L.A. Unified Expands Magnet Offerings As Application Period Opens for 2017-18

LOS ANGELES - The application period began Tuesday for L.A. Unified’s popular magnet schools and centers, which next fall will add nearly a dozen new options for families seeking a specialized education.

Applications will be accepted online and by mail until 5 p.m. Nov. 10 for one of the 225 themed magnets, which will have an estimated 87,000 available seats for the 2017-18 school year.

“This year marks the 40th anniversary of our magnet programs, which offer innovative, high-quality instruction to all students,” said Superintendent Michelle King. “I encourage our families to learn more about our robust magnet programs. We are proud of the work our schools are doing to bring these exciting opportunities to students across the entire District.” 

Magnets were created in 1976, when the District complied with court-ordered desegregation by creating a voluntary busing program that uses special academic programs to draw students to schools outside of their neighborhoods. The District may provide transportation to elementary students who live outside a two-mile radius and secondary students who live farther than five miles from the magnet.

Some magnets operate as a self-contained school, while others may share a campus with a traditional school or other magnet programs.

Magnet students are chosen through a complex lottery system, which assigns them points based on the demographics of their home school and other factors. Despite the core goal of integration, the academic innovation and success of magnets have made them popular among parents and students seeking a nontraditional education.

Programs known as STEM or STEAM – science, technology, engineering, arts and math – are also becoming increasingly popular. Eight of the 11 new programs for next fall are designated as STEAM programs, while Angeles Mesa Elementary School created a variation of the STEAM theme dubbed DREAMS – design, research, engineering, arts, math and science.

In addition, Westminster Elementary and Griffith Middle schools will be expanding their existing STEM-related programs campus-wide.

“Schools apply to be magnets, and they base their theme on the demand of their students and families,” said Keith Abrahams, executive director of Student Integrated Services, which falls under the Division of Instruction. “Because the number of STEM and STEAM-related careers has increased drastically over the years, we are trying hard to create K-12 pathways so that students can pursue their passion and their dreams.”

Also opening next fall is the District’s third Center for Enriched Studies, a rigorous instructional program that emphasizes critical and creative thinking. Currently under construction in Maywood, the 1,400 student span school will open with Grades 6-11 and will add a 12th grade the following year. The $78 million school will feature a state-of-the-art library, music and dance studies, an outdoor amphitheater and a wellness center.

“A school of this caliber will help the Southeast communities thrive as centers of opportunity,” said Dr. Ref Rodriguez, who represents the area on the Board of Education. “This school also brings relief to the overcrowding at Bell Senior High School, the last year-round school in the District and will transition it to a one track school calendar."

The magnet brochure and application are available at echoices.lausd.net; at District schools, Local Districts and the Parent, Community and Student Services Branch office; and at public libraries.

Local Districts are also hosting magnet fairs this month, where families can obtain more information about the magnet options.

Here is a list of the new or expanded magnets for 2017-18.


Magnet School/Center

Local District


Number of Seats

Angeles Mesa ES







George De La Torre ES




Gulf Avenue ES




George Hale Charter Academy




Hawaiian Avenue ES




Los Angeles Academy MS




Mount Gleason MS




San Pedro Senior HS


Gifted/Highly Gifted/

High Ability/STEAM


South Region HS No. 8


Center for

Enriched Studies



Robert Louis Stevenson MS


Communication Arts


Daniel Webster MS






 Contact: Barbara Jones (213) 241-6766