Applications will be accepted from Oct. 2 through Nov. 9 for 260 themed magnets and more than 100 dual language programs, as well as Permits with Transportation (PWT) schools. Information about each program, along with the application and detailed instructions, is available at echoices.lausd.net and in the print version of the “Choices” brochure.
The inclusion of dual language/bilingual programs to the annual magnet application window is the first step in implementing Unified Enrollment, a system that eventually will allow families to use a single application to apply for nearly every Choices program in the District.
Families who previously had to register for dual language/bilingual programs at the individual school site now will be able to use the new common application, which is included in the “Choices” brochure. It will also be available at apply.lausd.net, beginning on Friday, Sept. 29. Use of the common application will be expanded in 2018-19 to include enrollment in the Schools for Advanced Studies programs, with additional offerings planned for future years.
“This is an important first step in creating a one-stop site where families can learn about the options available to them and then easily apply,” said Superintendent Michelle King. “We remain committed to expanding and enhancing this system to better serve the students and parents of L.A. Unified.”
L.A. Unified's award-winning magnets are part of a court-ordered desegregation plan designed to mitigate the harms of racial isolation. With themes ranging from architecture to public service to science and engineering, the magnets are open to all students living within the District's boundaries. Admission is determined using a priority points-based system, and those applying for gifted or highly gifted programs must also meet eligibility criteria.
The "Choices" brochure includes descriptions of each magnet and its theme, along with the expected number of openings available in 2017-18 and the anticipated number of applications.
“We are excited about the growth of our magnets, which allow more students to participate in programs that excite and engage their interests,” said Keith Abrahams, executive director of Student Integration Services. “In addition to high-tech programs, there are additional opportunities in humanities and the visual and performing arts, which will expand even further in the years to come.”
The PWT program is also designed to promote racial integration by providing transportation so that students can attend a school outside their neighborhood attendance area.
Dual language and bilingual programs are designed to serve students who are learning English alongside their native language, and English-only speakers who choose to learn a second language.
“All students gain important skills and knowledge from dual-language programs, especially English-learners who are contributing to that second language and culture,” said Hilda Maldonado, executive director of Multilingual and Multicultural Education. "Students gain benefits such as cross-cultural competencies and academic proficiencies that will serve them for life."
In addition to the eChoices website, information is included in “Choices” and "Opciones," the English- and Spanish-language versions of the paper brochure. Copies are available at all District schools; L.A. Unified headquarters, Parent Community Services and Local District offices; and at Los Angeles city libraries. Parents can also request application instructions in Armenian, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Farsi, Tagalog and Vietnamese at local schools or at eChoices.lausd.net.
Additional information about the magnet, PWT and dual-language/bilingual programs will be broadcast in English and Spanish, beginning Oct. 1, on KLCS-TV, the District-owned television station. Broadcast times are provided at eChoices.lausd.net.
L.A. Unified's Local Districts will also be hosting informational fairs beginning this week, where families can learn more about the available programs. Parents should check with their Local District office for details.
"We are proud to offer a wide range of innovative, high-quality programs that allow our students to personalize their education,” Dr. King said. “By cultivating their interests, we teach our students to appreciate the world’s diversity and hone their skills so that they fully participate as global citizens. We are proud of our schools and their efforts to bring these exciting opportunities to our students, families and communities.
Board of Education members lauded the District’s progress in expanding personalized learning opportunities for students.
“L.A. Unified is the epicenter of multicultural and multilingual Los Angeles,” said Board President Mónica García. “This addition increases access and opportunity for every child in Los Angeles to become a 21st century college- and career-ready graduate.”
“I campaigned on the platform of a unified enrollment system to empower our families to make the best choice for their kids, and I am proud to see this becoming a reality,” said Board Vice President Nick Melvoin. “I will continue to advocate for all schools, regardless of model, to be easily accessible for all kids.”
“The addition of the dual language and bilingual programs to the Choices application process expands access to specialized academic programs for our students,” said Board Member Dr. George J. McKenna III.
“Anything we can do as a school district to offer and inform families about more foreign-language opportunities for our students is a great thing,” said Board Member Scott Schmerelson. “I applaud L.A. Unified for recognizing that our kids need to be competitive in a global economy.”
“The District started the annual Dual Immersion Fair last year in response to the interest of our families and their belief that all students – no matter their native language – stand to benefit from Dual Language Immersion programs,” said Board Member Dr. Ref Rodriguez. “By including dual immersion programs in Unified Enrollment, we are ensuring that as many families as possible know about and have access to programs that provide students with 21st century language skills.”
“Dual-language programs are a wonderful option for our students, and families deserve an enrollment process that is accessible as possible,” said Board Member Kelly Gonez. “Including our dual language offerings in the Unified Enrollment system will help families find and enter these programs more easily, helping us tap into our communities’ linguistic assets and empowering more of our students to benefit from learning in Spanish, Armenian, Korean, Mandarin and other languages within L.A. Unified.”
“L.A. Unified has many great programs to offer – near the top of that list is our Dual Language Program – and I fully support any and all efforts to advertise the quality instruction we have to offer and efforts to make it easier for parents to enroll their kids,” said Board Member Dr. Richard Vladovic. “It’s a challenging world out there, and the education market is no different. For our District to be competitive and, in turn, make our students competitive, we have to get the word out on what we have to offer, and simultaneously make it easy for folks to sign up."
Contact - Shannon Haber (213-241-6766)