2020-2021 Choices Season Now Open

For local district school choice faires, please visit: http://echoices.lausd.net/Home/ChoicesFairs

Applications are due November 15.

This includes Magnets, SAS, Affiliated Charter, Dual Language, Permits with Transportation, and Admission Criteria programs.

Questions? Drop them in the comments section. Ask a Magnet Yenta is 100% free, parent-provided support.

49 thoughts on “2020-2021 Choices Season Now Open

  1. This sounds too good to be true….so to apply for affiliated charter schools for my soon-to-be-kindergartner, I can do it all online through eChoices? Six years ago, for my older son, I had to run around all over the valley turning in paper applications to the charters. Can you confirm that it really all happens online now? Thank you!

    • According to the website, yes. Please feel free to sign in and confirm.

      What I will say is that when we could drive all over the Valley to turn in paper applications, your only limit was gas/time. You are now limited to three SAS programs. It’s not clear how many affiliated charters you may apply to. Hopefully someone can get a screen shot of it and let us know.

      • Hi – I was wondering – if my son is in his magnet now ( 4th grade ) and he has one more year at his magnet – should I do nothing on echoices for points or application purposes elsewhere? The current goal
        Is to keep him at his magnet until he graduates and not sure where from there ( 6th grade) do I just do nothing until next year ? Thanks

        • He’s in a magnet. He will get 12 matriculation points when he graduates. Do NOT apply or you could find yourself out of the magnet if he were to be accepted by the new application.

      • Hi! I hope you can help me please

        My son is currently in a magnet he is in 4th grade and that school goes up to 5th grade ( our homeschool is PBOA etc.) do we have to do any applying ( play the points game) this year if we are staying put or so do nothing until
        We start applying next year? We still do not know where we want to send him : maybe Noble , Portola, or Millikan

        • If your home middle school is PHBAO, then you will get 4 points. the elementary school’s status does not count when you start applying for middle schools. If your child is in a magnet school, you CAN NOT apply to a magnet for 5th grade or you could be moved with no way to go back. You will get 12 matriculation points. The people who apply for wait list points are attempting to get to that same 12 points that you will enjoy just by having your child in a magnet already. Points only apply to other magnets, so if you are looking at SAS or open enrollment at those middles then that will be additional lines on the same application–next year. There are no points outside magnets.

          • So pretty much stay put and start applying for his middle school ( magnet etc) the same time next year and hope my points get him higher up on the list? Just wanted to be sure

          • You are in a magnet, so you don’t need to apply for one. You will get the 12 matriculation points and maybe 4 PHBAO. That puts you at 16.

    • Should I start touring magnet schools
      This year for my current 4th grader ( he will be in this magnet until
      End of 5th). Or do
      We tour next year and then apply during that time ? I don’t know where to send him
      So I don’t have anything in mind yet. ( Noble? Millikian? I don’t even know our options – we live in Winnetka and he currently attends school
      In Encino (AES)

      • If you have the luxury of time, I always encourage 4th and 7th grade famiiles to tour a few schools. It gives you a chance to go to a few schools now–maybe one that definitely interests you and one that might be very nearby that you know little about. Then next year, you can focus on the things you heard or learned on the tours the year before.

        Good luck.

  2. Hi Angel. I’m happily applying to middle schools this year. All the touring has been fun. Now it’s decision time! Thanks for all the support over the years. I’ll keep you posted on acceptances once you open that thread. Take care!

  3. We were at a Magnet for elementary, but decided not to stay in one for middle school. I want to start applying for 7th grade so that we can re-build some of the points we forfeited. Do you have any suggestions as to which school(s) might be a good choice to apply to for 7th grade if our goal is to be rejected? Thanks.

    • Guessing by the zip code in your handle, you’re located in the SFV. Keeping in mind there is no guarantee that you won’t get in, you’re going to want to apply to schools that mildly interest you if you were to get in. If your current middle school has a magnet, you can apply there, and that way if you get in, there would be little movement regarding your child’s schedule. If you really hope not to get into a school, Nobel and Millikan have few openings beyond their first year, but it’s always possible. Since this isn’t your first magnet go round, make sure you know how many additional points you have (PHBAO, for instance). Good luck.

      • We are already at Millikan, but my son really wants to stay in the Cinematic Arts program (not part of the Magnet). We aren’t going to move, so I’m willing to apply to literally any Magnet MS in LAUSD. I remember applying to Community Magnet for elementary, but don’t know which middle schools are the next-to-impossible ones. I believe we have PHBAO, but that’s it.

        Maybe LACES is a good choice? Or Valley Alternative?

        • LACES might be ok. Nobel would be fine. As of a few years ago Millikan did not have any spots beyond 6th grade, but that can always change. I would strongly suggest NOT using Valley Alternative (which is now called Lake Balboa) because they do fill the spots of the students who leave in grades 6 and up, and you are saying you are not interested in moving. If you only have 4 points for 7th grade it’s not likely you would get into Nobel or LACES, and if you did get in, you wouldn’t “lose” points this year, since you have no waitlist points at this point. You will want to start touring high schools by next year at the latest just to know what your options are going to be.

  4. Thank you for your continued work on this amazing site! What’s your opinion on the best gifted/highly gifted option for first grade? I toured Welby Way last week expecting to fall in love, and didn’t feel any difference between the classrooms I saw and those at Third Street (SAS) or Franklin Street Elementary (SAS).

    • If you live by either of the other schools, I strongly encourage you NOT to send your children to Welby Way. First graders, no matter how gifted, do not need to be on a bus that long.

      Every child is different, and my opinion isn’t the one that matters. Some people love Balboa. Others Welby Way. For my son a hundred years ago, our options were a year-round neighborhood school or Balboa and with neighbors who attended Balboa, we went with that option. For my daughter a decade later, we opted for the same open enrollment elementary and turned down Balboa 2x (1st and 4th grades) and found other ways to supplement her education. They were both right for each child. But I feel no elementary school kid should be more than 20-30 min from home and there’s not much more to be gained further out given that friends and school commitments are too far away to be easy.

      Please remember that SAS was created to serve the needs of parents who could not get their kids into gifted magnets. In some schools, both schools exist. And in some of those cases, the SAS is perceived as better, and in others, the gifted magnet is.

      If there is a program near you that serves your child well, where you will see their friends at the grocery store, and random playdates can happen, that is superior to a potentially 90 minute bus ride.

      Your mileage may vary.

      • Thank you so much, Magnet Angel! This is really helpful. That was my instinct when I was considering Mirman (for which we would have needed lots of financial aid). But, of course, I’m second guessing everything again now that gifted magnets are an option for first grade. Appreciate your insight and great reminders about each kid being different. Thanks for your wisdom!

  5. Mom of future 5 year old in 90038 (Hollywood) here: already applied to Citizens of the World charter in Hollywood via it’s own application. Applied to Melrose STEM via echoices and waiting Larchmont to open for applications next month. We live 4 blocks north of the Holy Grove campus and don’t have to cross either Vine or Santa Monica (not that my son would walk any way). Went to tour Melrose and fell in love with it but so did the other 300 people; doubt we’ll get it. I would also like to consider Gardner Elementary for him but I need to get a permit from both Gardner and the pitiful Hollywood Primary Center on Santa Monica which, supposedly, is our home school. Has anyone else applied for intra-LAUSD permits and gotten those? I also saw that Laurel Elementary (Laurel Span) had open enrollment last year (2019-2020) and also Van Ness elementary had open spots for 2019-2020. In case we fail to get into either Melrose, Larchmont or Citizens and Gardner refuses a permit – are either Laurel Span and/or Van Ness good alternatives? I really like Garnder because some of his friends from pre-school and the play ground will be there as it is their home school. I do not like Hollywood Primary center and I think Vine elementary needs to step up. For those who have not been to Melrose – their class rooms are arranged like your home living room and I would have LOVED to be in such a room as kid. Any ideas, experience, advice, etc. is greatly appreciated. My kid tends to fidget and is very playful, although his preschool teacher keeps telling me he’s one of her best; I just don’t have a good reference point. Thank you for reading all this!

  6. Dad of a 4 year old with a late summer birthday. Couple questions. We have a great neighborhood elementary (Colfax), but are interested in accumulating magnet points. Our son is multi-racial (white and asian). It appears we can’t put both down on his application. Are we locked in to whatever we enter for the remainder of his LAUSD experience? Which is more advantageous for getting in, or not getting in as the case may be? Also, he’s a bright little dude, but has quite a motor, and we’re wondering if it makes sense to either hold him out a year or see if they would enroll him in TK. Will schools ever let a later summer birthday sneak into TK even though they’re not in the official Sept. 2-Dec. 2 window? Thank you so much for your help and this website!

    • You are required to check one box. It’s a difficult discussion as kids get older because those who can check more than one, for desegregation purposes are one thing. The good news is that you can switch boxes between school levels. If your child enters a school as white, you can check both boxes on everything in the school, and at the next magnet level, change to the other on the application. You can absolutely ask the schools which is more advantageous, but it really depends. Some schools will tell you that they receive more applications for white, others receive almost entirely minority.

      Magnets are either 70-30 or 60-40 minority to white (again, please remember this is a court-ordered desegregation program), and the reality is this district approaches 90% minority. That said, if your school attracts a larger share of white applicants, and the school shares the information, you can choose.

      With regard to TK, unless the laws change, the official Sept 2 to Dec 2 came from the state and is fixed. When kinders could be born as late as Dec 2, it was considered a way to make the date change more palatable to families who had planned their children’s start date. I’m not aware of any public school that will break the law. In the meantime, enjoy your little guy. They grow up too fast, and they always leave sooner than you’re ready for.

  7. Hello,
    My son who is in 2nd grade is at a magnet, but I want to apply to an affiliated charter school on the Echoices website. If I apply and he gets into the affiliated charter do they take him out of the magnet? I am not sure whether we would move him yet.

    Thank you for any info!

    • Hi, I think it says above that if you apply to another magnet and get it you can get booted out of the magnet you are currently in. Does anyone know if that applies to affiliated charters as well? That you get booted out of the magnet school if you get into the affiliated charter? Sorry asking again since no one answered.

  8. Any recommendations for schools to apply to 8th grade, hoping to be rejected? As much as playing that game is annoying, I see no alternative. Is Nobel a school unlikely to have many 8th grade spots open?

    • Unlikely but be aware if you apply you could get in. They’ll rank all the students by points, and then within each point total, they’ll randomly assign the kids. If you have 16 or more points, it’s more likely. If you have 8 or fewer, it would be a safer bet.

  9. Please.Help.me!

    My son is 9 years old- he is currently in a magnet school in Encino ( he is in 4th grade and the school goes up to 5th so he will stay put for another year) This has been an adjustment thus far- he left a private school – and everything is so different the math is like Chinese for him! This is common core I guess? Now to add more (much more to the story) my son has ADHD- and the level of frustration and lack of motivation, social skills, is so stressful. I am in the process of getting him on IEP and requested this. I hope this will help him. He is pretty smart and grades well but math is doing him in- just too many steps and his poor ADHD Mind is losing it 😦 I am going to take him to Regional Center for autism testing- he has major perservernace (repetition) issues, high sensory,simming- chews on nails and fingers) He may be high functioning.

    He has shown passion for technology/maybe arts too etc. I am so overwhelmed on what is the best fit for him come middle school. Do I go for a performing arts )millikan? How do I know what the best fit is for him? I heard about the Academy within PORTOLO ( smaller classes and includes special education?)Is this a good option to pursue? This seemed appropriate.

    I am so stuck I have no clue at times how I Can help him- I hope the IEP process comes through for him – he is so overwhelmed and needs some 1:1 help. things just move way too fast- he has issues with handwriting for long period of times and no one can read his writing.

  10. Hi magnet angels,
    I had a couple questions;
    1) if I get accepted, how long do I have before I have to decide if I want my child to attend
    2) can I apply to Balboa magnet just to accumulate points? Will they care if my child isn’t gifted, if they don’t call her

    Thanks

    • You will have a few days to make the decision. Two weeks top. You will need to be eligible to apply for Balboa so choose a different option.

  11. Hi my daughter is in a dual immersion LAUSD school in 2nd grade. I want to start collecting points and am wondering what the hardest elementary magnet to get into is. I realize we might get in and not get any points but thats just part of this game I guess. Also when getting her application for a magnet do they use the school we are zoned for to determine our points or where she is attending. I ask because we got into community for elementary due to the fact that our home school is not good. Thanks!

  12. Hi! We opened lausd accounts for both my husband and me. My husband put in a magnet application for my daughter last academic year when she was in 2nd grade. I just checked both accounts this fall and noticed that only my husband’s account lists her as having applied to Community and gotten rejected. Is this normal? Why doesn’t that show up in my account as well? I’m worried that if I apply on her behalf this year, any points we earn won’t be added to her points that show up in her father’s account. If this is an error on LAUSD’s part, whom do I contact to get it fixed so the rejection/points show up in both accounts? Thanks!!!

    • I would call the magnet office. In the entire time I used the online application we only had one account. I can’t imagine them wanting two applications for a student. You may need to continue to apply with your husband’s account, but please contact the magnet office to double check.

      • In case this is helpful for others: I called the magnet office and they said this is normal–the past application only shows up in the account from which the parent applied. However, they said that I can apply from my own account his year and the points will accumulate regardless–the points follow the student, and it doesn’t matter from which account you apply. However, since I’m paranoid, we’ll keep on applying through my husband’s account.

        • Thanks for following up. For the record, that’s why we stuck with one account and I managed it the years my daughter was still in school.

          • I’m a divorced parent and I was managing the parent portal for our son throughout his elementary school years.
            I had accumulated the max magnet points for him. Last year, after discussing it with his Dad, I applied for the magnet middle school that our son wanted to attend this year (only, no second or third choices). After we discussed it, his Dad set up his own portal and applied for a different middle school. Later I discovered the application that I had put in virtually disappeared and only the application his Dad had submitted was processed thereby taking all of the magnet points that I had accumulated over those years and leaving us with little choice but to send our son to a middle school that only his Dad wanted. (Unfortunately his home middle school wasn’t really an option). I learned my lesson…. keep checking the site for the status of your application! Anyhow, hence my earlier post about applying for a different middle school for next year.

          • Custody situations are pretty much outside what we can provide advice on. Please contact the magnet office and consult your divorce attorney for help trying to figure out who should be applying and who gets final say on which school. We’d all hope that by middle school your son could be a major part of that decision, but with 3 people involved, we know it will be difficult.

  13. Hello,
    There is a new magnet school opening in Sun Valley. It is a Center for Enriched Studies (ie LACES, SOCES). It serves grades 6 through 12. Website is http://www.vocesmagnet.org/
    You do need to apply through eChoices application. The priority application deadline ends 11/15/19 but you can still apply after that date and if there are spaces left you may still get a spot.

    • It is a brand new magnet, so many families will want to wait to see how the school works out, what the test scores are, and what courses are available. It will be difficult to tour a school with no classes in session and no teachers in classrooms yet. In a year or two, this might be a solid option, but for now it is very difficult to recommend a school without knowing the leadership team, the staff, and truly how many students it will attract. Schools that have opened in the past promise fantastic opportunities but if attendance isn’t high enough, many of the promised programs won’t materialize.

      We will definitely keep an eye out.

  14. Hi! A question about changing magnet middle schools. My son is attending a magnet middle school for this year 2019-2020. He is in sixth grade. When he was accepted there, his magnet points were used up. So we are starting at zero points this year. He’d like to attend a different magnet school for 2020-2021 because most of his friends are going there. If I apply for the new magnet school for 7th grade, and he’s accepted, what happens? Will he be given the choice to stay where he is for the 7th grade or accept the spot for the new magnet school? Or will he automatically be transferred to the new middle school for 7th grade and immediately lose his spot at his old magnet school? Hope this makes sense. Thanks for your help!

    • When a magnet student applies to a new magnet during the middle years of a magnet (not at the end of the magnet to go to the next school level), it is assumed you are interested in that magnet. If your student is accepted, he will be enrolled at the new magnet and removed from the previous magnet for the next school year (not in March when the acceptances go out). Keep in mind, that with very few points, and fewer openings it’s not likely your student will get in via that channel. If you are interested in moving your child, you may want to reach out to the new magnet now and see about moving him at the semester break as they may have openings for 7th grade then.

  15. When going to middle school, do the PHBAO points come from your assigned middle school or elementary (I am assuming the first but want to make sure).
    My daughter is graduating 5th grade from Balboa Magnet and I I only put ONE option down for magnet since we really want to get into that school (Nobel) but EVERYBODY seems to have done that!!!
    Saying I am worried is an understatement. Hope we get PHBAO points this year. Is there any way to check???
    Thank you!

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