Post Your LAUSD 2018-19 Magnet Questions Here

Perplexed by the magnet system? Confused by the points? Want to hear from folks who’ve been there before you? Spend a few minutes by reading our FAQs and poke around the site a bit.

Post your LAUSD magnet questions in the comments below.

*As a friendly reminder, this is a free service, provided by volunteers. Not all schools are represented and opinions may differ.

122 thoughts on “Post Your LAUSD 2018-19 Magnet Questions Here

  1. I have a 6th grader in LACES (yay!) and two other kids (2nd and 3rd grades) at Mt. Washington elementary. They’re really happy there and I’m hoping to keep them there until they can go to LACES for 6th. I’m already feeling anxious about filling out their magnet applications in hopes of getting rejection points. Is it too early to tell which schools for 2018/19 will be the least likely to enroll a caucasian 3rd and 4th grader? Valley Alternative has been our standby but it goes to 12th so if, worst case scenario, they got in, (or absolute worst case scenario, one of them got in) we wouldn’t be eligible for matriculation points when we apply for 6th grade at LACES. I know it’s all a gamble but I’m hoping that there’s one school that is the most reliable for getting those rejection points.

    • The bottom line is there is no ‘safe’ school to apply and not get in with 100% certainty. After all, the whole point of the program is to enroll students–not generate wait list points.

      If your students are already in 2nd and 3rd, you could start applying because as incoming 3rd and 4th graders, a school such as Valley alternative will have most spots in Kinder. That said, so many people *do* apply for those upper grades and are shocked when they get in that they can go through many, many pages of wait list–especially as the school year approaches.

      Since you have strong preference for a 6th grade campus, I’d suggest applying to a K-5 elementary with a K or 1 first year of the magnet in your area. that way if one got in and the other didn’t you won’t be schlepping too far (thre are indeed people driving 3 kids to 3 schools). Spend some time on the e-choices site, and assume you won’t get in, but make it a palatable choice if you do. Since you’re in at Mt. Washington that might be a tall order. Look for a magnet where the enrollment number is many times lower than the application number, and a high performing school as well. They’re more likely to have 3rd or 4th graders accepting (something *like* Balboa comes to mind, but that is a gifted magnet, and has a very specific requirement set).

      Good luck.

      • I’ve used Community Magnet Charter to get points for the last 2 years, and I’ve been successful in not getting accepted. Since there were 3709 applications for 102 open spots, I imagine others use this as a ‘safe’ school – though there are no guarantees. And, worst case, if you get in (though horrible commute/bus ride), you get matriculation points after 5th grade graduation.

  2. Thanks for your response! My 3rd grader tested gifted so that’s an extra option for her. For my 2nd grader, I’m wondering, how does one apply to a gifted magnet for 3rd grade when the OLSAT results don’t come out before magnet applications are due? I WISH Eagle Rock Elementary ended in 5th grade. I’ve scoured e-choices and there just aren’t any k-5 magnets near us that we’d be okay with transferring them to. Are you suggesting Balboa would be harder to get into than say Community or Open Charter?

    • You could apply for the 3rd grader, but they DO add a third grade class at Balboa so the odds are possible your 2nd grader could STILL get in if she were identified. You could ask the teacher if they would sign that your child shows the signs of being gifted and that would probably suffice as well. Again, it would be a LONG shot, but possible.

      I’m not in a position to prognosticate on point totals and especially on schools I’m not familiar with. Point totals are going down as more and more options are available AND the district as a whole shrinks. But if Community or OC do not have additional classes beyond kinder or first grade, those would be schools consider by looking at the e-choices site and possibly asking on tour how many 3rd or 4th graders get in. In a recent year, I know Millikan told tour parents there would be NO 8th grade spots for the next year.

      • Thank you for reminding me of the possibility that a school would add classes in some years. I’ll be sure to ask about that before applying anywhere. Now it’s time to take some deep breaths and stop worrying until I have to. 🙂

        • You’re welcome.

          Last I heard Balboa had like 3 classes in first grade, added 3 in second and added one more in third. May have changed. They are in the minority here. SOCES does it at 6th and you’d know better than I would if LACES added one in 9th as well.

  3. I just started to read about the points system. I feel so lost and confused. My son is in a private school this year. He will be turning 5 on September 13. I want to get him in a Magnet school for Kindergarten next year (2018-2019), what steps should I be taking from now? Is there any guarantee that he would get in?

    • There are only a few kindergarten magnets. That’s the downside. The upside is that there are very few ways for kindergarteners to get points, so there’s a better chance of getting in.

      Please spend time on the site to be aware of the schools in your area. Busses are provided for commutes over 2 miles as the crow flies.

      The application period is mid-October through mid-November 9th, so you’ll have time to read up. Then you can look for tours and visit the schools. You might end up looking at SAS and other options as well, since there aren’t many kindergarten magnets.

      • Thank you. I did sign up on echoices already and waiting for the application period to open up. I have a school in mind that I am interested in but it’s not in our neighborhood, would that be more difficult to get into?

        • There’s no consideration for your neighborhood except that you can’t be more than 90 min by bus from the school. I’d highly discourage anyone from doing that to an elementary school child anyway.

          Because you will only have 4 or 0 points, you’ll want to make sure you have some options for other programs as well. Unless you like your private school and are willing to stick it out there.

  4. Hello! I’m hoping to get my son into Melrose Magnet but I read in the last post that they only had 60 spots that most likely went to kids with 7 points. Looks like my son will only have 4 points (PHBAO) and that’s making me really nervous. My second and third choices would be Open School and Community. I attended Open School and LOVED my experience there but we live in Silver Lake now and that commute would be really long for him. I also attended LACES during the time they shared a yard with Community so I know that’s another great school (AND hard to get into). Melrose would be the ideal commute but it sounds like my chances are low and I’d be happy with Open School or Community. Should I still add Melrose as my first choice? or should I add the school he probably has the highest chance of getting into (if there is one)? I’m worried if the chances of him getting into Melrose are low, then I’m risking my chances at another school by not adding them first…or does if it even matter the order I put them in?. Thanks in advance!

  5. Hello parents
    My daughter is dec end born and will turn 5 in December. She is currently going to kindergarten in a private school though she is not age appropriate per LAUSD standards. I strongly believe she will be ready for first grade next year socially, emotionally and academically as she has always been a very mature child. I do not want her to repeat kindergarten with LAUSD. What are my options?
    Also if I apply for first grade this year for her for balboa magnet , will her application be rejected because of age issues?

    • The state of California has laws specifically aimed at making sure children are age appropriate for each grade. So the two points at which they verify ages is for kindergarten and for first gradfe.

      If you apply for Balboa and your child is not 6 by September 1st of next year, your application will be rejected.

      For more information,

      Your option would be to go to private school for first grade and start applying for second grade.

  6. Hello School whisperers. My son turns 5 in 04/2018. I am confused as where to start. We’ve been looking at schools and the ones we like are not in our area and this whole Choices thing is so confusing. Can some one please shed some light on where, how and when to start. Maybe some pointers on how to get in to a desired school……

    • You’re on the right site. Read up in previous posts and the comments. Your son can start kindergarten in fall of 2018. You definitely want to get a feel for your neighborhood school and the kindergarten magnets you are interested in (there are fewer in kindergarten). Also look up SAS and open enrollment options in your area.

  7. Hi there,

    I have twin sons in 8th grade at Lawrence Gifted Magnet. I went to high school magnet night last night and left more confused after seeing so many different choices. I am considering between Keneddy gifted magnet & Van Nuys Medical magnet for one. The other one likes Monroe Law & Government or Keneddy gifted magnet. The Monroe Law & Govt. does offer specialized classes but their core program doesn’t seem to be challenging.
    On the other hand, Granada Hills Charter school will be another option if they can get in through lottery.
    If anyone of you has experience with y of these schools can you please leave your feedback. I highly appreciate your advice.

    • The medical magnet at Van Nuys is the smallest of their magnets. It is high performing. As part of a comprehensive HS, students do have access to a lot of opportunities in terms of extra curriculars. In addition, because essentially 50% of VNHS is magnet, there are more sections of courses like Calc BC, or the AP Capstone course series, etc. Be careful when some schools say they offer Calc BC or other higher end courses, because if they only offer one section of it, there can be conflicts.

      Kennedy’s gifted magnet is new, but I’m hearing good things from people who toured and are attending. Hopefully they can weigh in. It’s newer, so be aware of any promises made of what will happen in the future. In school terms, it can often take longer than your child will be there. Look at what the school has currently when comparing.

      It does sound like you are at least considering two campuses for your sons. That’s a great option if you can deal with it–two kids with different interests. Butssing and/or commutes should be considered, but it can be done. It will also make it easier for you for when they start looking at different colleges. 😉

      • Thanks for your quick response.

        Yes it will be difficult for us if they choose different high schools but I don’t want to push them because they have different interests and abilities.
        You didn’t say anything about Monroe Law & Govt magnet. Any opinion on that one? Also, Keneddy’s magnet coordinator did mention that they have AP Capstone program. I will confirm when we go for the tour.

        • I only speak on schools that I have direct or close second hand experience with. I’m not going to be able to speak on Monroe.

          If you can get the boys to agree on a single school with different programs, that’s an option too. If you tour, Kennedy, definitely tour Van Nuys as well. Their catalog of AP and advanced courses could definitely be of interest.

  8. Hello there,

    I attended the middle school magnet fair last night at Sepulveda MS. My son is currently at a Gifted Magnet in the East Valley and so we were set on applying to the Science Academy as our first choice. My son is pretty out there with knowing all things science and he loves math. Also, it is only about 10 minutes from where we live (huge bonus for me). So it would be ideal if he got in over there. However, after touring the Science Academy and learning about all of the other Gifted Magnets that are available I am now confused as to what to do. Also, there is that chance that what if my son can’t pass the test or doesn’t have enough points, what would be our backup? I have read other views and remarks regarding several other well respected gifted magnet schools but I can’t see myself driving over 20 minutes each way. Also, I am not fond of him having to take a bus, at least not yet. So, based on this what is anyone’s opinion on Sepulveda MS Gifted Magnet (this school is huge), Van Nuys MS STEAM Magnet (small but its not gifted), any others that aren’t too far away? I gather there are a few SAS schools that could be great but I have yet to read up on them as yet since I have been set on the Science Academy. Any reply would be most welcomed! Thank you!

  9. Hello, I’m confused about how the lottery’s work. If my son doesn’t get into his first choice, then he’ll be included in the lottery for his second choice? or is he included in all 3 from the start? Thank you!

    • You only go on the wait list for the first choice. Your points are calculated for the first school, they rank you among all applicants, and then if you don’t get in, they look at the second school (then the third). If you get past the 2nd and 3rd choices, the wait list is where you go for the first school only.

      I am not a fan of the 2nd and 3rd choices as you will never be on teh wait list for your first choice school and you’ll never be reconsidereed for it if you do get into the 2nd or 3rd choice

  10. I should have enough magnet experience by newt know the answer to this, but I don’t. My daughter has been in gifted magnets for elementary and middle school; we’re now in the process of figuring out high school. We’re interested in North Hollywood, but I had not appreciated the additional testing she’d need, and think we might be out of luck, time-wise. The coordinator there said no, and that people get waitlisted all the time for not having the HGA testing complete yet, BUT in order to get waitlisted, we’d have to to put that as our only choice, correct? That is, we could not have a second or third? I’m not sure I want to risk that.

    • The issue with NoHo is that your child has to be HG or HGA, and if the testing hasn’t been completed and you’re having to hope it will be done before the cut off, I’d hate to risk getting rejected. With a second or third choice you wouldn’t be wait listed if you got into either of those and you’d have to be extremely careful that you didn’t pick a magnet that was easier to get into.

      If your child is already identified as gifted, you do have options with SAS and other programs. Call downtown and find out if you can get her tested for highly gifted, but hearing discussions among teachers at my daughter’s middle school, the teachers were often put into the position of needing to write the letter to prove how gifted a particular student was to get them the test to get them into NoHo. The teachers seemed to think it was pointless because identifying highly gifted in middle school is a much bigger challenge than in elementary and most of the kids were not successful.

      Check out a few very strong programs that are close enough (Van Nuys & Kennedy have programs that impress me) and you may not need the rushed testing.

      Also, see if Verdugo’s half day schedule (they get out at 1 each day) along with a few community college classes would be of interest.

  11. I apologize if this has been previously asked and answered. Am I correct that I can apply my daughter for magnets AND a dual language program?

    We are in the attendance area for Mayberry Elementary (Silver Lake) and applying for their dual language Kindergarten. I am fairly sure my daughter will get a spot in the program. I am considering also applying for one or two Magnets (possibly Lee Medical/Science and Melrose). I will be perfectly happy with Mayberry dual language, but may opt for a magnet if she happened to get in.

    If she is offered a spot in Mayberry AND a magnet, we get the option to choose between the two, yes?

    • This is very new. From the brochure: Students may apply for up to three Magnet Programs, a Permits With Transportation offering and/or up to three Dual Language Programs.

      But you should definitely contact downtown and get clarification.

      • For anyone else that might be interested in the answer, I called Student Integration Services today and in the event that you get into both the dual language program and the magnet, yes, you get to choose.

        • And if you choose the DL, you get the wait list points (assuming you get waitlisted for the magnet). I’m still not sure how this will work down the road, but let’s just go with it for this year.

  12. Hello,
    My son is currently in 4th grade, and I have 8 points from being wait-listed at valley alternative for two year. If I do not apply anywhere for 5th grade, will he loose all 8 points, or only the third grade points. For 6th grade, he will have 3 sibling points for the middle school we are trying for, and 7 points should be enought to get him in. I am worried that with 8 points, he will be accpeted into a 5th grade.
    There seems to be some confusion about how wait-list points are accumulated.
    Thank you for all your wonderful help in this area.

    • Wait list points are accrued 4 points at a time, and upon reaching 12 (3 years), the oldest year will drop off.

      You applied in second for third
      You applied in third for fourth WHERE HE IS NOW.
      You could apply in fourth for fifth //these would be the 3 years of back points
      If you do not apply for 5th grade, the third grade points would term off.

      The only way you lose all of them would be if you applied, got in, and chose not to accept a placement.

      If you are sure 7 points is a safe bet to get in, your plan is sound.

      Good luck!

  13. I just wanted to post this information. I called Community Charter to see how many openings they will have for 5th Grade. Their coordinator said Community Charter will have 6-7 openings for 5th Grade.

    • Thanks.

      6-7 is a scary number. There might be a few families who actually plan on transferring for an upper grade like 4th or 5th. But as they go through the wait list, they’re going to go through it quickly. Not a lot of families will apply for 5th grade (because most people apply for the opening year of a school). so those who do hoping to get points could end up with an unwelcome surprise.

      • Some more information-I hope it is ok to post here.
        I also called Valley Alternative. The coordinator was very helpful.
        Last year they accepted 5 students for 5th grade-the last student was accepted on Aug 1st, and the last student had 12 points.
        Last year, for 4th grade they accepted 5 sudents, and the last student accepted had 8 points.

        • Unlikely to get in if you are applying for points, but point totals have been going down. Add to the fact that the new application is actually three, and no one knows what will happen with the points for this year.

          Only you can make the decision but not applying and waiting for next year is safe for not having a surprise this year.

      • Hi Magnet Angel. Thank you again for your website and helping us with different questions. We have now 4 points from previous year from being waitlisted to Community Charter Magnet. I talked to our teacher now and she said that my daughter (in Kindergarten now) is not completely ready for gifted magnet yet, she said to prepare her more this year and apply to gifted magnet next year (when she will be in first grade). I would like to take a risk and apply to Community Charter Magnet again now for the first grade, in hope to be waitlisted and accrue 4 more points for the next year. Based on my reading feedbacks from previous years on this site, looks like Community Magnet does not add more classes in the first grade and looks like it is hard to get in to the first grade with 4 points. Just wanted to hear more opinions on that, is it sounds “safe”?

        • I’m never going to tell anyone on this blog that any point-accruing strategy is guaranteed. This is the reverse lottery, so if you are hoping not to get in, be mindful that someone will. And if they reject the spot, it will move to others.

          This year, with the addition of the Dual Language/Immersion application attached to the magnet app (and allowing parents to apply to magnet/PWT/DL all in one year), frankly all bets are off. I’m predicting that smaller point totals will happen to people least expecting it.

          The likelihood of getting in with 4 points is low, but you have to ask what you will do if you do get in.

          • Thank you so much for all the info! What is the Dual Language /Immersion application and how does it work with the magnet program? TIA

          • This is the first year that LAUSD is attempting to streamline the application process for families. Instead of different applications at various times of year, the magnet application (a deesegregation program that usually includes a theme to the school and provides bussing) is combined with the Dual Language/Immersion application (a school where students learn/are immersed in a second language with the goal of being bilingual and biliterate). You could think of Dual Language/Immersion as another ‘theme,’ but it does not include bussing and there is a cut off where a school can not take any more students without previous exposure to the language being taught.

  14. I have a question on Kester Magent. I know I can’t apply as my son will be entering Kinder but how would one qualify for 1st grade if LAUSD don’t test kids now until 2nd grade?

  15. I heard a rumor that Chandler may be looking to remove its Charter designation to acquire a magnet designation. Can anyone confirm this?

    • Call the school and ask, or attend a Chat with the Principal or PTA meeting for a trustworthy response.

      Keep in mind, the affiliated charter movement has been as big a drag as it was supposed to be a boon. People mistake affiliated charters with independents. They’re LAUSD schools, pure and simple. They got a little extra money, but even that is waning.

      Be equally leery of the district’s new attraction (no pun intended) of calling any school with extra space a ‘magnet.’ Like Affiliated Charters were Charter Light, consider the new rollout of everything magnet as Magnet Light. They now do not always have bussing, so that’s a big drawback. You never had to ask “Does your magnet include bussing.” The reason behind all the new magnets is to prevent charter co-locations. If a school can draw a few more students that will prevent a Prop 39 addition of a charter school–taking over four or more classrooms and shared space.

      With regard to Chandler, if you’ve checked the website, talked to people you know who attend, and you can’t see much about it, it’s probably just a rumor and, not life changing either way.

        • Life changing if it is a magnet in a theme your child is interested in, with teachers qualified to teach that curriculum, and you have adequate transportation to the school.

          If this is a magnet ‘light’ offering where they are trying to entice parents with the opportunity of 12 matriculation points, but the curriculum isn’t up to snuff and it’s not anywhere you’d put your child otherwise, I’d look for road-tested communities. We did a second year magnet and while it worked out ok for my son (who lost interest in the theme and spent a lot of time in the main campus), the things promised on that tour either never materialized or showed up his senior year. Given that we’re hearing dire budget issues, I would not be looking at brand new and shiny if there’s even an inkling it’s not going to be funded properly (and that includes busses).

  16. Hi Magnet Angel. I have a question. My friend is now in the private school in Kindergarten, they received the letter of High Ability Verification (by critical thinking) from their private school and applied to the gifted magnet now. Next year, 1st grade, they are planning to go to their home public school. In case they don’t get in to the magnet this year, they will want to apply to the same gifted magnet school again next year. Question: next year, when they apply, they will need to ask for verification again in their new home public school, or once kid is verified it is already for few years and they just need to reapply next year?

  17. Hello- my son is interested in the Science Academy. I think there’s a decent but not overwhelming chance he’ll pass the entrance exam. We’re only putting Science Academy as an echoices choice so that we can get wait listed there if he does pass the test. I’m concerned, however, that if he doesn’t pass the test and we have no other magnets, we will not get the wait list points as he technically will not be waitlisted as he will not be eligible for the school. We have 12 points now and are in a non-PHBAO High School district so not getting those 4 magnet points will be really bad vis-a-vis high school options. Millikan Math and Walter Reed IHP are our other options if he does not get into Science Academy.

    • Sorry, the above could be more coherent. He’s at a magnet now so we have the 12 grandfathered magnet points; however, as we are in a non-PHBAO HS district, we need all the waitlist points we can get so that we have decent high school options. Wondering if you know the answer re: Science Academy points. Thanks again!

      • To be clear, there are no wait list poins if you have 12 matriculation points. It’s a case of either or. We do have a couple of new Science Academy parents that can offer some advice, but since this is a new magnet and the test is a brand new thing, PLEASE call the school and get concrete answers from them. Math Academy and IHP are good options, but also not guaranteed, but I’d think with those 3 you’d have a pretty decent chance of getting your son into at least one.

        • Thank you! I will call. Just to clarify, if we don’t use the 12 points to get into a magnet this year, they disappear, correct? We would not have those points if we apply to a magnet for 7th grade?


          • Matriculation points will expire if you don’t use them this year. 12 points should be enough to get into most middle school programs as it’s the most many students will have. It’s up to you to figure out the situation with the testing.

          • FYI for anyone interested, I called the Office of Student Integration and they informed me that if we choose Science Academy as our only echoices magnet choice, and our child does not pass the entrance exam, he will be ineligible to attend the magnet and thus we will NOT receive the 4 wait list points (since he will not be eligible to be waitlisted).

          • Thanks Katey. That’s an important consideration for folks applying. If someone with a child who has taken the test can talk about what the test entails, I’m sure many of the prospective applicant families would be interested.

          • Hi, my daughter is a student at Science Academy magnet school. She did pass the test, but we did put a second choice school on e-choices application, just in case she wouldn’t pass the test. As far as she told me, there were mostly math questions on the test, however, there is also science questions. At least that was the format last year. It does cover almost everything that is being given in the instructions for this test. The advantage of the school is that it will be a high school starting next year. Also, they are moving to another campus next year as well.

  18. My son is passing from Portola HGM Program this year. We are looking at high school options. I live in Chatsworth area. North Hollywood HGM high school is a great program but concern is over 1.5 hour of commute each way every day. If kids take after school program, they have to take metro orange line or wait for late bus which will drop kids between 7 and 9 PM. I am wondering how kids and parents are managing this. My son is looking STEM( Engineering) Stream. I also liked TAFT STEM Looking for advice here.

    • There are kids who take those late busses available at all high schools from 6 or so. They have the option to do homework on the bus and at lunch or during nutrition (and they all do…sometimes).

      I’d make sure you’re aware that means though that your child will be getting on that bus before 6 am. We opted to drive my daughter or now she drives a good chunk of the time.

      Definitely consider whether that’s where you want your child to spend their time. We had the same considerations when we were looking at LACHSA and opted for a Valley school. We still have a 30 min drive in the AM and a 15-20 min drive in the afternoon, but it’s definitely something to consider.

  19. I’m looking for information about the 2e program at Portola. Last year they had a brochure on the website but now I can’t find any info. about it either on the Portola website or the LAUSD eChoices site.

  20. Does anyone have any knowledge or experience of the Westchester High School Gifted/High Ability STEAM aerospace magnet? The reviews on Great Schools are older and refer to the overall Westchester Enriched Sciences Magnet complex, but not to that particular segment of it. Any ideas where I can get more info?

  21. Question on gifted magnets. What happens if a child tests in and later struggles, will that child remain in the magent or be asked to return to their home school?

    • As far as I know, nobody can force child or parents return to the home school. But if kid gets low scores, teachers and magnet coordinator might talk to parents and look for way to improve, there should be a lot of work from both sides if they want to improve. I think most parents and kids decide to leave themselves if they struggle, because it is hard, nobody wants bad grades in reports and it is also not good at all for kid’s self confidence.

    • Won’t be asked to return. It’s going to be more of a question of what kind of struggle, can they be supported and do you want your child miserable?

      If your child is identified the work shouldn’t be insurmountable. It is possible in middle and high school to have some classes at the honors level and others at a less challenging level.

      • Does anyone have any knowledge or experience of Welby Way Gifted Magnet program? We toured it and looks interesting, but would like to hear a feedback from people who were there or heard anything, about the program, about teachers, etc…

  22. I have a “what would you do?” question. But first, at the risk, of sounding jerky, I wanted to mention a couple things. One, I thought magnet buses are offered to students 5+ miles from a school, not 2 as your website indicates. Also, the people who answer the Choices hotline said that wait listed students can get a call up until the day before winter break that they have gotten in. That is obviously different from the norm day information provided here. Hopefully I have not totally put you off with this share. Because I could use your counsel. My son is in 7th grade at a SFV charter. He would like to stay there for 8th grade. He got into SOCES for 6th grade and we declined. If he applies via Choices this year for 8th grade, he will do that with 8 points total: 4 PHBAO pts and 4 pts for not getting into LACES for this school year. He is a strong student and kind of an intellectual and thinking about Cleveland Humanities for him (for high school). The question is: do we NOT apply anywhere this year for him? Or do we apply to LACES again? I did just email the magnet coordinator there. But what would you do? If he miraculously got into LACES, he would not go there and would be applying to high school with just 4 pts, assuming our local high school remains PHBAO. (It likely will.) If he did not get into LACES for 8th, he would very likely have 12 points towards 9th grade. Argh. This system is crazy making. And I feel like I get it pretty well. THANK YOU! P.S. I did see if he’d be willing to go to say, Millikan Performing Arts Magnet for 8th grade. (He’s a musician.) Then if we applied and he got in, he would enroll there. But he gave a big thumbs down to that idea.

    • Hi Leslee,

      It’s easy to be confused. LAUSD provides busses 5+ miles to secondary students and 2+ to elementary. Since you appear to be talking about middle matriculating to HS, it would be 5. And some newer magnets include NO busses. So there’s that.

      It is rare for folks to get calls even as late as norm day. However in very rare cases, middle and high schools could conceivably get a call for the second semester. LAUSD put a stop to this ‘renorming’ for teacher ratios, but if the magnet office is saying they do it, then that’s a consideration.

      If you are looking at Cleveland, their claim has always been they get through the entire wait list. However 8 points is fairly low. LACES would be a fairly safe bet to accrue points because there can’t be but a few spots for 8th grade, but call and find out.

      Again, this is a free service, and you’re welcome to take the advice or not. Good luck!

      • A giant thank you for the speedy and thorough response. I did receive an email from the Magnet Coordinator at LACES this morning. She said for admission into 8th grade, she anticipates students needing 16 points. So it probably is a pretty good bet (as you say) for those with low points looking for rejection points. Again, thank you.

  23. Some questions as I continue to navigate the extremely complicated game of collecting magnet points. I have a son in the Humanities Magnet at Hamilton High School (10th grade). His brother is in 7th grade and has 12 points. I usually apply to LACES to gather points, but I’m concerned that with 16 points he’ll get into LACES for 8th grade as happened with many of his friends this year. Our end goal is to get him into the Music Academy at Hamilton High School. Here’s the question: If I skip this year, how many points will I have when I apply for 9th grade (2019 – 2020)? Does he get sibling points for having a brother in a magnet, though not the one he wants to attend? Will our PHBAO points still kick in? (We get these now via our local middle school.) Will he have 16 when we apply for 9th grade, even if I let 4 fall off by not applying for 2018 – 19? I’m sure you cannot answer without all of the details, but perhaps a rough guess based on your research and experience. Much appreciated!

    • I’m interested in finding out how you like the Humanities program at Hamilton . I’m considering applying next year, my son will be in 10th.

      • Hi Lee, our son loves it even though the work load is heavy. It’s like an amazing liberal arts college! That said, it’s also a big, urban high school with all the plusses and minuses of that. We feel that the plusses outweigh the minuses. Our son agrees.

  24. My daughter is currently in 6th grade with zero points. We are happy with her current school but know we should probably get points for high school if she wants to attend a magnet program. Which school should we apply to start gathering points? She is mixed race, if that makes any difference. This system is new to us. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    • Well, if you’re in 6th grade and you’re looking for points for high school, you will have quite a bit to consider.

      Most of the schools you will be looking at are considerably larger than CHIME. You’ll want to tour some to get an idea of how big.

      You’ll want to talk about how many points you will need, what their ratios are (70-30? 60-40?). With NO points, you could essentially apply to any of the popular middle schools and not get in–Nobel, Millikan. If you have PHBAO points at your neighborhood middle school, you’ll be up 4 but for this year, you’d be fine.

      Mixed race of white/minority means you can choose what box you check. Two minorities does not.

      But you might want to be looking at some of the smaller high schools anyway. Again, depends where you live. The Valley is a big place and traffic is a bear.

  25. I toured a magnet that says they have a 60/40% integration balance. My child is going into third grade and is biracial. Since most of the parents at the tour would be classified as white, and assuming that is what the applicant pool will look like, am I correct to think that I am better off applying for my child as a minority student? I just want to make sure there is not some weird twist to this before I complete the application. Also, I will be applying for an immersion program and wondered if you can tell me if this would have any bearing on that application as well. Thank you so much for any advice.

    • You’re going to want to ASK about the application pool. Sometimes what you see on one tour is not what you see in the classroom.

      In some cases it takes more points as white and sometimes more as a minority based on how many apply and where those kids are coming from. If they are coming from one of the overcrowded schools or a school with PHBAO points, it can change the amount of points for each wait list. The district is something like 80% minority, so in many places it is better to choose white if that is an option. On the other hand, in some parts of the Valley many of the people applying are white so that changes the pool. Contact the school for more specifics in your case.

      Immersion applications do not affect magnet applications per LAUSD. This is the first year, so we’ll see how that works out.

      • I saw on one high school’s website that this year Magnet results will come on March 12.
        And for those who applied to gifted Magnets, on February should be a letter if eligible or not.

        • That’s about right. They have a strong history of distributing the Friday before Spring Break which does make contacting the school with questions a bit of a challenge.

          Don’t be surprised if it moves a week or so.

          • Hi Magnet Angel. We received an Application Status letter now. The Eligibility status in it says “Eligible”. We applied for Gifted Magnet and I know usually they send Gifted Eligibility letters on February. So, what we received now, it is more like application confirmation status and not really gifted eligibility confirmation?

          • Sorry to not be able to be more of a help. If the eligibility letter says ‘eligible’ they may have already been deemed eligible. In January call the magnet office downtown to confirm.

  26. Hello. My daughter is in the 8th grade now and currently has 8 points accumulated. She desperately wants to get into the Kennedy Gifted Magnet Program for the 9th grade and received a letter saying that she is in fact eligible. She is not in magnet currently so will not receive the 12 matriculation points. Seeing that Kennedy High School Medical Magnet is a new program is this a highly sought after Medical Magnet Program? I moved here two years ago and so wondering if 8 points is enough to get her into the program. Is 8 points a good number for Kennedy gifted magnet?

    • This is a great question to pose to the magnet coordinator at the school. It is a new program, so it might be, but anything we guess would simply be that. When you receive your letter next week, make sure to post the results, so that future families can learn from your experience.

  27. HI I a new to this entire process. My son is a high academic achiever – he currently attends a private Christian school and we are looking to get him into a Gifted/magnet program. I saw Balboa, Welby way and Academy of Enriched Sciences. When I called I felt people were laughing at me- ok I get it I missed all the deadlines and there are waiting lists 🙂 I went to the eChoices website and just submitted for Late Applications for all three. I am pretty sure I should have a plan B as everyone pretty much said I am likely to get him in. WHAT DO I DO? where do I take him? Charter? what other options. We live in Winnetka/Canoga Park. HELP PLEASE! and how do I know how many point he has- I have no idea where those are calculated or shown

    • Hi. It’s not clear what grade your child will be going into. There are several options.

      You will not get in on a late application to the gifted magnets. They don’t get through the initial lists, so it’s not likely unless your child is in an upper grade and a random spot opened up (typically 5th graders don’t want to leave their home schools, and parents apply simply to acquire points).

      You will need to look at the many other school choice options–open enrollment, etc. for this year or you may want to plan on his attending his private school for another year or two.

      You can go back to the e choices site, or look for the points explanations on this site, but essentially LAUSD magnets, including gifted magnets are desegregation programs. They support a 1970s consent decree designed to integrate schools. Points are assigned for matriculation (12) or up to 12 wait list points (awarded 4 per year for up to 3 years for families who don’t get in); if the home school is designated predominantly Hispanic, Black, Asian, or Other (4); if the home school is overcrowded (there aren’t many of these (4) ); and if a sibling already attends and will attend with the child the next year (3). Depending on the magnet and the grade level of the applicant, some schools 11 or even 8 easily get in. Other magnets, specifically middle and high school require 16 or more to have a good shot.

      If your child is in elementary, has never applied for a magnet, you might have 8 for next year. Not 2018-19, I’m talking about 2019-2020. But look into open enrollment and possibly SAS programs. You have a couple of weeks left for SAS (Schools for Advanced Studies). You can look at those options here:

      There are phenomenal programs in the West Valley. Good luck.

      • Thank you so much – he will be going into third grade and we are in northwest valley area. I can’t guarantee his private school will be an option for next year as they may not have room. So I saw on the echoices site the northwest SAS SCHOOLS offered – are those lottery or open for enrollment ? How do I apply for them – does anyone have any reccomenations for which? There is Sierra to Haskell??? Do I have to be in their zone area otherwise I need to ask for lottery? Thank you!!!

        • I know this is all new but please go ahead and read the LAUSD page I linked to. It provides all the information including how to apply, the application itself, and whether your son is eligible. You would not need to apply for the school your son is zoned for if there is an SAS at that school.

          You’ll want to tour them yourself and get a strong feel for what you want. Coming from a private school a smaller school might be better or if you really like a program, a bigger one might be what you are looking for.

          • Thank you ! What if I want to send him to an SAS that he is not zoned in? And also if I submit for lottery donthey select just one? Trying to see odds lol

          • The application process is for the SAS applicants who are not choosing their zoned school. You can apply to as many as you wish including those in local district North East if you want.

  28. How would a first grader be accepted in Kester Gifted Magnetif the testing for kids is not until 2nd grade? Are there other ways to qualify and how would one go about this?

    • Teachers can identify gifted/high ability based on criteria set on the LAUSD gifted website. They can be identified as early as the second semester of kindergarten.

  29. Hi! How does getting in from the waitlist work? Are people already being moved up from the waitlist? Or will they wait until the April 6th deadline has passed before beginning to admint students from the waitlist?

    • Families have until April 6 (I think) to accept their space.

      At that time, all people who have not contacted the school are considered to have declined. At that point, the school calculates how many spots were declined and works through the wait list, careful to maintain the ratios of the students from the initial acceptances.

      There’s no point in sweating where you are on the waitlist until after the first group of families gets contacted from the waitlist, and then you can be more realistic with whether you might get in or not from the waitlist.

  30. Hi,

    My son got into Holmes Humanities Mag and into the Holmes SAS program. Due to the SAS acceptance, he is eligible for the Magnet Honors program.

    Which should he do?


  31. Hello All:

    I have a question about OLSAT. Not sure if I am posting in the right location on this site. Sorry I am in the wrong place….

    My question is…is there anyone out there whose kid took the OLSAT this year? My kid just got his OLSAT scores back, and I am just wondering exactly how he scored, and what are next steps if he did pass the “gifted” threshold? I am also still a bit unsure of what exactly this gets him. He’s already at a gifted/highly gifted elementary school. Will be labelled get him opportunities or choices at the middle or high school level?

    Is there someone out there who knows how to interpret OLSAT results?

    • There should be some (barely readable) information on the back of the results page. Basically, you would want to look at the first grid at the top left, marked “Age-Based Scores.” I believe you would then look at the fourth column, “Age PR-S,” and it seems that if your child scored 95 or above in any of the three rows (Total, Verbal, or Nonverbal), they would qualify as Gifted. Of course, you would also want to confirm this with someone at your school, but that is my understanding of it. Good luck!

      • Thank you Dot! I see it. It looks like my kid got a 98-9 on the nonverbal, so we will smile for now, and wait to hear from his GATE coordinator.

        My other questions are:

        1) So now what? What exactly does this get us? My kid is already at a gifted/highly gifted elementary school, and I have no desire to switch schools. We/he loves his school and couldn’t ask for a better elementary school experience, academically and otherwise. Is there anything I should be proactive about or asking my GATE coordinator about in light of this district label called “gifted”?

        2) Does this “gifted” label stay with my kid forever in LAUSD? When time comes for middle school, does this label automatically verified him as “gifted” for gifted or SAS middle school applications? What if, God forbid, his grades slide, or he tanks his SBAC tests in 4th and/or 5th grade, can the gifted/highly gifted schools “de-gift” him and reject his admission into their gifted programs?

        I know I can pose all these questions to my GATE coordinator, but I feel more comfortable asking this group first, if y’all have any insights.

        • If he’s already at an SAS or a gifted magnet, he’s already getting some attention academically. If you like the school you don’t need to do anything. Enjoy your school. At your teacher conferences, principal chats, open houses, etc, ask how your child is doing and what they do to challenge him.

          The designation will follow your child so you will be able to apply to gifted magnets and SAS programs for middle school so it will give you more options.

          As things do change over time, definitely contact the gifted coordinator and ask what it means now and for your future decisions.

        • I am not an expert (and LAUSD policies change all the time), but having been through this with my son:
          (1) If you think he qualifies, you may possibly want to have your son do an individual assessment to see if he rates as “highly gifted” (99%+ percentile). You need to request this specifically from your school to be done by an LAUSD psychologist, and I know this takes time to schedule. I don’t believe gifted magnets take “highly gifted” into greater consideration for admissions (although I could be wrong), but there are a few (very few) highly gifted-only programs that you may be interested in later if you feel they are a good fit. The label may also help if you need to ask the teachers for something in the future.
          (2) I am pretty sure the gifted label stays with your child for his entire school career, so if his grades or test scores tank, you have some ammunition to ask the school for extra attention or can possibly become aware of and/or be tested for a specific learning disability (which gifted kids can have and may be extremely frustrated by) if needed.
          If you have specific questions, it is sometimes a good idea to call the central LAUSD GATE office. You are already in a GATE school, so your coordinator is probably pretty well-informed about the policies, but I have found this is not always the case in typical elementaries.

          • Thanks You so much Dot. This is helpful. We have a meeting scheduled on Monday with our school’s GATE coordinator. But I think you all answered most of my questions!

  32. Is there a point in putting down LACES as second choice going into ninth grade; could someone get into LACES’ if the school is not top choice? Also, if аn application lists two choices and a child does not get into either, which wait list do they go on? thanks.

    • From experiences shared here, without a high point count and listing it as a first choice, LACES is difficult to get into. Because there is now a ‘neighborhood’ track for kids segueing from a nearby middle, there are fewer spots.

      If you use the first and second choice options, you get placed only on the wait list for the first school.

      We do have a few posters from that area, so hopefully they can share their direct experience, but if you have 16-20 points and really want your child to go to LACES, I’d suggest applying only to LACES (because you might end up getting into your second choice and never get a chance to get into LACES), and then coming up with some solid back up plans with SAS and other programs.

  33. My child passes the exam for the STEM Science Academy and is now going into the lottery. How many points do you think she needs to get in ? She’s a white female.

    • The magnet is too new to have much data here. You can look at last year’s lottery results by those who posted and see if you see a pattern. The other option is to contact the school in January and ask what the points were for sixth grade. Keep in mind that there is likely to be a strike the first week back and the administrators’ attention will be elsewhere.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s