Just a Few Friendly Reminders

Ask a Magnet Yenta is an all-volunteer resource for parents learning the magnet system.  Before you post, PLEASE spend time on the E-choices website: http://echoices.lausd.net .  The site lists every magnet available, deadline dates, bus schedules, maps.

Magnets never require grades.  Only gifted and highly gifted magnets require proof of ability which may be test scores or other identification.  Magnet applications are due between October to November 15.   

Other programs differ with their requirements (SAS is an application and does require tests and grades. Open enrollment requires an application), but please do some research before you post.  We want to help, but we need to be respectful of our volunteers’ time.

15 thoughts on “Just a Few Friendly Reminders

  1. Hi there,
    I *think* I made a mistake. I understand that every year a child is waitlisted they get 4 points, but I’m confused about WHEN those points are given. I’m hoping to apply and get into SOCES for 4th grade. My son is currently in Kindergarten. I did NOT apply this year (to a different magnet) to get my waitlisted/rejection points. I was thinking that applying to Community Magnet when my son is in 1st and 2nd and then applying to SOCES when he is in 3rd grade (so he can get in for 4th) would give me 12 points (assuming all the stars are aligned and everything works out), is that correct?
    Also, do you know if kids even get into SOCES with 12 points in 4th grade?
    Let me know your thoughts.

    • The waitlist points kick in the *next* year, and it confuses about everyone. And given that SOCES starts in 4th rather than 6th, it does cause its own confusion.

      For fourth grade, you’ll apply in third grade. As for your rejection points: You didn’t apply for kinder at all. You’ll have rejection points from applying in first grade (for second), and applying in second grade (for third), but you won’t have the rejection points from third grade when you apply for fourth grade. So that’s 8 points unless you have PHBAO points.

      SOCES numbers vary, and it’s not uncommon for lower point totals to get in, because it’s often harder to convince people to pull their kids the last two years their elementary years. SOCES gives many tours including weekends, so tour next year or the year after to get more info, but they’re VERY upfront with how many points they typically need to get in.

      If SOCES is your first choice, keep in mind that many people get off their waiting list in the days before the school year starts. So have a decent back up, but if the magnet coordinator says 8 or 9 gets in usually, hang in there.

      Good luck

  2. My son enters Kindergarten in 2015. Our assigned school (Emelita) is not one of the best but we’re surrounded by many great ones (Lanai, Wilbur, Nestle, etc). From what I’ve read, we have a snowballs chance in hell getting into a Charter or a non-resident for K.

    Any suggestions on what to do other than move or private school?

    • When you say ‘from what I’ve read,’ where are you reading? There are almost always slots available, and families apply to more than one to increase their odds. You only need one. Open enrollment lists won’t be available until April, so I wouldn’t despair just yet. Have you toured further over into Sherman Oaks or Woodland Hills? Some of the much smaller elementaries have more space.

      What charters are you interested in?

      Also make sure you tour Emelita, so you know what you are comparing.

      Good luck.

      • greatschools, friends facebooks posts etc. ive also called the schools (no one at any of the schools sounds even remotely interested in helping) and theyve all either wont give me a solid response or tell me they have more lottery applications than spots.

        I’ve taken my kid to nursery school in sherman oaks for a year, I’d prefer not to have to make that drive again.

        • The not being remotely interested is a function of budget cuts, limited office staff, and more work than bodies to do it. That’s not an excuse, rather an explanation. It’s a rare LAUSD school that has a perky, enthusiastic greeter and phone answerer who can provide the correct answer immediately.

          Check the websites, talk to friends, and find out when they give their kindergarten orientations. Go tour them. Figure out what is an acceptable drive (my kids have essentially always been the better part of an hour drive round-trip, dating back to 1995), and that’s your focus. If it’s a 10 minute drive, or a 30 minute drive, it will be what limits how many schools/tours you’ll be visiting.

          While almost all schools have more applications than spots, not all the spots get taken. As you will fill out applications for three, four or more schools, so does every other kinder parent. Some kids are luckier than others (my daughter got into all four of our choices for kinder), and schools move quickly down those wait lists–especially in kinder. All hope is not lost. In fact, it sounds like you’re right in the middle of the game.

          Good luck.

          • Of you apply for 10 schools and get wait listed for all of them, do you get points for each that accumulate?

          • There are no points for open enrollment. Points only come in to play for magnets. Magnet deadline will be in November. That’s separate from open enrollment which will occur next Spring.

  3. so for 2015-2016, Magnet enrollment is around August of 2014 whereas the charters and other open enrollment is the following April of 2015? Safe to say the charter/open enrollment get a lot of the magnet applications who didnt get in?

    Lastly, overall, is a Charter more desirable than a Magnet or vice versa? Were anticipating our son will place into one of the gifted categories when they test (in 2nd? K?)

    • Magnet enrollment is Oct-November of 2014 for the 2015-16 year. There is only one kindergarten magnet in the Valley and that’s Valley Alternative in Lake Balboa.

      The acceptances go out around April–ideally just before the open enrollment seats are announced.

      Charter season is typically around now–Jan/February.

      All schools have different programs that make them more appropriate for certain students. Some magnets have themes–Vintage in North Hills is Math/Science based and has an affiliation with JPL/NASA. Other schools appeal for orchestra or other programs. Magnets are desirable because they include bussing to families outside the boundaries (2 mi for elementary/5 for middle and HS). Charters are more independent and can create programs that

      All LAUSD students are tested for giftedness in 2nd grade using the OLSAT test.

      • So magnets enroll in October but you don’t know if kids are accepted until April/May? Quite a long wait, unless I’m misunderstanding. This is after Charter Jan/Feb enrollment, so when do you find it if the kid gets into a Charter?

        • Check out charter school website for application deadline/lottery date, the lottery date is usually in February-April. You can apply as many charter schools as you wish.

          Open enrollment is usually in May/June.

  4. Can I ask a Magnet Middle School question here? My son is at Community Magnet which has been excellent. He has 16 points, could have been 20. (I didn’t want to risk his Community spot by applying somewhere just to get rejection points as he might have gotten in.) . Have applied to Paul Revere for the magnet and the charter school requiring a separate application although really want the magnet. Along with LACES and Burroughs Highly Gifted through CHOICES. He is qualified as gifted and in GATE since 3rd grade.Got the eligibility letter on the Highly Gifted/Gifted/SAS programs a while ago. If son is wait listed at any of the 3 magnets he gets to keep his points, yes or no? And he can only be on one school list at a time wait listed or accepted, correct? As he has been accepted to the Revere Charter already at least he has a school to go to and as a GATE student will automatically be put in to honors classes whether Revere Charter or Magnet. And the Revere Charter is not a magnet so he keeps his points in that scenario?? Now understanding that the better way to have played it would have been to apply to only ONE of the magnets, #1 which was Revere Magnet. Feeling locked in now. Is there anything to be done at this point? Would rather have him at a Gifted Middle School magnet than the Revere Charter. Have been told just wait it out. Any thoughts??? Kicking myself for wasting time on LACES which now reserves 60 seats for grads of only ONE feeder elementary school out of only 240 6th grade spaces. Arrrgh!!!

    • Your son cannot get rejection/wait list points while he is in magnet school, but he can earn 12 points (matriculation) since he is graduating from magnet elementary school.

      Burrough is gifted & high ability magnet, not highly gifted. Portola is the only highly gifted school in LAUSD (middle school).

      Your son has a good chance with Revere with 16 points (if it is his 1st choice in magnet application). You can contact Burrough Magnet if they accept walk-in application after April 1.

  5. Adele, if you put Revere first on your list, my understanding is that your son will either be accepted or wait listed there. He will only get into LACES or Burroughs (presuming they were your second and third choice) if either of those schools have open spots and no wait lists of their own. He will keep his points if he is on a wait list and not offered a spot. You are correct that he can only be on one magnet wait list at a time. He can be on SAS and charter waits lists too. If Revere is indeed your first choice you really didn’t make any mistakes by adding a second and third choice. Also, I am not sure you could have gotten 20 points through rejections. My son has 16 points (12 through rejections, 4 through PHBAO) and I understood that to be the maximum, unless you get a few more for overcrowding. I wouldn’t kick yourself for listing LACES. It really won’t come into play because it was your second choice. Good luck. Everyone seems to stress about middle school and yet everyone seems to find a school they are happy with.

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