Open Enrollment Applications Accepted Now Through May 24th

OpenEnrollment Every year LAUSD offers up a list of schools that have seats available to anyone who would like to apply for them through a process called Open Enrollment (OE). This is an easy way to transfer to another school without having to jump through all the hoops one typically does with the permitting process.

Every year the District determines which schools will have open seats and how many for the following fall, then posts the list in May on their website. Schools are listed under their Educational Service Center: North, South, East, or West.

During the application window, which opened this year on Mon, May 6th and closes on Fri, May 24th, you may go to as many of the OE schools listed and apply for a seat. Applications are available at each school site, and are a brief one-page transfer request.

At the end of the application period, if there are more seats than applicants, everyone who applied will be offered enrollment. If there are more applicants than seats, the school site will hold its own lottery to determine who gets offered enrollment and the sequence of their waitlist. You may apply to as many OE schools as you like. Once enrolled on an OE transfer, you do not need to reapply each year.

For more info, see

LAUSD OE info page:
http://tinyurl.com/lyg2aj3

2013-14 Open Enrollment List 
http://tinyurl.com/k6qn8rq

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

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.

SELECT UPCOMING ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CHARTER DEADLINES:
(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.

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.

Waitlisted

by Tanya Anton | GoMamaGuide.com

waitlisted Many clients have contacted me recently after finding out either their child was waitlisted at several places and they haven’t heard anything yet, or they got into two or more schools and can’t decide which way to go.

Being waitlisted is a sensitive topic. Nobody likes to hear they didn’t get into their first choice school. Some high-performing magnet and charter programs are so competitive to get into, hundreds or even thousands of children are waitlisted every year. So, what’s a parent to do?

First, it helps to understand the application/ lottery/ enrollment process so you know what you are dealing with. Savvy parents know that most folks apply to multiple schools but obviously can’t attend all those schools. Therefore, by their very nature, waitlists become bloated and not necessarily reflective of who would actually attend if given the slot. In other words, if I applied to schools A-E, got accepted and enrolled in school A, my spots on the B-C-D-E school waitlists would be technically vacant since I’ve already enrolled elsewhere. As people finalize their school decisions, other folks are silently moving up waitlists all over town, so you never truly know where you stand on a list.

Second, it helps to know the timeline so you can gauge where you are in it and what your possibilities are.The first round of Magnet notification letters go out in early April. Charters all do their lotteries independently, but typically their letters are sent out in the March-April window. (Earlier for middle and high school.)  Permits and Open Enrollment results typically come out in June. After the first round of offers go out, schools will work their way down the waitlist through May and June in order to fill empty spots, but even then enrollment lists are not necessarily final yet, as families shift in their enrollment decisions. School offices close for the month of July, so this is a good time to vacate, have a cocktail, de-stress, as there’s absolutely nothing you can do this month until offices reopen sometime in August, when they’ll continue to work down the list to ensure all seats are filled. Hopefully you will know your school choice by then, but even as late as late-August or early-September, last-minute seats can be offered. Remember, Magnet schools have up until the 10th day of school to notify you if a spot opens up, and neighborhood schools have until Norm Day, usually the first week in October when they finalize their teacher-student ratios to the District, so really, waitlisted isn’t final until then.

Third, stay positive and be proactive. Don’t bug the staff as they are most likely overworked and underpaid, but you can call, say, in late June or mid-August, to see if getting your child in is a close possibility or not very likely. You can also let them know who you are and how very thrilled you would be to accept a spot at their school, should one open up.

And finally, always have a back-up plan. Perhaps that’s your home school which you’re automatically zoned for, or one with a large number of Open Enrollment seats where almost everyone who applies gets in. Perhaps it’s a new magnet program that was announced late and didn’t fill up, or you apply for a PERT – a Parent-Employment-Related Transfer to a school near your business address. Either way, looking back at it, kids always find a seat somewhere.

Confused about your public school options? Can’t decide or want me to go over your choices with you? I can help. Book a 30 or 55min phone consultation with me today.

© 2011 by Tanya Anton, GoMamaGuide.com All Rights Reserved.