Monday, March 19, 2018

Check your portal! The 2018-2019 Notification Letters are Available!

The big day has arrived! LAUSD has sent out the 2018-2019 Notification Letters. You might receive an email about the letter, but you will still need to log in at to view the letter.

The letter will state whether your child has been admitted to a magnet program or been wait-listed.

If your child has been accepted, once you have read the letter, you will need to go back to the landing page, click "next", and then choose to accept or decline. You should receive a confirmation email of your choice.

If your child has been wait-listed, there will be instructions on how to proceed (usually you don't need to do anything).

In the past, letters have also been sent by snail mail. So if you don't have access to the application portal, you should receive a letter within a few days. If you haven't heard by Thursday, I would call Student Integration Services at (213) 241-4177 on Friday, since the office may be closed next week during Spring Break.

I hope you get the outcome you are hoping for - good luck!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Prepping for College: Debt-Free U (recommended read)

Although this site is about getting your child into an LAUSD magnet school, at some point you are going to start thinking about how you are going to send your child to college- and more specifically, how you and/or your child are going to pay for college.

The numbers are frightening. When my oldest son was little - about ten years ago - I did some math, and concluded that by the time he goes to college, it could easily cost $100,000 per year at many schools.

That’s why I was so excited to read Debt-Free U: How I Paid for an Outstanding College Education Without Loans, Scholarships, or Mooching off My Parents by Zac Bissonnette. I am now convinced that there is a way to pay for college without taking out loans. It won’t be easy, but it is possible. And that's why I'm highly recommending this book.

The author makes some excellent points, including:
  • there are different paths for getting to the same place (i.e., a college degree)
  • the absolutely crippling impact of graduating with student loan debt (or, for parents, of sacrificing your future lifestyle and retirement savings)
  • the value (or lack thereof) of “big name” colleges
  • how hard you work is far more important than where you go to school 
I don’t know how much I would have believed these arguments before I went to college, but my personal life experience validates his points:
  • I went to a very expensive, well-regarded private university (in fact, it's mentioned in the book as an example of how expensive schools are). The value of the school’s name had little to no impact on my career. Maybe it would have been different if I’d stayed in the region where the school is located so that alumni networking would have been more valuable, but that's definitely not how it worked out.
  • I had wonderful experiences in college but nothing that would justify graduating with a ton of debt.
  • I had above-average grades from a well-respected school, which was nice on my resume but fantastic grades from a lesser school would have been just as or even more impressive. And for purposes of getting into law school, what really mattered was my LSAT score, not where I got my undergraduate degree.
So based on my personal experience, I think what Zac Bissonette has to say has a lot of validity and is absolutely worth taking into consideration. 

Do I agree with everything he says? No, of course not. And although I think going to community college first is a fantastic option financially, I do really want my children to have the four-year college experience. That experience was truly valuable for me - it just didn’t need to happen at the most expensive school I got into (and if I could go back in time, I would spare my parents that expense for sure). 

Debt-Free U  helped convince me that it will be possible to send my children to college without either of us going into debt. And I hope it does the same for you.

This post contains affiliate links that help support this site at no additional cost to you. Thank you for clicking through them! You can read LMS's full disclosure here.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

LAUSD 2018-2019 Calendar

The LAUSD board has approved the 2018-2019 calendar. It's very similar to the last few years:

  • School once again starts in August (the 14th to be exact)
  • Thanksgiving break is the entire week
  • Winter break is three weeks long 
  • School ends the first week of June
  • The major difference is that spring break is very late and starts on April 15

You can view and download the calendar by clicking here.

Hang in there! Acceptance/waitlist letters should go out next month!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Wishing you a healthy and happy 2018, and your desired result with the Choices application!

Friday, December 15, 2017

2018-2019 Confirmation/Correction Letters are now available

LAUSD today sent out the Confirmation/Correction Letters for the 2018-2019 school year. You should have received an email with the heart-stopping subject line "Urgent Message Regarding Your Child's 2018-2019 Choices Application."

It's only urgent in the sense that you should check it as soon as possible for errors. You especially want to make sure the school(s) listed are the ones you applied for, and that the correct number of priority points is shown.

If you find any errors, be sure to contact LAUSD as soon as possible at (213) 241-4177.

If you didn't receive the email with a clickable link to the letter, log in at, then click on "My Messages" at the top right of the dashboard.

Assuming everything on the Confirmation/Correction letter is correct, you will next hear from LAUSD no sooner than February, when eligibility letters for Gifted/High Ability or Highly Gifted magnets will be sent.

Monday, November 13, 2017

What to Expect after Submitting the Choices Application

Now that you've submitted your Choices application, you might be wondering what happens next. Here's a brief timeline:

December 2017: Confirmation/Correction letters are sent. Online applicants should receive an email stating that the letter can be viewed online. Paper applicants will receive the letter via snail mail. The Confirmation/Correction letter states that your application has been received, indicates which school(s) you applied to, and any priority points your child may have. It also states whether any corrections are required.

February 2018: If you applied to a Gifted/High Ability or Highly Gifted magnet program, you will receive a separate notification regarding your child's eligibility or ineligibility for the program.

March 2018: Notification/Waiting List letters are sent.  All letters should be sent via snail mail, regardless of how you applied. However, online applicants may be able to view their letters online before receiving their snail mail letter. If your child is accepted to a school you'd like him or her to attend, congratulations - and be sure to follow the instructions in the letter to claim your spot!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Reminder: Choices Application is due tomorrow!

This is a quick reminder that the Choices Application is tomorrow - it must be postmarked or received by 5 p.m. on Thursday, November 9, 2017.

If you're still debating where to apply, the LAUSD Magnets Handbook, is my short e-book that explains what factors you should be taking into consideration and how to prioritize your choices. It can help you quickly narrow down your choices, and figure out the order in which to rank your choices.

Good luck!