SAS Application Window Open for 2014-15

While some of us are celebrating or need a little consoling, the other important window of LAUSD choice is now open.

Last year’s app is still up, but nothing is likely to change.  Start gathering the info on this, and I will repost the 2014-15 application as soon as it appears:

To locate schools in your area with Schools for Advanced Studies, scroll down from that link as well.

Families can apply to more than one SAS program.

Questions?  Fire away in the comments section below.

Update: the new SAS application is available HERE = and the newly redesigned LAUSD Gifted and Talented website can ba accessed here.

28 thoughts on “SAS Application Window Open for 2014-15

  1. Hello,
    We just accepted to a Middle School Gifted Magnet, which we are happy about. However, our daughter really wants to go to a SAS Middle School on the SAS program. Given the difference in windows, is it OK to accept with the Gifted Magnet and then back out if we get into the SAS Middle School?

    • Hi!

      That’s very normal. This is in fact, one of the first times the dates are close enough that they somewhat overlap. Accept the magnet now, and if she gets into the SAS call them back immediately so that they can release the spot to someone on the wait list–as you’d hope someone would do for you if you were on the wait list.

  2. It seems like the amazing folks who run this very helpful site know lots about LAUSD. I appreciate all the insights these folks have.

    I know this is not helpful – but I want to share a rant. I wish that LAUSD (with its magnets and SAS applications – even open enrollment) and all the charters would do their selection processes before the private school contracts are due. It seems to me that you could keep lots of families who want to participate in good schools in the public system if you would just tell them whether they can attend a decent school BEFORE they had to commit outside the system. It would be better for LAUSD, and for working families. Would the privates just move their contract dates earlier? Has LAUSD tried this? Larchmont charter seems to get it – but I don’t see any other public schools that decided early.

    Thanks for letting me vent!

    • I think it’s a fair question, but not having any experience with the private schools, I don’t know what they’d do. They did move their calendars up (for the most part) when LAUSD moved to a mid-August start date. I’m sure for the private schools there is a strong advantage to requiring a commitment before the public schools announce.

      I have known people to forgo a deposit when admitted to the ideal public school, but people who don’t know what will happen probably write the check and have to do a long and hard introspection to decide if they want to upend it all.

      So folks considering private schools as well, what do you think? Would moving the dates cause another date jump by private schools?

      • I think it’s all part of the “game” many of us play with regard to magnet points and waiting lists. I know I paid out $$$ in a deposit to keep my son’s kindergarten spot at his wonderful private school, but gave it up when we got called off the waitlist for our first choice magnet. I agree there is a strong advantage to private schools setting their deposit dates early in the Spring and don’t see this changing.

  3. Can someone help me understand the difference between applying to a school with an SAS permit vs. applying to a gifted magnet? With the help of this site, I feel like I’m getting a handle on the application process to a magnet school, but the whole SAS permit thing confuses me. My home school, Columbus Ave Elementary in Van Nuys, does not have SAS or gifted programs, so I need to know and explore my options. I do not need transportation. Many thanks, yentas.

    • Gifted magnets came first. Keeping in mind that magnets are a desegregation program, gifted magnets added the extra layer of qualifying that students needed to be identified as gifted.

      Gifted magnets proved popular–in fact more popular than the program could possibly come up with. Schools with extra space and high gifted populations thought, ‘hey!’ and created SAS. A School for Advanced Studies is a school within a school. Gifted students with an SAS school as their home school pretty much automaticallly enrolled in the SAS. But for families within driving distance, this allows another option. After a school places all their resident gifted kids in the program, the addiional spots go by lottery to kids via an application process.

      To complicate things, some schools have an SAS and a gifted magnet. Which is better is up to the individual school and the families who choose them.

      Magnets use the e-choices website to get into their lottery. Applications are available from October 1 to November 15, roughly. And SAS applications are available and due sometime in late April or early May.

      Is that a little clearer?

      • In many ways, yes! and thanks! Yet it–unsurprisingly?–raises more questions:
        -I know roughly about the “gifted” letter (prior to testing) for gifted magnets; is criteria the same for SAS? What will I need to apply for SAS, especially for K or 1 (or, gulp, 2)?
        -Will I need to apply twice to a school outside of my home school, once just to get in and then again for the SAS program? Or if my child qualifies for SAS, is that enough?
        -So the rough timeline is (or can be): magnet application first, then SAS if and when I’m wait listed?
        I like having options, I just need to get the story straight. Words can’t convey how helpful this website has been already.

        • You can apply for a gifted magnet w/o being identified so long as you know your child’s teacher will say your child meets the criteria. If your child has been identified, then that is already noted.

          SAS applications ask for grades, test scores, any identification of gifted, and some might ask for a letter of recommendation from the current teacher. The SAS is the permit to transfer, so you won’t apply to the school separately.

          And you will apply for magnet this fall, and you will hopefully know about the magnet before you have to apply for SAS, but chances are if this is your first application for magnet, you will be waitlisted, and you will be looking at SAS options.

          Good luck.

  4. Here’s an update on Walter Reed’s SAS/Honors program: in the past, Walter Reed Middle School placed students in math classes based on a placement test. However, starting this year, Walter Reed is no longer placing students in math based on ability, except in the IHP program. So, all 6th grade students, even Honors/SAS students, have to take 6th Grade Common Core. One of the main reasons parents chose Walter Reed was the ability to take math classes based on ability — i.e. 6th graders taking Algebra, as many 6th grade IHP students are currently doing. So, unless your child is in the IHP program, they cannot take Algebra until 8th grade! Which means they will be two full years behind the math sequence that most gifted programs and private schools offer.

    • To be fair, this is what is happening just about everywhere. For the kids midstream, they’re still tamping down. I’ve heard Millikan has only two classes of Geometry this year (mostly the Math and Science academy kids), and other schools are in similar situations. We’re all caught in the middle of it, and we have to advocate for our kids the best we can.

      • I don’t know about what other schools, such as Millikan, are doing about 6th grade math, but Walter Reed was the only Honors/SAS program that represented to parents during orientation that kids would placed in math based on ability. That was the sole reason for choosing Walter Reed over my local SAS program (John Burroughs) and other SAS programs, such as Thomas Starr King.

        I don’t know if parents fully appreciate what this new Common Core program will do, but since I have 2 kids in college now and recently went through the college admissions process, I can tell you that having gifted kids in 6th Grade Common Core will result in them being at least a full year behind the math sequence expected at most competitive colleges. The math sequence is:

        6th grade: pre-Algebra
        7th grade: Algebra I
        8th grade: Geometry
        9th grade: Algebra II/Trig
        10th grade: Pre-Calculus
        11th grade: AP Calculus AB
        12 grade: AP Calculus BC or AP Statistics.

        But under Common Core, the kids won’t be learning Algebra I until 8th grade, so they’ll be a full year behind — at a minimum. And if your child is gifted and high performing in math and qualified to take Algebra in 6th grade, Common Core pulls them back as much as two years.

        Both my girls took the above-sequence and that was the “norm” for kids applying to highly competitive colleges.

        • I have been actively fighting to make sure my daughter stays on track with meetings at ESC North and with the folks in the Common Core math office. With an 8th grader, I saw this coming and asked questions two years ago.

          As my daughter is in the middle of the transition, there are issues as well, but she can hopefully ride it out through high school at this point. Check with the LAUSD Common Core mathematics office, because the district does indeed still allow for the jump and double jump, but they are strongly discouraging it. You can get the entire presentation from them, or from your school board member.

        • I have been told by my kid’s school (LACES) that kids in 6th grade common core math will indeed be eligible for AP statistics when they are in 12th grade. They will not be able to take AP Calculus BC, however, as you note here.

          Can you clarify what you mean by competitive college? It seems hard to believe that kids AP Calculus AB or AP statistics are not enough. Doesn’t this new curriculum apply to the whole state and not just LAUSD?

          • By competitive colleges, I mean Ivy Leagues, UC Berkeley, UCLA and other “top” colleges and universities. Yes, the minimum UC requirements will be satisfied by the current Common Core curriculum and no doubt will be sufficient for the less competitive UC schools, but the competitive schools expect not only a high GPA but a rigorous high school curriculum that includes AP Calculus AB in junior year and AB Calculus BC or Statistics in senior year. That’s what we experienced with our own girls (now a sophomore and junior in college), and their friends when they applied to college.

            We turned down LACES for that very reason, when we accepted Walter Reed.

          • Just a few notes, and I’m hoping to put this thread to rest. Not all schools have Calc BC and those kids get into the competitive UCs and the Ivies as well. My son’s school only offered AB and he got into UCLA in math.

            For parents who are concerned, the community colleges can be a great tuition-free option to get those math classes.

            There is a great Powerpoint of the new math sequence. By contacting the LAUSD Secondary Mathematics people downtown, hopefully they can allay your concerns. They can be reached here:

          • Thank you, magnetangel. It is certainly true that if a child’s high school does not offer AP Calculus BC, a college will not expect a child to have taken it. However, LACES does not fall in that category. LACES does offer AP Calculus BC, but the incoming 6th grade class will never get there. In college admissions, colleges will compare the child’s grades and courses against the curriculum offered by the school.

          • Significantly fewer students will be taking these courses as time goes by. I suspect by the time my daughter gets to 12th grade, very few schools will be offering BC (assuming the district sticks with Common Core). LACES may currently offer it but if not enough kids can get to that trajectory, there won’t be a class offered. Most schools don’t offer AP Latin, Italian, or Japanese even if they do offer the first couple of years because there’s not the demand.

            Assuming wherever we choose to send my daughter to HS has BC when we start, if they eliminate it before she gets to 12th, we’re just sending her to the community college.

            LAUSD is far from perfect. And for gifted kids, it’s less perfect. But there is a way to navigate the system to get more of what you want for your kids and less you need to take elsewhere.

  5. Hello,

    As the private school acceptance window shortens, I am desperate to know precisely what the “revised” SAS application for school year 2015-2016 (currently pending approval as stated on page will entail and when it will be available.

    This will determine whether or not we pursue a private school option for my son. Timing is of the essence here!

    Any insights as to what the changes may be (If any) and when the new SAS criteria might first become available are greatly appreciated!

    • Hi AJ,

      If time is of the essence, I suggest you call the LAUSD Gifted office directly as we never are privvy to the application before they post it there.

      From the website, it’s the application that is being revised, as the program criteria looks the same as before.

      Here’s their contact info:

  6. Newbie question here: if there is an SAS program at your child’s home school (Delevan), do you need to apply to it? Or is SAS just a means of transferring to a school when you aren’t already in the residential boundaries?

    • Contact the school if it’s where you want your child to go. Your child is allotted a slot there, but it’s a good idea to tell them you WANT it to get the paperwork going. You won’t be applying, you’ll essentially just need to enroll.

  7. I was excepted to SAS program yesterday, but someone said that you were suppose to get it after 2 weeks of due date application

  8. I am currently moving which was unplanned. My daughter is currently in a magnet program but after we move, she’ll be going to our assigned school in our new area. There is another middle school close by our new place that has an SAS program, but since enrollment time passed, do you know if I would still be able to enroll her?

    • The best you can do is contact the school when offices reopen in the end of July. Some can accommodate late enrollment, others can’t. If they still have a wait list, ask if they know of schools with openings. Also try contacting the GATE office downtown–they might know of openings still available as well as contacting the magnet office downtown and seeing if they have a list of the schools that might get through their wait lists and could add a new one.

      Depending on how far you live, the magnet she currently attends can still be her school. The bus ride will be longer, but she can still likely attend.

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