92 thoughts on “Glendale


    There’s a gem of an elementary school in Glendale–Ben Franklin Elementary. Total enrollment is only 350. They have language immersion programs in German, Spanish, and Italian.

    The teachers employ the icons of depth and complexity and thinking maps when creating and teaching lessons school-wide. These concepts are used for gifted students in the district, but for all students at Franklin. Sure it’s a Title One school with about 75% on free or reduced lunches, but it’s better than a lot of private schools out there.

    Additionally, out of district permits are welcome!

    My son will be entering kindergarten there next year. We’re so excited. What a find, I tell ya!

    Caroline Halili

  2. My twin girls just started Spanish Immersion Kinder this fall, so I don’t know the school well yet, but the first impressions are great. The Spanish Immersion teachers (there are 2, plus 2 German and 1 Italian as well as other elementary schools in Glendale that offer Spanish, Korean and Armenian) are so sweet to the kids. One of my girls is doing great, and the other is struggling, but the teachers are so sweet and communicative about our kids that I feel very confidant in the process. The admin is also really open and the Principal is such a friendly guy and visible to all the kids each morning – it helps us feel connected, as we were permited in at the last minute. (They are open to folks from out of district permiting in, FYI)

  3. my son is in Spanish kinder and has really taken to it! The principal is very friendly and focused on the betterment of the school. And the most amazing aspect of the Dual Language program – are the parents! I have never seen this level of parent involvement, from volunteering, to creating a fund raising team, creating a Green Team (planting a garden), bringing the STAR after school program to the kids. It’s pretty spectacular.

  4. I understand that there are two schools in Glendale offering Spanish Immersion – Ben Franklin and Thomas Edison. Are their teaching approaches different? What are their core differences? As small and appealing as Franklin is, I’ve heard that they will double in size over the next few years and kids are in trailers (not that trailers are necessarily insufficient.) How to choose between the two?

    • Ben Franklin is a much smaller school. The teaching approaches are identical. I’m not sure if Edison employs the thinking graphs as part of the “best practices,” but they’ve definitely got teaching Spanish immersion down. Edison has had the program longer with 6th graders graduating from the immersion program in June.

      However, from my understanding, Edison does not have a PTA nor any other parent group (i.e. PTO, Booster Club). Parent involvement is key. Ben Franklin has a lot of it—and a very talented group of parents I might add.

  5. Hello
    I am interested in the Edison immersion program. Question, I live in LAUSD and was casually informed (by my son’s preschool program) that LAUSD is not granting out of district permits. Does anyone have reliable info and/or personal tips tpo share?
    Maria Elena

    • Hi Maria Elena. There is an appeal process and a group of frustrated parents sharing their horror stories on Facebook. It’s located here: http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=413285633272

      You can ask for advice from them, but they don’t seem to be having that much luck either. The new forms/process for 2011-12 have not been finalized, so there’s no final word on what it will take. Some families have appealed all the way to the County Board of Education, and even those get turned down. Good luck.

  6. High Tech High—is it suitable for gifted/highly gifted children? I looked at their website—no Honors or AP classes are offered. Is this correct? Any input will be appreciated

    • Are you referring to HTH in Van Nuys? I’ll try to get someone to post about their experience there.

      It seems to explain pretty clearly in their FAQ that they do offer honors contracts for their students (dual rostered students–honors students in a class doing a more in-depth project in order to be designated an honors course). They also spell out their philosophy on AP, and encourage students to take the actual courses at a community college.


  7. Sent to me this week:

    I would like to pass the information that a French Immersion Program is starting this coming fall 2012 at B. Franklin Magnet School in the Glendale Unified School District. It will be the 1st French Immersion Program in Los Angeles!

    The location of this program will be at Franklin Elementary School in Glendale, CA.
    Franklin Magnet School
    1610 Lake Street
    Glendale, CA 91201‎
    School Office Phone: 818-243-1809
    Contact Ana Jones for tour information. Ajones@gusd.net or call 818-243-1809

    They will begin with one class of French Kindergarten with 31 new students.
    To enter in this Kindergarten program your child must be 5 years old by November 1, 2012. However, if your child was born between November 1st and December 2nd you may still apply (read the fine print on the back of the application on GUSD website). You don’t need to leave in the District!
    If your child is a French native speaker or relatively fluent in the language you will have a priority in the enrollment . Your child will have to pass an oral language test (Stanford FLOSEM) at the school in order to evaluate his/her level.

    The application for enrollment will be available online next week and it will be announced as soon as it becomes available on the GUSD Website at http://www.gusdelementarymagnet.org. The deadline to submit your application is January 27, 2012, at 4:30pm. Application submittal does not guarantee enrollment. A lottery will be held on February 9, 2012 to select the 31 students.

    A school tour is required in order to complete your application. To schedule a tour at Franklin Magnet School please contact Ana Jones, the teacher specialist. After the tour you’ll be given a TOUR VERIFICATION SLIP, attach it to the printed copy you made of the application you filled out online and mail it to the Magnet office address listed on the application. Make sure you keep a copy for yourself

    If you have any question please contact us at frenchip@sbcglobal.net

  8. Wondering if you’ve heard that Franklin in Glendale is *trying* to cease the German program? Citing (erroneous) lack of support, lack of interest and an inability to find credentialed teachers. All false! There will be a packed meeting at Franklin on Tuesday, December 20th at 5pm and I would encourage anyone who is considering ANY language immersion program in Glendale Unified to attend. If they’re willing to scrap a highly successful immersion program at the drop of a hat, they can do it again. A threat to one is a threat to all.

  9. I just wanted to come here to share how *disappointed* I am that my girls are unlikely to attend any of the GUSD Kindergarten magnet programs I applied to on their behalf. Keppel VAPA was my first choice and during the tour of the school I fell in love. I also “drank the kool-aid” served up by the other touring parents who’d heard that GUSD was able to offer a spot last year to everyone who applied to Keppel (which means they made it all the way through a list that was 45-50 families long). No such luck this year as the waiting list is approx 125 (and I’m in the 90s!).

    The GUSD magnet office tells me I have an outside shot at the Edison Technology Magnet, which I’d gladly take if offered, but they’ll have to make it a looooong way down that list too!

    I’ll be re-applying next year despite the longer odds in an advanced elementary grade and in the meantime envying those of you whose children will be able to participate in these amazing programs! 😉

  10. May I suggest you research the Sapnish immersion dual language program at Aldama Elementary School in Highland Park.. You may still have time. read about it.

  11. HELP. Looking for Advise – Regarding picking a Kindergarten.
    We applied to numerous Charters & some privates & didn’t get in – so in a panic I started applying to all the open enrollments & SAS schools I could find (not that my kid is amazingly advanced in reading or math – but I’m reaching). My dream school would be a progressive immersion school with great arts, sports, & environmental awareness – but alas I am lucky to have a school at this point. We live in Hollywood Hills & just got accepted to 3 public school each min. 30 minutes drive from our house (ouch). Each has pros:
    1. Glendale – Muir – Spanish Immersion (we can get the LAUSD permit) – pro: Spanish Immersion, con – I have no idea how the families are involved & if they are going to work together to really get kids what they need with the cutbacks. I like the idea of language immersion & fear I only have 1 chance to start in Kindergarten
    2. LAUSD – Roscomare. Seems like it has GREAT Parent involvement. But a friend mentioned that MORE cutbacks are looming & class sizes may be even greater in size etc. I think? it is pretty academic & I wonder how they cater to different children’s learning styles.
    3. LAUSD – Mount Washington Elementary – seems like it has good arts

    I may hear from other open enrollements I applied to next week… but these places want a commitment asap.

    Our Details
    1)Son born 11/15/06: high energy, loves music & dancing, has great anxiety about being separated from mom, loves to learn in a fun environment
    2) seeking Kindergarten
    3) in LAUSD our local school is Cheremoya

  12. Has anyone tried the language programs from Burbank? Was it easy to get in and was inter-district permit an issue? My kids are still young but I am sure it won’t be long before we need to decide whether we need to move to Glendale just for the schools. Thanks!

  13. Anyone have any advice if I need to choose between Muir and Edison? Muir is my home school so I’ll probably get in. I also like Edison because they also have technology magnet. I’m also wondering about diversity (my daughter is African-American) and parent involvement.

  14. Does Glendale allow for enrollment with parent work permit? I work in Glendale and I would like to enroll my daughter in kindergarten in the fall. My home school is not good (LAUSD) and according to the GUSD website, Columbus would be the school based on my work address. That said, I would love to get her involved in an language immersion school. Any advice?

    • Shawna, are you asking about magnet school? They usually just said if your child is on the top, middle or bottom third. You can ask magnet coordinator about your child’s status. They need to maintain the magnet ethnic balance (70:30 or 60:40), so the wait list is not based on the points alone.

      • I believe it’s the language balance (the balance of native speakers to English only) not an ethnic balance.

    • I’m assuming you’re referring to the Glendale schools, but couldn’t you just call or go in? I’ve never known it to be a secret, so long as you don’t show up within 5 minutes of school starting or ending and they’re completely shorthanded.

    • Hi Shawna, I’m going through the same thing right now. I received a email on 2-22-13 that my daughter was placed on the waiting list. I’m so disappointed. I contacted the person in charge of the magnet and she told me to be patient and that parents for the GUSD have until 3-1-13 to accept or decline. After March 1st I will call to see what number she is on the wait list but i was told by another parent, that GUSD has a new policy that will not tell you that info. If you are a GUSD parent and find out anything, please share. Thank you.

  15. Thanks so much for the info. Although, I’m a bit surprised about the ethnic makeup percentages. During my tour I asked about just that and our guide was noticeably put-off by the question. The classes seemed to be primarily Caucasian, as well.

  16. My daughter is in the FLAG program and I have heard the same thing. GUSD is no longer telling parents on the wait list what number they are, just that they’re on the list :/

  17. Hi Mary,
    I spoke with someone from the GUSD office,
    they do not give you a specific number. Instead you’re given a tier: top, middle and bottom tier. Also, while the majority of decisions will be made by 3/1/13…the hard deadline is sometime in November.

  18. Hi everyone – I’m jumping in on this conversation in case I can share information or learn something new along the way. This is our second year trying to get my twins into either Keppel or Edison (both tech and immersion programs). Last year (when my girls were K) I was wait-listed on all three programs (in the 90s on Keppel, in the 50s on Edison’s tech program and in the 30s on the immersion program I applied to for which the wait list never moves, apparently). Note that we were a Burbank family at the time looking to permit out – I actually posted in April last year about our experience.

    This year, we actually moved into a townhouse within 1/2 a mile of Keppel – it was time to find a bigger place anyway, but we chose our location in part to try and get top (other than siblings) priority in the lottery for 1st grade at Keppel (our first choice). Once again, we got wait-listed for all three schools, and I’m told my numbers “aren’t that good.” I am crushed. I’ve spent two years touring the programs, talking with parents, following the schools through social media and being green with envy. I can’t find a private school that replicates what the magnet and immersion schools offer. Just *what* does it take to get into these schools? It’s so frustrating to not get access to *any* of the programs I apply for even as a GUSD resident.

    • Just updating this comment – we finally got into Edison’s Spanish Immersion program at the end of June this year. We got lucky – the two families above us on the waitlist declined offers and paved the road for us to get in. It’s an adventure when your kids speak about 30 words of Spanish and they’re at least one year behind everyone else in the class due to their start in first grade, but the administrators tell me they’ll be fine and will catch up. Fingers crossed, it’s been a bumpy start, but we’re working hard to make it happen.

      My message to parents out there still trying to get into magnets – keep trying – your perseverance may just pay off!

  19. This is really kind of disappointing. We’d been considering paying quite a bit more to live inside GUSD specifically so that our child could have to opportunity to truly learn Spanish. Both of us are native English speakers who despite several years of high school and college level Spanish still can’t really hold an in depth conversation.

    California is a bi-lingual state, and being competitive in a lot of fields simply requires that you be bi-lingual.

    It’s hard to see going through that if we’re just going to wind up wait-listed year after year.

  20. I’m in love with Franklin’s Immersion program, but I’m in LAUSD. Does Franklin count as a magnet on the LAUSD echoices application, or is it considered outside of the realm? And it sort of throws a wrench into the points strategy if they don’t use the same points calculations as LAUSD, but then your points don’t apply to your LAUSD 2nd and 3rd choices. The inter-district thing gets confusing to me. If anyone can shed some light, please feel free!

    • We’ve had a few people who are in the Franklin program post here, but it’s been a little while. LAUSD is not allowing students to leave its borders when similar programs are within the LAUSD realm, and there are several dual immersions and more popping up. Unless you work in Glendale, you will not likely have a chance at that. I’m not sure if you’ve posted to the Facebook interdistrict group, but they know more about the interdistrict permits, the appeals process with the county and things like that.

      Bottom line Glendale is not part of LAUSD so there are no points issues with LAUSD.

      As we’ve posted here previously do NOT choose 2nd or 3rd choices on the echoices application unless you are equally enamored with 1, 2, and 3, because you will end up possibly being accepted, and you are removed from the waitlist of the #1 choice.

      • @apixeldiva – I’m not at Franklin, but my daughters do attend Edison, another Spanish immersion magnet in GUSD. MagnetAngel is correct; attempts to enter the lottery of another district do not impact points or anything else involving your attempts to get into another LAUSD school.

        We got into Edison’s Spanish FLAG and tech magnet after being waitlisted six (!) times at four different GUSD schools (*finally* got the call we’d been waiting for at the end of June). Since we did not permit out of LAUSD, the process may have been easier for us. I wonder if the permitting process is easier if you’re in one of the Program Improvement schools under No Child Left Behind? Might be worth looking into the Spanish immersion programs at LAUSD too. All things being equal, I’d consider attending one that’s had the program the longest – experience makes a difference. Good luck, I know how frustrating it can be when you want a school and you feel like you’re on the outside looking in.

      • Hello! I know this is an older thread, but I’m wondering if you can shed some light on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd choice part of the lottery. Are you saying that if our 1st choice is truly Franklin, we should not list Edison as 2nd, because that may affect our chances of getting into Franklin? We are Spanish-speaking Glendale residents, just toured Franklin (have yet to tour Edison), and the woman who ran the tour (I arrived a bit late, so missed her name) mentioned during her presentation that some parents choose Edison over Franklin because they think their chances are better at getting into Edison, as they have more spots — it sounded like she was saying some parents choose to put their second choice first, because the odds are better — I’m confused! Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

  21. Thanks for the speedy reply! LA doesn’t really have any french immersion programs in San Fernando Valley. I do know of a friend from Sherman Oaks making it into the program, but I’ll have to track her down for details, but I’m so relieved to know it doesn’t mingle with my LAUSD magnet choices. I do know one thing about Franklin: if your kid is fluent in any language (other than Spanish) they are almost guaranteed to get in. They don’t have enough native speakers for German, French and Italian. I’ll update if I find out more! Thanks.

    • We had a chance to apply for kindergarten class at Verdugo Woodland Hills Elementary School in Glendale (Japanese language Immersion) 3 years ago. FLAG coordinator at the school told us that we should not have any problem in getting interdistrict permit from LAUSD because LAUSD do not offer Japanese immersion class. I also know someone who got an interdistrict permit to apply at El Marino School (dual language school in Culver City). I think it depends on the program you apply for.

      Here is the list of LAUSD dual ilanguage program directory:

      Click to access 2013-2014%20DLP%20DIRECTORY%20WITH%20ESC.PDF

  22. I hope this is not a “stupid” question. :). Would being fluent in, say, Chinese or Polish, improve the odds of getting into, say, the French immersion program at any of the FLAG schools? Thanks!

  23. Not stupid. But NOPE, it won’t help. The parent being fluent doesn’t even have any sway. I’m completely fluent and it doesn’t help my kid a bit. He’s got to be fluent – all or nothing. I don’t know at age 4 how fluent they are expected to be, but it’s all about having speakers of THAT specific language in the classroom I guess to encourage the other kids to speak and to maybe take some of the pressure off the teacher, instead of starting 100% from scratch with all English speakers.

    And thanks to the lady who posted the link to all the immersion programs!

  24. Hi Sara – @apixeldiva is correct – unless your child has fluency in the specific target language of the immersion program, there’s no impact on admission. Now, if your child is fluent in a target language, it would help – especially if the language is not Spanish.

    • Thanks ladies for the reply! Very helpful.
      I’m most interested in the French program. Does anyone know if it’s a popular program and what’s the chance of getting in without being fluent? Thanks!

  25. Unfortunately (I like that program too) I’ve heard the chances aren’t great. According to a friend whose child is in the french program, they had either 80 or 120 (I can’t remember, the numbers seemed equally bad to me, so I can’t remember) people on the waiting list. Her husband’s french and she speaks french, so he tested in. I speak french, but my husband doesn’t. And my kid understands french, but answers in English which is concerning to me. Spanish is the most popular, French is the second. I don’t think German and Italian are very booked up.

  26. We just toured Edison- it’s clear they have strong principal and teacher alignment and they have a great campus. My understanding is that they, like many gentrifying schools, are working to try to replace Title 1 fund reductions with traditional fundraising as a consequence of having fewer children in need. The primary driver for us for a school is strong leadership to help a school ride out the inevitable CA public school funding challenges, followed by strong or innovative programs, and engaged parents. We are renting in LAUSD and put Edison first on our GUSD FLAG application. Our daughter is bi-lingual Spanish. We will see if she actually is willing to speak Spanish to a stranger during the proficiency exam, though. We are shooting for either Edison or El Marino in Culver City and will tour Aldama to learn more as well- Grand View is too far away for us and it appears that it’s almost impossible to get into Spanish immersion in Santa Monica. I would sign up for Mandarin at Broadway but we can barely get out of the house in the morning with two kids and need to work in a language at least one parent understands. Best of luck to all!

  27. Our home school is Edison. I think this means we automatically get into Edison the school but do we have to apply separately for the Spanish Immersion program? Also I don’t understand how the ratio’s work. Is our son’s chance for getting into the Edison Spanish immersion program better if he tests proficient in Spanish or if he doesn’t? Thank you ahead of time for any information you could share with me.

  28. Hi Nancy – my daughters attend Edison. You have to apply to attend Edison, though you do get a preference in the lottery if you live within 1/2 a mile of the school for which you’re applying. Attendance is not automatic in either the Spanish FLAG or the Technology Magnet. The ideal ratio in the classroom is 50% of students with fluency in English and target language being Spanish and 50% fluent in Spanish with target language as English, but the ratios vary from classroom to classroom and year to year. You’ll get little information from the magnet folks that tips their hand as to a particular advantage in applying, but you will have to demonstrate a minimum level of proficiency if your son applies for entry after 1st grade – the school district will test his passive and active speech, and possibly his reading and writing as well. I recommend that if you’re interested in the Spanish FLAG program, you apply for Edison *and* Franklin & Muir (the other two elementary schools in Glendale with Spanish FLAG.) Good luck!

  29. Hi, all, does anyone have experience entering GUSD’s FLAG program at 2nd grade? Assuming the kid can pass the exam, is the chance of getting in high?

  30. Hi Michele – we entered the FLAG Program in the 1st grade. Your chances of getting into the FLAG depend on which language you’re applying for, whether you’ve applied to more than one school and what your lottery position is on the lists. The folks at GUSD who manage the program are very helpful about providing more specific information as long as you don’t try calling or emailing during peak workload times.

  31. I’d love to know that answer for 1st grade @Michele. We are moving from New Orleans where our son is in a french immersion program in kindergarten and we want to continue at Franklin but are on the waiting list.

    • Keri, so I did reach out to GUSD as suggested by Trina. Basically for 1st grade and up, there would also be lotteries, however, it depends on whether there is any opening and if yes, how many. # of openings depend on factors such as attrition, families moving away, etc. So the # of slots is not set as it’s for K. They the same rules would apply to lotteries, whether the kid is fluent in the target language, where you live, etc. But overall, I felt it’s a waiting game…

      • The lottery was yesterday for all of Glendale. They will tell you if you are in or on the waiting list. They will also tell you if you are in the top 5, 10, 15, etc. on the waiting list.

        • As far as I was told, yesterday’s was for K only at elementary level. If you’d like to enter at a later grade (1st and above), they don’t have a set date for a lottery, and that’s if there is any. Is there difference for what I was told? Was yesterday’s lottery cover 1st grade and up too?

          • Thanks @michele. I did call after the lottery and we were in the top 20 of the wait list for 1st grade at Franklin. Anna Jones at Franklin said our chances of getting in were basically 0%. It’s very disappointing as we were so excited about this school. She said they were even surprised by how many applicants for older grades they had. Does ANYONE know of any other French immersion programs on the horizon?

  32. @keri. Question – so the lottery was for all grades? Not just K? All higher grades (1 and above) were included in the lottery? Did they tell you how many spots are available for grade 1?
    On another note, I’ve got a friend who was waitlisted for GUSD’s Korean immersion program. They weren’t even in the top 20. She said the numbers were really bad. But they got a call literally one week before school started in August… So I know the chance is pretty low, but there is probably some glimmer of hope there. 🙂 Fingers crossed for you!

  33. Does anybody have current information as to the likelihood of LAUSD granting permits for the FLAG Spanish programs in Glendale? My two girls were just accepted into John Muir, and my husband works in Glendale two miles from the school. I noticed several people mentioning working in Glendale as a factor that would influence LAUSD, does anyone know how that works?
    Our nearest Spanish immersion program is 20 minutes away, and is only 70/30 (FLAG is 90/10).
    I read the previous posts on this subject, and there was nothing current, and the facebook page someone suggested about obtaining LAUSD permits is no longer there.
    I’d appreciate any information or advice!

    • If it’s for work, you probably will have less of an issue. In terms of similar programs, that won’t work because they have suggested programs 1+ hours away. The FB group that is very active on interdistrict stuff is here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/413285633272/

      Generally, there is some commentary here, but I’d post there for people who’ve gone through that entire process.

  34. Hi Julia – you should include alternative magnet choices if you’re willing to accept them. Here’s what the GUSD administrative regulation says:

    * The parent/legal guardian may designate a first, second, third, or fourth choice. Once an application is submitted, no changes may be made on the application. Processing of an application will begin with first choice. If a child is accepted at the first choice school, the placement will automatically be made and no call will be made to the parent. A letter of acceptance (approval) will be sent to the parent. After all applications have been processed based on the first choice, if there is still space available in any of the magnet programs, then second, third, and fourth choices will be considered. If there is no space at the first choice school, and the second, third, or fourth choice can be offered, the District will attempt to contact the parent by phone. When called, the parent will be given the opportunity to accept
    the second, third, or fourth choice or be placed on the waiting list for the first
    choice school. A child may not be on the waiting list of the first choice school
    while enrolled at their second or third choice school. Parents must choose to place
    their child in the second, third, or fourth choice school or be placed in the waiting
    list for the first choice school. If the parent cannot be reached, the child will be
    placed on the waiting list for the first choice school. If no choice can be offered,
    the child’s name will be placed in the waiting list for the first choice. *

  35. Hi Everyone! I’m new to this blog. My name is Kiara St. Cyr and my son is a Kindergartener at Thomas Edison Elementary in Glendale. I’ve been desperately trying to find after school care for my son since the beginning of the year with no avail. I’m number 80 on the school’s after program list and it hasn’t moved much. I need to return to work, but the lack of after school programs in Glendale is causing some trouble with that. I would be extremely grateful for any information anyone has about programs. Thank you so much for your time!

  36. Hi Kiara – have you taken a look at both after school programs at Edison? There’s ASES, and there’s EEELP. I’d be a bit surprised if there’s no room in EEELP. ASES is always filled, and it sounds like you probably won’t get in this year. Be sure you hit the deadlines for applying to ASES this spring and there will be a good chance you’ll get in next year as there will be lottery positions available. If there’s no room in EEELP, look for the Friends of Thomas Edison Elementary Facebook page and post your dilemma there – someone may be able to recommend a caregiver. My 4th graders are also at Edison and we’ve used EEELP and ASES for care. Good luck!

  37. Hello, I know the GUSD FLAG programs are becoming increasingly more popular and competitive each year. Does anyone have any insight if there is even a chance of someone from LAUSD getting in? I know it’s a lottery, but do we even stand a chance considering we come after Glendale parents? We are really hoping to get into Franklin Spanish.

  38. Hi Ann – I hadn’t heard that the FLAG programs have received significantly more applications lately than they had previously, but yes, students from outside the GUSD district are accepted every year (I am outside the district and I have two kids in the program). You may want to be flexible regarding your site as there are 3 Spanish programs and, to increase your chances of getting in, you should apply to all three programs with Franklin as your #1 choice. You could always accept a spot at one of these three in K and try transferring during the lottery process the next year. Good luck!

  39. If anyone is interested in French Immersion but can’t get into Franklin, Pasadena Unified is working on starting a French Immersion program for 2017-2018. Out-of-district applications are welcome, and the District can be contacted for more details. Hopefully we will have more options like Franklin since there’s so much interest (apparently ISLA Immersion charter has had trouble finding space in Glendale and may not start next year).

  40. Hi — wondering if anyone can offer insight into the Franklin waiting list. The lottery was today and our daughter is apparently in the top 5 on the waiting list for the fluent spots in the Spanish kinder class. Has anyone here gotten in off the waiting list during these 5 days they give to make a decision? Also, if we chose to keep her on the waiting list and she didn’t get in for kinder, would she have the same spot on the waiting list for first grade? TIA for any insight!

  41. Hi Julia — 1) you’re probably in good shape in the top 5 on Franklin’s list to get in, though they can call you at any time between now and the end of November to take a spot. We got into Edison in 1st grade, which is more difficult, and we weren’t in the top 5 (and I have two kids in the same grade). 2) not sure what you mean by the five days – GUSD will give you 5 days to decide to accept enrollment after they contact you, but that doesn’t mean they offer all spots within the same 5 days. It’s rolling enrollment as spots become available (we got a call from Edison in July; the next year, we got a call from Keppel in September). 3) no, GUSD won’t hold the spot for you. If you want it, you’ve gotta take it, because K is the easiest entry point. Good luck!

  42. Hi Trina — thanks for your reply! The context to my question is that we got into Edison, and I am worried about giving up the spot there for the possibility that a spot will open up at Franklin eventually. The director of the Franklin program said some people may decline their spots there in the next 5 days, during the time we have to decide whether to accept or decline Edison.

    How has your experience been at Edison? I have a positive impression of the program but prefer the smaller size of Franklin. Any insights you have would be appreciated!

    • Hi Julia – I understand why you’d want a smaller program/school – Edison is huge; around 920 students. I personally would take the spot at Edison and see how you like it. You can always apply to Franklin the following year, but the important thing is to get into the dual immersion experience as soon as possible.

      • If you accept a spot at Muir or Edison, you can still apply to Franklin the next year? How does this work? In the second year do you have to apply to both schools in the lottery and won’t you most likely get accepted in the school you have already been attending?

  43. I am in the same boat. My son got accepted for K at Edison and was on the waiting list for Mark Keppel. We had to make a decision within 5 days so I accepted not reading the full disclosure that once you accept you get bumped out of any other waiting list. Now I don’t know what to do. Should I send my son to Edison in hopes of reentering the lottery for 1st grade at Keppel and have better chances or should I decline Edison and see if we get called from Keppel in the summer? Any advice is welcomed. Thank you!

  44. Lulu, are you in the dual program or the tech magnet at Edison? What is your motivation for sending your son to Keppel? All three are very different programs and it just depends on where you think your son will thrive best.

    • Hi Trina,

      We are not doing the dual program. He is in the English classes. We really like the arts program at Keppel (my neice went to that school and we got to experience first hand many of the events and met teachers) We also have a daughter with special needs although she is only 16 months before we know it she will start kindergarten too and from what we hear Keppel has a really strong No bullying program and are great with children with special needs. So the idea is that my son goes to a school that is well diversified and will be the school my daughter attends too.

      I dont know much about Edison. It was my 3rd choice and got accepted. Its important to know how they do with special needs children.

      • Lulu – if what you want is Keppel, I don’t see an advantage to enrolling in the “English only” side of Edison. Yes, Edison is diverse, but many schools in the area are too. Keppel has a very special visual and performing arts program and if that’s what you want, that’s what you should hold out for. My advice would be to enroll in your assigned school and try again next year, if you don’t get in this year by November 30, for Keppel.

  45. Hi everyone. My son just got a spot in the Italian kinder class at Ben Franklin (yay!!!). We live in Sherman Oaks so we need a release from LAUSD and an inter-district permit from GUSD. I’m looking everything up but was wondering if anyone can also help point me in the right direction on how best to go about this.

    Thanks in advance!

  46. Of February 23rd, Pasadena Unified School District received board approval for Kindergarten and 1st grade for 2017-2018. They are advertising for French teachers, a bilingual TOSA (Teacher On Special Assignment) who will teach English in 2017-2018, and who will be retained in later years as a program director. They are also in the process of organizing a French summer camp through Pasadena Educational Foundation, as well as Amity Interns. The program will be located at Altadena Elementary in the San Gabriel Foothills which is having a Grand Opening in April after completing years of renovations (that campus is gorgeous). They also hired in September a new, remarkably experienced principal who led the Mandarin Dual Immersion program at Fields in Pasadena when it first started.

    Altadena will accept children who are non-fluents in French in 1st grade, as well as Kindergarten only in 2017-2018. For more information, check out


    Note that the linked flyer for the French program is out-of-date as 2nd grade is no longer offered, and the new deadline for in-district enrollments ends on March 17th.

    Out-of-district applicants are welcome to submit an Intent-to-Enroll form that can be obtained by emailing one of the parent leaders (kerry@paxla.com). The intent to enroll form can be submitted via email.

    Good luck!

  47. Is it possible to transfer from Muir to Franklin in 1st grade if you are on a permit? Our DS is in the K dual immersion at Muir but Franklin is so much closer to us. Do we have to do the lottery process this coming November? If we are waitlisted for Ben Franklin do we risk our spot at Muir?

    Thanks for any advice.

      • My personal experience is with a transfer that we ultimately didn’t take. My girls are currently enrolled at Edison (5th grade) and we’re there on a permit. I was unsure whether Edison was right for them during their first year (1st grade), so we signed up for the lottery for the year they entered 2nd grade. In September, we were offered a spot at Keppel. That spot would not have been available to us if we hadn’t registered for the lottery and were reachable on the list. So I’m thinking that no, you can’t transfer to a magnet program for which you’re not on an eligible list. I strongly recommend that you call the GUSD FLAG programs and verify this for yourselves as the rules may have changed within the last few years and the opportunity to transfer may depend on factors specific to an individual family.

        • Trina,

          Are you happy with the decision you made? How is Edison working out? It’s our 1st year at Edison but my 1st choice was Keppel so Im a little on the fence. I decided to try it out for year. So far, a few of the parents I have spoken to are very happy with the staff and school.

          • Edison is working out well for my daughters. It’s funny, your story is pretty much like mine – I got involved with the GUSD magnets because my first choice was Keppel and wound up at Edison because that was the first spot available. Truth be told, I thought that Keppel was best for one of my girls (I have twins) because she’s artistic, while my other daughter is more verbal and languages might be a better fit. I told my daughters that I was transferring them to Keppel after they’d been in 2nd grade for a month and I was surprised at their reaction – they were heartbroken. Tears for days. I spoke with their teacher, who agreed to work with them to address a few deficits they had in Spanish. So while the Keppel principal made a very persuasive case for me transferring the girls (she’s since left the school), I decided to leave them at Edison because that’s where they wanted to be. It’s hard making the decision for a young child, because while they don’t have the perspective you do as an adult, you want them to be happy. I think they would have done well at either school, so it really depends on 1) your child’s talents, 2) your child’s interests, and 3) what *you* believe to be the better opportunity – developing the arts and performing side of your child’s brain, or developing their ability to read, write, understand and speak Spanish.

          • From Dani: Hi Lulu.
            I spent 7 years at Edison with two girls, when they were the only program in Glendale, and I was on the Flag Subcommittee.
            Kelly King who spearheads the Immersion programs and the Flag program at the district level was the principal there for 3 years before she went into administration, so she has emotional investment in this campus, and I think it shows.

            The team at Edison in the office are all pretty close. (As in they all like and each other and work well together with the teachers). For this reason, I think you are in good hands.

            Public School can be a shock at any level for a new parent. But I feel the social communities at Edison are pretty good, and the parents are engaged.

            For me the positives were/are:

            Bilingual Education is a conscious choice, so families are more engaged.
            Most of those teachers have been at the school for 4-5 years minimum, so they have experience with Dual Immersion. Since it was the first school to have it in the district.
            My children made friends with kids from many different cultures, and some of them lived right next to school, so if I couldn’t pick up the girls, they could walk to a friends house and do homework, or they would do homework in the library.
            The Edison campus is only about 10-15 years old, so the facilities are very nice. The Principal scored a technology grant a few years back, and upgraded with computers and smart boards, and a lot of modern educational innovations! I hope that all still works!
            There is a public library on campus — not just an elementary school library– and the school is connected to a Parks and Rec center, so you have a really Top-Notch library and public center.
            I don’t know if PTA is still doing this, but when we were there (4 years ago), the PTA paid for a semester of swimming for 5th and 6th graders at the pool next door! It was awesome!
            They had a mentorship, where uppergrades would help tutor younger students.
            The PTA was just forming when I was there, I got to volunteer doing what I wanted to do and contribute in my own way.

            Wendy Rios in the office was my right hand woman on everything. She’s super supportive and committed to the school. You can ask her anything.

            My children no longer go to school in Glendale, but still have friends from their time at the school.

            I think you made a good choice.

  48. Hello,

    I have a question about dual Language through GUSD. We have b/g twins and we are interested in the Korean program. What are our chances of getting into Monte Vista (ideally) and then Keppel. Our children are biracial and Korean is not spoken in our household. Does the program work against you if you do not speak the target language? We are in Montrose and as such are part of GUSD and Fremont is our home school. Thanks for your insight.

    • Hi Anne – our family also applied to the Korean Dual Immersion Program years ago when my daughters were entering 1st grade. I don’t think that being either biracial or non-Korean speakers is a help or hindrance to you. The most important factor in being selected for the program is where you fall in the lottery during the year you’re applying. Are your twins entering K? If not, it will probably be very challenging for you to get into the program as I believe the Korean dual programs are among the most competitive in terms of the number of applicants. We applied 4 years ago, were in the 30s on the wait list at Keppel and were told we had zero chance of getting in because once the class is filled, there’s very little attrition. I have no personal experience with the Monte Vista program. Try calling the FLAG GUSD offices for more information. Best of luck!

      • Hey Anne & Trina—

        Anne, I’m in a similar situation to you as we’re trying to decide between Fremont (our home school) and the Korean FLAG at Monte Vista. (For 19/20 school year). The main difference is our child is half Korean, although she doesn’t speak (thus why we want the language aspect). Can you give me an update?
        Trina— I assume your children didn’t end up in a FLAG program? Or did they? Any thoughts or words of wisdom are much appreciated!!

        • Hi Donna – my girls are currently enrolled at Edison in the dual program (Spanish). They’re in 5th grade and will finish out the program next year. If you’re applying for kindergarten, I’m not sure it matters whether your daughter speaks Korean or not. In theory, the classes are balanced 50/50 between native and non-native speakers, but my observation of the Spanish program is that this isn’t the case. It’s all about the number you draw in the lottery, especially for the Korean programs.

  49. Hi all. I’m currently applying to the Japanese program in GUSD. We are not Japanese, nor fluent, but maybe what is termed “pre-advanced”. We use conversational Japanese daily with our 4 year old and she attends 2x/week immersion preschool. Any one have experienced with the evaluation for target language fluency? We read Japanese picture books daily, sing nursery songs, etc. She rarely speaks Japanese but clearly understands us and our teachers. If she fails the evaluation will we be able to apply on the English side? Thanks.

    • Hi there – your question is so specific that it would be better posed to the FLAG administration. I recommend giving them a call, but I’d be surprised if she needed to be evaluated in advance of acceptance before 1st grade – my daughters started FLAG in 1st grade with far less Spanish than your daughter has Japanese. As to whether she can be accepted on the English side, is that side available through the lottery? If so, you could make that your second choice with Japanese as your first.

  50. We applied for french at Franklin for 3rd grade and 6th grade. We are moving from Louisiana. Does anyone know if we have a good chance of getting into the program at the later grades. The kids will be tested to make sure they have adequate fluency for the grades. They have been in french total immersion since kindergarten so I am not concerned with the test, but only with whether they are guaranteed a spot if they pass the language assessments.

    • I am not an expert on this, but my understanding is that passing the language assessment means you are put in the pool of fluent applicants for the purposes of the lottery, and in general that increases your chances of getting a spot, because their are fewer fluent applicants. There is never a guarantee. There are only openings in the higher grades if children leave the class — I don’t really know how often that happens, but I’m sure families move. When we applied to Franklin last year, the Assistant Principal was pretty responsive to our questions about the process. She has since retired, but I believe the Teacher Specialists are the ones to contact with questions — Nancy Hong and Ryan Partika. They may not know much yet in terms of how many spaces may be available in the fall in the 3rd and 6th grades, but it doesn’t hurt to reach out to them. If there are spots or they become available, I would guess your chances of getting in are pretty good, as the fluent pool is usually pretty small.

  51. Hello there. Our daughter is half Mexican/half Japanese and we are trying for Spanish immersion 2018-2019 (Kinder) at Edison in Santa Monica and El Marino in Culver City, although we are in LAUSD. Our daughter has been at an English-speaking daycare since she was 5 months old, and although she does understand what we say in Japanese or Spanish like TrinaBur’s daughter, she usually responds back to us in English. Does anyone know what kind of questions are being asked during the language proficiency test? We’ve heard that, even being out of the district, if a child is tested as the target language speaker, he/she has a better chance getting into either school (while English speaking side has a long waitlist). We want to know what kind of questions our daughter needs to be able to answer/address in Spanish during the language proficiency test. Thank you for the help!

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