Top FAQs for Magnets and This Site

1) Does my child have to test gifted to get into a magnet school? Unless it’s a gifted magnet school (which the majority of LAUSD magnets schools are NOT), no.

2) I heard magnet school admittance is based on points–how do you get points?

  • 4 points if your home LAUSD school is PHBAO (Predominantly Hispanic, Black, Asian or Other)
  • 4 points if your home LAUSD school is overcrowded (aka: Three-Track, getting more and more rare)
  • 4 points for each year on the waiting list (aka: you apply to a magnet school and are denied, for up to three years, 12 possible)
  • 3 points if a sibling is already attending the magnet school applied for

3) How and where do we apply?  Is it complicated? Typically, the website (which contains both the catalogue of LAUSD magnet schools and the one-page magnet application) becomes available early in October at the LAUSD central offices downtown (333 S. Beaudry), local LAUSD schools and LA County public libraries.  Applications are due in mid November. Most applications are handled through the website.

Office of Student Integrated Services (Magnet Schools): (877) 4MAG-PWT tollfree.  LAUSD website is   Useful keywords for unearthing magnet school information are going to be OFFICES, STUDENT INTEGRATION SERVICES, PARENTS AND GUARDIANS.

4) What’s the difference between magnet, SAS, and charter schools? For your intents and purposes, the simple answer is that LAUSD magnet schools have that firm October through mid-November application window and the points are calculated by computer downtown.  SAS, schools for advanced studies, are gifted programs at the home school. Kids who would normally attend that school get in without a lottery which is held in Spring. Students who wish to attend a school that is not their home school will apply and hope to get in. SAS schools do not have transportation. Some schools have both an SAS and a magnet. At some schools, the magnet might be perceived as better. At others, the SAS is considered more desirable. This tends to be an ‘us’ vs. ‘them’ thing among parents, so talk to both sides, and be aware that some of the opinions will be akin to chocolate versus strawberry ice cream opinions. Charter school application processes vary from school to school, and are somewhat more fluid.  For more charter school information, visit (formerly

5) Is it true that my child has to get into a magnet or charter school in order to have any art whatsoever? No. Even regular neighborhood LAUSD schools have arts and enrichment programs–we recommend you begin your school search with an in-person visit.  To find your home LAUSD school, go to Thanks to many school district, city and county-wide iniatives there are many arts programs available at each school including visual arts, dance, theater, instrumental and vocal music.

6) What’s the LAUSD website for magnet info?

7) If I apply hoping to get waitlisted and accidentally get in, what happens? You have a couple of options. Hopefully you applied to a school you were at least moderately interested in, and you’re considering it. If you were strictly applying for waitlist points, you are essentially ‘unlucky’ and you are going to have to accept the fact you’re going to lose the 4-12 waitlist points. Please don’t ask if there’s a way around this. There’s not. Remember, LAUSD is running a program to get students in. Not to turn people down. And in the last several years, due to other options, points at many (not all) schools have been going down. And by mid or late summer, you can still get a call.

8) How long after school starts can they still call? Until norm day–typically 4-5 weeks after the school year starts. This goes for some folks and against others. You want to really get into that school, contact them when you get wait listed and then every few weeks after that. Possibly email them during the first week or two of school and let them know you’re still interested in your child attending. This works very well for magnets on the home campus. The kids will still have lunch, PE, and often some electives with their ‘home school’ and/or SAS friends. However, if your child is not receptive to change, and the call comes, be aware that not responding doesn’t get you off the hook. Sorry.

9) But…but…Balboa! Yes. Balboa is a lovely school. My son attended from second to fifth grades and had a good experience there. Fast forward a decade, and his sister got in twice: in first and fourth grades. We turned down first grade because she had a great group of friends. And see? We were ‘unlucky’ too. Turning down her points in fourth grade meant we had to be a bit smarter for her middle school options, but she was accepted at three schools (Walter Reed, Lawrence Gifted Magnet with only 8 points, and Millikan Performing Arts/SAS). We went with the performing arts academy and were happy for three years. She is now in high school, in the most advanced math track. She’ll finish Calc BC as a junior. Balboa is a lovely place, but it’s not the ONLY place for gifted or highly gifted kids. Since Balboa does not start until first grade, your child will need to start somewhere else. Don’t overlook the fact that the school you choose for kinder might be a great place for your child for six years, rather than just one.


459 thoughts on “Top FAQs for Magnets and This Site

    • Hi. I was wondering how you can find out if your local school is overcrowded? Is there a chart or website with this info? Thanks.

      • Are you talking about in terms of overcrowded by magnet points standards? There are very, very few schools now that qualify for points. As of a few years ago, it was a couple of schools in Van Nuys that were still on the 163-day year round schedule. There’s no website that I’m aware of, but you can call your local school (the one in the neighborhood–not necessarily the one your child attends) and they can tell you.

        Good luck!

        • Thank you. Yes, I was trying to figure these “points”, and how to know if we will have any points working for us when applying to kindergarten in Nov. I am a little discouraged at the moment after reading that Community Magnet Charter had 2512 applications for 119 openings. I know you can only apply to one magnet, I am not sure if that rule applies to charters, so I am just gathering information, and trying to sort through this. Thanks SO much for this website and all of your expertise!

          • If they are in the Magnet brochure, they’re more a magnet than a charter–so you’ll have only one choice to apply. But there are other charters to apply to as well. And truthfully, kindergarten is a crapshoot when it comes to the application because MOST people don’t have points. In fact, many people are using the application to gain points for FIRST grade, so you might still get a call. Also, keep in mind, with class size increases, it will be interesting if they go with 24:1 or 29:1…more kids might be getting in than in previous years.

          • You should know that many west side families apply to Community in 2-5 grade for our “wait list” points. I’d be willing to bet that the competition for kindergarten spots is not nearly as fierce as it looks.

  1. Dear Akhan,

    Unfortunately those extra four (4) magnet points for Overcrowding are typically only awarded to schools that, weirdly enough, have THREE tracks rather than four. The magnet system is weird that way.

    It looks like White House Place Primary is similar to Kindergarten Learning Academy in Van Nuys (a K only school, a high poor, Hispanic, English learner demographic, but a lovely place to visit, with some nice parent comments).

    That said, you will have first magnet, then charter, then open enrollment (Spring 2009) options, reading around over this blog should give you a feel for the territory, and also some other links to look at.


  2. Thanks Sandra! White House Place is PreK-K. It’s very crowded and in makeshift-style classrooms (corrugated roofing etc). Hopefully by next year I’ll have a clearer idea of my options (though I am already leaning toward Larchmont Charter, but they have a lottery system).

  3. It seems like not all elementary magnets start in kindergarden. (Wonderland) I’ve heard that I should apply to get in a magnet and hopefully get rejected to get my rejection points ready for 1st grade. Do I have to attend public school kindergarden to keep/get my points?

  4. Hi Suzanne!

    You’ve heard right. There are only a few magnets that accept kindergarteners, and the odds are in your favor your child won’t be accepted. You can then go to any public/private/homeschool situation and keep your points for the next year.

    Just hope and pray you don’t get accepted by your school of “choice.” You will have to attend there or you will lose the points you’ve stockpiled.

    Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

    • if you get accepted for Kinder, get points , but dont go to that school, i understand you loose points but can you apply again for magnet in 1st grade.

      • Yep. You can apply and turn it down and apply again the next year. For kinder, it’s an even trade off. You don’t lose anything in the sense that if you apply and turn it down, you will be in the same position had you not applied.

  5. Our local school (Eagle Rock Elementary) where our daughter attends first grade, has not one, but 3 “magnets” in the “gifted” category: “gifted” (local residents only), “gifted magnet” (anyone in LAUSD may apply), and “highly gifted” (anyone in LAUSD may apply). The magnet coordinator at the school speaks in the kind of double-speak I have only heard in Dilbert cartoons, and when I ask her questions, I want to bang my head against the wall in frustration (have discovered many parents feel this way). What I’m trying to figure out is whether applying to both the local AND magnet gifted programs simultaneously (assuming my daughter tests/is identified as “gifted”) reduces her chances of getting into either. Thanks for any light you can shed on this question. –Shannon

  6. Shannon – I hear your frustration – some coordinators are new to the position and are still trying to figure it out themselves while others obfuscate deliberately; I can only hope that yours is the former.

    I believe Eagle Rock El has only TWO magnets – both for students in grades 3-6. You mention the gifted and highly gifted (HG) magnets and a 3rd magnet – what I believe you are referring to is that there are students who attend the school that are not enrolled in either of the magnet centers on campus but have otherwise been identified gifted (GATE).

    The CHOICES brochure (which you will receive in the mail shortly) will go into more detail; anyone living within the LAUSD boundaries may apply to send their child to a magnet but students applying to the gifted and highly gifted magnets must first have been identified by the District as “gifted/high ability” or “highly gifted” and as others have mentioned elswhere, identification may occur in second (or more likely, third) grade although LAUSD is doing an inadequate job in addressing this need.

    Ask the gifted coordinator at your school about the program for non-magnet students. Applying to the gifted or highly gifted magnet is a separate issue from whether identified GATE students in the rest of school are having their needs met.

    Bill Ring
    Candidate, Los Angeles City Board of Education, District #4
    Organizer, Local District 3 Parent Community Advisory Council
    Director, TransParent

  7. This is a GREAT website, thank you for doing it! Just some minor points:
    the CHOICES brochure has now been mailed to homes and should be in school offices inthe next couple of weeks.
    The Siblings points award is 3 points (not 2)…
    IN response to the Shannon’s question above: Applying to Magnets has no bearing whatsoever on applying to a gifted (or Honors or SAS, as they are sometimes called) program. You can do both, and get your child a great education in public school. Indeed, my daughter was accepted into an SAS program (School for Advanced Studies) at Millikan Middle School without being formally tested gifted. Ask the schools about what they offer, it can be surprising how many special programs there are.

    Also, one MAJOR difference between a magnet and other programs is free transportation. This can really make a difference if your neighborhood school is not one you would choose for your child.

  8. Hello

    Regarding the points, how many points are required to be considered for a magnet? For example, if I have 12 points accumulated, what are the chances that my child will be considered for the magnet program of his or her choice?



  9. It completely depends on the magnet itself. Some magnets, such as Granada Hills High School are notorious for needing 23 for a lock and 20 can be iffy, and some magnets, 4 will get you in. In addition, the exact number can be different by race. When you go on the tour, it’s a perfectly acceptable question to ask, since it really should be a factor in the school you choose to apply to.

  10. Thank you for all your information, it is awesome….I have a question. I would like to apply to a MAGNET for my son (LACES) that is 6-12. I am really thinking ahead, as next fall he will be entering Kindergarten. I dont understand if I just go ahead and apply to a magnet that’s k-5, hoping he doesn’t get in so we can start accumulating points? And what if he does end up getting in that K-5 school and we turn them down?

  11. Hi Sarah,

    While I love people who think ahead, you’re off the hook for a few years if you love where your son is now. Wait list points term off after three years, so applying in kindergarten and first grade would be wasted, and could conceivably get you in somewhere in third or fourth and you’d lose your points if you refused the magnet slot. Start applying when he is in second, and he’ll have wait list points in 3rd, 4th, and 5th when you need them.

    In the meantime, if you want to commiserate with other very ready moms (and dads) make sure to come visit the Magnets and Martinis this Sunday at the Largo at the Coronet.

  12. I applied for one magnet school last year. This year I want to apply to another magnet school. Do I keep my 4 pts for being in waiting list to make them 8, or do I start with 4 pts if I end up in waiting list again because it’s a different school?

    How does it work? How do schools come up with a formula of what percentage should be white? african american? asian? hispanic or other? How can one know what our chances are when we look at their ethnic population?

  13. Hi Doris! When you apply this year, you will have four points for being rejected last year (and if you applied previously, then you’d have eight this year). They don’t automatically assume you’ll be rejected (they actually do want you to get in), so rejection points don’t appear until the next year.

    And wait list points are specific to a certain school. If you chose Swanky Magnet last year, and this year you want to apply to Bohemian Magnet, you’re free to do so. The success of getting in truly depends on finding a magnet that will accept your grade level with the amount of points you have–so have a chat with the magnet coordinator where you’re applying and ask how many points it typically takes to get in.

    The district predetermines if it wants a 60-40 or 70-30 split with the larger number being the entire population of minority and the smaller being the white. Again, magnet coordinators can tell you their split, and how many points it took to get for minority or white.

    Good luck!

  14. We applied to a Junior High Magnet for our son who will be going to Junior High next year.We have 12 points,what are our chances?

  15. Hi Maribel,

    It’s going to depend on several factors including the magnet you chose. how many applied to get in this year, and how the applicants break down ethnicity-wise.

    Did you go on the tour in December and talk to the Magnet coordinator where you applied?

  16. My son is 6 and in first grade (2008-2009 yr) His school, which we are very happy with is a new charter and may go through 6th or 8th grade (the school is slowly growing). When should I start applying for magnet points for lets say, 7th grade? (assuming he would be at his current school through 6th) Do most magnets take 12 points and would I start applying when he is in the middle of 4th grade (by Jan of 2012?) Would I be applying to hard-to-get into public schools so that I would be rejected and gain points?
    I have been applying since he was in Kindergarten and as of now I have 8 points, if I apply again by Jan 9 of 2009 I may accrue 12 points, but they would be of no use since we are now in an elementary school we are happy with. If I stop applying will I lose these 8 points? And again should I just start applying again when he is in his fourth year to gain points for 7th grade, or do most middle schools start in 6th grade and also, is accumulating 12 points enough? I hope this all makes sense. Thank you.

  17. Wait list appoints accrue and term off in a three-year cycle. So if you have 8 points this year, and 12 next, you’ll never get more than 12 because the earliest four points on the report will fall off to make room for the most recent year’s points.

    So, if you stop applying, you’d eventually lose the 12 (or 8) points you now have if you were to wait to middle school. You could keep applying to keep your options open, but the chances of getting a spot goes the more times you play the system.

    Since most middle school spots are for 6th grade, you will have to consider that in your plans as well. The good news is that you’re at a school that might expand, and you’re early enough to keep all your options open.

    Whether 12 points is enough will depend on the magnet you’re interested in. Some magnets require 20 to be a “lock” and others 16 will get you in. For twelve points to be a lock in junior high will require a bit of sleuthing on your part to find a magnet that is great for your son but doesn’t quite have the name buzz that a Nobel or a Porter has. In the next few years (maybe when your son is in 4th) hit a couple of potential magnet tours in the late fall, or go to their open houses in the spring. It will cut your work down considerably in 5th grade (if you end up looking at sixth grade magnets).

    Good luck!

  18. Been hunting and pecking all over this AMAZING website, but haven’t found this information here or on the echoices site – at what age am I able to start applying for my kids for magnet schools beginning in Kindergarten? My twins won’t turn 5 until August 2010, so does that mean I start applying next year? Or am I able to apply this coming year with a likely rejection, but if they get in prepare to start them early?

  19. Hi Liz.

    If your kids aren’t 5 until 2010, you need to wait until *next* January to start applying. State of California requires a child be 5 by Dec., so your applications would be rejected. You can apply next January for a spot in September 2010 because they’d be 5 before that December.

    So enjoy another year of just being mom, and let them be preschool age for another year. If you’re really chomping at the bit, start looking at open houses this spring.

    Good luck!

  20. to Angel,
    I am replying to the answer you posted to my comment on January 2.
    !) If a person can never get more than 12 points, how to you get the necessary 16 or 20 points needed for some of the magnet schools?
    2) What do you mean by “the chances of a spot goes the more times you play the system”?– Since we are in a start-up charter school I feel I need to keep my options open by continuing to play the CHOICES lottery, however my hope is that the school will succeed and that we stay there until 6th grade! I don’t want to ruin my chance of getting 12 points later on for middle school, not quite sure what to do?
    3) The points that I have been gaining, and may continue to gain, are only from applying to a hard-to-get into school that goes up to 5th grade. Obviously, I can’t start applying to middle school until my son would be ready to attend. So, will my points that I accrue by applying to elementary schools which we don’t get into, be the same points that can be used for a middle school magnet when the time comes?
    thanks again for your advise

  21. Lauren,

    12 points come from wait list or matriculation. 4 points come from your neighborhood school being a PHBAO school–predominantly Hispanic, Black, Asian or other. 4 points come from being overcrowded by LAUSD’s definition–usually a three-track Concept 6 calendar. 3 additional points are possible for students with a sibling attending the same school the student is applying to (who will still be there in September when the applicant arrives). That allows a potential for 23 points per year. Believe it or not, there are magnets that require 20-23 to be a “lock” to get in.

    Sorry, typo, goes UP. Every year you apply, you can conceivably get in. If you get accepted, you take the spot, or you lose ALL the points you’ve accrued in waiting.

    Remember, there are a few kids who get in to a particular magnet each year, even in the grades with only 1 or 2 spots. While you can play the odds, there’s always a chance in third or fourth grade he’d get into a magnet because he got “lucky.” Unless you can get a school to tell you on the record they will not accept any students in your son’s grade, there’s always a possibility, however remote, that your son will get in.

    Hope this helps!

    • I couldn’t figure out how to start a new comment, but this one is relevant to my question. We have 4 pts for PHBO, 4 for 3rd grade wait list, 4 for 4th grade wait list. I want to (obviously) get wait listed for 5th grade, too. We’ve been applying to Community Magnet, but quite a few people have told me they’ve actually gotten in for 5th grade. Is there a better school to apply to, where it would be even more unlikely to get accepted? I know that if we don’t apply anywhere for 5th grade we’ll lose our 3rd grade points, leaving us with only 8 for middle school, which seems to be no better than none. I’d appreciate any and all suggestions!

      • Welcome to the imperfect world of the magnet game.

        With 12 points for fifth grade, many people find themselves ‘winning’ the lottery. Whether you apply to Community Magnet or Valley Alternative, there is always a more than decent chance you could get in. I’m assuming the home school does not have any magnet whatsoever? At worst, you child would still have lunch and recess with his/her friends.

        If they don’t have a magnet at the home school, then come up with a plan on what to do if you get in. Open enrollment, SAS?

  22. My son will start 6th grade in 2013-2014 (he is currently in 1st). If I were to start fresh to try and accumulate points for a 6th grade magnet school when would I start filling out the Choices catalogue? Do I fill it out mid year when he’s in 2nd grade, next January 2010 (THE 2010-2011 catalogue?). Obviously I want to get the 12 points at the correct time . Does that mean the waiting list letter which we receive typically in April of 2013 (end of his 5th grade) will be the final tally needed to apply for the schools the following September? Do the schools want to know your total points before April? Which of course we wouldn’t have at that point.
    thanks again and I am planning to go to one of the magnet mixers!

  23. For sixth grade, you would start applying in 2nd grade to accumulate the 12 points. You’d apply in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th and get rejected each time.

    If you are lucky, you won’t get the waiting list letter in late April of 2013, you’d get an acceptance letter. You’d get the confirmation letter in February saying they received your application, and that would list all the points applied to your son’s application, wait list points, and any PHBAO or overcrowding points.



  25. Hi Diaana,

    If you do not get into the magnet you applied to you’ll get wait list points. It won’t matter if you go to a charter, SAS, or a public school. However, you will have to wait until school starts and they go through the waiting list to know whether you got in or not.

    Good luck!

  26. So I am pretty sure we do want our kids to go to the elementary school right down the street from us (Kester). But we want to get magnet points so they can qualify for the magnet at Kester, which does NOT begin in kindergarten. Of course then there’s a lottery to contend with: education Vegas style. Here’s my question, if we apply to Valley Alternative Magnet for kindergarten and they are accepted, they HAVE to go there? We’re looking for rejection here. Such a wacky system! Thank you oh wise one.

  27. I made the mistake of not sending my son to Community Magnet for kindergarten after he was selected (we chose to send him to private school instead, which i regret from a financial standpoint). We’ve since moved to a slightly better area and have accumulated 8 points (four the past two years). Can he get into Wonderland as a second grader with 8 points

    • Eh, tough call re: Community magnet, but let bygones be bygones. There are no guarantees re: Wonderland (although you can always try calling the magnet coordinator there to inquire as to your chances). As you say you’ve moved to a better area, have you considered your home LAUSD elementary, by the way (find via

  28. The problem is our home elementary is Burbank Blvd., which isn’t so hot. We’re fairly close to Colfax, and wouldn’t mind enrolling there, but that would involve fudging the address (our son’s grandmother lives in the Colfax district). Are there special circumstances in which we could enroll at Colfax?

  29. Hi Erik,

    I’m wondering what you found “not so hot” about Burbank. Numerically, they’re not far off, and I’m hoping you did a boots on the ground inspection and have talked to parents at dismissal at Burbank about what they loved (or didn’t).

    Colfax API is 883, Burbank is 825. GreatSchools ranks Colfax a 9, Burbank a 7. Those aren’t so incredibly different I’d run from the school, especially given that you and your family could be part of making Burbank as hot or hotter than other buzz schools.

    As for fudging addresses, LAUSD does check. In order to enroll, you’d have to get Grandma to let you put the DWP bill in your name, just to enroll. Then, LAUSD makes sporadic enforcement sweeps (Nobel did it last year or the year before and many families were disenrolled over night).

    It doesn’t appear that Colfax has had open enrollment in the last couple of years, but you might want to check and see if they have a child care permit option. This could include Grandma as the daycare provider. It would be renewable every year with room, but that would be an option.

    Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

  30. Hi Yenta,
    I am totally confused by Nobel’s programs, and some schools like Granada and Community, which calls themselves ‘charter magnet’. I am told there are separate teachers for honors, magnet, and ‘the rest’ of the student body at Nobel. So if my child were accepted into a magnet program, would she/he be afforded the same learning opportunities as the local honors students?

    As to charter magnets – how can they be both, how do they serve their ‘gifted’ and high achieving populations, and how do they identify the students who may enter into honors/AP coursework?

    So many questions, so little time.

  31. Hi, I attended the Nobel presentation back in December. There are magnet classes, that by definition need to be a specific percentage of the bodies in those classrooms. The magnet is Math/Science, not gifted. There are honors courses in the magnet and courses that aren’t honors for the kids who might not be ready for that challenging coursework. The SAS program at Nobel is indeed a different program, and it’s the gifted program for the neighborhood school–all gifted kids who attend Nobel as their neighborhood school are together in the SAS. If that doesn’t make enough sense, contact Ted Pearce the magnet coordinator and he will easily explain the difference. He’s at (818) 773-4700 x4730

    Charter magnets are essentially schools that “went” charter from an existing LAUSD school. Granada is a charter high school which went charter in 2004, and kept their Math/Science magnet and all the rules that LAUSD required. They also kept taking in some kids from outside the area as they had previously (I don’t know that that’s the case now).

  32. Hi!
    I recently attended a magnet info night at Granada Hills Magnet. The magnet coordinator said that we could basically discount the points awarded for overcrowded schools, because changes in the classification of what is “overcrowded” has changed and practically no schools fall under that catagory anymore. This, in essence, lowers the points needed to get into the magnet. Any truth to her information?

  33. In the sense that it’s been happening for several years, yes. The only schools that get overcrowding points are the 3-track “concept 6” calendars where the kids attend 17 fewer school days–not just year round schools.

    Did they tell you what typically gets in to Granada these days? I’m assuming it’s now 19 or possibly 16 to get in? I’d be shocked if anyone got in with fewer than that.

  34. Granada’s Magnet coordinator said we’d need at least 16 to get in (which we have). Some 16’s would make it, some not.
    We were just notified that my son was admitted into the SAS at Granada, so I’m not as worried about getting into the magnet now. I also am awaiting notice on my daughter’s application to Porter MS – any advice on good middle school SAS programs to apply to in case she doesn’t get into Porter? (she also has 16 points)

  35. Hi, my daughter applied for Granada’s SAS and Magnet spots, and she has 20 points for magnet, do you think she’ll get in?
    And we’re awaiting the letter to see if she got in to SAS or not, what if she did get into SAS? Would we have to wait for the magnet letter or just ‘wing it’ for SAS?

  36. Hi Jennifer.

    You have an extra ace in the hole with regard to Granada’s magnet. Since he’s in the SAS, if the school contacts you in the first few days of school in September, you can jump with very little issue for your son.

    With regard to your daughter, District 1 has tons of SAS, so you just need to do a few tours to see which one appeals to you. Porter already has one, which would provide you with the same leverage to get into the magnet there if it got to crunch time. Patrick Henry, Holmes, Nobel and Lawrence are all North Valley Middle Schools with SAS schools. The entire list including phone numbers are listed here:

    Good luck, and let us know what happens.

  37. Hello

    My son is in 2nd grade and identified gifted by LAUSD psychologist this year and he has 12 wait list points for balboa magnet school. Will he get admission in Balboa magnet this year for 3rd grade


  38. Hi,

    My daughter will be starting 6th grade in the Fall. Our home school is Mulholland, which I’ve heard awful things about. She’s a GATE student. We applied to Lawrence in Chatsworth, and are waiting to hear (12 points) back. I went on the tour and really liked it. Do you have any feedback on that school? Our other option is to apply for open enrollment at Portola, which would be MUCH closer to home and her friends will be there. What would you do?

    • Hi Shelly,

      I just responded to another poster, but essentially the waiting game is taking longer this year due to the budget cuts and decisions based on class size increases. Notices should go out by the end of the month.

      Lawrence is a great school. My son went there and graduated in 2004. Most of the teachers from then are still there (I think one married and had a family, and the other moved back to the East Coast). Mr. Zem is an award-winning science teacher that my son learned an amazing amount from. And Ms. Cagle is a great Algebra teacher that my son went back to visit. The magnet coordinator is my son’s former English teacher, and he loved her because he challenged him.

      On the other hand, I have friends with kids attending Portola, and I know people who teach there. It’s a pretty neat school too.

      I’d play it safe and apply for the open enrollment spot and wait to see what happens. If you’re lucky enough to have a choice, you can weigh both, talk to friends and visit each campus again and make an informed decision.

      Good luck, and let us know what happens!

  39. Hi Paula,

    This year is an interesting year for magnets. In previous years, we’d know by now and we’d know that Balboa was accepting 60 first graders, 60 second graders, and 30 third graders. This year, with the change to 24:1, some prognosticators are surmising the magnets will be accepting more students than previous years.

    I’m not sure whether your son has enough points to get in or not, because I haven’t been to a Balboa presentation in years. I’m not sure how many points it takes or how likely it would be to get in with 12. You can call the office and ask how many points it took last year for third grade, but you will know either way in about two weeks–if you can wait that long. 🙂

    Good luck!

  40. FYI – We received our magnet acceptance letters today – My son got into Granada Hills and my daughter got into Porter MS. Both had 16 points. We had applied, and been accepted, into Granada’s SAS program, which we had applied for as a back up for the magnet. Looks like we won’t need it. 🙂

    I don’t know how many points Balboa needs these days, but both of my kids went there and got in at 1st grade. It’s been a great experience there. Staff is beyond great! Porter has been pretty good as well. Challenging curriculum with lots of support. Good luck!

    • Congrats, Jennifer!

      I’m glad Granada is no longer 23 points to be a lock. My son opted to not apply given the unlikely nature he’d get in with 20 points, and he was very happy at the school he chose, but I’m always glad when schools are a little less challenging to get into!

  41. Help. I am new at this magnet system and my 4th grader got accepted to Balboa magnet for 5th grade. I don’t want to pull her out of her elementary school for one year and know I will lose all my points if I say no to Balboa.

    What is the advantage of magnet versus SAS? Is it worth putting my child into school for one year just to obtain magnet status? My child and I are interested in Holmes and our home school is Frost which we are not thrilled about. Do I stand a chance getting into Holmes SAS? (obviously will not get into the Holmes magnet if I have no points left).

    Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

    • Lauren,

      There are a few ways to look at it. Your child will be at Balboa for a year before she very likely ends up at Holmes with quite a few of her new Balboa classmates. With matriculation points, you’d have 12 points, which would make it fairly likely to get into Holmes (I’m not sure if Frost is PHBAO to get you the additional 4 points, but you could call and ask).

      Another thing to consider, is that with the changes in class size, the magnets are going to be a bit smaller than the general schools, and that goes double for the magnet versus SAS situation you’ll be dealing with in middle school.

      For what it’s worth, I know families at Balboa, and I know families trying to get into Balboa (even for 4th and 5th grades), and they’d love to be in your shoes

  42. We started applying for magnet points in 1st grade, b/c we were new to the area and (wrongly, as it turns out) believed people who told us we HAD to try for the Eagle Rock Elementary Magnet b/c the main school’s GATE curriculum was inadequate. We kept on applying for points, hoping to accumulate them for middle school. We decided to have him go to Eagle Rock Jr/Sr high school for 7th, but continue to accrue points in case the school proved too big and unwieldy for him. We applied to Valley Alternative, hoping he’d be waitlisted b/c it’s so hard to get in there. Today, however, I learned he was accepted at VAS, so now we have to decide whether to send him there or give up the points. Eagle Rock MS/HS is a decent school, and we live in the neighborhood, which is a huge plus for us. But he’s an unmotivated student who causes no trouble at all, and we’re worried he’ll fly too far under the radar, particularly given the increase in class sizes and the size of the school in general.
    My question: If we were to turn down the points and start over, are there good magnet high schools to which one could get in with 4 or 8 magnet points (or however many points one might accrue by being at ERHS and applying for two years)? Or would we end up looking at charters and other programs, like the program at Marshall?

    • I’m sure Sandra will tell you all the phenomenal reasons to really consider Valley Alternative, so I’ll just answer the remaining questions.

      For high school, you will have the opportunity to apply for open enrollment, SAS and gifted magnets. By applying to a couple of open enrollment schools, a few SAS, and one gifted magnet you’ll likely get into at least one. Marshall’s would definitely be one to look at.

      • ETA: We visited Valley Alternative and decided to turn it down. We spoke at length with a parent and the magnet coordinator, who were helpful, and both my son and I decided that Eagle Rock Jr/Sr High would be a better fit for him. VAS was just too small (it’s not even 1/3 the size of his current school), it has limited opportunities for extracurricular activities, and it’s quite a ways from where we live. I consider us fortunate that we have a decent local school (although some of our fellow GATE families don’t share this belief), and only wish that we weren’t losing all our magnet points by turning down VAS. But someone else who really wants to go there b/c they don’t have a decent local school will take the opening, I’m sure, and that’s a good thing.
        Thanks so much for putting up this website – it’s helpful in figuring out the byzantine point system!

  43. Hello

    My son is in 2nd grade this year. I am applying for balboa magnet since 3 years. Now till date he have 8 waitlist points. If I apply next year and he is not accepted still then he will be having 12 waitlist ponts. My question is : I I want him to be in magnet in the middle school what should i do? Can i keep those 12 points? because for him to be in middle school is 3 more years. Please help

    Thank you very much

    • Hi Simran!

      Wait list points are calculated on a rolling basis, so that if you stopped applying, the oldest four points would term off the first year, and then there’d be 8, and if you didn’t apply the year after, there’d be 4.

      At this point, it’s critical you keep applying to Balboa and keep your wait list points current.

      It’s not likely that your son would be accepted to Balboa for 4th or 5th, but it could happen. And if he doesn’t get in, you have your 12 points for middle school.

      Good luck!

  44. I have a daugther and a son who are currently at Tulsa Street, they are currently in kindergarten and 3rd grade. My daughter is in the SAS program and will be in the Gate program next year for fourth grade. I applied to Vintage Magnet School for 2009-2010 school year and both my children were accepted. My question is should we accept? My hesitation is we are happy with Tulsa but want to make sure we make the right decisions for our children’s education. What have you heard about Vintage? Also, if we transfer to Vintage, I’m not sure about an after school program. Do you know of one for that school.

    Thank you

    • Hi Suzanne,

      Yours is a common dilemma this time of year. I’ve already talked to several parents at my daughter’s school, who were surprised with acceptance letters from Balboa Gifted Magnet, and are wrestling with the same question.

      Here’s what I’ll ask:

      Are you happy at Tulsa? Do you have a great PTA/PTO, an active administration, and involved teachers? Do you feel like you work together as a community?

      Are you comfortable with the teachers at the upcoming levels for both your daughter and son? You already know what your son is in for–are you happy with those teachers?

      On the other hand, it’s awfully rare that BOTH siblings get into a magnet in the same year, so perhaps asking for a tour, or meeting with some of the parents from Vintage, or popping in for their Open House, Carnival, or even a PTA meeting could help you make the decision. A quick phone call to the school will tell you if they have a YMCA program afterschool or a free Beyond the Bell program.

      In addition, by turning down the spots, you’re not going to have much time to get points for your daughter for middle school. Are you ok with the SAS at your neighborhood middle school (Porter? Patrick Henry?)?

      Speaking as a mom who turned down Balboa a couple years back for my daughter–after my son went there and was very well served–just remember it’s not a lottery in the sense you “won” a spot. You have been given the opportunity, but if your kids are well served and you know what to expect where you are, do NOT feel guilty about turning down the spot.

      • Thanks for the comments and for the great questions to ponder. I guess my biggest concern would be losing the points for my daughter and then not having the opportunity of a better middle school. Patrick Henry is our neighborhood school and as far as I can tell they do not have an SAS program and I have not heard very good things about the school. My daughters current teacher says we should be trying for Frost or Porter. The question I can’t seem to have any one give a straight answer on is, how much of an advantage is it to have 12 points when trying to get in at a magnet school? When picked through the lottery, does having points improve your chances of being selected? Does being in the Gate program help as well? Sorry, I’m fairly new to all of this. And if you haven’t noticed, I’m a bit of a worry wart over making the right choice. Also, do you mind me asking about your decision not to send your daughter to Balboa? What did you do for middle school (is your neighborhood school a good school) or are you not at that point yet. Regarding the after school programs, yes they have beyond the bell which is for 2nd-5th, and a program limited to 84 students. They do not have the YMCA, but have been trying to get it. I’m currently trying to see what the other options are.

        Thanks again

  45. Suzanne,

    Don’t automatically discount Patrick Henry, though. Kids from my daughter’s school actively chose Patrick Henry as a smaller option than the behomeths that Porter and Frost are. And in the next year or two their music program will be the most incredible thing in the world, thanks to one of the dads from our school. I’m not sure if 8 points would be enough for any of the middle schools, or if you’d need 16. Heck, Nobel was accepting some students with 12 or 16 this year. But having the full 12 wait list points puts an application at the same level as the kids graduating from the elementary magnets. Some will have extra points for PHBAO or overcrowding, but the magnet kids in the non-PHBAO, non-overcrowded get 12. Having 12 waitlist points puts an application on par with those kids. Some schools need 16, others kids can get in with 8–it depends on the magnet, and you’d have to call to ask. GATE doesn’t help with magnet points, unfortunately.

    As for worrying, don’t sweat it. If you didn’t, who would? 🙂

    As for my daughter, we were barely in kindergarten when we applied for first grade and we didn’t know what our options would be. We applied, didn’t thinking we’d get in. We did, with the announcements in May, and by then she had a great support system of little friends, my husband and I saw what a great PTA the school had, and how neat the teachers were. The difference of maybe 80 API points (from 900 to 980 or whatever they were at) wasn’t enough to uproot her. My feeling is gifted kids are gifted wherever they go, it doesn’t disappear. Her current school has a strong gifted program, and I knew I could augment her at home for anything I felt she was missing.

    My neighborhood elementary school is a yearround 1000+ seat monster, so no, my daughter’s home school isn’t an option. We’re at her current school through open enrollment. When we get to middle school, I’ve looked at Holmes and my son went to Lawrence and that’s still a consideration (and could be possibilities for your daughter and son as well, given their North Valley locales). My daughter is currently in 2nd grade, so we have a LOT of time on choosing middle schools.

    Any other questions? 🙂

  46. Arrgh! This process is frustrating. My daughter just completed Kindergarten at Hazeltine Elmentary. Dreadful school (though her Kindergarten teacher was wonderful). In the 600’s. Bullied for her half-Asian heritage. In the running for Valley Alternative, where all her friends on our block go. We have 8 points now. Considering private school. If that’s the way we went, we’d lose the 4 points for her being in a PHBAO school. I simply can’t stand her being in that poor performing public school. Apart from losing PHBAO points, any detriment to her attending a private school while on the list for a magnet (aside to our pocketbooks).

    • Hi Kenny,

      To be clear, your daughter gets PHBAO points based on your NEIGHBORHOOD school. If that’s Hazeltine, great. If that’s another school, that’s fine too. Regardless of whether your daughter attends public, private, or you home school her, she’ll continue to reap those points. Did you apply for Valley Alternative and you’re on the waiting list now?

    • I am sorry to ever hear of any child being bullied. I am especially sensitive to this issue, as my children are have a multi-ethnic background. I wanted to let you know about the school that I work at, Vena Magnet. I am the magnet coordinator there, and we have many students from many cultures, and our school teaches about tolerance and celebrates differences. We are a gifted high ability magnet, so if your daughter qualifies, please contact our school at (818)896-9551. We may be an option to private school. However, if you do decide to come to our school, you would lose all wait list points accrued.

  47. I am in local district three, and I have my son (born 10/5/05) enrolled in the SRLDP at Richland Avenue Elementary for fall 2009. I have the possiblity of enrollment in SRLDP programs at Grandview Elementary or Playa del Rey Elementary. I also have the opportunity for him to attend an LAUP prgroam at the Washington West Campus through SMMUSD.

    I was wondering if I could get more information about the actual curriculum of the SRLDP program. I don’t get whether it is more play based or academic. Also among the three LAUSD schools I mentioned, do any one of them stand out as the better program?

    Lastly, do you have any idea how the LAUP at Washington West in SMMUSD compares to the SRLDP in LAUSD?

  48. My son attends Vintage Magnet, he is in 5th grade. He has been identified as Gifted. How exactly does the junior high enrollment process work? Does he automatically get in when I apply, or should I put him on a waiting list?

    We really lucked out when it came to getting him in at Vintage; they were having a hard time meeting their Caucasion ratio. I’m sure it won’t be as simple when it comes to junior high.


  49. What perfect timing, Liz.

    The entire magnet season has been moved up, with the Valley Magnet Nights in early November this year. Since you’ll be looking at middle schools, mark November 4th on your calendar. Sepulveda Middle School is hosting a Meet the Magnets night from 6:30 to 8:30 in their auditorium. You’ll be given information about a variety of magnets in the Valley.

    You will still need to apply by the new December deadline, and while your son isn’t automatically getting in, his 12 matriculation points will be a big help toward his getting in. Each magnet can tell you what the typical number of points to get in will be.

    Good luck!

    • I haven’t seen the new brochure, and the e-Choices website hasn’t been updated, but I’ve heard the date is December 18th. Brochures will be mailed to all current LAUSD families and available in school front offices soon.

  50. I did have another question. Could you please explain how the magnet busing works? Where are the kids picked up and dropped off? What do working parents (those who work past 4:00 or 5:00) do? Thanks

  51. Magnet buses typically pick up at a nearby school (elementary for elementary magnets, high schools for high school magnets). Be forewarned, the buses come extremely early. My son’s school was 15 minutes away, and he was expected to be at the bus site by 6:30 am. For that we just drove.

    You can check with the magnet if they have late buses (middle/high school) or if they have afterschool care like a YMCA or a Beyond the Bell program. You’d then pick up at the magnet afterschool. Otherwise, you might look at a nearby daycare provider to pick up and take to the center/home day care.

    • Just want to add that with budget cuts, LAUSD is extending the boundary for qualification to three miles for middle and high school students (no transportation provided if you live less than 3 miles from the school) and one-way riding times will now max out at 90 minutes. Check with your school to see maps, etc. With another 500 million to be cut in 2010-11, further cuts could be made.

      Bill Ring

    • Is there an online schedule? This would be part of us determining which magnet to apply for. Any way to see this year’s schedule?

      • Bus routes change each year, but you can at least talk to the school to understand the current bus routes. But because the students change each year (with students graduating and new students arriving) there’s no guarantee they’ll be the same.

        And as Bill suggests, they’re changing the busing zone to 3 miles, so almost all bets are off.

        You might also want to talk to the schools you’re interested in and see how the school helps with carpools.

  52. Our 3rd grade daughter was identified as intellectually gifted last year by the LAUSD psychologist.

    The gifted coordinator feels that our daughter is also gifted in the performing arts (singing and drama) and would like her to audition for identification next month.

    Assuming that our daughter auditions well and gets identified as gifted in the performing arts, what does that really mean for her? Will being “twice” gifted bear any preferential treatment when applying to a gifted magnet?

    We’d love to send her to a school that both challenges her and offers creative opportunities beyond what her current school offers, but only have 8 points due to a snafu last year when we applied to Wonderland and got dropped out of the queue (and got 0 wait list points) because our daughter had not yet been IQ tested and her inexperienced 1st grade teacher did not support what all other teachers (and we) had been seeing since preschool. ::sigh::

    • Hi Julie,

      You’re really talking about two different programs. The Gifted magnet would be her academically gifted assessment she’s received and you’d be eligible for a variety of high ability/gifted magnets.

      The audition for the visual and performing arts makes her eligible for the Saturday Conservancy program (and if anyone knows better, please correct me–I’ve never known anyone who’s done it). The auditions are held in May and November, and there’s a flyer on it here:

      As you’ll see, they’re two different programs, but you can ask various schools what types of programs they offer. I know there are a variety of performing arts magnets starting in middle school.

      You probably have already lived on the LAUSD GATE website, but it does try to explain the various programs, and it’s located here:

  53. Hi all,
    Its time for me to start the magnet point’s game to get my now 4th grade daughter into King’s Middle school gifted magnet. We have 4 points already and will apply to a hard to get into school this and next year. She goes to a PHBAO (Micheltorena) school, was labled gifted in 1st grade and officially tested as gifted at the end of second grade and she is considered “white”. I would love any advise on how / what we need to do to help her get into King in 6th grade and any info from parents of kids at King gifted would be much appreciated.

  54. Hi!
    My son is in 8th grade at a Beverly Hills school and I really don’t think he’s suited for Beverly High. I’m very interested in Hamilton High’s Academy of Music Magnet. It wasn’t until this year that we realized Bev High wouldn’t work for him so I’m just now looking into alternatives. Obviously we have not accumulated any points and we live in the Beverly Hills boundaries. Do you have any suggestions or recommendations?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Melanie – Officially, families must reside within the LAUSD boundaries to qualify for attendance at magnet schools. I do know that principals have considerable latitude in enrolling students into their magnets and that the magnet program is essentially in place as the result of a desegregation order and schools sometimes have difficulty maintaining the required balance. If a parent were to point to a documented imbalance, there might be some leverage there – still, even with walk-in applications, magnet coordinators are instructed to check resident addresses. Wonder if anyone outside of LAUSD has applied to a magnet using a work or child-care permit?


  55. Hi Melanie!

    You might want to check with Hamilton, but my understanding is that the magnet program is for LAUSD residents only. I’m hopeful other yentas can weigh in on this, especially those closer to Hamilton.

  56. Your site is awesome! The Choices brochure says that students (grades 2-7) who score above 425 and 450 for Language Arts and Math, respectively, can apply to gifted magnet programs. Do you know if these scores are the most recent test scores or if they have to go back 2 or more consecutive years? Thank you!


  57. Our daughter has just started Kindergarten at Wonderland. But somehow, we missed/didn’t receive the Choices brochure and were unaware of points etc., until after the deadline. I’ve read on the lausd website the choices are random, yet you need points… can someone clarify?

  58. My daughter will be finishing up 3rd grade this june. I never thought of applying into magnet program, until now. I’m unsure of all those other programs as well, sas, charter,etc. She attends Hope St Elementary, Huntington Park. I work out in the san fer. valley so I am willing to drive her or bus her to la area even. My big question is how do I choose a school?? There are just so many and how do I know which is better that the other?
    Please help!!

    • Hi Araceli,

      Sorry I didn’t see this sooner. You have to do some soul-searching and figure out what’s important to you. If you live in Huntington Park but work in the Valley, do you want to commute with her? What if you change jobs? Are you going to limit jobs to that area, or would you make her change schools?

      I like the idea of having a child near the parent’s work place, however, it means a LOT of driving for playdates, birthday parties, and school projects will be a challenge. On the other hand, if you work in the Valley and she goes to school an hour away, can you get away for conferences, or school functions on a regular basis?

      There are plenty of options in each area, but I’d definitely want to limit your geography first and then start looking. You’ll be able to narrow down your search pretty quickly.

  59. how does the acceptance letter look like? because i got one but it says things like ” return acceptance acknowledgement no later than april — ” then it says ” alternate pool; not qualified so i am very confused on if my child got accepted or not

    • Hmmm. Based on what you’ve said I’m not sure either, Graciela. Can you tell us more? Usually it is a form letter that either says “Your child has been accepted to XYZ school” or “Your child has been waitlisted at XYZ school.”

      More info please?

  60. I have a question about PHBAO. I know what it means and the value (4 pts) to the process. What I don’t know (after much searching of the LAUSD website) is what is the criteria for “designating” a school PHBAO. My residential elem school is not despite being 64% PHBAO, which by most math standards would qualify as “predominantly” (and would be a landslide in politics). Do you know what criteria the LAUSD uses?

    • Ron,

      I honestly don’t. But a call to your local school, or the magnet office might yield the results you desire.

  61. My son will be in 3rd grade in the fall and had the director at his (very expensive) private school send a letter off, per the requirements to apply at Wonderland. He was deemed “not gifted” and therefore not eligible to enroll at Wonderland. Will I receive points for this, or is it a total wash?

    • Sorry, Erik. It’s a wash. If your son is deemed not eligible, you won’t get points.

      You can visit your local school and ask that they test him (it’ll take forever–six months or longer) but it won’t help for this year.

      Good luck, and let us know what happens.

  62. I just wanted to know how long do you have to wait on the waiting list for the school’s magnet program to finally accept you?

    Another question is that do you have to have good grades in middle school to be in a magnet program when you first enter high school?

    Also, does coral springs high have a good medical program at their school?

    • Hi Rebeca,

      In Los Angeles Unified School District, you apply each year until you get in. So you could conceivably be denied each year and never get in. But each year you don’t get in (for up to 3 years), you get waiting list points so you get ranked higher each year.

      Again, in LAUSD, grades aren’t considered in the process. It’s simply a lottery.

      Coral Springs? I’m only familiar of a Coral Springs in FL. If there’s one in L.A., you’ll have to tell me where it is.

      Good luck!

  63. Hi:

    I just received an acceptance letter to Welby Way Gifted Magnet. I was a little shocked due to I really didn’t think she would get in. I am currently happy with the school she is in, however I feel I could be missing a great opportunity for her if I don’t accept.

    I am also worried that she wouldn’t be able to handle the work load. What would happen then? I feel a little lost and really not sure what I should do. My daughter is currently in the 1st grade and would attend this magnet (if we accept) for the 2nd grade.

    I have been at my home school (Lockhurst Elementary) for seven years. I have four children (grades: 7th, 4th, 3rd, 1st) and really want to make the right decision for all of us.


    Thank you for any feedback.

    • Helene,

      Welby Way is a fantastic school. If your daughter was accepted, she’d be able to handle the workload (because at least one of her current teachers felt she could, or she’s been tested and that indicates she can).

      On the other hand, you have 3 other kids in at least two other schools. Are you going to want to add to your morning commute/carpool? Are you willing to add another set of Back to School Night and other school functions? How will your little one react to not attending school with her older siblings? Are you happy with the middle school your oldest attends? How do you like the teachers in the upcoming grades?

      Not all kids in a family can or should go to the same school for simplicity’s sake, but there is something to be said about knowing the ins and outs, which teachers to request, which to avoid, and how the politics are handled at your current school.

      If you’d said your daughter was languishing and you knew she needed change, I’d be the first to encourage you to move her. But think hard about what this will do to you as a family and what it could do for her. Only you know what is right for your daughter, but don’t let public opinion or popularity sway you.

      Good luck and let us know what you decide.

  64. Hi,
    My daughter was accepted to Melrose Math/Science Magnet Kindergarden. I only applied so she can get points, and didn’t even think that she’d get in (the chances were 1 out of 10…)…of course, our luck…Melrose Elementary scores 4 on the and they just switched to magnet last year. Does anyone have any experience/knowledge about this school? From my limited understanding, being magnet, is not necessary means it is good. Our local school is Laurel, which is not any better.
    On the other hand, my daughter is way too advance (she reads, writes, counts, etc.) for kindergarden and I feel she’ll be rather bored and unchallenge doing kindergarden stuff. How easy/difficult is it to skip a grade in LAUSD?

  65. We have twins currently in 2nd grade at Beckford Elem. Our son got into Balboa and his sister is waitlisted with 8 points. Ideally, we would like to find a way to get into SOCES in 4th grade but we didn’t apply as such previously. Questions are should we send him to Balboa and hope that she gets into SOCES next year? Does he lose all his points once he enters a magnet school and we start over again? We also have an option to send them both to Lorne magnet next year-would that facilitate or diminish their chances of getting into the desired program at SOCES? Please advise.

    • Peggy offers excellent advice below, but also please keep in mind you can not accumulate wait list points while in a magnet. So if you decide that SOCES is the goal, then, your best bet would be to keep your kids where they are, apply somewhere pretty tough to get into for 3rd grade (aiming for rejection points), and hope your daughter can get into SOCES for 4th. There are few openings for 5th, and your son might get in, but they add students again in 6th, so you’d have another chance.

      Good luck!

      • Right now with all the situations in terms of enrollment, 4th is always best – we add 4 classes a year ~200 students, but we add studnets at every level each year. Highest in 6th and 9th. But a lot of follow ups happen after school starts, so if ou really wnat to remind the coordinator, as we enroll a call might help if you are one with similar points at the top of the lists.

        • Thanks so much for this feedback. I know many people are “surprised” in fourth grade and get in and others are despondent when they don’t get accepted in sixth. It’s all about planning and playing the odds.

  66. With twins, you have a common dilemma when it comes to siblings getting into a magnet at the same time. Unfortunately, once you are given an opportunity to be in a magnet, you will lose all wait list points. In other words, you are no longer “waiting”–you got in. Whether you decide for your son to attend Balboa, Lorne, or stay at Beckford, he will no longer have those points.
    Your daughter, however, has a choice to keep on the wait list and continue to accrue points which would help increase chances of her getting into either SOCES (but probably without her brother) or Balboa (with her brother).
    If you decide to put both of them in Lorne next year, they will be together, but your daughter will lose her wait list points.
    Tough choices that only your family can make. My advice is to always apply to a school that you would attend, or understand that those points can go up in smoke.

    • Peggy, your last line is key in these days of class size increases. Many parents were caught off guard by last years’ financial crisis and what it did to magnet admittance.

      On the other hand, we’re all in the same boat, and we have to gamble a little for a chance at the desired results. I wish it weren’t that way, but until all schools in LAUSD are rated well, we’re somewhat with gambling.

  67. I’m not sure how that article can be read to threaten magnets (as opposed to charters). There was a court case recently that could have threatened magnets and you are right to mention the expense of busing, but that was not mentioned in the article. Magnets are specifically designed to reduce segregation on a campus, even though they don’t necessarily affect segregation within core classes. It would be hard to see how magnets could be worsening segregation given that they attract white parents to non-white neighborhoods and vice versa.

    Even without any threat to the future of magnets, neighborhood schools and the SAS/small school w/n a school movement should also be of interest to any interested in magnets. A lot of parents focus on magnets without giving their local school a shot.

  68. What is the average age that kids have in 3rd grade at Balboa Magnet? Range? Is there a rule? Also, how many spots are open in 3rd grade every yaer?

    • Gloria:
      Average third grade age at Balboa is the same for most schools… 8-9 years old or so. The only rules are regarding admission, etc. If your child is younger than the norm you would have to get them enrolled early thru LAUSD, etc. I’m told this doesn’t happen a ton but who knows?

      The number of spots opens varies. You would have to talk to the school directly. A lot changes year to year; for example, last year due to budget difficulties, LAUSD increased the ratio of kids per classroom upward, which meant magnets had a lot more openings than normal for each grade. But that was an anomaly for the one year.

      Balboa starts in first grade so most kids would enter then but they usually have some openings in other grades, too. Again… ask the school. Good luck!

  69. my child goes to a charter school in los angeles, but it is not with the district. She wants to go to a magnet high school, but i am unsure about how many magnet points she has because she went to a lausd elementary school was tested in the gifted program. Is there any way to get into the magnet high school?

  70. Hi ally,

    Gifted students don’t automatically get points for magnet consideration. Have you applied to and been turned down for a magnet in the last 3 years?

    When does your daughter enter high school?

    You can contact the magnet school and see how many points typically are required to gain admittance–some take more and some require less.

    What are your backup options? Because she has tested gifted, you can also look at SAS programs.

  71. My daughters (1st and 2nd grade) will be attending a LAUSD gifted magnet elementary school but we have plans to move mid year, and will be closer to a different LAUSD gifted magnet. I am aware that I will need to apply for the new school, but we’ve obviously used our points and I’m guessing we would be starting from scratch. Do we get any sort of “credit” for already being in the magnet track? Or will we be given the same consideration as any other new appplicant?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Chris,

      How far a move is it? Do you like your current gifted magnet? The difficulty will be in moving to another gifted magnet, honestly. Rather than give you “credit” for having been in a gifted magnet, it’s going to be a challenge to switch. If you were to apply late this fall for next year, your daughters will not receive points for being in a magnet and they won’t receive wait list points if they don’t get in. The only points you’ll be able to get are for PHBAO–if your new neighborhood school is predominantly Hispanic, Black, Asian or other; if your home school is overcrowded (which few schools get these points any more). The upside is once one of your daughters get in, you’ll have a chance to use sibling points as well. But for highly sought after magnets, it will be a challenge. You might be able to get your older daughter into a 3rd grade magnet and then your younger the next year with sibling points, but contact the magnet coordinator at the new school for the likelihood before you make that decision.

      There are other options like SAS, so not all is lost.

  72. Thanks so much for the insight. The move is only about 15 miles, but could be upwards of 30 minutes with traffic, so I’m not sure the commute would make sense in the long term (and busing is not available from the new neighborhood). We do like our current magnet, and the one in the new neighborhood is Welby Way, so I know our chances of getting in are slim to none.

  73. A question about the magnet program. Please answer!
    I am in high school, the magnet program. I want to apply to another magnet program in another high school.

    *I’m doing this because I want the option of being able to go to another high school next year if I don’t like this high school. If I do like this high school, can I simply decline (assuming I get accepted in the magnet program at the other high school) and continue going to this Magnet program at my school? Or will they kick me out (at my current school) because I was accepted at another magnet high school program?

    Thanks if you do answer!

    • You will not be able to use the points you accrued to get into the school you are now attending other than for that school. You DO have options, however, including the following: 1) you can attempt a walk-in registration at another magnet school – yes, spaces are sometimes available once school begins; 2) you can look for a particular Small Learning Community (SLC) at another high school or apply via the School for Advanced Studies (SAS) permit; 3) you can transfer to another school if your current school is in Program Improvement (PI) although this will not give you access to any magnet program. There is one other choice I can think of: statewide open enrollment is now the law although districts (including LAUSD) are likely not complying with letting families know about it. Hope this helps- perhaps others will have additional suggestions.

    • You can apply to another magnet, but you will only get the PHBAO and overcrowding points–not usually enough to get in anywhere. If you *did* get into another magnet you could decline and stay where you are.

    • Hi, Kristal!

      From my understanding, if you are already in the magnet program and apply to another magnet school and get into the new school, you will automatically be transferred to that school without the opportunity to “decline.” You will not have return rights to your old school. I believe this process assumes that your intentions are to move, so the district does not bother with the extra step of contacting parents.
      So, make sure you truly want to transfer before applying. But if you don’t get into the school you are applying to, you remain at the current magnet school.

      • If Peggy has heard otherwise, I’d go with that. You can also talk to the folks at the magnet office downtown and get the official answer.

  74. Wow, this is a great site and I wish I had seen these post a whole lot sooner.
    Anyway, I have a couple of questions that I would love some feedback on:

    My son is at Holmes int eh SAS program, we got a call that he was next in line for the Magnet school. What is the benefit to Magent over SAS?

    Once he is accepted in the Magnet program, if you do move him from SAS to magnet, do we have to reapply through the Choices brouchure every year until he graduates?

    Has the requirement for being 5 years old by Dec to enroll in kindergarten changed to September? Our youngest son’s bday is in October, does this mean he will be held back a whole year because of this change? If we leave him in a private kindergarten until 1st grade, will they still not allow him in public school if he turns 6 in October going into 1st grade?

    • Talk to the magnet and your SAS coordinator regarding the differences in program. Essentially, the SAS is a gifted program. The magnet is a humanities program. Students don’t *need* to be gifted, but I’m sure they’re teaching at a more challenging level–but ASK. The benefit is the magnet class size at the schools with both (that I’ve seen) is smaller than the SAS class size. That’s not the ONLY reason to move, but it’s a consideration. If you turn down the magnet, you’ll lose your points, and you will have to reapply somewhere each year and hope you get turned down in order to have any points for HS.

      As for your little one, relax. The state law is being implemented in degrees. It’ll move a month or so each year–starting in a couple of years. Soooo, your October baby is safe 🙂 If they did change it, you’d have to do both a private kinder and a private first grade, because CA state law dictates the age for both of those grades.

  75. I recently received a phone call informing me that a spot had become available at the magnet we had applied for. It’s 3 weeks into the school year and we don’t want to leave our current school. Since nothing was sent in writing (just a message on my answering machine) I was wondering … if I don’t call back to decline, will he loose his points? In the past we have received a letter way before the school year started.

    • Leslie,

      In years past, I’ve heard that people got away with this. When we received our call last June (before school got out) I mentioned the same thing, and the coordinator at the school my daughter was accepted to assured me they make the families forfeit points. Your call whether you want to call them back and try to talk them out of losing your points or not. I wish I had better news for you.

  76. Thanks for making some sense out of the Choices mess. What if you just want to go to your local school? Would you need points for that? What if your child wants to go to their local middle school which is gifted/highly gifted (Lawrence) and they are eligible but has no points? Are we just out of luck?

    • Hi Donna,

      It depends on your child’s current grade level and how you want to proceed. Lawrence is 3 schools–the “regular” school, an “SAS” which means schools for advanced studies, and the gifted magnet. If your son is identified gifted, he will automatically be placed in the SAS. If you want to apply to the magnet, even with no points, you’ll be at somewhat of an advantage. While you would be at the bottom of the waitlist, if you let them know repeatedly that you want to switch in, by the first day or even a couple of days in, they can make the switch to get him in. He’d still have the same friends for lunch and might have the same PE class. Few people are willing to yank a kid out for a magnet after school starts, so since the only thing that would change are a few classes, you can still get in that way. And even if he doesn’t get in for 6th, he’s more likely to get in for 7th with the wait points–for the same reason. If they know you want the spot, and you’re right there, they’ll have some leeway on who they take at the last minute.

      Good luck. My son attended Lawrence, and most of the magnet teachers are the same 6 years later. Some of the best teachers he had ever were at Lawrence.

  77. I just recently discovered this site (a few days ago) and am so very glad I did. I read through all of the replies under this blog entry looking for answers to my questions and did not find them. Hopefully someone can help me.

    I have a 4 1/2 year old in a Montessori school here in California. He is currently in the Kindergarten class for this school year. His teacher told me that the students test at or slight above their grade level. I understand that there are age-requirement laws in the State of California that apply to Kindergarten and First Grade. Here is the applicable language regarding such:

    “A child who was not age-eligible for kindergarten (that is, the child turned five after December 2 in the school year) and who attended a California private school kindergarten for a year is viewed by the CDE as not legally enrolled in kindergarten, pursuant to EC Section 48000 requirements. Therefore, this child, upon enrollment in public school, is enrolled in kindergarten, assessed, and may (but is not required to) be immediately promoted to first grade if the child meets the following State Board of Education criteria, pursuant to Title 5, Section 200…”

    So my question is, would it be accurate to assume that my child is not old enough to apply for a Magnet as a 1st grader? He must apply at the Kindergarten level, correct?

    My next question has to do with the point system. If my child applies to a magnet and is accepted at the Kindergarten level, can we apply to a different magnet the following year (1st grade) and carry his 12 matriculation points from the Kindergarten magnet to that different magnet (1st grade)?

    My third question is when a school says that it has a certain number of “openings” for the next school year, are the majority of those “openings” designated for the 1st level class of that school. So for instance, a magnet starts with 1st grade and they have 75 openings for the next school year….are those 75 openings designated for the 1st grade minus whatever number of students in other grades left to go other schools? Or does a school say, “next year we’re going to make 40 spots available for the 1st level class (e.g. Kindergarten), 5 for the next level (e.g. 1st grade), 2nd grade, 3rd grade, etc., and then x number of available spots for students who left?

    My fourth question has to with choosing which school to apply to:


    Scenario #1: X School has 35 openings available for the following school year. 400+ applications were sent the previous year for that school. The school is approximately 10 minutes from your residence (but not your home school). The school is your #2 choice.

    Scenario #2: Y School has 50 openings available for the following school year. 1000+ applications were sent the previous year for that school. The school is approxiamately 20-30 minutes from your residence. The school is your #1 choice.

    Which school do you apply to?

    My fifth and final question is what’s the likelihood of getting into a magnet at the first grade level (e.g. Kindergarten) of a school with zero magnet points? Does that ever happen?

    Thank you very much for an information!

    • If your child is not 5 by Dec. 2, then he’s considered kindergarten. I’ve heard some people stay in private school until completing first grade in order to by pass that law.

      Second question: Your child will not get matriculation points until the final year of the magnet. There are no kindergarten-only magnets so his matriculation points wouldn’t kick in until 5th grade at a typical elementary school. If you try to apply to another magnet before the last grade of the magnet, you will not receive any matriculation or wait points.

      The majority of openings are typically the first year, with the rest spread among the other years. So if a magnet starting in kindergarten says it has 75 openings and they have 3 kindergarten classes, you’re looking at 72 openings in kinder and 3 for the rest of the grades. You can ask on a tour what the actual openings are likely to be, but that can change between applying, the end of this school year, and the fall as people move away or find other options for their kids.

      For your example, I’d tour both schools and go with the one you actually like. With absolutely no points, it’s a very long shot, but given that the numbers might change for class size, something might open up.

      • Didn’t the Governor sign into law the kindergarten age change? This may not be related to the above questioner’s child, but just to avoid confusion, isn’t the cutoff Nov. 2 next year (you must be 5 by that date rather than Dec. 2), and then Oct. 2 in Fall 2012, and Sept. 2 by Fall 2013? I know there are still ways to get around that if your child demonstrates ability, but I just wanted to make sure I didn’t miss something.

        • Hi anon,

          We’d love for you to use your name or some sort of nickname when you post. Anon just seems so impersonal and you often post really relevant information.

          Yes, it will change starting in 2012 (Gov signed 9/30), and then move a month each year until 2014 when it will be September for the cutoff. But as you’ve pointed out, this person is applying for a 4 1/2 year old in 2011, so it doesn’t apply. Also, I’ve never heard of anyone successfully challenging the cut off in any districts I’ve been affiliated with, but if you know of some folks who were able to petition and get in, please share.

          • Thank you very much for your help!

            One more quick question if I may. Once all of the available spots are filled, who handles the waiting list, the district or the school (Principal)?

          • Someone at the office, usually the magnet coordinator, but it’s handled at the school site. They have *some* discretion as the summer progresses, but they still must adhere to the racial balance that the magnet program addresses. That’s why one child with 8 points might get in, while another child is still waiting with 12. That said, if you are on the wait list, it does behoove you to call and be very friendly and call occasionally with reminders (NOT every day or week).

  78. Some friends and I are perfectly perplexed. I am happy to report we are all happy at our LAUSD SFV elementary schools (some charters, some not). Our kids are in kinder. Some people have suggested we wait until 3rd grade to start accumulating points for middle school. But we are thinking perhaps we should keep applying to an impossible to get into school every year going forward just in case we have a change of mind about our current schools or well, who knows what. I understand the danger is that your child might get in. Then you lose your points if you decline the position. In sum, if you’re happy at your elementary school, when would you advise starting to apply to schools in order to get rejected to get middle school points and would you advise against applying for 1st grade which will be where our kids will be 2011-2012. Thank you. Leslee

    • Leslee.

      If you’re happy where you are at, I’m currently recommending NOT applying for these “just in case” scenarios. We got in to a magnet in first grade, which we promptly turned down. Lo and behold, the last week of school in third grade, we got called again. We’re now in the same boat as people who don’t plan ahead. We love our elementary and were looking for middle school. With the VERY real possibility that class size will increase either this year or next you will be snake-bit and get in somewhere you weren’t intending. There is no such thing as an “impossible to get into” magnet and people DO get in–some happily, and some quite by surprise.

      On the other hand, if you apply to a school like SOCES that’s hard to get and you’re happy if you get in either in 4th or 6th (earlier than you wanted, but where you want to end up), then go for it. But truthfully with that is on the horizon, all bets are off.

  79. Hi

    I am a bit confused. My daughter is in 4th grade now. I want her to stay and finish her 5th grade at her current school but then we want her to go to a magnet school for 6th grade. We have never applied to magnet so therefore have no points yet. I have been told I should apply this year by next week so at least we get some points. Does it mean I have to apply for a 5TH GRADE spot at ANY magnet school and hope to be rejected and put on a waiting list…? and then next year (when she is in 5th grade) apply for the magnet school she actually wants in and hope for the best?

    Thank you. This is so confusing

    • Linda,

      It’s apparently not as confusing as you think, because you nailed it on the head. You apply in 4th grade to a school with few openings at that grade level. Assuming you live in an area that will not grant you points for other reasons (overcrowding, PHBAO, etc) you will stay on the wait list since applications are ranked in order of points.

      Even if she did magically get in, you would decline the opportunity, and no harm/no foul. But you definitely want to try for something this year to get some rejection points for next year or you will have nearly no chance of getting in next year.

      Please make sure you look at other options like open enrollment and SAS, too, so you aren’t locked out if she doesn’t get into a magnet for 6th grade.

      Good luck!

  80. also is it possible to get into a magnet school if we just move to the neighborhood where the magnet school is. We would be willing to move.

    • And unfortunately no. If you move, you can go to the home school, and that might give you a better chance to transfer in to the magnet a couple weeks in to the school year (before norm day), but you don’t automatically get to go to a magnet just because you live across the street. Sorry!

  81. oh wow. I thought maybe a magnet school could be the home school. I know Brentwood Science in Brentwood is a home school to people who live south of San Vicente and i is also a magnet science.

    This is going to be tricky. Thanks for all your help

    • Most magnets are in a neighborhood school, but the magnet itself requires application through the CHOICES brochure. If Brentwood Science is the regular school, then there’s a magnet that is separate. I hadn’t heard that first hand, so if someone else from the area can confirm, that would be great.

  82. If I have a child who is bi-racial and the school is 60/40 non-white/white, which ethnic group would I have a better chance of getting in with? I am assuming here that the school tells the office of integration that they need a certain number of lottery winners from the different ethnic groups. Is that an incorrect assumption on my part? If so then how would a school be able to stay ethnically balanced if say 90% of the lottery winners were white (unlikely but theoretically possible)? Would the school then start cherry picking applicants off the waiting list to balance things out? Wouldn’t that then put a school at risk for overcrowding? Which ethnic group should I bubble in to increase our chances? Thank you.

    • Dina,

      Talk to the magnet. They can tell you which option is easier. In some neighborhoods it behooves you to put down white, and in others, minority. The specific minority does not matter–they’re not broken down that specifically. The applications are broken down into two lists by white or minority. Then the school, with say 100 openings, would say 60 minority and 40 white and start at the top of each of those two lists.

      Again, if you have the option of applying as either group, talk to the magnet coordinator and find out what gives you better odds. For instance at a tour I went to a couple years ago, the cut was 16 points for minority and 12 for white. So you could then choose accordingly. Keep in mind that once your child gets in, the child must remain that designation until they matriculate from that magnet. You would be able to apply to the next level as the other ethnicity.

      • So if the cut was 16 for minority and 12 for white, that tells me either the school is in a predominately minority neighborhood, they receive an overwhelmingly large number of minority applications, and/or they needed to move their ethnic ratio in a certain direction. Are any of those assumptions accurate? Thanks.

        • No, no, and no.

          What that tells you is that in this scenario, the kids with 16 points getting in are coming from a home school that is either overcrowded or PHBAO, hence they get those 4 extra points for either category. They may never have attended a school in their own neighborhood. I happen to live by an elementary/middle/high complex of schools that is PHBAO. As my son graduated from magnet to magnet, he received those points without ever stepping foot on those campuses. The school with the 16/12 point cut off was Nobel magnet in the SFV–a highly sought after option for MANY families.

          The 16/12 break down also says that some West Valley families could still opt for their neighborhood middle school and didn’t bother to apply to Nobel, or opted for SAS or other programs. Coming from the East Valley, there are still many kids who have to find options outside of low performing schools for our gifted/highly gifted/high performing kids.

          It’s also critical to realize the population of an LAUSD school is something like 80-90 or more minority. If every white kid wants to get into a magnet, there’s typically more slots available throughout the entire magnet program. Now that might not be at Balboa or SOCES, but there are spots available at many schools.

  83. Hello,

    If your child is accepted and enrolls in an Elementary LAUSD magnet, completes a year, and then you move (but still within LAUSD boundaries), are you dropped from that current magnet? Do you then have to start the application process all over again?

    As you start applying for middle school, your points are then determined from the home school of your current address (the one you moved “to”), correct?

    Third, what forms of proof of residence does a school use to determine where you live? When you enroll does the school require that proof of residence information or do they go looking for that during random audits?

    Thank you.

    • Assuming you don’t move too far in LAUSD, it won’t affect your attendance in the magnet. They do have a limit of a 90 minute bus ride each year.

      The points would be based on where you lived when you turned it in in December. I’d highly suggest calling downtown if you plan to move between December and April when the letters go out.

      I think when you first enroll at an LAUSD you show your water bill (NOT a phone bill), and after that, the magnets really won’t care where you live–provided it’s within LAUSD.

    • Hi Melody,

      LAUSD will test all students in second grade starting this year. They’ll be using the Otis Lennon School Ability Test. You can read more about it here:

      As for identifying your child sooner, LAUSD will require either their psychological test or identification by a teacher (answering a series of questions). You can ask that a teacher fill out the form identifying your child as possibly gifted as soon as kindergarten, which will allow you to apply for a first grade spot at a magnet or an SAS (School for Advanced Studies).


      Most gifted magnets don’t start until second or third grade, and none start in kindergarten.

    • If your child is in a LAUSD school for kinder, apply for one of the gifted magnet- via the choices- for first grade. Then it will be LAUSD’s job to ask your child’s kinder teacher to id him as gifted or not.

  84. I have a multi-ethnic child. I want to get points, beginning next year (2nd grade) so we have a shot at LACES. Is it possible to mark one ethnicity bubble for one school, e.g., caucasian for a predominately white magnet elementary, and then a different race bubble for application to LACES? Can it ever be changed?

    • You can apply as one race, but when you get in, you need to stay that designation until you graduate from that school. But assuming you want to apply this year and have less chance, and more chance later, YES, you can change from one year to another.

      • Just to clarify – if we somehow got into an elementary magnet as “caucasian,” would we be able to apply for middle school during my son’s 5th grade year using another ethnicity? Or are you saying we can change the ethnicity bubble only if we DON’T get in?

        • You could apply to the next level (middle/high) as a different bubble. We stuck to one bubble throughout my son’s tenure in LAUSD, and the same bubble for my daughter. It’s my least favorite part of the system, but honestly if you get some benefit from being forced to check one, despite being two or more ethnicities, then go for it. It’s still my belief it’s easier at most schools to get in as white.

          • Oh, man, your last sentence has thrown me. Why is that? Even at schools that are predominately white? (This will be my last question, I promise. 🙂 ) I really appreciate your responding. It all seems so complicated!

          • Can only speak for the San Fernando Valley, so all bets are off over the hill. But when Nobel Middle School tells you it’s 16 points to get in as a minority and 12 as white, it’s easier to get in as white. You can ask this at any tour or of any magnet coordinator. They know what the numbers are for each group–either for the last year or even “typically” in the last few years. It’s especially good to know if you’re white in a PHBAO school or a minority with a home school that won’t receive PHBAO. A white kid with PHBAO points suddenly has 16, and should be a lock. And a minority kid would be 12 (matriculation or wait) and no PHBAO would be down the wait list. But again you have to talk to the coordinators to know what the situation is at the schools you’re looking for.

            And having said that…I HATE talking about races like this. This is simply an example.

  85. I live in Kester school district and would like my son to eventually go to the Kester Magnet school. My son has a September birthday so it puts us in the situation that when the birthday requirement is Oct 1 for K he could go as a 4 turning 5 year old, or he could wait a year when the requirement is Sept 1 and he would go as a 5 turning 6 year old. My question is this, can I apply for one of the K magnets (Community) for the year he is 4 turning 5 and if he doesn’t get in, get those wait list points and keep him in his preschool? Can we apply again to Community the following year for K to get another 4 wait list points (if he does not get in again) and send him to Kester so that we will have 8 points when I apply for 1st grade? I hope that makes sense.


    • Elena, If I understand you correctly you want to apply and get points for kindergarten x2. The answer is no. You can only get points for consecutive grades. You can keep him in preschool, but in order to get the wait points, you will need to be looking for first grade. Essentially, only apply for the year he is actually going to kindergarten, whether that’s at 4 turning 5, or 5 or turning 6.

  86. I am wondering how spots are allocated in a magnet school when there are more applicants with the same number of points than there are spaces available? Is it a lottery? And would that be done separately for the “minority” and “white” categories? And if it is a lottery, are those not accepted placed on a wait list of any sort?

    • First the applicants are ranked by points. All kids with the same number of points are then randomly selected. And yes, there is a separate list for white/minority. After all the slots are given up, a list of the remaining students is sent to the schools. So say that the cut is 8 points for white, and 12 for minority. A family calls and says their white child is not going to attend afterall. The coordinator or whoever is working the list, then goes to the next student on the randomly generated list with 8 points. If that family refuses, they go down one more (and so on and so on) until someone accepts. I assume they also try to maintain boy-girl balance to a degree, but I’ve never heard that was mandated to 50-50 or anything close to it.

      During the summer, they’re pretty firm with the list, but by the first day of school I’ve heard some tales of families who respectfully called several times after being advised of their wait status who just show up the first day and get in by showing up. I’m NOT saying that happens everywhere, but I’ve been told by pretty reliable people that as school starts they have some flexibility on how far they go down the list–but they still have to maintain balance.

  87. I have a 2nd grade son. I applied for Community Magent school last year and earned 4pts. However, for this year, I am thinking about to apply to different school. If I apply to different magnet school, 4 pts. that I earned from Community Magnet will be disappeared? In order to accumulate 12 pts, do I have to apply to same school every year?

    • You do not have to apply to the same school each year to accumulate wait list points. The only reason points would disappear is if you get admitted and decline a spot. They only count three year’s worth of wait list points, though, so points earned in earlier years will disappear as you progress through the system (assuming your child isn’t admitted somewhere first).

        • I know what you mean. Any word on when magnet letters will be mailed this year? I wonder if the uncertainty on funding is going to delay them, either because some schools are uncertain they want to continue magnets in the absence of a coordinator (possible, but unlikely given principals’ need to attract students) or because the budget uncertainty has led magnets to request that LAUSD increase their caps or at least admit up to their caps because of the potential they will have a lower yield and/or the hope that more students will offset the funding cuts somewhat.

          • Given the situation at the regular schools, I anticipate that they will be pulling the full 29:1 for the lower grades and adding two from 4th through 8th. I don’t think any will fold, since they’re part of a desegregation plan.

    • If anyone can give advice on choosing between Melrose Magnet and Larchmont Charter, I’d be eternally grateful. Well, for a realllly long time!

      Yes, it’s a good problem to have. But what to DO?

  88. If you apply and get into a magnet school that is not your first choice, can your child attend that magnet school for a year, then automatically move to any other magnet school in LAUSD that you choose the next year? In other words, do they save spots in lagnet schools for other magnet students? My daughter got into SOCES for 5th grade, but we really want LACES for 6-12.

    • Hi ayanna,

      I hope you’re sitting down. You’re in at SOCES, and while attending SOCES–or any magnet, you will not accumulate any points to transfer to another magnet. Because SOCES goes through 12th grade, you will never receive matriculation points. Judging from several of the posts of parents trying to get into LACES, it’s going to take more than the 8 or 11 you could accumulate with PHBAO, overcrowding and sibling points. If you really don’t want SOCES, and are hoping for LACES, you should turn down the SOCES spot. But not before you figure out what the odds of getting into LACES from other grades are. You will not have enough points for 6th grade.

      The magnet program is a desegregation program–nothing more. Once your child is admitted, the district feels it’s done its job. So there are no spots saved to transfer into other magnets.

      You can call LACES for more information, but you are going to likely have to decide if you want her to go to SOCES and be happy with it or try for LACES as a very, very long shot.

  89. I just read that you are not guaranteed to get into a Magnet Middle school even though your child has been going to a Magnet Elementary School since 1st grade.. Do many children not move onto a Magnet Middle School even they have been in an Elementary Magnet School?(same for Middle school to High School) I thought that was the point to get your child into a Magnet School at an early age? If you are not collecting points while attending a Magnet Elementary how do we get into a Magnet Middle School without points? Very confusing. Please advise.
    Peace, Kelley

    • You get 12 points for simply coming from a magnet elementary school. If your home middle school is also PHBAO, you get an additional 4 points (same if you have siblings there etc). What you don’t get is wait-list points, but the maximum wait-list points you can carry at any one time is 12 so you are in no worse shape coming from a magnet ES and likely in better shape. If you have no other sources of points than the 12 matriculation points, though, it is certainly possible you can still be wait-listed at the more popular magnet middle or high schools (where 16 points may be necessary and they cannot take all kids with 16 in the first pass anyway).

    • Kelly, that is correct. Most magnet students do get into magnets–or SAS programs or open enrollment. The point is to get your children into schools that match their strengths and interests. And if you don’t accumulate points, it can be a challenge to get into a middle school, but not all magnets require a full complement of points to be admitted. Newer magnets, and lesser known magnets are both options that don’t require the full 12-23 points.

      • ok, I want to be clear, Kelly. Are you saying if you are coming from a NONmagnet to apply to a middle school magnet or are you asking about coming from another magnet?

  90. I have a child starting Kindergarten this year. I noticed that some schools offer a SAS program starting in Kindergarten. Does a child get tested before one can apply to the program at the kindergarten level? I applied for the magnet program at Valley alternative for points hoping to improve my chances in 1st grade (I am on the waiting list and I got PHBAO points). Would participation in a SAS program hurt my chances of getting into a magnet program for next year?

  91. I have twins and applied for the magnet. But both children got denied. What would my chances be that both get in? Or will only one get in? Im concerned about this. I was in the magnet progrm in Elementary, JR High and H.S.. I wish you got points for the parent being a former Magnet student . Is being persistant the key to getting in?

    • Hi Bianca,

      You’ll need to contact the magnet and find out where they end up on the waiting list. If one is high and one is low, it’s VERY likely that one will get in and the other will need to wait a year.

      Persistent, perky, and friendly with the return calls all help. Luck factors in significantly as well.

      And I understand your frustration. My kids are 10 years apart, so we don’t get any priority to allow my daughter to follow where her brother attended, either.

      • You can try calling magnet schools to check if they are accepting “walk-in” applications. With twins, you are crossing your fingers that they will have several openings at that particular grade level. You have more chances, let’s say, for fourth grade because the class size goes up.

        If you are in the SF Valley, you might consider our school, Vena Ave. G/HA Magnet if your children qualify. We have limited openings still available.

  92. I have a son entering 2nd grade in the fall from Richard Riordan primary center which only goes up to 1st grade. Our home school is Latona Elementary as of May. Previously it was Monte Vista elemntary. I am trying to get him into Arroyo Seco magnet because he is very interested in science. This is my first year applying for a magnet scholl (wish i knew about the points much sooner).

    1- Does Latona still has the 4 points since it is a three track school (read on a previous post).

    2- We marked hispanic on his application, but i am also part native american. I don’t know how that plays into the whole “minority vs. white” thing. Since i am born here and so was my mother could i put “white” if it is more favorable on next year’s application with out losing any accumulated points?

    3- Also i read that some people have had luck by just showing up on the first day of school. If I were to do that what would be my course of action? Go to the office and just give it a shot? What is the likelyhood of them being able to go that far down the list (he only has 4 points due to his school being PHBAO).

    4- I would also like to speak to the magnet director but would like to know what questions i should be asking regarding point requirements.

    I know this is a lot of questions but there is so much i didn’t know, until i came across this site.

    Thank you!

    • If you already applied, you should have gotten the letter that says how many points you have regarding overcrowding or PHBAO. I’m not sure any school gets overcrowding points anymore, but there’s always a possibility.

      I’d contact the magnet coordinator directly and ask what the likelihood of getting in off the waiting list, and whether showing up first day will likely accomplish anything. The magnet coordinator can also tell you if there’s a big difference in applying next year as the other race–sometimes there is, and sometimes there’s not.

      As for the changing race mid-application, check with the magnet office downtown. I know you can change between schools (meaning between what you applied to elementary as versus what you opt to apply to middle school as), but I’m not sure about once you’re on a wait list and getting points for that designation.

  93. Hi, My son just got into magnet school Columbus Middle school in West Hills but he also got into the SAS program at Nobel Middle School in Northridge. I’m not sure which one to choose. He is currently in the 6th grade and going to 7th grade. He is gifted and currently attends Arroyo Seco Magnet, Can you provide me with any input on Columbus and Nobel?

    • It’s hard to say without knowing more about your situation. Have you toured both campuses? Where are you coming from (distance will be an issue if he’s been at Arroyo Seco)? What interests your son? Nobel’s program is well regarded, and I don’t know much about Columbus. There’s only a week left of school, but you might want to just call and see if you can tour both. Good luck.

      • We leave in West Hills. That’s why he is not going back to Arroyo. (we lived close to Arroyo seco before) He likes music and computers. Both schools are close by within 5 miles. What is the difference between the SAS programs and the Magnet?

        • OK, that’s making more sense. I can’t really comment on Columbus’ program. The website from the magnet brochure is listed here. SAS is a gifted program. Students must be identified as gifted in order to attend. The Magnet doesn’t require giftedness as an admission criterium. Both will likely have honors courses. My suggestion to you will definitely go in and meet with/tour as soon as you can–and before school lets out.

          Good luck.

  94. Hello! Ok I am so confused! My daughter was just accepted into the SAS program at Nobel. (YAY!!!) However, a lot of her friends are going to be attending the Nobel Magnet Honors classes. Will my SAS daughter and her Magnet Honors friends be in classes together? I can’t seem to get the answer…I know if it were regular business hours I could just call the school and find out…but it’s Saturday today and I am hopeful someone out there can answer my question before regular business hours resume, (i know, i know, patience is a virtue). Thanks in advance if you can answer my question!


    • Different classes but they can end up hanging at lunch, and probably PE and maybe some electives. And of course, you can keep the carpools. I have friends that toured both the Magnet and the SAS and some preferred one and others preferred the other. Both are excellent programs, and middle school is the perfect time to branch out a little bit and meet new people too.

      Good luck!!

  95. Hi all,
    Does anyone know about Burbank vs. LAUSD. We live in Burbank Unified School District but would love to get into a magnet school. Do you have to be LAUSD to apply to magnets?

    • Hi Leigh,

      In order to apply to and attend LAUSD magnets you must live in LAUSD’s jurisdiction. So for now you’ll need to look at Burbank schools.

  96. Hi, I feel like a dope but I STILL don’t understand the rejection-points thing. If we have have been put on a wait list twice for a magnet program, shouldn’t my son have 8 points? We applied once in 2nd grade, once in 3rd grade, and he is now in 4th grade. When we got the letter with points on it, it said he had only 4 points. Thanks for your help!

    • The 8 points will appear NEXT year. Technically you could still get in from applying in third grade for fourth grade. You won’t see the points until next fall when you apply for 5th grade.

  97. This is somewhat off-topic, but can anyone tell me how going to a charter high school affects UC and CSU admissions? Are charter high schools considered public for admission purposes? And is there anything a parent can do to ensure that a new charter high school (not a conversion but an extension of an existing middle school) will have the curriculum to satisfy the A-G requirements? Thanks!

    • This is pretty offtopic. Charter schools ARE public schools. They are not considered anything else by the colleges. And like any school, you can only meet with the teachers and admins and ask to see the proposed curriculum of a “new” school and if they do not offer what you were promised, you have two options: work with them or leave. What you can do in the meantime is get on board and make sure you’re vocal. But just like my son’s school’s promised multimedia lab didn’t open until his senior year (promised before he enrolled as a frosh), there’s little you can do if they don’t get the interest. Now with A-G, that’s kind of a given, but make sure the course work is accepted as A-G (for instance, Intercoordinated Science year 1 is not considered A-G). Good luck.

  98. Hi Yenta!
    My girl is entering kindergarten and I want to apply for Open Charter Magnet in Westchester. Our homeschool is definitely majority African American 54th St. Elementary. She is half white, half hispanic and I am wondering if it matters how I list her on my application. Is there an advantage to Hispanic, white or multi-ethnic? I’d like to think not, but as I’m reading I don’t want to put the wrong thing. Thanks,

    • Hi Caitlin, It is important to remember the Magnet program is indeed an integration program. So, contact Open Charter, and ask if it is harder to get in as white or as minority. In some cases, it’s easier to get into some schools as white, and others it’s easier as a minority. Magnet coordinators can be a little leery of giving really firm answers regarding points to get in, so use the words “typically” or “in past years” or something similar. Clicking the multi-racial doesn’t change the single designation that LAUSD needs. Good luck!

  99. Thanks, of course I called and they said they have no way of knowing. It is all over the place, changing from year to year. Yikes. I have no idea which to put, I guess I’ll just wait and decide in a bit. Maybe I’ll come into some info. Thanks

    • Go on the tour. Again, you might have to ask it a few different ways. I hate that the whole program is about race (my kids are multi-ethnic too), and that it gets down to this, but sadly, that is what this is about. You can try: “How many points does it typically take to get in for each group?” Or “When you went down the wait list how far did you go?” Even knowing the ratio of whether it’s 60-40 or 70-30 can help. If 70% of the spots are going to minority, then you can figure your odds might be better being Hispanic. For the record, we’ve always put Hispanic and we’ve had no problems getting in–even in years we hadn’t planned to get in and were just looking for rejection points.

  100. I will go on the tour and fish some more. It is 60/40, I am leaning toward Hispanic. I imagine they get a lot of white applicants…
    We shall see, thanks!

    • Open Charter had an interesting situation this past year for Kindergartners. They admitted all siblings, had siblings on the wait-list, and then had 100+ with 4 points. You would have been wait-listed regardless of what ethnicity you chose to put on the application.

      • Let me clarify my above reply. Open Charter filled their 25+ Kindergarten spots with all siblings. They then had 7 siblings at the top of the wait-list. The remaining applicants on the wait-list included 100+ with 4 points and the rest with 0 points. I’m guessing the ethnic breakdown of the admitted siblings fell in line with the 70/30 – 60/40 ratio.

  101. I would list her are white (that is what we did with our 1/2 mexican 1/2 Irish child). More slots are set asiged for white kids 30% and the 70% remaining is for all other kids.

    and I know this sucks, BUT we do not make teh rules, just play by them

    • Doreet,

      It really depends on where you live. I know some schools will be so kind as to say flat out that it took 16 points Minority or 12 points white, or that they always have a need for white OR minority applications. But Westside, and West Valley tend to be white heavy on the applications.

  102. I really want to get my 11 year old daughter in a Magnet school .I have been homeschooling her for 3 years and now I think it is time for her to go back to school . I got her out because she was not doing so well but now she gets A’s and B’s and she does need to get a feel of school . I live in Chicago my question are …

    1 . Is there a bus stop in my area ?

    2. How do I get her enrolled ?

    3. How many magnets schools are there in my area ?

    4 . Are there any Villa Park , Lombard , Naperville , Shaumburg Magnets Schools .

    5 . What unifourm do they have to wear ?

    I would be VERY VERY VERY VERY grateful if you would answere these questions .

    Thank You ,

    Nancy !!!!!!

  103. my first grade child is in a magnet school, if i want to transfer him to another magnet school and he is not accepted, what school will he end up in? his former magnet school?

    • It is VERY difficult to get into one magnet from another.

      You will receive no points for matriculation or wait list. Essentially if your home school is PHBAO, you would have 4. By applying to the new magnet, you would either be accepted, or stay at the magnet where he currently attends. Be aware however, that if you apply and you do get into the new one, you will have NO choice or time to think it over, your child will be placed in the new magnet and lose his spot in the current magnet.

  104. I was on a magnet tour today where the magnet coordinator took pains to point out that he only sees the points needed to get admitted from the wait list but doesn’t know how points come into play or what points are needed to get on the initial “active” list for his magnet created by Student Integration Services. The implication was that points might play a different role on admission from a wait list than they do for initial acceptance. Do you know whether this is the case or not? A parent stated that the initial acceptances are done by lottery. The magnet coordinator didn’t respond to this but even if it is done by lottery if there are enough applications with 16 points to fill the class, the lottery could be limited to those applications and anyone with less points could be placed on the wait list, which is the way I had always assumed it would be done. But the exchange did leave me wondering if it is ever the case that someone with only 8 points could get admitted to a school on the initial list while 12 or more points would have been needed to get in from the wait list?

    • I don’t know about whether points for the active list are seen by the schools (I believe they are) but I do know that ethnicity factors in and it is possible for a child of the necessary ethnicity with less points to get in over another child with more points. Since the magnet program is about integration first and foremost, the magnets have to land oneither 60% or 70% ethnic minority vs. white. They will draw from the waitlist to accomplish this.

      Do others know more on this?

  105. My son starts kindergarten in fall 2012. We like our local elementary school, Hancock Park (K-5), but have applied to magnet school to try to accumulate the points for middle / high school.

    After reading some of the comments here it seems that I may have applied too early, given that the points only last 3 years.

    Should I just hold off now, and then resume applying when he reaches 3rd or 4th grade?

    This site is fantastic by the way! Thank you so much for helping to shed light on this confusing process.

  106. Dearest Magnet Yenta,

    Thankyou for this helpful website. Most of my questions were answered except for two quick questions.
    1. If my 5 year old son’s application gets rejected by Valley Alternative, would he have the 4 waiting-listed points when applying for 1st grade in Balboa Magnet school?

    2. If he get accepted to Valley Alternative although decides to switch to Balboa the next school year, would he loose any points?

    • 1. Yes.
      2. There is no switching. Once in a magnet, you can apply to another magnet, but you can not accumulate wait list points. So if he is accepted to Valley Alternative, you would apply to Balboa with no points–making it very difficult to get in. On the other hand, you have nothing to lose applying to Valley Alternative for kindergarten because you have no points either way (assuming you have no PHBAO or overcrowding points).

  107. I’m confused about the overcrowding points…our local school is currently on a concept 6 calendar, but with long days, so that there’s apparently 191 days worth of instruction. They’re also hoping to move some of the school to a different location in 2013, allowing them to go to a normal schedule. That’s the year I’m hoping dd will get into the magnet (I’ll be applying this fall), they won’t have moved by application time…will she still get those points?

    • In your case, I’d call the magnet office. I’d assume you will get the points, since you’re concept 6, but with something as important as your point total, I don’t want to assume anything.

  108. Lis:
    My son goes to an SAS school. And I start applying for a magnet since he was in second grade, he is in 3 rd right now, still in waiting list. I just got the letter. We only have 8 points(4 overcrowd & 4 for waiting list). The points for the past year (December 2011) don’t show. I don’ t understand why?. But my question is he is going to 4 th grade, by the time he gets all the points he will be maybe in middle school. Do we lost the points?

    • You do not get waiting points until the *following* year. Next year you will get the 12 points, because you could conceivably still get in before August when school starts.

  109. Hello,

    I have so many questions and I apologize in advance if some questions have been previously discussed.

    My daughter is 4 years old and will start K in Wonderland (home school) in 2013. I would like to start getting points to get her into the Wonderland Magnet (1st grade) by saving rejection points. Any recommendation for K magnet schools with high rejection rates? Honestly, I don’t know enough about the difference between WE home vs magnet school to prefer one over the other but I would like the matriculation points to a magnet middle school since the stats on John B is disappointing. Also, is JB considered PHBAO or overcrowded?

    Also, I’m sure that every parent feels their child is “gifted” and I am no exception. But my dd shows signs of her father’s IQ (160+) so I would like her tested in 1st grade. I’ve read that it can take up to a year to request and wait for LAUSD testing for highly gifted. Is this true?

  110. My child was accepted to a magnet for the 2012-13, but we are still thinking about SAS programs both at the home school and one or two other schools. I understand that the magnet space gets lost permanently once we turn it down, but is there any reason not to accept it now and later withdraw if accepted into an SAS at another school that we end up liking better? Does acceptance of the magnet space affect SAS eligibility either at homeschool or another school an open enrollment permit would be needed?

    • You are well within your rights to do so. You’ll need to accept the magnet spot by April 20th and then apply to the SAS and see what happens. Because the dates do not align, LAUSD creates the situation where people have to accept and then turn one down. And then people from the wait list will be called. My only suggestion is you call the school back as soon as you hear.

      • Thank you! Also if you or anyone can answer a few SAS specific questions that would be great:

        1. When I looked at the SAS application it appears that I need a signature from the current school of attendance as well as the school of choice. My child is currently in an LAUSD middle school but will be in high school next year, so is it the middle school that needs to verify the application or the home high school?

        2. Also the form appears to require some verification of a student’s achievement. However, my child is identified gifted, is any additional verification needed?

        3. My understanding is that we can apply to more than one SAS and our home high school has an SAS that also requires an application. Am I filling out the same paperwork for all three schools?

        • I’ve taken my daughter’s SAS permits to our current school, her elementary school, even though we are applying to middle school. That’s how I read it. The gifted coordinator filled it out, and she would have told me if I did it wrong.

          As for verification, we posted her STAR test results, and checked the box she was gifted.

          Fill out three of them. 🙂

  111. We recently moved into a desirable elementary school district — Carpenter — but out children are fairly entrenched at Adat Ari El in fourth and first grade respectively and we’re not planning to leave, save a financial catastrophe. Planning ahead for middle school, we applied to Community magnet hoping to accrue points. (We lost all our points last year when both got into Valley Alternative and we kept the kids at Adat). My fourth grader got 4 wait list points, but my first grader got zero. Can someone explain how that’s possible?

    • Well, you don’t have wait list points yet, technically. You won’t get them until next year–because conceivably you could still get in all the way into the first few weeks of the school year. If for some reason they didn’t remove all your daughter’s points, be thankful, but you won’t see this year’s wait list points until NEXT year’s app.

  112. You have a lot regions listed under your schoolfinder. But, what about Reseda, home to magnets at Reseda High, SOCES, and Cleveland High. What area would I look under to read information about those?

  113. New comment/question: Would you consider having an area on the website where people share information on which schools they applied to, year they applied, and how many points they had to get in or be placed on a wait list?

    • I want to think about this one. Because points vary year to year, and because there’d be no way to verify the responses, I have some concerns. I would hate for anyone to put out false information to increase their odds or worse, have people apply (or not apply) based solely on the info they see. We predicted this year that they numbers would be really wonky and they have been. One West Valley gifted magnet is at least 2-3 points lower than previous years–and that’s based on what got in at the end of summer last year from the waiting list versus what got into the magnet from the first letter. But the data would be valuable, I just don’t want to see anyone use it in place of talking to the magnet coordinators–who have accurate data. Anyone else have thoughts?

      • Why not post actual data from the Magnet coordinators, to the extent they release it? I know that I have gone on tours where the magnet coordinators give some data, such as how low they went in points this year ultimately in each category.

        • That’s a great idea if someone can get that information and has the time to post it. I’d also have to preface each post with “this is the data from THIS year. Your mileage will undoubtedly vary in other years.” I’ve been on tours where schools are very forthright with that info. And on other tours where getting comments with even the most vague phrasing is nearly impossible.

          This is the point where I need to remind folks, I and the other yentas are volunteers, and we all have real jobs and families. I’m not opposed to posting this info, but how would we verify it, and would very limited data from schools toured be worth it, or would we be fielding even more posts akin to “why don’t you have info on X magnet?” I’m not ranting, but in the last few weeks I’ve gotten several “I don’t have time to read the FAQ or previous posts, so can you just tell me how this works?” posts. And those tend to make me just a tad cranky. OK, rant over, I’m going to enjoy this beautiful, slightly-out-of-season weather, and get back to work.

        • Totally understand. Didn’t think about that. The problem I had applying for magnets this year was that the the coordinators didn’t readily hand out the information. Numbers from last year weren’t spoken about at the magnet tours I went to, and when asked about it, there were no direct answers. I questioned the answers I finally got because no one really wanted to talk about it. I realize that a number of us hitting middle school this year had funky numbers because of the class size increase a few years ago, but the school’s enrollment points from previous years should be public. Also when I called regarding the our wait list number, I was given the overall number, but wouldn’t be told the number based on minority/non-minority status. Don’t know if I should ask the school any more questions or just wait to see what happens.

  114. I am not sure how many magnet coordinators will be willing to be on record, either. I find many of them will give the numbers out readily, and others it’s like finding out if a ride is going to be down all day at Disneyland, or if it’s just a quick fix. You get creative with how you ask it with words like “typically” or “in recent years” or “realizing that every year is different….”

    I’ve tended to really identify with the magnet coordinators who are upfront, honest, and tell parents like it is. I almost threw papers in the air when a coordinator suggested applying with 0 or 4 points to a magnet that has a LONG wait list and typically requires 12 to get an acceptance. That’s just irresponsible.

    Also with this being the first year of online application, I knew applications were going to be lower. I applied somewhere that typically got in 8 by the end of summer. In retrospect, I really should have applied to the magnet where it took 12 or more last year, and hope to get in by late summer (she’ll be in SAS/academy at the same school). See, even for someone doing this for 15 years, it’s a guessing game.

  115. I was hoping someone would know about Hamilton High School’s magnet program (music) in comparison to their SAS (business interactive technology) to know which is better? Although my daughter has music talent she likes academics that is more advance/challenging and focused.

  116. Both magnet programs at Hamilton have their own set of teachers for the core, non-magnet, classes like English, History, math, and science, but they do share spots with the rest of the school in Advanced Placement classes if they don’t have enough magnet students taking the AP to have one of their own teachers teach a magnet-only section. You won’t have AP classes in 9th grade, but starting in 10th grade and especially in 11th grade the best students are more likely to take AP classes than honors classes. So, an SAS student and a Music Magnet student might be in the the same class for something like AP European History. Moreover, SAS just means you will be in Honors classes. Both magnets have honors versions of their classes (indeed, all of Humanities classes are supposed to be taught at the Honors level). This makes the decision a bit less momentous. If your daughter is eligible for SAS, she will be placed in all Honors classes in the Music Magnet and presumably get the same level of academic challenge and focus.

    Having said that, the magnets do tend to have stronger students than the SLCs and most of my son’s friends in the SLCs seem to want to try to move to a magnet for 10th grade. Among the magnets, though, the Humanities Magnet is far more academically oriented than the Music Magnet. This isn’t a knock on the Music Magnet – it really fits with the orientation of the students each magnet attracts. It’s also true that the Humanities Magnet is weaker in math and science, although they still have challenging honors classes. It’s just that a kid attracted to a Humanities magnet is likely to be more english and history-oriented.

    If you don’t go with the Music Magnet, I would take a strong look at the Global Studies SLC. BIT sounds good on paper, but a big chunk of the SAS kids go to Global Studies (SAS isn’t a small learning community, but rather a designation the student takes with them to whatever SLC they choose). It is supposed to be the most academically rigorous and college prep-oriented of the SLCs. In fact, the AP Euro teacher is in Global Studies and Humanities students cross-over to take it with the Global Studies students.

    • Thank you so much Anon as the details with specifics you provided is the very helpful response I was hoping to get to give me a better understanding. I wasn’t exactly sure the connection between SAS and SLC but you made it clear.

  117. so…… my son is 2 and we live in Encino (Emilita is home school). Where do I begin?

    Obviously too early to know what his concentration would be, but I’m fairly certain he will be Gifted. Both his parents are and he was reading before 2 years old among other impressive accomplishments (learned Hebrew alphabet in a day).

    So…. now what?

    • Your son is two, and the district is changing day by day. My suggestions for now: Enjoy him–let him be two, then three, and then four. We can talk magnets at that point. In the meantime, talk to parents in your playgroups, talk to parents at Temple, and visit that home school. Since it’s your home school, it affects your property value. See what you can do to help that school be the most awesome school by the time he hits the age for pre-K, transitional K, and even kindergaten and first grade. He will be tested at a school at some point (right now second grade).

      Read this blog and all the sub-categories. Check out Above all, don’t get hung up on any one school. In 3-4-5 or more years, it could be totally different.

      Good luck.

      • Thank you. Im from NY where we had public school, catholic school and probably private schools for rich kids. This LA system is perplexing. We would hear horror stories about being on wait lists for several years (we had almost a year wait for the Gan we wanted).

        • There are many choices–and if your son does turn out to be gifted, you will have even more. But those stories about that one *perfect* school and years-long wait lists are perpetuated by people who must like to gossip. There are many schools in your area with open enrollment and with magnet and SAS (read about those here: you will find a great school close to home. For now, if you’re on Facebook, like this page: and you’ll be able to stay in touch with what’s really going on in the district.

        • Agree with Angel. The best thing you can possibly do with your child is to RELAX. Enjoy the “now” and don’t worry about the later until later. There is far too much anxiety out there for kids nowadays anyway. Have fun, read books, foster your child’s interests and see what your child is like when you get closer to school age so you can pick a school that is a good match for him. As Angel said, it will ALL change by then anyway.

  118. I *think* I found out about what schools are overcrowded. It looks like there are only 3 schools in LAUSD that you can get Magnet School overcrowded points for. Two are elementry schools (Cahuega and Del Olmo) and the high school is Bell High School. So, if you’re home school is either one of those school you would be applying to kinder with 8 points becuase they are also PHBAO! Also, these 3 schools were listed as last years multitrack schools and MAY NOT be multitrack this upcoming year so make sure to check.
    You can find all this info on the LAUSD website.

    • Right, Karla. If those schools come off year-round, they will no longer be overcrowded. Things change all the time. Its’ a wild magnet world we live in right now.

  119. My son is half Mexican and half Chinese. Do you have a suggestion on what race would be more beneficial to select? I know I have to choose the multiracial selection, but it is forcing me to also choose 1 specific race.

  120. Thanks for a great website.

    Son entering K next year 2013-2014. He is eligible for TK which is where I would like him to start. Home school – Hancock Park

    I am confused as to whether applying to/entering TK counts the same as applying to kindergarten in terms of the magnet school point accumulation process? And, if all LAUSD school are now required to have a TK class, does that mean all charters and all K-5 magnets have a TK class??

    Rumor has it our home school turned aways and/or removed students due to overcrowding this year (2012-2013) but I have not yet verified this through the school ……. Hypothetically speaking, if we wanted to look at schools outside of our home school….in applying for schools next year we would POSSIBLY qualify for appx 8 points in applying to magnets (overcrowding pts AND PHBAO pts). Not sure if these points would count towards applying for a magnet TK???? Like I said, do magnets have TK programs??

    And if they do, and the fact that you can now apply to 3 magnets w/ the chances much higher of getting in, if it is better to NOT fill out the CHOICES form for TK and wait until we are going into real kindergarten before locking ourselves into a the magnet we get accepted to which could be a third choice????? As in, maybe its preferable to just do TK at our home school or a charter school/open enrollment school that we lottery in to and worry about magnets when we get to real kindergarten and beyond.

    Let me also point out that I am not particularly interested in any magnets, and understand we have a great home school but am still trying to understand the process.

    • In the interest of time I can answer your question, by saying start at Hancock Park and worry about magnets next year (although there are VERY few magnet kinders as well).

      Going backwards a bit: Magnets do NOT have trans K. While your school might have PHBAO, there have only been a couple of schools on a SPECIFIC type of year round schedule with overcrowding that counts for magnet points, and they will be gone by next year as the new schools are finally built. So you’re looking at four tops. I am personally NOT advocating applying to multiple magnets because here’s how that works: they rank you by your first choice. If you don’t get in they look at your number two choice with NO points. If you don’t get in there, they move to three, with NO points. If you don’t get in there, they go back to ONE and put you on the wait list. With the exception of kindergarten, it is extremely rare that anyone, anywhere gets into any magnet with zero points. And if you apply to three magnets for kinder, and your son doesn’t meet the age cut off, you will get rejected.

      So since you like your home school, visit their trans K and see how it works. If you like it, you’re golden. If you’re looking for other options, you can start discussing those with families at Hancock later in the school year, during the summer and be ready for fall next year.

      Good luck.

  121. My daughter is one-quarter Asian and three-quarters mostly Caucasian. On the magnet application, there doesn’t seem to be any stipulation that I pick the ethnicity that’s predominant. Is it okay to mark Asian, if I feel that it might give us a better chance at the particular school that we’re applying to? I feel a little funny about it, and I question if it’s okay ethically, but… I’d love to hear what you think. Thank you in advance, and thanks so much for this amazing resource — it really is such a help in this complicated magnet-app process!

    • Just ask at the school you’re interested in. They can tell you if picking minority is an advantage or not (some schools get ample applications for both minority and white, so there’s no advantage). The specificity of the race doesn’t matter: Asian, Hispanic, they don’t differentiate.

      One quarter is still fine. They reserve the right to ask for some proof, but so long as the kids have some resemblance it should be fine. My kids are very fair but we carry a very Hispanic surname, so no one ever even asked.

      Good luck.

  122. go on find a school. Look at the demographics on the school you are interested in. See what group is better represented, white or Asian and pick the one less represented. Word is being white is better (god that sound SO BAD) because all other groups are lumped together.
    My daughter is 1/2 Mexican and 1/2 Irish. She looks WAY more Mexican than Irish, but we classified her as white and no one has every quested us.

    • It very much depends on the school. Millikan told us that they get many more white than minority apps. Lawrence said that they get so many of both it didn’t matter. At Nobel several years ago, the coordinator said 16 for minority and 12 for white (that specifically). If the coordinator will give you the info, it will likely be more specific.

  123. Hope you don’t mind one more question from me today! The application asks for the child’s grade in 2012-2013 and 2013-2014. We have our daughter in pre-K at her private school, even though she would have been eligible for K this year (2012-2013) in public schools. Her birthday falls in mid-October, right after the cutoff. If she goes to a public school for 2013-2014, we want her to start in K rather than 1st grade. Is this fine for the application? I just want to make sure that the grades I input aren’t going to trip up the application because they don’t align with LAUSD’s normal age-grade scheme. Thanks for any insights!

  124. Magnet Yenta,

    My (white) son is in 6th grade at a nonmagnet middle school. Should I fake apply for 7th AND 8th grade to try and get the wait points? Or should I just apply for 8th grade? I am looking at the 32nd Street Performing Arts because the odds are so bad for getting in.
    Also is his home school his middle school or the local elementary school?
    Thank you for your help.

    • You’ll be applying for middle school whether your school is a K-6 or a 6-8, since next year he will be in 7th grade. Your home school will be your neighborhood middle school.

      I’d go ahead and apply to something like 32nd street because the odds of getting in with very few points are low. Unless he has a sibling already attending and your middle school is PHBAO, getting in with fewer than 7 points is unlikely, and it wouldn’t have cost you a thing (you’d be in the same boat as if you hadn’t applied).

      Good luck.

  125. I have a question that for some reason no one could seem to answer. I have applied for magnet for my daughter almost every year. One year I didn’t since I was frustrated with it all. Now we are applying for Middle school and someone told me since I had missed applying one year, we would lose all our points. Is this true?

    • Two things are at play here. The year you did not apply you did not accrue points. And any waiting list points older than three years fall off. You can never get more than 12 wait list points, but if you only missed one year, and you kept applying after that, you’d have eight. And PHBAO, sibling, and overcrowding don’t accrue, so you don’t lose them either.

      Does that make sense?

      • Thank you, and yes I understand. Do you happen to know where I would find out how many points we do have? I am trying to apply for Nobel MS and I went onto the choices website and saw they had 2012-13 Openings: 296 2011-12 Applications: 951. Thats a very slim chance of being accepted.

        • You should have received a letter–it might still be in the website with your electronic application–that states how many points you have. Nobel is one of the most difficult magnets to get in.

  126. I also went onto Nobels magnet page and saw this: Students are then chosen lottery fashion, in a random selection process of students within each point value. For example; all students with 23 points are drawn first, all those with 20 points are drawn second, then 19, 16, 15, 12, 11, 8, 7, 4, 3 and finally 0.
    In doing so, I am thinking if we need to have at least 19 points or more.

    • Very, very few people have 23 points, for the fact that there is only one elementary school in the Valley that actually receives overcrowding points. And given that they are going off year round, there will be none. That drops you to 19. And certainly there will be some with 19, and 16. There will be oodles of kids with 16 and even more with 12.

      You can call to find out how many points were needed to get in last year, and they will likely tell you. A few years back it was 16 for minority and 12 for white. Maybe from the wait list they got below that, but I doubt it.

      If you are interested in a gifted magnet that’s reasonably close to Nobel, I would suggest looking at Lawrence in Chatsworth. I know we got in last year with 8 points, and they would have gone lower on the wait list. It’s a phenomenal school with a very stable teacher population.

  127. Have letters gone out from the district in Dec or Jan about receiving the magnet applications and the number of wait list points you have? I applied on time and have a confirmation number, but haven’t received any letter.

    • It might have gotten caught in a spam file, or just never got routed properly. The good news for those of us who check online fairly regularly, is we’re going to be surprised when something shows up in the box, whether we have the email or not.

  128. Just want to give an update for magnet program:

    -Magnet Parent Notification Letters will be mailed the first week of April.

    -Parents MUST accept or decline the Magnet spot by Friday, April 19, 2013.

    -The 2013-2014 Magnet Walk-In process begins Wednesday, May 1, 2013.

    There are 7 schools that qualified for overcrowded points in 2013-2014 school year:

    Colfax ES, Escalante ES, Gulf ES, Jones ES, Moore M/S/T Academy, Nava L.A Arts & Culture, Nava L.A. Business & Tech, Santana Arts Academy.

    605 schools are on PHBAO list.

  129. Question: Can I apply for a magnet or charter school if we do NOT reside in LAUSD? I am in Culver City and we have our own school district. My younger son (4th grade) is gifted in math and Culver City only has one middle school so I would like to explore other public school options.

  130. Where can I find useful information or reviews about Kester Avenue Magnet School? My daughter was accepted to the gifted program (1st Grade) and I would like to find out more about the school. Thanks.

  131. Hi, This is my first time dealing with the school and it has been more than overwhelming. I have a silly question. If we attend the kindergarten in our home district which is Paseo Del Rey Fundamental, does that give us automatic right to attend 1st grade there which has a magnet program?

    • No, magnet and neighborhood school are separate program, so there is no priority for attending shared campus school.

  132. My daughter is 3.7 years old. Her birthday is mid December. She is currently in private preschool (may stay in private school through kinder) How soon can I begin accumulating points for Balboa Magnet? Please tell me the exact steps I need to take. Also, what are other good magnet programs in the Northridge/Granada Hills areas. Elementary schools that is. Thank you!

    • She will need to be 5 when she enters kindgarten, so the fall when she is 4, you can apply to a magnet school with a kindergarten–like Valley Alternative. Balboa starts in first, so you would apply there for first. The website will open sometime in October, and it’s located at For Balboa, you’ll also need her current school to verify her giftedness.

      There are many great magnet, SAS and open enrollment programs throughout the North Valley, so it will come down to you touring, applying and choosing the one that works best for you.

  133. Thank you for the quick reply :). Another question, Balboa Magnet is a gifted program requiring recommendation by the kinder teacher for entry into 1st? Also, I may want to keep my child at her current private school for Kinder while accumulating points, so should I apply to an lausd kinder that’s hard to get into? If she’s excepted and she stays at the private school I wouldn’t want her to lose those magnet points.

    • There’s only one kinder magnet in the Valley–and that’s Valley Alternative. You can keep her at her private kinder, but if she were to get into Valley for kinder, she will lose the points. However, there are many kids who apply for first grade and get in with 0-4 points.

      Keep in mind, when you apply for first you will need the private school to complete the form for giftedness. And some schools are hesitant to fill it out, out of fear of losing students. So make sure you go over this with the school before you stick it out for them.

  134. So I like all parents are trying to figure this all out :/ My son is 3 1/2 so yes I’m a planner. He will be 4 in April 2014. I’m trying to figure out what kinder to send him to. Our local school Loren elementary school which goes from k-5 grade. I live in Northridge. I haven’t heard anything good or bad about that school. My dilemma is my 10 month old goes to daycare in Granada hills’. So i want to keep my son in a kinder close to daycare so I’m not running all over town since i work in Encino.

    1. Has anyone heard good or bad about Loren elementary school?
    2. Can I apply for open enrollment outside of my school bounders, charter and magnet schools all the same year? so 3 different options of schooling.
    3. If I apply for open enrollment , charter and magnet and get dined do i only earn point for magnet rejects or do the other to also offer me ” rejections points”
    4. Can a child care permit (younger son is in day care in Granada hills’) or work permit( I work fulltime in Encino) be combined to get further access to these schools?

    • Hi Bella. I’m not aware of anyone personally with kids at Lorne. The reviews look pretty good:

      Yes, you can apply for charter, open enrollment, and one magnet, so essentially you’ll have more options.

      Only magnets earn rejection points. If you choose charter and get rejected, you just get rejected. Same with open enrollment. But you can apply to as many charters and as many open enrollment spots as you choose.

      Some schools offer child care permits for their Y programs on campus, or depending where your day care provider is, she might be able to pick up after school. But your child care provider’s address will allow you another option to get in. Your work permit option will only get you into schools near your work and only if they have room.

      • Thank you for responding so quick ! So greatfull for this site. Are there more charter kinders then are magnet kinder.? So you would only be apply for magnet kinder to get rejected and earn points if you choose to go to a magnet for 1st grade? Also if you apply for charter and magnet and get into charter but not magnet do you lose your points for magnet?

  135. The problem is that my son is currently in a private school that goes to 12th grade (but the elementary campus only goes through 5th). We really wouldn’t want to take him out for his 5th grade year.

    • Then your only safe bet is to not apply for 5th and have 8 points. You’ll have to choose a magnet wisely so you’ll have a good chance to get in. And start touring open enrollment and SAS options (if applicable) because you will want more than one back up plan.

  136. what is SAS and how does it differ from magnet or charter? Do you need points to enroll in SAS ? is a lottery? Any good SAS in northridge area ?

  137. I’m not sure where to pose this question but I am hoping a magnetyenta would be familiar with LAUSD’s new Smarter Balanced Assessments. I have seen a reference to computer adaptive testing where the test questions get more difficult or easier based on how the students answers prior questions and I’m confused. If a student is doing well and the questions become more difficult, at some point does that student do worse than someone who gets easier questions? What is the point of this?

    • In all the examples I’ve seen/heard, the questions can get easier to help a student that understands the concept but might have a language issue.

      I don’t anticipate that questions will get harder to a point of a child getting questions over their ability.

      I will bring it up at the next meeting I attend at the district, but I seriously don’t think it will be an issue.

  138. Hi I recently applied to Progress village middle magnet school this last open enrollment period for my daughter who will be going into the 6th grade this coming school year 2014-2015, she got accepted and now she doesn’t want to go, which is fine with me, but I’m not sure what I should do now. She wants to attend her middle school that is in our boundary which is Tomlin and I’m fine with this but do I need to decline the magnet school acceptance and if so how do I do this? Thanks

    • Hi Kellie,

      It appears you’re posting from Florida which is a little bit outside our area of expertise, but if you have already accepted a magnet slot, but want to go to your home school, I can’t imagine it being a problem. Sometimes schools close in the summer, so if you know the district websites, find out if the school offices are open all summer. You’ll want her to get her choice of classes, so please call your home school first, and tell them she’s coming and find out whether she will be able to be enrolled or not in all the classes she wants. Then call and decline the magnet spot. Don’t decline the magnet slot until you know that everything at the home school will be ok.

      Good luck!

  139. We are brand new to this magnet system and have zero points. Do you accumulate more points (providing you are rejected) by applying for three schools or is the maximum points for rejection still 4 regardless if you apply for 1, 2 or 3 schools?

  140. We will have 16 magnet points and are targeting Cleveland for high school for the 16-17 school year. Someone we know got their daughter in with 16 points as Asian, though she’s half caucasian. Her caucasian friends with 16 points did not get in. My son has 1/64th American Indian blood. Would that qualify him as American Indian?

    • LAUSD reserves the right to question any information on the application, including ethnicity.

      I would not say my kids are 1/64 of something and check that box.

      For those reading, remember that minority is ALL minorities taken together. White is white. Magnets are either 60-40 or 70-30 minority to white. Students who are biracial can say they are biracial, but they MUST check only one box for ethnicity for magnet purposes.

      16 points is a common point threshold. All students with the same point totals are randomly assigned in order, so it’s always possible that there are 16s getting in and not getting in with either category.

  141. My daughter is 5 grade now and she applied for Magnet middle school and got accepted to Paul Revere Magnet, she had 12 points now accumulated from 2 grade. If we don not go to Revere, she will lose all her points. If we keep applying for the points in middle school in 6, and 7 grade, we can only get 8 points at most to apply for high school at 8th grade, that will be 4 point less than a typical student, which is a disadvantage to apply for high school, is that calculation right? Thanks a lot!

    • The calculation is correct. Depending on whether your home high school is PHBAO, you could be back to 12.

      Keep in mind, there are more options for high school overall, so the point totals may be lower than you think. Depending on race requirements at certain schools, kids can get in with even zero points. You’d also have open enrollment and SAS options.

      Is there a strong reason not to consider Paul Revere?

      • Thanks a lot! Revere is good and you can get in Palisades High School, just a little far from where I live. My home middle school Palms is also good and it is much closer, but the home high school Venice is not as good as Pali. So we are still struggling and have to take many factors in consideration. thanks again!

    • You can call and check, but the coordinator was saying that if people are patient, they can get nearly everyone in, too.

      Good luck

      • Thank you. I’m considering declining laces for ms. I will then have only 8 points by high school so trying to consider my options

          • I can’t speak for your situation or for LACES. We turned down Balboa twice, because my daughter was in a great place and she was either extremely lucky or unlucky, depending on how you look at it.

            We did find a great middle school through SAS, and she’s thriving. She starts high school in the fall. For us it was the right choice.

            Plenty of people love LACES. And thousands of families do not go to LACES and have great experiences. If you need to, write a list of pros and cons (on a sheet of paper if you have to), and don’t leave a single reason off the list. Then you and your child should go back and prioritize those options.

            Good luck.

  142. What a wonderful site! Thank you for sharing your knowledge. This process is so hard on us parents. It seems like LACES is on the mind of people these days. The question is if it is worth a loooong drive. I have two kids. The older one got into LACES. Do I drag him there and help my younger one to get in, thus having two kids in the same school in a couple of years, even though the one located far away. Or just leave it and continue with having them at different schools. Please share your experiences. TIA!

    • Again, I can’t speak to LACES, but we have driven one kid or the other for nearly 20 years now. They only overlapped in school for two years. We did look for a comparable elementary near my son’s high school (Verdugo) and we ended up in Granada Hills for elementary for the second one. It did mean we were going in opposite directions at drop off and pick up. But it was what was right for both kids.

      For me, anything under 30 minutes by car is very doable. Longer than that, and I’d have to really be persuaded. And to predict whether it’s a good fit for a younger sibling is an even bigger stretch. That said, having two kids at the same school is *very* appealing. If you are planning on using the bus, be advised there will still be plenty of nights you will have to end up down there as well–back to school, open house, plays, and group projects.

      We have a few parents who’ve already weighed in for yes and for no. If you haven’t seen those, holler and I’ll try to link to them in case they’re in a different thread.

      Good luck.

  143. Great web site–thanks! If your child tests into the SAS at their local school, would they automatically qualify to apply for gifted magnets, or would there be a separate certification process? Also, how do applications work for gifted magnets–is it the same as regular magnets with the added requirement that the child has to qualify as gifted?

    • Hi Suzanne,
      I’m not sure what you mean by tests into the SAS program–the OLSAT? If they are designated gifted (the infamous orange folder/piece of paper), they will qualify for gifted magnets.

      Application for gifted magnets is the same as for regular magnets with the added reuqirement that children meet the requirements. They can be designated gifted or they can have a teacher say they meet the criteria or they can have several years of test scores (thanks to common core, it will be a while before this is an option again).

      • Thanks–that is very helpful! What I meant to say is, is it the same process to be designated gifted for the SAS programs as for the gifted magnets programs?

        • They’re essentially the same. Gifted magnets are designed for GATE students. SAS is designed for GATE kids. Some kids are high performing, others are various levels of gifted. At some schools with both a gifted (or otherwise) magnet and an SAS, one is deemed stronger than the other, but it’s mostly a matter of opinion.

          • My understanding is that a principal can decide a child is eligible for SAS. At least this is my friend’s experience. Her son met with an elem school principal who then permitted them in on SAS. Being labeled gifted by the district is a more extensive process correct? I know my own child was tested in school by a LAUSD psychologist. So the designation process is in fact different.

          • Students do not need to be tested to get into gifted magnets either. There’s a form the home schools can fill out for students who apply to a magnet. However it’s important to make sure that the school will approve it before applying and not being eligible.

            After 2nd grade, all students have been OLSAT tested, and anyone can ask for gifted testing starting in kindergarten.

            But testing is not a requirement for SAS or for gifted magnets.

  144. Magnet points that disappear !!!!
    Does anyone know how to redeem magnet points after a school accepts a student and you decide an alternate school.
    We applied to magnet school not thinking we would get accepted, low and behold we did and because we have now chosen another school, apparently we loose all our magnet points if we decline the school that accepted application. YIKES!

    Any intel from anyone here would be appreciated.

    • They really didn’t disappear, you lose them if you don’t use them.

      Unfortunately this is the downside to the ‘game’ of points. Wait list points are to help you get into a magnet the next year(s). If you opt for a different type of school placement, you lose them. Many 4th and 5th grade families face a pretty tough decision.

      In fact, we got into a highly coveted elementary in 4th grade, and we made the decision to focus on SAS for middle school so she could stay with her friends.

      Depending on what grade your child is now, you can recoup most of the points before you need them again.

      Good luck.

  145. When is the best time to start applying to accrue points for middle school? My son is in 1st grade. We got into Vintage Magnet, but took a spot at Carpenter Community Charter instead so we lost all our points. We’re happy where we are, but will consider magnets again for middle school. Should I continue to apply for the next few years to get enough points for middle school or wait until he’s in 3rd grade or so to try again? Thanks for a great site!!

    • If you apply in 2nd, 3rd and 4th for 3rd, 4th, and 5th, when you go apply in fifth grade for middle school, you’d conceivably have 12 rejection/wait list points. The down side is that as point totals continue to drop, it’s hard to know whether having the 12 points is going to put you at risk in 4th and 5th grades for possibly getting that surprise phone call.

      If it happens–and it happens to everyone including yenta families, you either decide to move your son or you will seek other options.

      Either way, you’re totally free to do nothing this year 😉 Enjoy!!

  146. Can listing a second or third choice school hurt your chances of getting in to your first choice school? We will have 16 points going into middle school and I’m trying to figure out whether to just select our first choice school on the application or to put down a second choice school as well. How does the selection process work for second/third choice schools?

    • Yes it can hurt your chances. Let me explain why we do not advocate filling in a 2nd or 3rd place option unless you are equally interested in those. Like it doesn’t matter at ALL which magnet.

      The computer sorts out your points. In your case you have 16, which is a high number. Maybe not high enough to get into say LACES first try, but nearly every school you will be in or high on the wait list.

      If you do not get in with the 16 points, the computer will drop down to your second choice. If 16 points is enough to get into there, you will get into #2, and you will NOT be on the wait list for #1 or #2. If #2 was equally popular, the computer drops you down to #3. And you either get in, or then and ONLY then you are placed on the wait list for your #1 choice.

      If you are like 34-33-33 on the magnet choices, go for it. If you are so much as have slightly stronger feelings for the top choice do NOT use the 2nd choice.

        • You’re welcome.

          I suppose if any school is better than one’s home school, than it makes sense to put down anything. But like the PWT program, I have yet to meet a person who says “Just put my kid on a bus, and I don’t care where you send him!”

          Parents tend to want to make choices themselves.

  147. Question about SAS high schools. My son was identified as gifted. He’s in Millikan SAS right now. Unbelievable that he is probably getting a D in his honors English report card. The rest of his grades are A’s. I just know what the answer is going to be but did he just blow his chances at applying for SAS high schools now?

    • One D is not likely going to blow a kid out of the water at any future program. What grade is he in? Kids can not align well with a teacher, have a tough year, etc. One bad grade is not going to throw him.

      Good luck.

      • Thank you for your response. He’s in the 8th grade. I wasn’t sure if I was even going to attempt to apply, but I will now. Thanks.

        • Make sure his second semester grades are better, and do everything necessary to get that grade up in the next two weeks. Talk to the teacher and the department head. This is a wake up call–not a death knell.

        • Hey LeslieAnn, my boys are in 8th grade also at Millikan, 1 is in the Math Academy, the other in regular. Where are you applying for HS?

          • Millikan is probably one of the most interesting cases for where the kids go to HS. From private (plenty go to Notre Dame since it’s literally down the street and you’ll hear about some attending Harvard Westlake), to North Hollywood SAS, the HGM, and some even the Zoo magnet, a big group end up at Cleveland SAS or the Humanities magnet, and quite a few are at Van Nuys (between the Math/Science and the Performing Arts magnets). Other PA kids end up at LACHSA and at CHAMPS. I’m probably missing a few more but that’s just the ones I heard about last year.

  148. Thanks much for this wealth of information. We are moving to the LAUSD area for 2016-17 school year from out of state with one kid starting 6th grade, and one starting kinder. Eldest was in gifted academy in Missouri, with school-administered, qualifying test scores and has been homeschooled for 5th grade. We would like to keep her in a gifted, or somehow differentiated, classroom environment. We like IBs, Waldorf, Montessori, S

    A few questions:

    1. If you could move into any ‘hood and send your kids to the n’hood school, which one(s) would you?

    2. It seems we are going to be at a huge disadvantage with magnets because we will have 0 points. Advice?

    3. To apply to charters, should we use a friend’s LAUSD address to get into the lotteries, and then update the address once we relocate in the summer?

    4. Advice for navigating SAS process (like Reed) for the 6th grader?

    Thanks so much for ANY advice you folks can provide!!!!

    • There are plenty of good schools in many areas around LA. Depending on where you’ll be working, you might choose the West side, the West Valley, the Sherman Oaks/Studio City area, or even the North Valley (assuming the issues with the gas leak is resolved). You might even find that you want to live in Glendale or Burbank or Calabasas even though they’re NOT LAUSD–again depending on where you work because travel distances are indeed an issue.

      You aren’t eligible for magnets for 2016-17 as the deadlines have passed, so yes, that’ll be a disadvantage. You won’t be able to fake addresses as they’ll ask for a mortgage or a utility bill. I’d very much recommend against it as schools verify. As SAS won’t happen until the spring, hopefully you’ll have an address before those applications.

      Here’s the deal. With kids 6 years apart, you will indeed be looking at needing strong elementary and middles, and yet in three years, you’ll need a strong high school. You’ll very much want to focus on the feeder patterns/attendance zones that work. Off the top of my head the elementaries that feed into Nobel MS-Granada Hills High School are one thought. If you’re looking at Reed’s SAS, you’ll need to live in their jurisdiction because they just don’t have many spots going to outside kids.

      IB is very new to LAUSD and I’m not too aware of many public schools claiming Waldorf or Montessori approaches. I’m guessing your best bet will be to talk to the HR department of the places where you’ll be working and find out which schools (or districts) your co-workers have their kids in and go from there. Getting out here and touring will be a huge bonus, although it might take a bit of coaxing to find tours this late in the year.

      There are great options, but there will be a bit of leg work.

      Good luck.

  149. If my daughter got accepted in pre k school. Does she automatically go thru grade 5 in that school? Or do I need to do another lottery for first grade?

    • Magnets do not start until kinder or first, so if this is a magnet school, you’ll need to apply through the magnet. If it’s through open enrollment or any other program you’ll want to talk to the school directly for confirmation.

  150. i was wondering when I was going to get my letter for my magnet school everyone else got it but I have not got it
    is there an internet cite where I could see what hisghschools accepted me

  151. Hi, I was planning on keeping my five year old son in preschool one extra year, but big surprise, we were admitted to Melrose Elementary for Kinder. I’m thinking we’d better go for it because its unlikely we’ll get in a second time, next year. I wanted to keep Eli in pre-school an extra year olnly because I don’t believe in early academics, no other reason. But I think we’d better jump at this. Does anyone know anything about Melrose Elementary? Thank YOu! Madeleine

  152. We received a letter that we are waitlisted at the Melrose Magnet for Kindergarten, with 4 points. But I cannot for the life of me figure out WHAT our waitlist number is. It is not stated anywhere in the letter or our links on the LAUSD Choices website. I called the school who referred me to the Student Integration LAUSD number, who referred me to an email address of someone at the school, who never got back to me. It is very frustrating. Any suggestions on how to find out WHERE we might be on the waitlist?
    Thank you!

    • Every school seems to be different with how they give out info on the waiting list. As the school district is on spring break, no one from a school will call back until school resumes on March 29th.

      In addition, other schools will ask you to wait for the first acceptance deadline of April 8. Once that deadline passes, anyone who has not accepted is assumed to have given up the spot. And from there, the wait list will move, sometimes dramatically. As other school programs make decisions and families choose their schools, the wait list will continue to move.

      For now, enjoy your vacation. Sometime after March 29th or even after April 8th, contact the school again to ask.

  153. My daughter has been put on the waitlist at LACES. If I submit a “space available application” at another magnet school via the eChoices website, will that take her out of the running for the waitlist at LACES?

    • If she is offered a seat at the space available campus (you apply space available, but that’s not a guarantee of admission, but it’s VERY likely), I believe that will end her wait list option. You’ll probably want to call the SIS office downtown to verify.

  154. My son was accepted in the Science Magnet at Reseda. Now we just heard he’s been accepted at High Tech LA. He has a strong math, science and tech base. I don’t know what to do here and hope anyone can give me any feedback on the Reseda Science as I really haven’t heard much about it. THANK YOU!

    • My friend’s son is in his first year at Reseda Science. He graduated from the Math Academy at Millikan. I know his mom is really happy with the program so far. Sounds like they have amazing counselors. Full disclosure: he is a very motivated, academic kid. Very interested in math and robotics and very strong in these areas. Of course I have heard great things about HTH as well. How nice to have two outstanding choices!

      • My son thinks he wants to go to High Tech LA. I think the smaller learning facility would be best for him. He’s gifted but not necessarily highly motivated. I’m just not sure worrying about AP is best for him either. I think I’m going to let that go.

        • Small environment, connection with students and teachers–sounds like a plan. If that’s what he wants, and he knows he’s not going to be able to go out for sports and he’s ok with that, then it’s a great option.

    • You are looking at two very different types of programs. Reseda is a comprehensive HS. They have sports, extracurriculars, AP courses, etc. This is going to be a traditional school experience.

      HTH is a small program. I know there are no APs, and I’m not sure about sports. It’s project based.

      They both are pretty active with robotics.

      I know families from HTH for years who were/are very happy with the program. And I saw the presentations from Reseda and we considered it for my daughter (other reasons we didn’t opt for it). I was very impressed by the magnet coordinator and the counselor.

      You have to decide which one is better. But absolutely congrats are in order. You have great options to pick from.

  155. Yes they are very different and that’s where I’m stuck. I’m trying to keep my child’s personality in this and what would work better for him.

    Thank you for your thoughtful response.

    • Have you asked your son? I’m a firm believer that by HS, they should be able to choose from an array of acceptable choices.

      Also, do you know what his college path will be? If you’re looking at UCs, and want multiple APs to cut down on tuition, then that should be a factor in the decision.

      The lack of APs at HTH doesn’t affect student admissions to colleges, but it does affect their ability to eliminate first year courses with AP credit.

  156. Hi there magnet folks. We applied to three different magnets for fourth grade and have not gotten into any. I put the school I really wanted second (Rockdale).I really, truly thought that when we were not going to get into our first choice (Melrose), which is so far true though we are on the wait list, we would automatically go to our second choice and get in. I played the odds thinking that surely my kid would get into Rockdale, as this school has been under the radar. When I went on the tour, there was literally nobody else touring with us. I have heard that I could re-apply again? Has anyone tried this? Has it worked?

    • Sadly, this is not how the magnet choices work in LA. If you put down 2 or 3 choices, they run your first choice. If it’s full, they then run the second one. If it’s full they run the third one. These are often already full based on people who’d put it down as their first choice. If you don’t get into 1, 2, or 3, then they ONLY put you on the wait list for the first choice.

      So you can call Melrose in a week or so after the first admitted students either accept or decline and find out where you are on the wait list.

      You can call Rockdale, and see if they will put you at the end of the wait list, but you’ll be placed at the end of the list behind all the folks ranging from 23-0 points who went through first.

      The bigger issue with fourth grade is that there are very, very few slots available. Generally only from folks moving out of the area. Often that’s one or two chances out of hundreds of applications.

      Depending on your home school, you might decide to start saving up for middle school, or possible start looking at SAS or open enrollment options.

      Good luck.

  157. My son who is currently in third grade at Mosk Elem in Winnetka got accepted to Lorne St Magnet for his fourth grade year. However, we don’t want him to actually go there, we only want him to earn the matriculation points. If we accept the program via the eChoices site, does that mean that he cannot go to Mosk for fourth grade?

    • A bit of clarification: wait list/rejection points are earned for being placed on the wait list and not getting a spot in a given year. Matriculation points happen when students graduate (typically 5th and 8th grades).

      Sadly, you have played the magnet points game and won–when you were hoping to lose. You got in, so there are no wait list points to be had.

      If you keep your child at Mosk, you may have to look at other options for middle school. On the other hand, you can still apply for 5th grade, and depending on your situation, you might get 8 points (PHBAO and 4points from 5th grade) and you might find a school that you can get in with that amount.

      Good luck.

      • Thanks for the quick reply. So then basically, am I applying right now for no reason for my son if we plan on keeping him at Mosk until he finishes fifth grade? Should I only plan on applying for him when it comes to sixth grade?

        We have twins as well who are finishing their pre-k year at Mosk and we plan on having them finish there as well so they’re in the same boat.

        • People who apply hoping to get turned down (and accrue wait list points) tend to apply to schools with astronomical odds of acceptance. Even then families find themselves ‘beating the odds.’

          If you are happy at Mosk, enjoy. There’s no requirement to apply. On the other hand, you will need to look at middle school options that do not require large point totals.

  158. My son was accepted at SOCES magnet for 4th grade, but we’re also applying to charter school lotteries. Recent reviews of SOCES aren’t great, which gives me pause, but a friend of a friend has a daughter there and says there is a new principal and a new financial plan to improve facilities and infrastructure (the two big complaints recently have been bad leadership and a worn out physical plant). It’s also a very large school that starts in 4th grade so he’d be one of the littlest there, which has its pros and cons. I’m just not sure what to do about it.

    Since the deadlines for charters are all over the place, we don’t yet know if he will get in to any of them and the magnet deadline is this Friday. If we accept SOCES and then he gets into a charter, I assume the only repercussion will be a loss of the magnet points we’ve accumulated, correct? They’re not much, we just moved to LAUSD last year so it’s only one year of points (4), but then again, middle school is right around the corner. They can’t lock us into a magnet if we change our minds, right? I have images of being held prisoner at SOCES. But maybe SOCES is fine? Ack!

    • SOCES is more than fine. I have friends with children there who love it. And I have friends who teach there. In this case, the changes sound solid.

      Starting in fourth grade is interesting, but class changing for subjects happens on many elementary school campuses, so this is just an extreme case of that. One plus is that you can definitely stop worrying about magnets and applications.

      In your case, you can accept SOCES without guilt. If you get into the charter you truly want, you can call SOCES back (immediately please) and let them know you’ve had a change of plans. You will lose any wait list points. You would not lose PHBAO points. For middle school, you’d probably have to look at other options, but if you’re looking at charters, you’ll have options. And we’ll help you parse through them 🙂

      • How difficult is it to get into SOCES? Have a child finishing up Kinder at Dearborn ES. Considering going to SOCES for 4th. My child has accrued 8 magnet points so far.

        • Fourth grade is apparently easier than sixth. They do let in the first cohort in fourth grade, but a second cohort is added in sixth. We see 4 points regularly. And sometimes 0 off the wait list (to many families’ surprise). I can’t say it’s difficult. Factors influencing points include parents not wanting to switch in fourth grade so close to graduating with their friends and that 4-12th grade is a pretty big spread.

          In your particular case CSD, I would be VERY careful applying in the next few years. 12 points in first grade (applying for second) could be a recipe for disaster getting into an unintended magnet.

          • So I should hold on to the current 8 points she has, assuming she doesn’t get into Valley alternative for 1st–she’s on a wait list, and then apply for 4th grade?

          • After 3 years, the oldest 4 points will term out/off.

            You’ve applied in kinder, for first. If you don’t get in by September (yes, after school starts) you will get those 4 points. You technically do NOT have them eyt.
            You’ll apply in first, for second. Again, in September, they’ll add 4 more, assuming you don’t get in.
            You’ll apply in second, for third. Ditto.
            You’ll apply in third, for fourth. This is where you need to get in.

            The problem is that many, many families are finding themselves being accepted with 8 or 12 points when they didn’t plan to. If you skip second grade or third grade, you’ll still have enough points for many magnet options. If you do apply for second and or third, she’ll get in. At this point, I’m not convinced you won’t be getting a call in April or May saying she has moved up the wait list and is accepted.

          • I guess I will have to take that gamble. Last year she was 550 on the Kinder wait list at Valley Alternative. I guess I can always apply for SOCES with 0 points.

      • SOCES was my sister school as i went to Valley Alternative Magnet from 7th to 12th. I don’t know much about it other than it is a little bigger than VAS was. My primary concern is if I don’t accept the Lorne St offer, do we lose the points? If I do accept it, but choose to enroll my son at Mosk again, will we be denied at Mosk because he got enrolled at Lorne?

        • You either accept SOCES or you lose any accrued wait list points. You can choose to go back to Mosk (as your home school), but the points are gone.

          • Okay that makes more sense. Accept and enroll, you earn the points, decline you lose the point. However, your child still accrues points for being part of a PHBAO school and will earn 8 points come his 5th grade culminating year, right?

          • No. Accept and enroll, and when your child graduates at 5th grade, he or shee will get 12 MATRICULATION points. PHBAO are another 4.

            Wait list points are simply to level the playing field for students trying to get in and are denied. At no time did LAUSD plan for people to apply and hope NOT to get in just to accumulate wait list points. It does happen, but people have to accept the consequences if they ‘play’ and then ‘lose’ by getting in. Hence, if you turn it down, you lose all wait list points. The whole program is to get kids INTO magnets, not to accrue points.

          • Thanks for the feedback. It just felt weird to me that I would accept the Lorne St program but keep my son at Mosk. I just wanted to be sure that by accepting Lorne St for fourth grade, my son isn’t eliminated from attending Mosk again next year.

          • If you accept the magnet spot, your child will be disenrolled from their home school.
            If you change your mind, you will then have to re-enroll at the home school. And you will have no points.

            I hope I’m making this clear for you.

          • Perfect, that’s what I needed to hear. Sorry for the barrage of replies back. That makes more sense now, thank you.

      • Thanks so much for the quick reply. I think we’ll do exactly as you suggest. This whole process is so frustrating and non-sensical (don’t even get me started on the fact that all the charters ask for the exact same information but they all make up their own forms and processes and deadlines, it is so massively inefficient).

  159. So I have a new question, if we are happy with the school our kids are in for elementary school, and all we care about is where they go for jr high and high school, all we need to do is apply for that school or set of schools after their culminating year, right? Because they will earn points per year due to it being a PHBAO school and they will earn points the culminating year, correct?

    • Your child is at a neighborhood elementary, Mosk. What is the middle school? I’m guessing you are zoned for Sutter. That would be where your children will automatically be able to go. There’s an enrollment process of filling out paperwork, but it’s not an application per se. And there are NO points (given or needed) for your neighborhood schools. Those are only for magnets and those who apply and are turned down. PHBAO points are one-time only and not cumulative.

      Magnets are the only schools that use points. SAS and open enrollment programs, along with charter schools do NOT use points for enrollment.

  160. ok so I applied through Open Enrollment @ Taft HS and now OE packets can be picked up for enrollment. In the meantime, one of my twins got selected into their new Magnet program that’s starting with the 2016-2017 9th graders. Before I even new that those who submitted an OE application can actually enroll, I accepted the Magnet spot. Now he doesn’t want to do Magnet but instead just enroll in their regular classes, not even Honors through SAS. Any suggestions?

  161. Does anyone know anything about melrose avenue elementary? We were lucky enough to get q spot for kinder, we had four points. But I don’t know much about the school. Anyone have a child there or know someone who does?

  162. Can you get the 12 matriculation points from going from elem to middle or middle to high school along with waitlist points?
    My son is in a middle school magnet, I was thinking why not try for another one and get waitlisted. What do I have to lose… if he is selected you just decline right?

    • NOPE. You get either 12 matriculation points or up to 12 wait list points.

      In addition, if you were to apply from within a magnet and get accepted to the new magnet you are automatically removed from the current magnet with no recourse to return.

      If you are in a magnet DO NOT apply for another magnet with the same grade levels. Families currently IN a magnet read that over and over until it sinks in.

      Current magnet families ONLY apply in 5th for middle school and 8th for high school. Span schools would have slightly different rules, but once in, you are guaranteed the matriculation points. Stop, and enjoy not having to deal with the application season.

  163. My daughter is already attending the magnet school of our choice, do I have to fill out an e-chioces application for each year till she graduates?

    • Do NOT apply to a magnet when attending a magnet until the year before graduating. There is no point in applying, because you can’t get wait points (you’ll be getting matriculation points) and you risk getting in to the magnet you applied to and you will not be able to reverse it.

  164. Hello! I applied my son in echoices application but i accidentally deleted the name of my son in my parents account on the last day of application date and then i add agin his name and i got a confirmation but its different confirmation number. Is it still ok? Thank you . I hope you can enlighten me.

    • Since this is a very specific, technical question on the application itself, I’d email the folks at the magnet office downtown and verify with them.

      Good luck.

  165. Hello! I’m a bit confused right now because after i submitted my online echoice application weeks ago i accidentally deleted the name of my son on my parents account. So what i did was to add again his name and submitted it. I got a confirmation number but different from the one that i got first. Is it still okay? Please help. Thank you..

  166. I applied for one school and it wouldnt let me apply for another so i went back to the thing after i sumbitted it and when i went to fill out another application for another school it wouldnt let me im i only allowed to apply for one school?

    • Hi Farrah, this is actually a site for schools in Los Angeles. Broward County has its own rules and regulations, and I wouldn’t begin to guess what those are.

      Good luck!

  167. My son was accepted, and attended Academy for Enriched Sciences in Encino, earlier this fall semester. He was only there for a couple of months, until we moved, and I had to unenroll him; due to transportation issues. Loved the school btw. We enrolled him in our new neighborhood school, Colfax Charter, which is another amazing school. He’s been miserable ever since, and it’s only been 3 months. He’s in the 4th grade, extremely shy, and has made no friends. He had a melt down about it last night. Is there any way that I can enroll him back into the magnet school 3 months later, without going through the process again?

    • You can contact the school directly in January when the kids go back, but it’s not likely. His space would have been given to another student as of norm day. If he left after norm day, his spot may be open, but I honestly don’t know what the district policy is. It’s likely you’ll be applying again for fifth grade.

      You can explain the situation and hope for the best, but I’ve never heard of anyone getting a spot back after that long of an absence (a few days or a week or two, yes).

      Good luck.

  168. If my older brother went to a magnet school for his full 4 years of high school and graduated there, do I have a better chance of getting in if I apply too.?

    • Sadly no. Sibling points are accrued if a sibling is going to be at the same school during the year you apply for–it’s essentially a carpooling/parent convenience nod. It’s not about legacy.

  169. Just got the letter that my kids are not eligible for Balboa as the teacher deemed them not gifted. ☹️️Does it mean I lost all the waiting points?? This is so frustrated because I did asked the teacher before I applied. I wish she could have just told me back then and I could have used my points at another school. It’s hard enough to get twins to the same school.

    • That is very unfortunate. Do you have anything in writing to or from the teacher stating that you were going to apply and her response?

      When we applied in kinder, we brought it up in the fall conference, and the teacher said she’d get back to us. That made me a little nervous since we knew from experience with her brother that she was going to make the criteria. A few weeks later (might have been just after the break) we received a handwritten note from the teacher stating that our daughter did meet the criteria and she would say so in the magnet request. In the end we opted to stay at her elementary, but I kept the note until she was tested during first grade and got those results back.

  170. Also, did anyone successfully request for their child to be tested and identified gifted in Kindergarten or First Grade? If so, would you please share how you did it? Thank you!

    • We did, but this was pre-budget cuts and pre-OLSAT. I’d highly recommend you call the gifted office and find out what your options are. I believe in the case of the magnet for this year, you are out of luck, but contact the magnet office and see if there’s anything you can do. The Space Available list is now open so maybe you can find one magnet that can take both kids without the fuss.

  171. I applied for my daughter to get into k at the Academy for Enriched Sciences in Encino. Never expected to get in but we did. We have to respond by April 7 but we want to see where we get in for the charter lottery (most being held end of April). Is there any penalty for accepting and then withdrawing? Do we automatically get kicked out of the Charter lotteries? Does anyone have any thoughts about AES? It would be a long commute for my girl and I’d be concerned about friends for her. Thanks!

    • This should really post in the 2017-18 post.

      Charter lotteries are completely separate from LAUSD magnet programs. In fact, as of right now, magnets are separate from SAS and other programs within LAUSD. You can accept AES now, and when the charter holds their lottery, if you get in, you can choose the charter OR LAUSD.

      Here are the caveats:

      1. Never hold on to more than two options. Holding on to your ‘plan B’ while waiting on your plan A is fine, but holding on to more than that is exactly why some wait lists are soooo long.

      2. If you choose the charter, you *will* lose your magnet points for this year. However if you are planning to use points for middle school, you’ve started too early and you’ll be safe to wait a few years anyway.

      In terms of folks reading this in the future, there are *many* spots in the first year of a school, and the kinder and first grade openings can have very low point totals: Obviously kinders could start at 7 (PHBAO and sibling) but quickly move through 4s (PHBAO only) and 3s (singles only) and 0-point kids will get in off the wait list for the most popular schools (because people were hoping to get rejection points). First graders can start with 11, but they move down pretty quickly too. I wouldn’t count on getting in with 0 or 4, but I would worry about it if I was counting on it for wait list points.

  172. If we accept enrollment at a magnet for 5th (the school goes up through middle), and it is not a good fit, how hard is it to transfer to another magnet school in 6th? How do points work? Do you get preference because you are attending a magnet school already? I have searched this site as well as google and can’t seem to find an answer to this question.

    • SOCES is a fantastic school, but you will need to choose wisely. Once attending a span school, there are no ‘points’ for transferring.

      From the points page of the echoices website: Students currently enrolled in multi-level Magnet Schools (LAUSD/USC Media Arts/Engineering, Eagle Rock HS G/HG/HA, Los Angeles CES, Sherman Oaks CES, South Region #8, Sun Valley Biomedical Sciences/Engineering/Leadership, and Valley Alternative) do not receive matriculation points.

      While you could possibly transfer to another magnet with between 0-7 points, the bottom line is you will be looking at open enrollment and SAS options as your likely choices. That said, if you applied to SOCES, you must have liked something about it, so this might just be a case of nerves.

  173. For sibling points – does a child receive sibling points in eChoices if the older sibling is in her final year at the school being applied to (meaning older sibling will no longer be at the school the year the younger sibling would start)?

    Thank you!

      • That is correct. Siblings only receive sibling points if the children will be attending the magnet during the next year.

    • The idea behind sibling points is not to give benefit of having two children in different magnets, but rather to give a slight edge to siblings attempting to get into the same magnet. So there are no sibling points for a new student coming in to a magnet if their 5th or 8th or 12th grade sibling will not be there the next year.

  174. By the time when my oldest one will be in 5th grade at magnet school, I would like to apply for my little one for the same magnet scool. Will she get points for the magnet?

    • You get sibling points if your children will overlap at the same school.

      If your oldest is in 5th grade the fall that you apply for your youngest, you will not get sibling points because when your little one arrives on campus the next year, your oldest will be off to middle school.

      If your oldest is in 4th grade the year you apply for elementary, you will get points.

      If the school is a K-8 or a K-6, you would get points if your oldest is in 5th grade when you apply because your oldest will still be there when the youngest arrives the next year.

  175. Hi Magnet Angel. Do you know when we are going to get CAASPP results for our kids this year? And also, when schools ratings will be updated after these 2017 results?

  176. Hi Magnet Angel,
    Question for you — I lost points last year because we turned down The Science Academy for Walter Reed IHP (happy with the choice) . Walter Reed is actually also my home school. Should I have gotten 4 points because in the 2016 – 2017 school year Walter Reed was designated PHBAO? And will I get 4 points for HS since our home school is North Hollywood High and it’s PHBAO?
    Thanks! It’s hard to figure out on the eChoices site.

    • PHBAO points do not accrue. So when your son is in 8th grade and applying for HS, if NHHS is still PHBAO, you will get 4 points then.

  177. Hi Magnet Angel. I have a question. Let’s say we put two choices: 1) Gifted Magnet, 2) regular Magnet. When our application goes through the first choice, the eligibility should be approved by teacher at some point, if teacher does not approve, we are not eligible to participate in the lottery for the first choice school. So, it will go down to the second choice. Let’s say the second choice school does not have space. What will happen in this case? Will we stay on wait list of the second choice school or our application will be completely rejected? Usually the wait list is always for the first choice, but in this particular case it will be impossible.

    • It’s really as simple as asking the teacher their opinion. Make sure the teacher will approve the gifted designation. Because there are no ‘waiting lists’ for the 2nd or 3rd choice schools. It’s my opinion not to use them at all unless you are equally ok with the two (or three) choices.

      If you want more information on this specific instance, contact the magnet offices downtown.

  178. What are good Middle Schools to apply to just for the points? In the NE Valley. My kiddo is at IHP right now in 7th Grade.
    Thanks. We lost all our points by turning down Science Academy for IHP…

  179. Please help with data for 6th grade admission into the Science Academy. Once a prospective student passes the test, how many points does a student need in order to be accepted?

    • Hi,

      As a site of volunteers who do NOT work for the school district or individual schools, it’s not possible to provide ‘data’ on enrollment or point totals.

      Your best bet would be to contact the school or ask on a tour. Other parents can say whether their child got in or not, but we don’t have access to district information.

  180. Hi Magnet Angel. My child was identified gifted by her teacher last year, when she was in 1st grade. She did not get accepted into Balboa for 2nd grade because we had no points. Will she need to be identified gifted by her 2nd grade teacher again this year or pass the OLSAT test for her to reapply this year? Thank you

    • This is a really good question to ask at the school. My guess is that the OLSAT happens later in the year, but you should definitely talk to the gifted coorinator at your school for more information.

      • Based on E-Choices info, once identified by teacher in elementary school, it will be in student info in LAUSD for few years and you should not ask the new teacher next year again. It happened to us, and also I saw this info on E-Choices website. You just should apply every year and wait (or be accepted). You are already eligible to apply for gifted magnet. The only time when you will need another teacher reverification it is in 5th grade if you will want to apply to the gifted magnet middle school.

  181. Hello,
    I know this is an old post but I’m still hoping someone can answer this question.
    I would lile my son to go to LACES , so it would be the only magnet choice I apply for. However my second actual choice would be John Borroughs, which i will apply for SAS. So, my question is: if he gets on the wait list for LACES, and get acceptes to SAS, can he go to John Borroughs in the meantime until we get in?
    Also, if we get accepted to both schools, will that be a problem? Or we simply get to choose between them?

  182. Hi,
    Can someone please clarify for me: wait list magnet points expire after 3 years. That’s not ALL points, right? Just the ones that are 3 years old? Our daughter is in 5th now and we’re trying to decide how to manage points to apply for High School. Yikes!

    • Wait list points expire EACH year after three years. Since you are supposed to be trying to get IN to a magnet, the idea is that each year is treated separately.

      • So if you go into middle school (non magnet) with 12 magnet points, will they all expire by the time you are exiting middle school and going into high school?

        • If you come from a magnet elementary school, the matriculation points are only good for one year–in the case of elementary to middle school, just for sixth grade. If you have been at a non-magnet elementary and accruing waitlist points, it will depend on whether you got into any middle school magnet or not. If you turned down a magnet placement, those points are already lost. If you did not get into any magnet for sixth grade, then the points will term off 4 points each year.

  183. It appears that I failed my daughter (currently in 3rd grade) by not understanding the points system to apply for Magnet schools. Knowing that we were planning to enroll our daughter in a private grade through fifth grade, I only now started to research public schools in our neighborhood to discover that I missed the November deadline. With that said, I will likely only be able to accumulate 12 points (with PHBAO). With LACES only two miles away from our residence and with its stellar reputation, the school seemed like an obvious choice. I understand that it’s a long shot to enroll my daughter at LACES with only 12 points and that I must consider plans B and C (the lottery for other school or move to a better school district). However, wanted to see if there is a way to send her to a different middle school and continue to accumulate points for a better chance to gain admission to LACES for 9th grade?

  184. When do people normally hear about Magnet acceptance? I thought it was today March 15th – but now hear it might be “sometime over the next two weeks”?

    • At one point it was said to be 3/15. You are welcome to check back later tonight. At our HS, earlier this week, we were told they were going out on the 18th.

  185. Do you know what happens if you don’t respond to a call and/or email of acceptance from a school’s magnet coordinator? Do they automatically note it as a rejection and cause you to lose points? Does anyone have experience with this?

    • Back in the olden days people did avoid responding to phone calls (especially late in summer). Now the acceptance letter pretty clearly shows the deadline and they consider it a rejection if you don’t reply. Rejection = loss of wait points.

      • We haven’t received an official acceptance letter, just a voicemail that we were selected from the waitlist. I’m wondering if we’ll still get an official lausd acceptance letter or if the magnet coordinator will just move down the list if she doesn’t hear from us.

  186. I’m a little confused on the three year point expiration time line. If you are aiming to get in to a magnet for 6th grade, should you start applying to earn waitlist points for 2nd or 3rd grade? I am confused since it seems like points don’t appear until the following year. Thank you!

    • If you are applying FOR sixth grade, you will need to be rejected and have waitlist points in 5th grade.

      So you will apply in 2nd for 3rd grade and hopefully, be rejected.
      You will reapply in 3rd for 4th grade and hopefully be rejected.
      You will reapply in 4th for 5th and hopefully get rejected a third time.
      In 5th grade, you will be applying for sixth grade and if you have been extremely “unlucky” you will have 12 rejection points. Keep in mind that points have been going down for as long as we’ve been running the website and you could very well be accepted somewhere along the way. You’ll want to be applying to a school with high rejection rates, but that if you were to get into you might actually want to attend.

  187. We transferred into a highly sought after magnet program for the third grade year in 2018-19 school year. That first year was shocking, it wasn’t what we expected and though we were very unhappy and thought about returning our son to his home school, in talking with other parents we were re-assured that fourth and fifth grade was much better in this program. However now almost all the way through fourth grade we have experienced some of the same frustrations (not as bad as the 3rd grade) but feel totally stuck because if we leave the school we will lose all of our points.
    I’d like to give warning to families.. in the case of our school choice that we made we never heard a single negative about this program! It wasn’t until we were in the middle of our third grade year and we actually shared our view with families that we started to hear other peoples problems from years back. Now with all the hype around the school I’m not sure if I had heard a negative view or two how I would have viewed it, but now having been through this I guarantee you if I hear one complaint about a school I’m looking into I will weigh it heavily!

    • I like to say opinions are like armpits: Everyone has them and they tend to stink. The highest sought after magnets are not for everyone, and on a tour you will never hear the negative responses as the parents brought in for the “parent” portions definitely tend to be the biggest fans. I’ve definitely been called on as a regular mom to speak about my kids’ various schools. I’m always upfront about our experience and how that’s relative to my specific kids’ experiences. I’ll also make sure to share the very popular/highly regarded magnets/programs that we opted not to apply for and actually turned down (for various kids we didn’t apply to Nobel, and turned down Balboa twice and turned down a Granada acceptance–I’m not saying there aren’t thousands of families that love those schools, but in the specific cases of each kid we didn’t see the fit or found a much better one).

      I’m sorry you are in that difficult situation. If it’s difficult for your child, definitely rethink sticking it out. There are other programs–magnets, SAS, etc., and those point counts have continued to fall for years. If you *as a family* decide to stick it out, make sure your child has permission to share with you their frustrations and truly listen to them. And if you do decide to go a different way, do it. Don’t listen to the folks who might take it as a personal affront that you didn’t love the school the same way they did.

  188. Is there any chance to get into Portola GH magnet with no points ( maybe 4 points) ? He is HGA ( by LAUSD psychologist)

  189. Questions about getting the gifted designation. My son is in 3rd grade now. Last year when he was in 2nd grade, I applied Balboa and turned out that they said he was “ineligible” applicant because he didn’t have the gifted designation. I was told by other moms who applied Balboa didn’t need to take the psychology test or anything, their kids just got accepted. Unfortunately it’s not the case for me. Turned out, I figured that, we had a new principal last year who didn’t approve my son’s application when the district requested for his performance. I was quite frustrated with that as I see my son was doing advanced level math and ELA stuffs. Due to the pandemic, he didn’t have the opportunity to take the OLSAT, so he didn’t even have the opportunity to take the OLSAT. This school year, it doesn’t look like they will have the SBAC test. So there is no way for him to get the designation. This year, we have another new principal (who was the assistant principal for 7 years), but I am not sure if he will approve either. I am getting to the point to give up applying Balboa again. I am considering whether I should forget the idea of getting him in the gifted magnet and just apply for regular magnet, such as Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies. Do you know anything about the school? With 0 point, I think the chances of getting in would be quite slim though. Are there any options out there you think I should look into? I would appreciate if you can provide any comments.

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