many points do I have, how many points gets you in, what’s the best way to bank points, what are my odds, am I trying to get in, am I trying to NOT get in, what if I do get in, what if I don’t get in, what if… So. Much. Angst!!!

Take a deep breath and trust you’ll get through this. The Magnet lottery is the first in a series of public school options one can apply to with its application window opening November 1st for the following fall. (Charter and other applications typically become available after the new year.) The hard part is you only get to choose ONE magnet school to apply to, and after that, there’s nothing you can do but sit back and wait to see how you did.

New for 2012 – The Choices Highlight Reel

The Magnet/Choices applications are (finally) online! Some old-school paper applications were sent to local schools and some public libraries, however most parents are encouraged to apply online. It’s fast, it’s easy, it’s paperless! And did I mention that it’s online?!

Deadline to get that application in is Friday, December 16, 5pm. After that, most LAUSD schools will close for a 3-week Winter Break.

Magnet tours are happening now folks, so get out there and tour!

Your child must be 5 by November 1, 2012 to enter Kindergarten in Fall 2012.

Remember, LAUSD’s Fall 2012 school calendar will now start on August 14, 2012.

Overcrowded points are becoming virtually extinct. Only 2 schools (Del Olmo EL and Cahuenga EL) will remain on a concept 6 (3 track) calendar by 2012, making those students the only ones eligible for the additional 4 Overcrowded points. For everyone else, it means the most points we could possibly accumulate is: 12 Waitlist or 12 Matriculation + 4 Phbao + 3 Sibling = 19 points max. A more even playing field.

According to the new brochure, “students may be contacted regarding an opening up through the first month of school.” (Used to be the first 10 days of school.)

Any LAUSD resident can apply to a regular Magnet program but for Gifted/High Ability or Highly Gifted Magnet programs one must meet eligibility requirements either through being tested or identified prior to application deadline. If applying from a charter or private or pre-K school, the verification process can be found here. (It’s different than if currently attending an LAUSD school.)

Some Basics

Must be a resident of LAUSD.

You only get to choose ONE program (Magnet or NCLB PSC or PWT if eligible).

You only get to choose ONE Magnet school.

No early applications – apply in the winter before the fall of age-appropriate enrollment.

It’s a weighted lottery so the more points you have the better your chances are.

If you are offered a spot and turn it down you lose all your accumulated wait list points.

If you are currently attending a Magnet school, you don’t need to re-apply each year unless you are matriculating or wish to enter the lottery for another magnet school (from EL to MS, MS to HS, or to switch to another magnet program.)

It’s a random lottery so anything can happen.

For NCLB-PSC or Public School Choice – you must be currently enrolled in a PI school to take advantage of that program.

Transportation is available if you live outside a 2 mile radius from the magnet school’s attendance boundary for K-5, or 3 mile radius for grades 6-12.

Stumped on all this Magnet talk? Come to my last-minute seminar, Navigating The School System: Know Your Public Options, Sunday, December 11th at 5p in WLA and we’ll go over all this and more.


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 popular Seminars, visit GoMamaGuide.com or email us at GoMama@mac.com.
© 2011 by Tanya Anton, GoMamaGuide.com All Rights Reserved.