March Update: Hello my friends!

Hello my friends,

Long time no connect, right? 

I’ve been thinking about how to re-enter the digital domain after such a spell away in one of the weirdest years to date. No, I haven’t gone anywhere. I’m still here, quietly working away assisting many fine young families with their school admissions in an equally weird and disrupted school landscape. It’s been the craziest fall admissions season I have ever seen, and even though it’s nearly spring it’s still crazy out there. Schools may be closed, start dates may be pending, but God Bless them, school admissions keep marching onward despite the blackout of tangible info, most importantly, will schools ever re-open, and what will they look like when they do? 

For months I had been imagining how I might announce some upcoming milestones…my daughter’s senior year accomplishments, her graduation, leaving for college, becoming an empty-nester… I started GoMamaGuide while she was still in preschool after all. Wow, feeling OLD much? Yet even those big moments as they approached us and as we navigated them, were some combination of disrupted, postponed, or thrown into a last-minute tailspin. I was hardly about to make beaming announcements when so much of our world was hinging on survival mode.

That being said, in hindsight can I just say I am mesmerized by my daughter’s resilience, her tenacity, and academic accomplishments, and am extremely pleased to announce that having traveled a combination of an LAUSD neighborhood school, Magnet, SAS, and small independent Charter school all tuition-free, (playing those lotteries as I teach you all to do), my daughter is now attending an IVY on the East Coast. 

I can hardly believe it.

She is a Poli-Sci major at UPenn, living in Philly, studying Constitutional Law in the very spot where our founders congregated to define our country’s unalienable rights some 245 years ago, a significant echo certainly not lost on me, and due to her incomparable high school training in Speech & Debate and Mock Trial, she has made the A team (Varsity level) Mock Trial team at Penn as a freshman, heading into AMTA’s ORCS as a Closing Attorney, which is virtually unheard of. I promise, you don’t want to get into an argument with that one! 

Despite all the year’s challenges, and there have been many, she has hit her stride and is thriving, paving her way forward, which is all one can ask for, as a parent. So, on a big level, my work here is done, nurturing her development so she can fly.

As I scan the horizon with so much unsettled and unclear with regards to public education in general, and Los Angeles schools in particular, I can honestly say, I have never seen anything like what is going on out there now. But I’m here to share knowledge and support you through this journey, whatever it becomes, and as such, I will continue to offer a combination of Zoom and Phone and Relocation Consultations to you, guiding you forward with your public school questions and decisions. 

I have laid out a number of events in the comings days that I invite you to participate in, including a fresh new webinar lineup, which many have been asking for. These are all live events but can be watched from the comfort of your own homes with a glass of something festive in your comfy clothes. I won’t judge. But do join us:

Weds, Mar 10 at 7p – SmartTrack College Funding is holding a free webinar
What You Need To Know NOW About Paying Less For College 
*Recommended for parents of 8-12th graders.
You NEED this info folks. I’ve taken this seminar twice and it is SO informative. Just like Magnet points, you want to learn this info early. Ideally before 10th grade in order to maximize your financial positioning and pay less for college.

Tues, Mar 11 at 12p – Kindergarten 101: Know Your Public Options webinar
*Recommended for parents of 2-5 year olds.
This is the talk I’ve been giving to stressed-out parents all over Los Angeles for over a decade, updated with the most current school info.

Mon, Mar 15 LAUSD Choices initial lottery results are announced. This is not a death sentence, this is just the beginning of a long road ahead.

Tues, Mar 16 at 8p – If you’re on Clubhouse, Join MotherbirdLA’s Mia and I for a live “Wine and Whine” Chat dicing it up on LA schools after the LAUSD Choices lottery results come out. 

Weds, Mar 17 at 12p – Waitlisted! Now What? webinar
*Recommended for all TK-12th grade lottery-playing parents!
Learn how to survive those nerve-wracking lotteries, and have a back-up plan.

Thurs, Mar 25 at 12p – Middle School Madness webinar
*Recommended for 2nd-5th grade parents.
You thought choosing a Kinder was tough? Yikes! Middle School!


And, coming in April…I’ll be bringing a new webinar sharing all I have learned:
Date tbd  – Maximizing High School With An Eye Towards College
Learn how to maximize your high school experience in order to optimize college opportunities. Just like everything else I teach, there is a strategy, and it starts early.

View the whole GoMamaGuide webinar series

Hang in there folks. Go easy on yourselves and your children.  I’m sending all of you, from the littles to the grown-ups, a giant virtual hug for making it this far. ❤

~Tanya

eChoices Update

Hi Guys,

Please watch my latest update on the eChoices lottery results, including how and where to check, what happens if you win something, and when you need to respond by. I’ve been asked the same questions by a lot of you guys, so I thought I’d answer them for everyone in this video. Take a look.

Best of luck to everyone. Please stay safe. Be well.  -Tanya

 

GoMamaGuide to LAUSD: Elementary Edition has arrived!

Hey folks,

I’ve been promising to write this guidebook literally for years, and now, HERE IT IS!

Packed with information yet delivered in easily understood bite-sized pieces. Get the Big Guide to LAUSD. Covers every region within LAUSD: North, South, East and West!

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**Just Released! Biggest Guide Yet!

GoMamaGuide to LAUSD – Elementary Edition
LA Public Schools Demystified
By Tanya Anton

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* Offers a thorough understanding of ALL your LAUSD public school options
* Outlines how (and when) to tackle each type of application process
* Magnets and “The Point System” demystified
* How Charters work and who is eligible
* Dual Language Immersions, GATE, Open Enrollment, and other options
* Permitting in and out of District
* How to tour: what to look for in a school and more…
* Learn how to expertly navigate schools in LAUSD!
.* Covers how to navigate all of LAUSD!
Includes:
* Complete List of all LAUSD Public Elementary Schools (broken down by category and region)
* Handy month-by-month Application Timeline
* Evaluating Your Priorities Exercise
* Bonus Materials, Charts and Resources
* Nearly 70 pages!
* All this for only $30 –about what you’d spend on a pilates class!
* No need to leave home — Guidebook shipped to your door!
Note: 
Individual schools are not ranked or profiled. For individual assistance, and to find the best fit schools for your child, please consider booking a consultation with me.
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GoMamaGuides have already helped thousands of LA parents.
About the GoMamaGuidebooks:
“Best $$ I’ve spent in a long time!”

“I purchased your guide last year. It was the single most helpful resource I found to assist with our search.”

To order, click Buy Now!  
Only $30 plus $3.99 s&h via Paypal.

Please verify your shipping address with Paypal before finalizing purchase. All sales are final.

Magnet Acceptance Letters Sent!

eChoices

If you applied for the magnet or one of the echoices programs, you should have received both an email (if you applied online) and  a hard copy letter in the mail this week announcing your initial results.

If you were waitlisted, do not despair just yet. There is still a long time to go, namely several months and 4 weeks into the school year or mid-September, before things are completely finalized.

If you received an acceptance letter, you have until Friday April 19th, 2013 to either accept or decline the offer. You must respond. If you delay and avoid and do not respond, (eh herm, some people actually think this tactic will work), that will be considered a decline.

After April 19th, remaining seats (by those who declined them in the initial offer) will be offered to the next students on the wait list. This process of working their way down the wait list and offering remaining seats to the next on the list will continue through April, May and June. School offices will close for the month of July but getting all the seats filled will resume again in the beginning of August – through the first day of school, Tuesday August 13th – and continue until all the seats are filled and settled at the end of the 4th week of school, September 13, 2013.

After then, if you still have not received a magnet offer, then your wait list points will become finalized for the 2013-14 school year.

I hope this is clear. Mainly, I hope this gives you some clarity that there’s still plenty of time to get offered a spot. Good luck, all!

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.