It’s September 1st. LAUSD starts its remaining schools next Wednesday, and my daughter will be starting her fifth grade year. At roughly the same time, I will start hyperventilating because we will have to start the school choice game all over again.

On one hand, we shouldn’t worry–she is truly the luckiest child alive. She got into four kindergartens by open enrollment. And twice she got into Balboa Magnet and we politely turned them down. The second time she got in was just before fourth grade, and we realized to keep her with her friends at her amazing elementary school she would be essentially lacking the critical points to get into any middle school magnet in the San Fernando Valley. My husband and I agreed she should stay where she was–happy and surrounded by a variety of kids in a school that has both special needs kids learning aside regular and gifted kids and still manages to boast a 926 API, just 50 points below Balboa but with an incredibly diverse student body.

Now our choice to keep her at her elementary school will become a race to find an open enrollment or SAS spot for middle school somewhere. Our local school is rated a GreatSchools “2” and has been partially taken over by a charter. Two schools coexist on the campus, and neither one is really exciting me. My son went magnet in second grade, and his transition to middle school and then high school was simple. So simple that I became a “Magnet Yenta” and helped others get their children in the magnets of their choice or open their minds to other potential choices. And now like other parents, we’re at the mercy of luck.

So we’ll be touring, applying, and hoping her luck holds out for one more lottery. And I will be sharing the journey throughout the year. Wish us luck.


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