2019-2020 Magnet Season Opens October 1

***UPDATE: Due to the fires and evacuations, LAUSD has generously extended the deadline for e-Choices until November 16. Please share this information with all you know.


Per the echoices website, “The on-time application window for the 2019-2020 academic year is October 1 – November 9, 2018. During this time period you can submit an application for the following programs: Magnet, Permits With Transportation, Dual Language Education, Admission Criteria Schools and Schools for Advanced Studies.”

Ask a Magnet Yenta attempts to offer advice (and emotional support) for the LAUSD magnet program and the SAS program. Where we can, we will offer help on other programs. Please remember this is an entirely volunteer force, and we are paying it forward.

To help our yentas with your questions, be as specific as you can. Post your questions in the comments below.

As an aside, 2019-2020 will be the first year that Magnet Angel no longer has a child in LAUSD after 24 years. Good luck to all applicants!

Some cool additions: L.A. Unified, in cooperation with the Compton Unified School District (CUSD), offers a limited number of 9th grade openings at the King- Drew Magnet High School of Medicine and Science. These openings are ONLY available to residents of CUSD.

They clearly list the kindergarten magnets giving more options for more families.

Good luck!




73 thoughts on “2019-2020 Magnet Season Opens October 1

  1. I’ve wondered for awhile. In your opinion, is it easier to for a child to be admitted to Alfred Nobel Middle School vía magnet matriculation points or by living in that school zone? Is there a priority?

    • Magnet consideration is not given any higher priority for living within the school boundaries for any given school. If you live in Nobel’s boundaries your child would have better access for the SAS if that’s applicable (SAS is the gifted program for neighorhood students with additional spots going by lottery to those outside the boundary after all neighborhood kids are considered), but magnet has NO bearing on whether you live across the street versus 90 minutes away.

  2. Very new to magnet applications. I am in LAUSD and have choices I would like to apply to there, but I also like the French program at Altadena El (Pasadena) and Franklin’s French Immersion program in Glendale. How does the intra-district permit work? Do I apply for 1 permit for Pasadena, and 1 for Glendale? Before or after I get accepted? And does that mess up my LAUSD applications?

  3. Hello!

    Daughter is entering K in the fall. Brother is in 3rd at Welby Magnet.

    Just want to try and get her rejection points so we’re in a better spot for 1st.

    Which school is the most difficult to get into K for next year?

    • Definitely check the echoices site and look for the highest application to acceptance ratio. With more and more kindergarten magnets coming on line, it’s always a risk that your daughter will get in where you apply, but you’re back at exactly the same place with zero points if that happens. Good luck!

    • From my experience, I would say the school is the most difficult to get into K without points – Cummunity Magnet in Bel Air.

      • I applied to Community twice, once for each of my kids, only to get points. Both times, the kids got in off the wait list. I suspect everyone applies there for the points so they blow through the wait list very quickly. YMMV.

  4. Any suggestions on waiting list point strategy during middle school with an eye toward high school applications? My 5th grader presently holds 12 waitlist points (thanks to Community in Bel Air) but is inclined toward home school Portola where she’d default into Honors due to Gifted identification. Thanks in advance for any suggestions on how we might handle this year’s eChoices decision.

    • Not sure there’s much to strategize. Wait list points expire at 3 years, so if you don’t apply for 6th, that might be an option. No matter where you apply for middle school for 6th grade, it’s likely she’ll get in. You need to wait at least a year before you start applying again.

      • Thank you for responding quickly. In follow up, regarding applying this year, you believe she’d likely get in to a program such as Valley Alternative (2019-2020 Openings: 54 2018-2019 Applications: 1,453)? Overall that’s a low admit percentage, but I imagine there are fewer applicants for the 6th grade openings and thus those odds are higher?

        My present understanding is that if we don’t apply anywhere this year, the max. points she could have for HS application would be 8 pts – 4 for applying for 7th, 4 for 8th – assuming of course she is waitlisted both years. The only way for her to have 12 points for a HS application would be to also apply for 6th and be waitlisted. Seems it’s worth trying – if she’s admitted and we reject, we lose all 12 existing points, but that puts us in no worse shape than not applying and aiming for those 8 pts in 7th and 8th. Is that correct or am I missing something?

        Of course, this is all about the Portola scenario. Were she to aim for a magnet now (e.g., Lawrence, Porter, Hale…) I understand she’d then be armed with 12 points for HS automatically.

        Thank you again.

        • The vast majority of people applying to Valley Alternative beyond kinder are looking for points. You might not get in immediately, but when those families get over the shock that they did get in and decline, they will go through the wait list very quickly. When they get to your child, you will have to turn it down and then she will lose her points.

          If she were to choose Portola, you might want to look for SAS for high school. But points seem to drop each year. Also without knowing your home high school, you may still end up with 4 PHBAO points.

  5. My daughter is in 5th grade and we are going to apply to LACES and I was not sure if we should apply as minority or caucasian, as she is of mixed race. Does it really matter?

  6. Can someone clarify the SAS application this year please? It’s done online now and it lists first, second, and third choice. Is this now similar to magnet app (without the points) where if first place option is selected you aren’t selected for others? I thought in past years you could potentially get notified of being selected from more than one, leaving you with the ability to choose which school you preferred. Is that still the case? TIA!

    • Students may apply for up to 3 SAS sites. If the applicant is selected to their 1st choice,
      choice two and three are not considered. If the applicant is selected into any program of their
      choice, the student will not be placed on any waiting list. If there is no space available in any of
      their choices, the student will be placed on the waiting list for their first choice only.

      There is no priority point accrual process for Schools for Advanced Studies.

      • Do you know – does applying to an SAS effect the MAGNET application/chances in any way? I’m applying to 1 school for SAS (Taft HS) and another school for Magnet (HGM at NOHO HS). Both as 1st choices. But am really mostly interested in the HGM Magnet…

        • I called LAUSD and also spoke to a rep at a presentation. They both confirmed that those are separate tracks so you aren’t giving up magnet placement by applying and getting into to an SAS program. I do think there is an issue if you accept the SAS.

          • So just clarifying, could our child potentially be accepted into 5 programs? 1 school for magnet, 1 for sas, 1 dual language, etc. if we applied to all 5?

  7. I was just asking for a friend who is in Glendale whether they can apply for an LAUSD Magnet on Echoices? She is saying she cannot see “Magnet” as a choice on the Echoices application page. Only these choices appear:

    You may choose multiple programs. Please select the program(s) you want to apply to for :

    Dual Language Education Programs
    program icon
    Application Period
    Oct 1 – Nov 9

    Admission Criteria Schools (ACS)
    program icon
    Application Period
    Oct 1 – Nov 9

    Inter-District Permits
    program icon
    Application Period
    Feb 1 – Jan 31

    Thank you!

    • LAUSD magnets are for LAUSD students only with the exception, of some spaces reserved for Compton Unified kids are allowed to apply for King-Drew.

        • Understand that magnets are desegregation programs under court decree for LAUSD. It doesn’t help LAUSD to bring other students in when the issue is with the district itself. Think of it as the perk for living in LAUSD’s boundaries. It’s a bummer for people who move in from other states and it’s a bummer for folks who live nearby, but the programs are for students of LAUSD.

          • So my friend brought up a good point today. Her son has been going to this regular LAUSD school (Elysian Heights Elementary) that is becoming a magnet next year (2019-2020). Her son is already enrolled and has been attending for two years. Also, the principal said all the current students will be guaranteed spots in the magnet for next year. Do you know if this could possibly be an exception to the rule?

            Thank you!


          • Have her contact the school directly. These are neighborhood schools that are being rebranded to ‘attract’ students and reduce attrition to avoid colocation. They don’t have buses in many cases, and are magnets in name only (if they guarantee admission to neighborhood students, it’s not a magnet per the decree). Her school would be the best place to get the information. Have a great weekend.

  8. Ok, yes we were told the school would guarantee admission to local students. I will have her contact the school!

    Thank you again!


      • Sorry, I meant to say it seems like your description of what kind of magnet it is is right because they are letting neighborhood students in. I didn’t mean to say a student on permit is a neighborhood student 🙂


  9. Where do I find the number of applicants for each school vs. the available spots? I can’t find on the echoices website like last year.

      • Probably there is no space anymore to mention siblings in the magnet application. On my kid’s profile I see “Sibling Information: Sibling associations will be provided for your review during December correspondence (provided siblings are added to the parent profile before the application deadline)”. Probably now we just should add all kids to Portal and LAUSD will associate them automatically. No was section with question about siblings in the application itself.

  10. I have a question about the new process of applying to a magnet and an SAS program. I’m applying to a magnet but I’m nervous my son won’t get in and then we would be left with no choice but to go to his home school. I wanted to also applyto an SAS program at the magnet school. Is it possible to get into both a magnet and an SAS school? And then make a choice or if my son gets rejected at the magnet do they automatically send him to the SAS program? I hope this makes sense.

    • CS – I have the exact same question/dilema. I’m applying to 1 school for SAS (Taft HS) and another school for Magnet (HGM at NOHO HS). Both as “1st choices”. We are really mostly interested in the HGM Magnet, but want Taft as a backup. Can they get into both?

  11. 11th hour question for you. If I was to choose Kester Gifted as a first choice and Community Charter as second and my sons teacher said more than likely she would verify him, what would happen if she does. It verify him? I know if not verified, then we miss out on the lottery for a Kester but will we then move to our second choice lottery or does the non-verification disqualify us immediatly from all lotteries?

    • I would press her for more than “more than likely.” Either she can say he meets the criteria or she feels he does not. Since it’s not clear with additional choices when the “gifted” verification would be applied, you might want to get her to be more clear now rather than later.

      • So if she says now, yes and then in January something changes, will choice 2 be ok for the lottery or if not verified do I lose out completely next year?

  12. Thanks. The teacher just confirmed she would verify. I’ll still call though. Thanks for your never ending help through this crazy system

    • Call Downtown to double check, but as far as I know, if you are not eligible for gifted you won’t be for lottery to that gifted school, but you yes will be in lottery for all other not gifted magnet schools in your additional choices, this is what I heard on magnet schools tours.

  13. I need your advice, please…. Balboa just called and offered my child, who has been on the wait list, a spot starting in the Spring semester. If I don’t accept the offer, will I lose my wait list points? I already applied for Balboa for the 2019/20 school year and I think we should have a good chance to get in (3rd grade with 11 points). I’d rather wait for the school year to finish to make the change. Thank you!

    • You will need to take the spot or lose your waitlist points. Magnets can call up to norm day in the fall and again at the semester break.

      • This happened to me two years ago. I declined to move my child and believed I had lost our points. When I applied the following year to a magnet hoping to just rebuild points, we got it. The school we applied to indicated I had 12 points, which I believed I had lost. I called Student Integration Services and was told that you do not lose points for declining an open spot for the second semester. Perhaps you should call Student Integration Services to confirm, prior to making your decision.

          • Thank you both for your responses. I called the district office and they confirmed that I would not lose the points if got offered mid-year. Good to know.

          • Hi Magnet Angel. Do you know how many points maximum people can accumulate? For example we graduate magnet elementary school with 12 points and keep applying to magnet middle school that we want, and keep getting to be wait listed for it… There is a maximum point for it?

          • You get 12 points for matriculation at 5th or 8th grade OR you can have up to three years of wait points. Matriculation is 12 points. Three years of waitlisting is 12 points. You can not have both, nor can you ever have more than 12. Matriculation is a one-time point opportunity. If you don’t get in, you lose those. Waitlist points accrue 4 per year and expire after the third year so you can keep accruing from kinder but you will never have more than those 12.

    • I too was called the first day of the second semester. I took the offer and dealt with all the changes but I don’t regret it. If I were you I would just take the spot because you never know.

    • Over the last few years they have had a habit of sending them out the Friday before Spring Break, but Easter is really late this year. But since Cesar Chavez day is April 1 I would guess it will be the Friday before. I would love for them to get the letters out early but I don’t run the department.

  14. Hi there,

    This is the first year we’ve applied on echoices and are hoping for our first points for our 1st grader. We’re now looking to also throw our hat in the ring for the charters. Is there anywhere online that lists at least last year’s application to acceptance to seats for either or both types? I would appreciate any help.

    • If you look at the individual school profiles on echoices you can see the program capacity, the openings for last year & the number of applications received. Keep in mind that some people are applying just to have the points not to attend so, if you see a lot of applications received, that doesn’t necessarily mean those are your actual odds of getting in. And given that the magnets are there with the hope that people will attend and not just apply for points, don’t assume you can’t get accepted if the odds seem insane- someone has to get in!

      • Thank you! Do you know if there is anywhere to check last year’s openings and applications for the charters as well? Or is it up to the charter is they want to put it out. I guess I’ll also see what wait list spots we get for each of their lotteries.

  15. We got in to Community Magnet Charter off waitlist for kindergarten. Is this an offer we can’t refuse? All the discussions seem to refer to CMC only in the context of getting points…has anyone actually gone and is it worth 1.5 hrs in the bus every day?

    • No, you aren’t forced. You won’t get points for this year–it would be akin to not applying for kinder at all. Where are you trying to get in for? If you are looking for 1st or 2nd this might be a setback but anything else and you shouldn’t be applying yet anyway. And no–90 minutes on a bus is too much for any 5 year old

    • We got into Community Magnet when my daughter was in Kindergarten and live on Benton Way near Sunset Blvd and decided to go for the bus experience. She knew other kids on the bus already and we knew a few other families at the school who loved it. It was a looong bus ride like the train that could chugging down Sunset Blvd the whole way to Bel Air. She really got to know the city and they played games and it was good for K and 1st. 2nd grade LAUSD outsourced the bus company to a contractor and we got a new driver almost weekly with tons of problems like break downs etc (the other two years we had the same drivers the whole year and really got to know them and trust them). So by 3rd we were through and she went to a local school and is now at a highly gifted magnet in Eagle Rock (how she ended up there is another story). I do know kids who went to Community all their elementary school years who lived near us and the bus seemed to work fine for them. Hope this information helps your decision.

    • Being on the bus for 1.5 hours is a lot. Kids can learn a lot of stuff during that time from having a one-on-one tutorial from a parent instead.

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