2012-13 Magnet Acceptances and the Truth About Online Applications

The 2012-13 Magnet Acceptances came out during spring break–surprisingly a month earlier than previous years.  It’s nice that what we’ve maintained for years was true–that it couldn’t possibly take three months to rank kids from 23 to zero no matter how many thousands of apps they got.

Another not-so-surprising revelation was that despite an early surge in applications, the acceptance point totals were definitely lower, meaning in the end, fewer applications were submitted.  In one West Valley middle school that took through the middle of summer to get down to the eight-point range, eight was an acceptance.

Walter Reed’s IHP acceptance emails went out a few weeks ago, with a deadline to accept of April 6.

The good news for both parents on the waiting lists and for those thinking about SAS applications, is that there are some answers now.  In our case, we won’t be bothering with SAS applications at a variety of schools because we have our options in front of us.  On the other hand, it will be very interesting to see how wait lists play out before school ends in June–or when schools open up in August.

27 thoughts on “2012-13 Magnet Acceptances and the Truth About Online Applications

  1. Is there any way not to lose the magnet points if you child was accepted and you must turn down the acceptance? Our child was accepted for 8th grade. We had to pay a deposit for an independent school prior to hearing from LAUSD. We honestly did not think we had any chance of being accepted. We had 12 points already and thought we would be getting 4 more this year
    (maybe 4 extra beyond that due to PHBAO). We had been planning to have as many points as possible for options for 9th grade. I have heard stories of people calling in to decline with this similiar issue (having paid a large deposit for an independent school prior to hearing) and somehow whoever they spoke to decided to “do something” that made them not lose their points.
    Any information about this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks very much.

    • You can call the magnet office and try but I wouldn’t put much hope in it. Speaking as a parent who’s had to turn down a magnet more than once, it is a strategic game we all play to accumulate points. Like all games, there’s a risk to gaining an advantage and that risk is getting in when there’s no apparent chance. In addition, quite a few people have moved their 8th graders or their 5th graders or other students at great family hardship in order to not lose the points.

      I’ve never heard of anyone being accepted and then pleading their case to keep their points.

      • “In addition, quite a few people have moved their 8th graders or their 5th graders or other students at great family hardship in order to not lose the points.”

        What do you mean by this?

        • In recent years, when class size went up, students were accepted into magnets in 4th or 5th grade, or 8th grade. Families had to make a difficult decision to either move their children just before matriculation/graduation with their friends, or lose all their points. Many families make the difficult decision to move their children away from their home school in order not to lose points.

          This is how the magnet system works. Students with the highest amounts of points are ranked, and some kids get in. While many of us bank on the odds of not getting in, when a student *does* get in, it’s not the magnet system’s fault we gamble and occasionally lose.

  2. I’m one of the lucky parents who just got in to a magnet- for Grade 1. But my daughter is very shy and I don’t want to move her right after she settled into her elementary school. my question is, if I decline and play the game later of trying to get points through rejection, will I end up with just as good a shot of getting into a magnet at Grade 6 as I would have if I move now and get my matriculation points? In other words, what are the odds of getting 12 points through rejection? And how many other parents will have them – what percentage of parents who apply to the top magnets (LACES, for example) have 12 points? This is a huge decision for us, as our current school actually has better programming than the magnet, at least for after school.

    • Applying to a magnet when your child is in kindergarten just to accrue enough points for middle school doesn’t make a lot of sense because they only allow you to accrue three years worth of wait-list points. You apply in 2nd for 3rd (get 4 points), apply in 3rd for 4th (now you have 8 points), apply in 4th for 5th (now you have 12 points) and apply in 5th for 6th with 12 wait-list points + 4 points for having a home middle school that is primarily minority or PHBAO (i.e., most, if not virtually all, middle schools) = 16 points. You can get some more points for having a sibling or for being from an overcrowded school, but 16 usually is what you shoot for out of elementary school. If you had gotten wait-listed every year of elementary school, you still would only get credit for three years worth of wait-list points (or 12 points maximum). Fortunately, you didn’t lose anything this year because you would have eventually lost those wait-list points anyway before you applied for 6th grade.

      If you want to send your child in 3rd grade or something like that, then applying for wait-list points in K can make sense.

      • I agree that it didn’t make sense to apply in Kindergarten if I was trying to accrue points. That’s not why I did it. I was applying as a back up in case the current school didn’t work out. But now that I have the option, I’m trying to figure out if it makes sense to pass it up. Hopefully, someone out there has some answers for me.

      • Thanks Anon,

        As for the bigger issue of the original poster, of accumulating 12 points through rejection, it’s always possible, but it seems more and more people are getting “surprise” acceptances with 10 or 8 points, and are having to turn down magnet placements in 4th or 5th grade.

        Know that when middle school comes for a current or soon-to-be first grader, there will be MANY options–magnet, SAS, open enrollment, etc. Magnet is not the only option. And as LAUSD changes each year, what you believe is right now might not even be the right fit for you in a couple of years.

        If you are happy where you are, by all means stay. We turned down Balboa twice, because my daughter must be the luckiest child in the world–getting accepted in first grade and again in fourth. We opted to keep her at her open enrollment school, and lo and behold, she got into a magnet again for 6th grade with only 8 points this year. We’re still checking out our options, but know there are ALWAYS options.

  3. My child is already in a magnet program away from home, I applied this year for the magnet program in his home school but was not accepted. Does anyone know how or where to appeal this decision?

    • Hi Kristy, Magnet acceptances are based on the amount of points your application accrues. Sadly, when you are currently in a magnet you don’t accumulate points so it’s a bit challenging to go from one magnet to another. You can call the magnet at the home school and ask how far down the wait list you are, but there is no ‘appeal’ process. Your son won’t be moved unless they get to his number on the wait list. However, that could come all the way into the first month of the school year, so there is still some time.

  4. Having just attended the Magnet orientation meeting this morning, I was shocked and, frankly, troubled to find out that LAUSD teachers clearly have an advantage in enrolling their own children in the Magnet program. In reviewing the class roster for the 2012-2013 first grade class (there is only one) at our HA/G elementary – no fewer than 8 of the children were those of teachers or staff at the school. This is, of course, statistically impossible if the enrollment is based upon points and then by lottery. The lack of transparency angers me; even though both my kids are now going to be in the Magnet – because we played by the rules, got verified and waited. Ranting, I know, but felt this needed to be out in the public

    • This might be the case at some magnets. I’ve talked to teachers at others who have lamented this is not the case at their magnet. It might be something that you choose to pursue with the magnet office or your school board member.

    • Please don’t generalize. I don’t know about the teachers who teach in a Magnet school, but the majority of LAUSD teachers do not teach in a magnet school and do not have an advantage in enrolling their own children in the Magnet program

  5. I know I could be dreaming, but I have to ask. If you can get PHBAO (4) points for Kindergarden but have no other points (ie sibling or overcrowded points). is it possible to get into Community Magnet?
    Also, do you know how many points most kids getting in there have for kindergarden?

    • We did get into Community Magnet for K next year with just 4 points. I am new to the whole process so I don’t know about anyone else.

  6. We have been accumulating points for the last two years, starting at 6th grade. Our daughter has 8 points now…do we have a chance at getting into Daniel Pearl High School????

    • It varies year to year based on number of applications, ethnicity of applicants, etc. You can call the school and ask how many points people needed this past year to get in but that is just a rough approximation anyway (which is why many times they hesitate to even respond).

      If anyone here knows someone who got into Pearl and how many points they had, please share.

      • If someone replies to this, please also give some feedback and info on Daniel Pearl High. I am interested in it, but know very little about it. It appears to be a very small school.

        Owen, what aspects of Daniel Pearl make you want to apply?

        • Daniel Pearl used to be part of Birmingham High School, so it was a small part of a comprehensive high school experience. When Birmingham went charter, there was some animosity on the campus, and to save the well-regarded magnet, the district moved the magnet off the bigger campus. The magnet now holds a little over 500, so that puts additional strain on the staff. Larger schools can afford bigger office and support staff. And students will be limited in what courses they can take, based on the student population. That said, it has a high API score for a regular high school, and students interested in journalism and those looking for a unique small high school experience should look into it. But things like choices of foreign language and/or AP courses might not be the most comprehensive.

          A friend considered it for his daughter last year, and ended up going a different way, but he was really impressed with the principal. The principal has now changed for this year.

          If you’re interested in Pearl, go make an appointment soon and go visit.

  7. Thanks, for some info Angel. I will be visiting. But I don’t think visiting is the whole answer which is why I am thankful for this board. Personally, I have gotten just as much information from others who have been there or finding out reasons others have not chosen it. So if anyone is there and likes it or anyone thought about it and chose a different school. I’d love to know why.

    • The family who opted to go charter had an incoming freshman on the spectrum, and liked the small school but felt the academics and lack of track options would make it hard for their daughter.

  8. We have 16 points and want to apply to LACES. We are a white family and would love to know the real chance of acceptance. We can be patient if on the wait list, up to the first day of school.

      • Please don’t forget to come back and share your result with LACES. I just found out that my child will get PHBAO points for middle school in the next 2 years, so we will get 16 points as well.

      • Yes, it would be for 6th grade. With 2600 applicants and 185 spots, it seems like a 14% chance of getting in, if all was equal (for 16 pointers). But we’re white, and that seemed to be the majority on the tour. LACES is only 26% white, so if a majority of those 2600 applicants are also white, my chances are even less than 14%. Is my math right?!?!

        • Not all those spots are for 6th grade. I think your chances are better than you think. Many people will continue to apply for the additional grades. You could call and ask how many apps were for sixth grade, but I’m not sure you will get an answer.

          Good luck.

        • I got a brochure from LACES from magnet fair, here are some important info:

          -If your child is placed on the wait list, you may choose to call the LACES office. Afternoons are less busy than the morning. You will not be given your child’s exact number, but you will be told if your child is on the top third (some chances of getting in), middle third (very low chance), or bottom third (very little chance)
          -For wait list, they will make 3 attempts by phone before moving ton the next name.
          -They try to fill in spots before leaving for summer break. (No wait list call during June to mid-August).
          -Opening that comes up during summer are filled after mid-August.
          -Openings are no longer filled after the second week of school.

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