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How do I apply?

Magnet Application Questions

What does a magnet application look like and how do I get one?

  • The magnet application process is called CHOICES and is available online at LAUSD Unified Enrollment beginning in early October.  On time applications are generally due by mid November.  See below for the current dates.  For those who are unable to apply online, paper copies will be available at all LAUSD schools, LA City Libraries, Local District Offices and LAUSD Headquarters.
  • Students attending private school or a charter school who are applying to a Gifted/High Ability Magnet must obtain verification from their current school of attendance. The verification form is available on the same website as the application.  For current LAUSD school students the verification form will automatically be sent to the student's current school.
  • All applicants must reside within the boundaries of LAUSD at the time of the application and while participating in a Magnet.
  • Current School Year Dates:
    • On-time Applications for the 2022-2023 SY are due by :  November 12, 2021
    • Late Application window for the 2022-2023 SY open on:  February 1, 2022
    • Eligibility emails sent in February
    • Selected or Waiting List emails sent in March
    • Accept/Decline date:  April 8, 2022
    • Wait listed students will begin receiving calls after the accept/decline deadline if there are openings
    • In Late April, look for emails from Balboa with the next steps for accepted students




How do students become eligible to attend a magnet?

  • All students living in the LAUSD boundaries are eligible to attend any magnet. However, only students who are verified or identified as gifted/high ability or highly gifted may attend a gifted/high ability/highly gifted school such as Balboa Magnet.  All students applying require verification on specific eligibility criteria for selection.


What criteria must my child meet to attend a gifted/high ability magnet?

To meet gifted/high ability criteria a student m
ust meet all four critical thinking and problem solving skills:

  1. Explain meanings or relationships among facts, information or concepts that demonstrate depth and complexity.
  2. Formulate new ideas or solutions and elaborate on the information.
  3. Use alternative methods in approaching new or unfamiliar mathematical problems.
  4. Use extensive vocabulary easily and accurately to express creative ideas.
The student's current school principal will determine verification.
Student scored in the Standard Exceeded range on the last Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium (SBAC) or received a national percentile score of 85% or above on a District-approved standardized norm-referenced test in both English Language and Mathematics (most recent year only).



Be identified as gifted by a LAUSD School Psychologist in intellectual, high achievement, or specific academic ability categories.

How can a child be identified as gifted and highly gifted?

To be identified as gifted a student must meet criterion of at least 95%  and 99.9% for highly gifted on an intellectual assessment administered by the LAUSD Psychological Services Branch.
My child is not currently enrolled in a LAUSD school. How can my child get verified as gifted or highly gifted?

  • Request verification form be sent to private school.
  • Contact current school to give permission to release required information.

Or download the form by clicking here and take the form to your child's current school.

  • Confirm with your child's current school that the verification form was returned to the Gifted/Talented Programs office on time.


How does the magnet office select students for the magnet program?

The magnet program is a court-ordered voluntary integration program. Due to a limited number of available spaces students must apply by completing and returning the magnet application called Choices. Each student is assigned a number of priority magnet points. The selection is then made by a random selection weighted by the PRIORITY POINTS.

Magnet Acronyms
    MAT – matriculation       W/L - wait list        OC – overcrowded       SIB – sibling
    PHBAO- Predominantly Hispanic, Black, Asian and Other Non-Anglo

There are 5 ways to receive priority points:
Assigned Priority Points Reason for Points
12 Matriculation (moving from elementary to middle school or from middle to high school)
  • given at time of matriculation-one time only
  • matriculation points are good for one year. If you wait a year before applying you lose your wait list points
  • when and if you apply and matriculate and are put on a wait list your matriculation points revert to 4 points
4 - 12 Wait list (Three years maximum)
4 PHBAO School (school of residence)
4 Overcrowded School (school of residence)
3 Sibling attending the same magnet for which the student is applying (only once-2 siblings still only receive 3 points)


My child is in 5th grade and is in a magnet. I am applying to a magnet middle school. If my child does not get accepted does my child keep the 12 matriculation points plus get 4 new wait list points?

     No, the student will lose all 12 matriculation points. The student will then start over with 4 wait list points for middle school.


My child is in 5th grade and is in a magnet. I am applying to a magnet middle school if my child is not accepted I know he will lose his 12 matriculation points and start over with 4 wait list points. May I add PHBAO, sibling, and OC points to the 4 new wait list points?

     Yes, your child will have 4 wait list points; depending upon his school of residence he may acquire 4 PHBAO points, 4 OC points, and 3 SIB points, a total of 15 points. The sibling must attend the magnet for which the student is applying.



My child has NEVER been accepted into a magnet and has accumulated 12 wait list points. Do those points matriculate to the magnet middle school that I am applying for?

     Yes, you will keep all 12 points however if your child is not accepted and goes on a middle school wait list the points will then revert back to 4 points.


Can I apply to a middle school magnet and a middle school SAS at the same time?



If I accept an SAS spot do I lose my magnet wait list points?




How many points can matriculate to the middle school and to the high school?

     A total of 23 accumulated points can matriculate to middle school from elementary and from middle school to high school:

  • 12 matriculation points,
  • 4 PHBAO points
  • 4 OC points
  • 3 Sibling points (must attend the same magnet for which the student is applying)
  • making a total of 23 points.


My child is enrolled in the 4th grade in an elementary magnet. If he applies to a different magnet for 5th grade and is accepted does he still have 12 matriculation points for middle school?

     Yes, a student attending a magnet will take 12 matriculation points with him when applying to a middle school magnet.


If my child is accepted into an elementary or middle school magnet and I decline do I keep my wait list points?

     No. You will lose all wait list points.


If a student is never accepted into an elementary or middle school magnet do the wait list points add up from elementary and middle school and count for high school?

     No. A student can never carry more than 12 wait list points in any one year.


Can my child qualify for an SAS program through the 4 higher level thinking skills if he hasn’t officially been identified as intellectually gifted?

     Yes, when verified by the principal.


Does the magnet program provide transportation?

     The magnet program does supply transportation to magnet students if they reside outside a two-mile radius or outside the magnet school attendance boundary, whichever is further. NO student may ride the bus for more than 75 minutes each way. Routes and pick-up locations have been established and will not be changed.  Transportation determines all eligibility and routing.


What happens to my application if I turn it in late?

  • Any application received or postmarked after the due date is LATE.
  • Late applications will be accepted but students will be placed on a Space Availability List.
  • No priority points are assigned.

Can my child attend a magnet and accumulate wait list points for another magnet?

     No. A child attending a magnet can not have wait list points.


Will I receive a preprinted Choices Brochure?

     No. You can find all the information on the magnet programs on-line or request a Choices Brochure from your neighborhood school.


My child is extremely bright and belongs in a gifted magnet. Can I send copies of his work along with the magnet application to prove that he deserves to be selected?

     No. The magnet office will only consider the application itself.


If my child is accepted into a magnet and I decide not to accept will my child keep his wait list points?

     No. The student will lose all wait list points and will not be placed on the wait list.


I am white and my husband is Asian can I mark both ethnicities on the magnet application?

     No. You must choose one ethnicity.


If my child does not get accepted into a magnet and is put on a wait list how and when will I be notified of an opening if he is chosen from the wait list?

     When an opening arises, the magnet coordinator will call you and ask you if you accept or decline the opening. The magnet coordinator will make three attempts to call you before moving on to the next applicant.


If my child is placed on the wait list how can I assure that I will be notified if an opening arises?

     Call the Magnet school and make sure the school has a current daytime phone number. If you are going on vacation or will be unable to answer the phone make sure that you call the school and tell them that you will accept if you are called. Put your acceptance in writing and send it to the school for their records.


If my child is placed on a wait list how can I find out where he is on the wait list?

     The wait list shifts for a number of reasons: a wait-listed student may move out of the LAUSD boundary lines, may decide to attend a different school, errors made by the district, etc. As an assurance that the school does not give out an inaccurate number, the school is only authorized to provide the applicant’s placement in a section of the wait list such as in the top 50th percentile or the bottom 50th percentile.