Frequently Asked Questions

When is the on-time application period ?

The application window opens Oct. 1 - Nov. 9, 2018. Families may submit a paper application or apply online at Apply.Lausd.Net.

Are on-time applications processed on a first-come-first-served basis?

No. Applications received during the on-time application period will be processed after the application window closes. Students are placed according to their enrollment placement preferences.

What if there are more applications than seats available for a program?

A random, unbiased selection process will be conducted centrally and students will be placed in accordance to their priorities for attendance.

What is the application process for Admission Criteria Schools (ACSs)?

The application process to an ACS is as follows:
 1. UE generates a digital roster of applicants in November 2018 for ACSs.
 2. UE sends the roster to the ACS.
 3. ACS contacts applicants to conduct their eligibility processes.
 4. ACS submits eligibility rosters to UE no later than January 18, 2019.
 5. A placement (a random, unbiased selection process if needed) is conducted.
 6. Choices selection letters are sent to parents/guardians. They will have until 4/5/19 to accept or decline.

What if a student doesn't submit an application within the on-time application period of Oct. 1 - Nov. 9 and wants to enroll in my school?

CHOICES application window is October 1-November 16, 2018. The late application period begins February 1, 2019 and students will be placed in the order the applications are received based on space availability.

Will families be allowed to submit a paper application?

Yes. Paper applications will be available at the school sites, Local Districts, Parent & Community Services Offices, Welcome Centers at Local Districts, and Los Angeles City Public Libraries. It is the responsibility of the family to mail their child's paper application via US mail to the District office. Both online and paper applications will be treated the same when submitted during the on-time period.

Should a school accept a paper application?

No. Families are responsible for submitting paper applications via US Mail.

If a student comes to enroll on the first day of school and there is space available, do they need to complete a Late Choices application?

Yes. All new students participating in an ACS must submit a Choices application.

Do students currently enrolled in an ACS need to re-apply?

No. Only students changing schools or enrolling for the first time need to re-apply.

Since families are applying through the Choices application, will ACS applicants accrue points?

No. Only students applying for magnet programs will accrue magnet priority points.

How many ACSs may a family apply for using the online or paper on-time application?

Families may apply for one ACS during the on-time application window.

What if a family doesn't have access to a computer?

Families may access smart phones, school computers, public libraries, Welcome Centers at Local Districts or parent centers to apply online. Families may also submit a paper application via US mail to the Unified Enrollment, P.O. Box 513307, Los Angeles, CA 90051.

Can a student be offered a seat in multiple programs and schools?

Yes. The family will have until the acceptance deadline (April 5, 2019) to accept the program that is best suited for their child.

Will transportation be provided for Admission Criteria Schools students?

Transportation is not provided for ACS unless it is a requirement of the child's IEP or falls under ESSA (see Choices brochure page 68).

Who will I contact for additional programmatic questions?

Please contact the Choices Support Line at (213) 241-4177.

When will the applications be delivered to schools?

Applications will be delivered during the week of October 1, 2018.

Will I receive any support to train staff on the new online application?

Yes. We have prepared an online tutorial on how to complete the application. Face-to-Face trainings are available upon request.

Will students living within LAUSD boundaries need an Intra-District permit to attend an AC School at a location other than their home school?

No. Intra-District (within LAUSD) permits are no longer required.

What if space becomes available?

If space becomes available, ACSs are responsible for contacting Late Applicants, verifying their eligibility and accepting eligible students.

Will students living outside LAUSD boundaries need an Inter-District permit to attend an AC School?

Contact the ACS directly.

Is the Dual Language Education program for English Learners?

Yes. All students benefit from Dual Language Education programs, especially English Learners who speak other languages.

Are there any requirements to enroll my child in a Dual Language Education (DLE) program?

Students may enter the program at any time in grades Transitional Kindergarten-1st grade. Students entering the program in 2nd grade and beyond must demonstrate target language knowledge comparable to students in the program. In some cases, a new student who has proficiency in the target language (Spanish, Korean, Mandarin, Arabic, French, and Armenian) may be enrolled into a DLE after 1st grade. Consult your local dual language education program school for details and enrollment procedures.

Are Dual Language Education programs the same as Two-Way Immersion programs?

Yes, Dual Language Education programs as defined in L.A. Unified are also known as Two-Way Immersion programs.

What languages are available in L.A. Unified Dual Language Education programs?

Currently, L.A. Unified offers Two-Way Immersion programs (formerly Dual Language) in Spanish/English, Korean/English, Arabic/English, Mandarin/English, and Armenian/English in selected elementary, middle, and high schools. The program goals are bilingualism and biliteracy.
The One-Way Immersion program (formerly Maintenance Bilingual Education) is currently offered in Spanish/English and Korean/English in selected elementary and secondary schools. The program goals are bilingualism and biliteracy.
The World Language Immersion program (formerly Foreign Language Immersion), is currently offered in Spanish/English, Mandarin/English, and French/English in selected elementary and middle schools. The program goals are bilingualism and biliteracy.

Will students living within L.A. Unified boundaries need an Intra-District permit to attend a Dual Language Education program at a location other than their home school?

No. Intra-District (within L.A. Unified) permits are no longer required.

Will transportation be provided for Dual Language Education program students?

No. Transportation will not be provided for the Dual Language Education program students

When do I need to apply?

The CHOICES application window is October 1-November 16, 2018. If you miss the application window, the late application period begins February 1, 2019. (Students will be placed in the order the applications are received based on space availability.)

Are on-time applications processed on a first-come, first-served basis?

No. Applications received during the on-time application period will be processed after the application window closes. Students are placed according to their enrollment placement preferences.

What if there are more applications than seats available for a program?

A random, unbiased, electronic selection will be conducted centrally and students will be placed in accordance with their enrollment preferences.

I do not have access to internet; can I submit a paper application? Where can I get assistance with completing the application?

School sites, Los Angeles City Public Libraries and Local District offices have copies of the Choices brochure and paper application. Parent workshops and fairs will be held to assist parents with filling out the application.

Will resident students have priority enrollment?

Yes.

Do students currently enrolled in a Dual Language Education program need to re-apply?

No. However, a new application is needed for matriculating students or for students wishing to attend another Dual Language Education school.

Since families are applying through the Choices application, will Dual Language Education applicants accrue points?

No. Only students applying for Magnet programs will accrue Magnet priority points.

How many different school programs can I apply to?

Parents can apply to all 5 programs (Magnet, PWT, Dual Language Education, Admission Criteria Schools, and Schools for Advanced Studies). For Magnet, Dual Language Education Schools, and Schools for Advanced Studies, you may apply for up to 3 choices for each of those programs.

How many programs could I be selected to?

You could be selected to all programs to which you applied. However, you may only accept one program by the April 2019 deadline.

Who will I contact for additional programmatic questions?

Please contact the Dual Language Education (DLE) programs Office at (213) 241-2550.

What is the Magnet program?

Magnet Programs are Court-Ordered voluntary integration opportunities available to students in grades K-12 living within the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Currently there are 292 Magnet programs located throughout LAUSD.

Who can apply to Magnet programs?

All students living within the boundaries of the Los Angeles Unified School District are eligible to apply, including English Learners, Special Education, and Gifted/Talented students.

What is the difference between Magnet and Gifted?

The Magnet Program is a Court-Ordered voluntary integration program open to all LAUSD students. Fifty-one (51) of the 292 Magnet programs available are Gifted or Highly Gifted programs. In order to apply to one of these 51 programs, students must first meet the eligibility criteria.

How do I apply for a Magnet school?

You may complete the application online at eChoices.lausd.net or the Choices Brochure contains the application and is available the beginning of October.

Can I apply to more than one Magnet?

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

May I Fax my application?

No. All applications are to be sent via U.S. mail or submitted online. Applications may also be hand-delivered to Student Integration Services at 333 South Beaudry Avenue, 25th Floor, Los Angeles, 90017. Unfortunately, we cannot be held responsible for lost applications.

What happens if I miss the application deadline?

Parents may submit Late Applications beginning February 1, 2019. If space becomes available the school’s Magnet coordinator will contact you. The Late Application does not guarantee placement at the school site.

How are students accepted into Magnet programs?

Students are selected based on the magnet program goal and are randomly accepted into Magnet programs based on the number of priority points issued. The number of students selected is based on the number of available spaces at a particular school. Any student who sent in an on-time application, but was not selected, is placed on a waiting list.

Are students selected on a first-come first-served basis?

No. The selection process is random and occurs after the on-time application deadline.

Is there guaranteed selection if I apply?

No. Applicants are not guaranteed selection.

How do I know if my child was selected or not?

In early December, you will receive a letter confirming receipt of your child’s application. In March, you will be notified as to whether your child was selected or placed on the waiting list.

What is my child's status on the waiting list?

Your child’s status will depend on the number of openings at the school of application as well as the number of applicants. You may call the school to inquire about potential selection.

When will my child get called from the waiting list?

If a space beocems available, calls to students on the waiting list may begin as early as April and continue through the fourth week of the fall semester. Students may also be called during the first two weeks of the spring semester.

Do I have to reapply every year?

Students who are currently enrolled in a Magnet program do not have to reapply unless they want to change schools (this includes promotion to the next school level, such as elementary school to middle school or middle school to high school). If a student remains on a waiting list then the student should reapply.

What is the PWT program?

The Permits With Transportation (PWT) program is a Court-Ordered voluntary integration program available to students in grades 6-12 who live within a PWT sending school area. Parents may call (213) 241-6572 or go to eChoices.lausd.net to verify if the applicant lives in a PWT sending area. The PWT program provides students with integrated experiences by placing Hispanic, Black, Asian and Other Non-Anglo students in integrated settings while providing opportunities for Other White (OW) students to attend Predominantly Hispanic, Black, Asian and Other Non-Anglo (PHBAO) schools. School assignments in the PWT Program are made by the District.

What do I do first if I am interested in PWT?

Check to see if you live in a PWT sending area click by clicking here. If eligible, then you may consider applying to the PWT program.

Can I choose the school I want for my child?

No, the District assigns a school to you.

Why does the District select the school?

Enrollment meetings are held annually to verify that space is available in schools. These meetings take place after the Choices deadline date. This makes it impossible to name PWT receiving schools before April of each year. In addition, Transportation patterns and bus stops have already been established; therefore, no new schools will be added. The current receiving schools are Paul Revere Charter MS, Portola MS and Taft HS.

Where will the student be picked-up?

Transportation routes have already been established for the PWT program. You will be notified about transportation by US mail the week before the new school year begins. For information about existing bus routes please call (213) 580-2950.

Do I need to reapply every year if the student does not get in?

New PWT applicants need to reapply on a yearly basis if the student does not get into PWT the first year. Once he/she is in PWT you do not need to reapply to continue to stay at the current PWT school. Provided that space continues to be available, PWT students may continue from middle to high school. However, matriculating students need to submit an on-time application and respond by opting-in by the April deadline or they will default to their resident school program.

If I have two children, can they both attend a PWT receiving school?

Yes, if space is available and they reside in a PWT sending area and both applications are returned before the deadline date, both children could participate in the selection process. When space is available, the PWT program will assign siblings to the same school.

Do PWT receiving schools have waiting lists?

Yes, PWT receiving schools have waiting lists if more students apply than there is space available at the school.

Do I have to transfer my child if I don’t want to?

You do not have to transfer your child. You may decide that keeping him or her at their current school is the best choice.

What if my child is a special education student?

If your child is receiving special education services, they must be implemented per the Individualized Education Program (IEP). The Division of Special Education will assist in making the PWT program assignment according to the child’s IEP and the District’s guidelines.

What kind of program will my child be enrolled in at the PWT school?

Your child may participate in all programs and activities available at the PWT school.

May I participate in the school/community activities at the PWT school?

Yes. Parents are encouraged to participate in advisory councils, school site councils, PTA, and other functions at the PWT school.

Do I still have to enroll my child at the PWT school when I receive my Confirmation Letter?

Yes. When you receive the Selection Letter, contact the PWT school to get information about the school’s enrollment procedures.

When will my child get called from the waiting list?

Calls to students on the waiting list may begin as early as April and continue through the fourth week of the fall semester. Students may also be called during the first two weeks of the spring semester.

What is Schools for Advanced Studies (SAS)?

Schools for Advanced Studies (SAS) demonstration sites receive the SAS designation for their exemplary Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) implementation. By providing high-quality differentiated instruction with an emphasis on depth, complexity, acceleration and novelty, SAS sites offer high-level academic opportunities that meet the unique educational needs of K–12 gifted learners, identified in the Intellectual, High Achievement, Specific Academic, Creative and Leadership Ability categories or verified based on critical thinking/achievement.

School choice is not the primary purpose of SAS, rather, the goal of SAS is to recognize and nurture model demonstration sites at resident schools to share innovative, equitable, and effective GATE practices Districtwide. Resident schools must undergo a rigorous application process every five years to obtain/maintain SAS designation. SAS sites exemplify the District’s expectations for high-quality GATE implementation at all K-12 schools.

SAS teachers and administrators are required to participate annually in professional development specifically tailored to address the unique academic and social-emotional needs of gifted/talented learners.

Currently there are 149 SAS sites located throughout L.A.Unified. (Independent charter schools, Magnet programs, and Dual Language Education programs are not eligible for the SAS designation.)

Who can apply to Schools for Advanced Studies (SAS)?

Applicants must reside within the boundaries of the Los Angeles Unified School District and meet specific eligibility requirements. SAS is a K-12 school designation. Pre-K and TK SAS classes are not available.

Eligibility criteria for SAS, as well as the corresponding verification processes and forms, are outlined on the eChoices website and in the Choices brochure (pages 10-12).

What is the difference between Gifted Magnet and SAS?

The Magnet Program is a Court-Ordered voluntary integration program, coordinated by Student Integration Services, open to all L.A.Unified students. Some of the Magnet programs available are designated as Gifted or Highly Gifted. In order to apply to one of these programs through the Choices process, students must first meet the eligibility criteria outlined in the Choices brochure or on eChoices (Verification of Eligibility for Gifted Magnet Programs and Schools for Advanced Studies).

Schools for Advanced Studies, coordinated by Gifted/Talented Programs, Advanced Learning Options, are model GATE demonstration sites at resident schools. SAS is the GATE instructional program at designated resident schools. Students residing within the boundaries of a designated SAS school who meet the eligibility criteria must be placed in the site’s SAS gifted/talented program (unless a parent has opted out). Students residing within L.A.Unified boundaries – but outside the SAS site’s residential boundaries – may apply for participation through the Choices process. If spaces are available – after accommodating all students who meet eligibility criteria and who reside within the school’s residential boundaries – a selection process for qualifying SAS applicants will be conducted. In order to participate in SAS, students must first meet the eligibility criteria outlined in the Choices brochure or on eChoices (Verification of Eligibility for Gifted Magnet Programs and Schools for Advanced Studies).

Gifted Magnets, Highly Gifted Magnets, and Schools for Advanced Studies cluster gifted/high ability students for instruction and provide differentiated instruction with an emphasis on depth, complexity, novelty, and acceleration.

The eligibility criteria to apply to Gifted Magnets and SAS are identical. To qualify to apply for a Highly Gifted Magnet, the applicant must meet the qualifying score on an Intellectual Ability assessment administered by an L.A.Unified designated GATE psychologist. Eligibility criteria for all programs, as well as the corresponding verification processes and forms, are outlined on the eChoices website and in the Choices brochure (pages 10-12).

How do I apply for an SAS site?

You may complete the application online at GoTo.Lausd.Net or the Choices brochure contains the application for SAS sites and is available October 1, 2018. The application and verification forms, if applicable, are due November 16, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.

Please note that if your school of residence has the SAS designation, you do not apply for SAS participation through the Choices process. Students residing within the boundaries of a designated SAS school who meet the eligibility criteria must be placed in the site’s SAS gifted/talented program (unless a parent has opted out). No formal application is required for a qualified student who resides within the school’s boundaries. Your child’s eligibility will be verified at the SAS site through District records and articulation with the sending school. If you have questions, contact the school directly.

If the SAS site is an affiliated charter, in a Zone of Choice (ZOC), or is an Admission Criteria School, see the corresponding FAQ for application information.

How is my child verified as eligible to apply to SAS?

For an applicant to be eligible for SAS, the student must be verified as meeting one of the criteria outlined in the Choices brochure (page 10) prior to November 16, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.

L.A. Unified Applicants (Currently Enrolled in an L.A.Unified School):
Although L.A.Unified applicants must meet the required program-specific criteria outlined in the Choices brochure, a Verification of Eligibility form and SAS Kindergarten Readiness Checklist, if applicable, are NOT required for applicants (grades K-12) currently enrolled in an L.A.Unified school. Upon receipt of an application, the District will automatically verify eligibility.

Private School, Independent Charter, and Non- L.A.Unified Applicants:
The parents/guardians of private school, independent charter, and non-L.A.Unified students who are applying to Schools for Advanced Studies must follow the procedures outlined in the Choices brochure (pages 10-12) and verify that the student’s current school of attendance has submitted all required verification forms by November 16, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.:
For an applicant, previously identified as gifted/highly gifted by an L.A.Unified designated GATE psychologist, who is currently attending a private school, independent charter, or non- L.A.Unified school, the parent must submit a Verification of Eligibility form to ensure that the applicant is included in the District database.

What are the criteria for an incoming kindergarten student applying to an SAS site?

All kindergarten SAS applicants must be verified by the administrator of the preschool or the Transitional Kindergarten (TK) program as meeting the third eligibility criterion (i.e., critical thinking and problem-solving skills), as well as criteria listed on the SAS Kindergarten Readiness Checklist.

What are the criteria listed on the SAS Kindergarten Readiness Checklist?

In addition to meeting the critical thinking and problem-solving skills criteria, an incoming kindergarten student must demonstrate at least ten of the twenty skills/characteristics listed on the SAS Kindergarten Readiness Checklist.
  • Can work independently with evidence of goal-directed behavior
  • Uses descriptive words in sentences and uses language to express emotions, ideas, and opinions (in primary language)
  • Can tell or retell a story with detailed description and expression (in primary language)
  • Can recognize and repeat complex patterning sequences and create own patterns
  • Can follow multi-step directions with little guidance or redirection
  • Identifies the letters A to Z, knows the sounds of all of the letters of the alphabet, and can write many of the letters
  • Able to orally count to 100, visually identify numbers from 1 to 100, and write numbers 1 to 25
  • Demonstrates innate or accelerated understanding of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division
  • Able to remember information and experiences (e.g., can recite song lyrics, recall facts, etc.) and make connections
  • Able to recognize sight words and read with fluency and comprehension
  • Demonstrates strong concern for others and their feelings; strong sense of justice
  • Initiates play sessions, coordinates and integrates multiple complementary roles, and considers the actions of others
  • Uses unconventional objects in play activities
  • Interacts easily with peers; frequently sought out by peers for companionship, ideas, and decisions
  • Demonstrates mature sense of humor; responds to and creates riddles and verbal associations
  • Demonstrates evidence of reasoning, logical thinking, creativity, and spontaneous incorporation of academic activities into free play
  • Expresses ideas, seeks information through questioning, and enjoys interacting verbally with adults and older children
  • Demonstrates advanced task commitment and energy when learning
  • Able to remember complex information and decode symbolic systems (e.g., maps, codes, etc.)
  • Demonstrates curiosity; displays unexpected depth of knowledge in one or more areas

What should I do if my kindergarten applicant did not participate in preschool or TK?

Please contact Gifted/Talented Programs at (213) 241-8361 for information regarding verification procedures.

Can I apply to more than one SAS site?

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

May I fax my application?

No. All applications are to be sent via U. S. mail or submitted online. Applications may also be hand-delivered to L.A.Unified Headquarters, Unified Enrollment, 25th floor reception desk, at 333 South Beaudry Avenue, Los Angeles, 90017. Unfortunately, L.A. Unified cannot be held responsible for lost applications or verification forms.

What happens if I miss the application deadline?

Parents may submit late applications beginning February 1, 2019. If space becomes available the school will contact you directly. The late application does not guarantee placement at the school site.

How are students accepted into SAS?

Once eligibility is verified, applicants are randomly selected to attend SAS sites. The number of students selected is based on the number of available spaces at a particular school (students who reside within the school’s boundaries MUST be accommodated first). The number of available seats varies by school and grade level. Some SAS designated sites are able to accommodate all applicants, while others have limited or no space available for students who reside outside the school’s residential boundaries.

If spaces are available – after accommodating all students who meet eligibility criteria and who reside within the school’s boundaries – a selection process for qualifying SAS applicants will be conducted in this order:
 1) Siblings residing within L.A.Unified boundaries (must meet SAS eligibility criteria)
 2) Students residing within L.A.Unified boundaries (must meet SAS eligibility criteria)

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

To ensure equity and access, each of the three SAS eligibility criteria carries equal weight in the selection process. Therefore, priority placement is not given to students identified as gifted/highly gifted or those who meet test score criteria.

Are students selected on a first-come first-served basis?

No. The selection process is random and occurs after the on-time application deadline.

Is there guaranteed selection if I apply?

No. Applicants are not guaranteed selection.

How do I know if my child was selected or not?

In December, you will receive a letter confirming receipt of your child’s application. In February, you will receive a letter that provides information about your child’s eligibility for the selected program(s). In March, you will be notified by online parent account or U.S. mail as to whether your child was selected or placed on the waiting list.

What is my child's status on the waiting list?

Your child’s status will depend on the number of openings at the school of application as well as the number of applicants. You may call the school to inquire about potential selection.

When will my child get called from the waiting list?

Calls to students on the waiting list may begin as early as April and continue through the fourth week of the fall semester. Students may also be called during the first two weeks of the spring semester.

Do I have to reapply every year?

Students who are currently enrolled in an SAS site do not have to reapply unless they want to change schools (this includes promotion to the next school level, such as elementary school to middle school or middle school to high school). If a student remains on a waiting list, then the student should reapply.

If a resident student is participating in SAS but moves outside of the school’s residential boundaries, this student would need to apply through the Choices process for continued participation (space is not guaranteed). If a student moves outside of L.A. Unified boundaries, this student is no longer eligible to apply for SAS.

What if my resident school has the SAS designation?

Students residing within the boundaries of a designated SAS school who meet the eligibility criteria must be placed in the site’s SAS gifted/talented program (unless a parent has opted out). All qualified students who reside within the school’s boundaries must be accommodated before any SAS applicants are enrolled. No formal application is required for a qualified student who resides within the school’s boundaries since SAS is the school site’s GATE instructional program for its students. Your child’s eligibility will be verified at the SAS site through District records and articulation with the sending school. If you have questions, contact the school directly.

What if the SAS site is an affiliated charter school?

Student selection, enrollment, and placement in the SAS gifted/talented program at affiliated charter schools must be conducted in accordance with the State and District legal requirements established for charter schools. Affiliated charter SAS sites do not participate in the Choices process. For affiliated charter SAS enrollment procedures, contact the school directly.

What if the SAS site is in a Zone of Choice (ZOC)?

If a parent would like their child to attend a Schools for Advanced Studies (SAS) site within their Zone of Choice (ZOC), the 8th grade student must select that site during the ZOC selection process. If a student is assigned to a designated SAS site through this ZOC process and meets one of the SAS eligibility criteria, this student must be accommodated in the site’s SAS gifted/talented program.

For information about Zones of Choice, contact the ZOC office at (213) 241-0466 or at http://achieve.lausd.net/zoc.

What if the SAS site is an Admission Criteria School?

One SAS designated site, Dr. Richard A. Vladovic Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy, is an Admission Criteria School. As such, student selection, enrollment, and placement will be conducted in accordance with local school policy. Refer to the Admission Criteria Schools section of the eChoices website or the Choices brochure for more information.