Today is the last day of school for the remaining LAUSD campuses on a traditional calendar. Some high schools will graduate tonight. Kindergarteners will culminate this morning. Eighth graders will too.

And thinking of middle school, I try to ignore the gnawing dread. Today begins my one-year anxiety attack to find a middle school for my daughter. She’s safe at her open enrollment elementary school for one more school year.

I can truly relate to every parent with the sleepless nights, the school tours, and endless applications. LAUSD has good choices and systems in place to offer available spaces in to families outside the boundaries of these schools. I offer advice to families virtually every day. And even my family fell victim to winning the magnet lottery when we really wanted to be losers for another year just to gain points. We got the phone call last June, as she finished third grade, and we didn’t want to move her, despite the accolades of the magnet and the limits it would pose on her middle school options–at best 8 points for sixth grade–and not a snowball’s chance to get into any of the magnets.

So thankfully, due to SAS and open enrollment, there are options throughout the Valley:

Holmes: A School to Watch. The SAS here is an option.

Nobel: The consistent school with the most buzz for as far back as I’ve been looking. The SAS here is another big draw from her elementary school, and probably the entire Valley.

Millikan: A Math Academy and a Science Academy both for students who qualify for SAS.

Reed: the IHPhas piqued my interest.

And the Porter Ranch K-8 span school: Put simply, the school isn’t open yet, but there is something so intrinsically appealing to missing the dreadful middle school years that this option simply won’t go away.

There are others. Of course, there’s Frost, where many of her friends will go. There’s a new principal, and many parents got a great vibe from it. And Porter, where a bunch more of the kids from her elementary school end up, but that’s magnet, and it’s highly unlikely she could get in.

I will update as space allows, and feel free to ask questions or make suggestions as we figure out this journey.

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