Maybe this was an off year, or maybe I’m just hearing about it more, but it sure seems like a lot of families were accepted with fewer points than expected on “off” years.

Certainly, families who apply to a magnet in the opening year are subject to getting in–that’s really the whole point. Families apply, they accrue enough points, and then they ideally “win” a spot by lottery. The more points each applicant has, the higher on the list that student is. I already had one friend shocked when her daughter received her acceptance letter for SOCES. But she’d been accruing points for a few years, and she was applying for fourth grade. As the first year of the magnet, there are clearly many spots to be won. Yet, because the magnet game is so high-stakes, there are families, trying to be rejected in order to obtain the rejection points. This year, I’ve heard of families getting into Valley Alternative in middle school, and a family that got into SOCES for fifth grade and another child getting into Balboa for third grade. Balboa has some openings for third, but roughly half what they have for first and second.

Traditionally, schools can tell parents how many points it takes to get in or get rejected. Gone are the days of 23 points being a lock, but 20 getting waitlisted. Mostly because Granada’s highly prized magnet was dismantled, but also because there are so many options out there. And some families will opt to go with better odds over applying to a magnet with little chance of admittance. Some schools are now quoting 12 in, and 8 on the waitlist–but getting in from the waitlist.

In most cases, the families took the spots after their initial shock. So there will be new faces at magnets in September, and Friday there were some very sad little girls saying goodbye to their friend of five years. In other cases, they refused the spots, and their points will be back to nothing next year, so they’ll be on a quest for other options at their next school level.

There’s not really a link to send readers today, but maybe folks can share their information via comments–did your child(ren) get in a magnet this year? If so, which magnet and how many points did they have? I’m not answering specific magnet questions–that’s for “Ask a Magnet Angel“, but I’m just really curious if families got in with fewer points, or I just happen to have heard about quite a few of the surprises this year.


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