If your child is in 2nd, 3rd, or 4th grade and you plan to continue in the LAUSD public school system, you need to acquire points for magnet eligibility. You may apply to transfer from your local school to a magnet program beginning in 3rd grade (applying in 2nd) and each time you do not receive a spot, you acquire points that you can bank and use for the middle school application. Points expire in three years so it is wise to wait until 2nd grade to bank the maximum amount of points.

The LAUSD eCHOICES site provides a web-based tutorial and information about the procedure. Ivanhoe usually hosts a parent education information session in October for the families of 2nd grade students to help them begin the process.

On this page, you will find a general timeline for the middle school application process for 5th graders and a list of public and independent (private) schools that Ivanhoe students have applied to or attended. This is not a comprehensive set of guidelines — it is intended only to help parents understand the basics of the process. You will have to visit individual school web sites to find out the specifics of their admissions requirements, testing requirements, and specific application timelines.



Begin researching schools and scheduling campus tours. Some schools only have one or two open house dates per year, usually in October, while others have monthly or weekly tours and regular open houses. Contact individual schools for dates and tour reservations.

LAUSD hosts regional magnet fairs each year. Visit their eCHOICES web site for the calendar of events.

If you are planning to apply to independent schools, you may need to register your child for the ISEE test through the Educational Record Bureau, or other standardized tests such as the SAT 10. These are typically administered in November, December, and January. Check individual school admissions guidelines to find out if your student must take a test by a certain date. There are sample tests, test prep books, tutors, and test prep classes available from non-profit and for-profit sources.

Teacher Recommendations

Please provide recommendation forms and requests for recommendation letters to teachers all at once, and as soon as possible in the application process. Provide teachers with addressed and stamped envelopes for each of the letters/forms that need to be mailed. Teachers receive dozens of requests each year from individual students and some students apply to four or more schools. That’s a lot of letters. Please be patient.

Financial Aid

Parents Education League of Los Angeles provides helpful information about financial aid for independent schools.

FAST/Financial Aid for School Tuition is the online system that many schools use to manage financial aid information. Download and begin filling out the worksheets as soon as possible. Each school has their own link to the site so you should go through the schools directly.

FACTS is another online tool that is used by independent schools to manage financial aid applications and packages.


Visit schools and attend open houses.

Review and complete eCHOICES application.

Obtain independent school applications.

Provide teacher recommendation forms to teachers.

Gather required documents and attachments for applications such as transcripts and report cards.

Take practice tests if needed.


If you have not already, provide all teacher recommendation forms to teachers with SASEs.


Submit independent school applications.

Sit for standardized tests.

Gather materials for financial aid applications.

Attend interviews.


Sit for standardized tests.

Submit independent school applications.

Submit financial aid paperwork.

Take entrance or assessment exams if required.


Submit financial aid paperwork.

Take entrance or assessment exams if required.


Receive notice of independent school admissions.


Submit SAS permit applications for magnet seats.

Receive lottery notifications.