Prospective Student FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR 2020-2021 AND BEYOND

APPLICATION QUESTIONS

  • DO I HAVE TO COMPLETE THE AISD INTENT TO APPLY TO A MAGNET PROGRAM?
    • Yes
    • The Intent Application is used to help the district see how many students are interested in the programs offered by AISD. Students must complete this form in order to be considered for LASA.
  • IF I COMPLETE THE AISD INTENT TO APPLY TO A MAGNET PROGRAM, AM I DONE APPLYING TO LASA?
    • No
    • You will be directed to the LASA Application and you must also complete the LASA Application after you complete the AISD Intent to Apply to Magnet Application.
  • HOW CAN I GET ASSISTANCE WITH SIGNING IN TO THE AISD INTENT TO APPLY TO A MAGNET APPLICATION?
    • A representative from the district will be on campus both Saturday mornings of the CogAT exam. The representative is here solely to help parents complete the AISD Intent to Apply to a Magnet program. You can also call the parent help line, 512-414-9187 Monday - Friday, 7 AM - 5 PM
  • HOW WILL LASA SCORE MY FULL APPLICATION?
  • WHAT IF I MISS THE DEADLINE TO SUBMIT MY APPLICATION?
    • Late applications will not be allowed. Applications that are missing an item will be provided a one week grace period from the deadline (1/18/20) for those items to be submitted.
  • CAN I SUBMIT A TEST OTHER THAN THE STAAR TEST?
    • Students that took the STAAR Test must submit those scores. If you are out-of-state,you will submit your state’s testing scores and if you are homeschooled or attended private school, you should be able to submit tests that scored you on a national rank percentage. Many private schools have an ERB score or PSAT or SAT scores.
  • MY STUDENT IS HOMESCHOOLED, CAN WE STILL APPLY TO LASA?
    • Students that are homeschooled apply to LASA every year. Homeschooled students, just like all other applicants, will submit an application, teacher recommendations, CogAT and grades. All homeschooled students should be able to submit a test to replace the STAAR/EOC test.
  • MY STUDENT TOOK CLASSES BUT DID NOT RECEIVE GRADES FOR HIS CLASSES, ONLY A PORTFOLIO OR ONLY STATEMENTS FROM HIS SCHOOL. WILL LASA BE ABLE TO USE THIS INFORMATION IN THE APPLICATION?
    • Yes, we have always been able to score report cards that do not use grades or that only use portfolios. Simply submit your portfolio or whatever you have from your school and we will score it in our system.
  • CAN I SEE MY STUDENT’S APPLICATION SCORE?
    • LASA does not share the final score on your application.
  • IF MY CHILD DOES NOT GET ACCEPTED TO LASA, CAN I SEE MY STUDENT’S SCORES?
    • No
    • We are happy to visit with parents and students to provide constructive feedback on their application so students can learn where they fell short on their overall application.

SHADOWING QUESTIONS

  • WHAT IS SHADOWING?
    • Students attend LASA for the school day and “shadow” a current 9th grader for the day. This gives the prospective applicant a chance to experience LASA for one school day both academically and socially.
  • HOW DO STUDENTS APPLY TO SHADOW?
    • Students must complete an application before they will be allowed to schedule an opportunity to shadow. Students that complete the application online will receive an email with a link to sign-up to shadow. If students are sending in a hard copy of the application, they will need to email Ms. Adela Sifuentes stating that they have completed the application and they would like to sign-up for an opportunity to shadow or they can complete a hard copy of the shadow form and send it to Ms. Sifuentes. Ms. Sifuentes email address is: adela.sifuentes@austinisd.org
  • WHEN CAN STUDENTS APPLY TO SHADOW?
    • Once they’ve submitted the three short answer questions and the essay they may submit their Request to Shadow form.
  • WHERE CAN I FIND THE REQUEST TO SHADOW FORM?
    • All students will receive the link to sign-up to shadow once they submit their application online.
  • MY STUDENT IS UNABLE TO ATTEND THE SHADOWING DATE WE REQUESTED. CAN WE RESCHEDULE?
    • No.
  • IS THERE A WAITING LIST TO SHADOW?
    • No.
    • Once the dates are filled, we do not start a waiting list
  • IF I MISS MY SHADOWING DATE FOR ANY REASON, WILL I BE ALLOWED TO RESCHEDULE OR COME ON ANOTHER DAY THAT I AM NOT SCHEDULED TO SHADOW?
    • No.
    • Our shadow spots fill-up quickly and unfortunately we are not able to accommodate change of plans for shadowing.

COGAT QUESTIONS

  • MY CHILD RECEIVES TESTING ACCOMMODATIONS AT THEIR CURRENT SCHOOL. CAN THEY RECEIVE THESE ACCOMMODATIONS FOR THE COGAT TEST AT LASA?
    • Yes
    • You must email Mr. Paulson a copy of your testing accommodations from your current school no later than the Tue before they are supposed to take the test. For students in a public school, this would be the Individual Accommodation Page (IAP) or the Individual Educationan Plan (IEP). For students in private school or homeschooled, a letter from the school with a list of the testing accommodations will suffice.
    • If you decide not to use your testing accommodations, you are not allowed to go back and take the test again with your testing accommodations. LASA recommends that if you are a student that commonly uses these testing accommodations in your regular education setting, then you need to use them for the CogAT test. If you do not commonly use these accommodations, we recommend that you do not use them for the CogAT
  • DO I NEED TO REGISTER FOR THE COGAT?
    • No
    • Simply show up at the time listed on the website.
  • DO I NEED TO BRING ANYTHING WITH ME TO THE COGAT?
    • No
    • We will have pencils, scrap paper, and other items. If you bring your phone, it must be turned off and put away for the exam. You are allowed to bring a water and a small snack if you want.
  • HOW LONG DOES THE COGAT LAST?
    • The CogAT lasts about 2.5-3 hours. It consists of three sections, verbal, quantitative and non-verbal and it is followed by a 30 minute timed essay.
  • WHAT IS THE TIMED ESSAY ON THE COGAT TEST?
    • When the students complete the CogAT exam, they will all take a 30 minute timed essay. Students are provided two prompts. They select the prompt that is interesting to them and they respond to the prompt. Students have 30 minutes to respond to the prompt. If students finish the prompt before their 30 minutes are over, they are allowed to leave the testing center.
  • WHAT IS THE COGAT?
    • The CogAT test is a cognitive abilities test commonly used to assess students for gifted and talented services. LASA recommends that you google “cogat” for additional information.
  • I SEARCHED FOR INFORMATION ABOUT COGAT AND DISCOVERED THAT I CAN ORDER PRACTICE EXAMS. SHOULD I TAKE THESE PRACTICE EXAMS?
    • LASA does not advocate for students to take CogAT practice exams. We do highly advocate that students complete 10-15 sample CogAT questions. Students that are exposed to some of the questions on the CogAT exam before they take it tend to be much more comfortable taking the test than students who take the test without seeing any of the questions. Students can find these sample questions on the internet.
  • I HAVE A SCHOOL EVENT OR MY FAMILY HAS AN OBLIGATION ON THE SATURDAY TIME THAT I AM SUPPOSED TO TAKE THE COGAT. CAN I COME AT ONE OF THE OTHER SCHEDULED TESTING TIMES?
    • Yes, BUT, please try to come at your assigned time.
    • If you have to come at a different scheduled test time, you do not need to notify LASA
  • I AM OUT OF TOWN AND CANNOT TAKE THE COGAT EXAM ON EITHER OF THE SATURDAYS. CAN I STILL APPLY TO LASA?
    • Yes, LASA will offer an alternate day of testing if you cannot attend either Saturday session. Please contact Mr. Paulson for more information.
    • Sometimes students are traveling or out-of-state or country and unable to work out one of the testing days. LASA has a procedure for this. Please contact Mr. Paulson for more information.

LASA ACCEPTANCE QUESTIONS

LASA ACCEPTANCE QUESTIONS

  • WE HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED TO LASA….NOW WHAT?
    • First, congratulations on being accepted to LASA. Second, you will receive a packet in the mail with important information. The most important piece is to read, sign and return the Magnet Agreement Transfer (MAT) Form. This form needs to be returned to LASA by a certain date regardless of whether you accept or deny LASA’s offer of acceptance. There will be an informational meeting toward the end of March or early April (we have two meetings) where you can visit with teachers, students, courses and administration regarding courses and how to sign-up for the courses.
  • ARE THERE REQUIRED COURSES FOR MY FIRST YEAR AT LASA?
    • Yes.
    • Entering 9th graders must take Pre-AP English I, Math, Pre-AP World Geography, Pre-AP Biology, a Language Other Than English (LOTE), two LASA signature courses – Science & Technology and Electronic Magazine – and one elective.
    • If you are an entering 10th grader, you must take Pre-AP English II, Math, AP World History, Pre-AP Chemistry, and a second or third year of a LOTE (if you have already completed 3 years of a language then you can either continue with LOTE IV which is typically the AP level or you can choose not to continue with LOTE credits, two LASA signature courses – Planet Earth and Great Ideas – and one elective or two electives if you are not continuing to level IV in LOTE.
    • If you are an entering 11th grader, you must take AP English III, Math, AP US History, AP Physics, complete your 3rd year of LOTE (unless you have already completed your 3 years) and electives of your choice.
  • I AM AN INCOMING 9TH GRADER BUT I ALREADY HAVE CREDIT FOR BIOLOGY, ENGLISH OR WORLD GEOGRAPHY. CAN I REPLACE THEM WITH 10TH GRADE COURSES?
    • No.
    • It is important for our students to stay together in English, science and social studies classes as a cohort. The skills they will learn with their cohorts far outweigh the perceived benefits of moving to 10th grade courses. Students that have credit in these courses will be placed in pass/fail courses.
  • I AM AN INCOMING STUDENT THAT HAS COMPLETED AN ADVANCED MATH CREDIT AT MY CURRENT SCHOOL WHAT DETERMINES MY NEXT COURSE LEVEL?
    • You will proceed to the next course sequence or if you struggled in the previous course, you can repeat the course at LASA for a pass/fail credit. All math placements will be based on end of year transcripts. For example, if you are in Algebra I, but you did not pass the course, you will repeat Algebra I. If you complete Algebra I successfully, you will be placed in Geometry. The math sequence of courses at LASA is Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Precalculus and Calculus or math of your choice.
  • I AM AN INCOMING 9TH GRADER BUT I HAVE ALREADY COMPLETED THREE YEARS OF A LANGUAGE. DO I HAVE TO TAKE A LANGUAGE COURSE AT LASA?
    • Yes.
    • We want to instill the love for languages and it is our hope to help you continue with the same language through your high school years.
  • I AM AN INCOMING SOPHOMORE AND I HAVE ALREADY COMPLETED MY THREE YEARS OF A LANGUAGE. DO I HAVE TO TAKE A LANGUAGE COURSE AT LASA?
    • No
    • We will try and convince you to take a new language or continue with your current language but ultimately, the decision will be yours.
  • I AM AN EXTREMELY MOTIVATED STUDENT AND PLAN ON TAKING ACC CLASSES OR ADVANCED CLASSES ONLINE DURING THE SUMMER OR SCHOOL YEAR. CAN THESE COURSES REPLACE THE SEQUENCE OF COURSES AT LASA?
    • No
    • The Magnet Agreement Transfer (MAT) Form states that you will follow LASA’s sequence of courses. Taking a course at ACC or online does not guarantee that it will cover the same curriculum that we teach at LASA. If you take these courses because you want to learn them and you enjoy the subjects, that is great, but you must get an administrator/counselor permission and the courses will be transcripted but you will repeat the course at LASA. We do allow three courses to be completed in the summer to replace LASA courses. They are: US History at ACC after your sophomore year. Government at ACC after your junior year. Economics at ACC after your junior year.
  • WHAT IS THE AMOUNT OF HOMEWORK WE CAN EXPECT?
    • Keep in mind this is only an estimate. The workload may be higher before tests and projects. In addition, regular review of material is expected. If a student is spending more time than what is listed below please encourage them to see their teacher or counselor. The course guide also might be able to provide general information regarding the amount of homework for certain courses.
      • ESTIMATED HOMEWORK TIME BETWEEN CLASS MEETINGS:
        • Before we mention subjects, it is important for your child to come to LASA with some sort of system for managing their time. Some students use an electronic calendar and some use a physical calendar. Please know that all new students will receive a LASA Agenda that contains a calendar to help them stay organized.
        • English: 30-40 pages of reading
        • LOTE: Levels 1-3: 20-40 minutes, AP: 45-60 minutes, Levels 5-6: 15-20 minutes
        • Math: 60 minutes
        • Science: 30 minutes for non AP classes, 60 minutes for AP classes
        • Social Studies: 30 minutes for non-AP classes, 60 minutes for AP classes.
  • WHAT IS THE GRADUATION EXPECTATION FOR LASA STUDENTS?
    • All LASA students are expected to work toward achieving the magnet endorsement. The magnet endorsement requires curriculum above and beyond the expectations for the highest graduation plan in the State of Texas & can be found in the Course Guide online.
  • WHAT COLLEGE APPLICATION ASSISTANCE IS AVAILABLE TO MY STUDENT WHEN HE/SHE GETS TO THAT POINT?
    • LASA is fortunate to have two college counselors to help juniors and seniors (counselors will meet with juniors starting second semester) and their families as they prepare for the college admissions process. They will coordinate on-campus college recruiter visits (over 200 colleges to come LASA during the course of the year), the Naviance college access system, secondary school reports, financial aid and scholarships. Additionally, each student at LASA is assigned an academic counselor who can assist in the college admissions process. The English IV classes have built into the curriculum the composition of college essays during the first semester. The school hosts one night in the second semester during the junior year for parents to hear college scholarship and financial aid information and then one night during the senior year first semester for parents as a forum to ask questions and to ask for assistance.
  • I AM INTERESTED IN TAKING ATHLETICS AT LASA. HOW DO I DO THAT?
    • LASA offers athletics in the period (during the school day) and outside of the school day. Typically, football, volleyball, basketball – both boys and girls, and baseball are during the school day. All other sports are outside of the school day. If students want to take the previously mentioned sports, during the school day, they would specify that on their choice sheets. If students want to participate in athletics but not during the school day (regardless of the sport), they need to communicate that on their choice sheets. More information will be shared by the coaches in future communications. There is also a choice sheet meeting in late March or early April where this information will be shared with students and families.
  • HOW WILL LASA RUN SCHOOL AND ATHLETICS WHEN THEY MOVE TO THE NEW SCHOOL?
    • We plan on offering all of the same athletics and academic courses we currently offer so we do not expect any changes.
  • MY CHILD CANNOT ATTEND NEW STUDENT ORIENTATION. WHAT SHOULD WE DO?
    • Email the Ninth Grade Assistant Principal, alexandra.salinas@austinisd.org. It is expected that all students attend as they will meet their cohort of students, they will receive their textbooks, chromebooks, badges, lockers, tour the school, & meet some of the school staff.
  • I AM AN INCOMING 10TH-12TH GRADER. DO I STILL NEED TO ATTEND NEW STUDENT ORIENTATION?
    • Yes
    • We will have a special cohort just for 10th-12th graders.
  • IS BUS TRANSPORTATION AVAILABLE TO AND FROM LASA?
    • Yes
    • All students within the boundaries of Austin ISD are eligible for transportation to and from school. There are significant changes to our bus routes over the summer as our student demographic shifts with each incoming class. Routes are only finalized in August for the upcoming school year. However, if you want a sneak peek at what it currently looks like, please go to the AISD bus stop finder: https://busstop.austinisd.org/regedpub/default.aspx?load=addressInput&skipPlan=true

The bus finder will ask you for your street number so please only enter your street number in this box. Next, it will ask you for the street name but omit the words “street”, “drive”, “Lane” …

Select both Kealing and LASA in the list of schools by holding down the Ctrl key as you click each school name. Then hit submit. If there are several areas with similar names you may be asked to confirm street number and zip code in a short list before being sent to the bus information.

More information about transportation and AISD school buses can be found here: https://www.austinisd.org/transportation

  • DO I HAVE TO COMPLETE THE MAGNET AGREEMENT TRANSFER FORM (MAT)?
    • Yes
    • The MAT states that you agree to attend an advanced program and follow our list of courses. Also, please know that you will not officially be transferred to LASA in TEAMS until the middle of August. If you look at your account in the AISD Cloud, you will notice that your home school may still be assigned but that will change before the school year starts.

PROOF OF RESIDENCE QUESTIONS

  • WHY DO WE HAVE TO PROVIDE PROOF OF RESIDENCE?
    • Per District Policy, only students living in AISD may attend the AISD magnet schools (LASA, McCallum Fine Arts, Kealing Magnet, Lively Magnet, or Lamar Fine Arts)
    • “Beginning with the 2017–18 school year, applicants who are approved to attend a magnet or performance-based application program (Fulmore, Kealing, Lamar, LASA, and McCallum) must show proof of residence within District boundaries by the application due date. This proof may include documentation indicating that the student’s family will occupy a residence that has been purchased or leased within 45 calendar days of the application due date. Residence within District boundaries must be maintained in order to remain in a magnet program. If a student moves out of District while attending a magnet program, the student will be allowed to finish the semester in the magnet program. In the case of a graduating senior, the student may finish the year in the magnet program. Principals and directors of magnet or performance-based application programs may request proof of residence at any time.”
  • MY STUDENT ATTENDS AN AISD SCHOOL ALREADY, DO I HAVE TO PROVIDE PROOF OF RESIDENCE?
    • No
    • As long as your address on file with AISD is an address zoned to Austin ISD, you do not have to provide proof of residence.
    • If we require proof of residence from a current AISD student, we will reach out to you.
  • HOW DO I KNOW IF MY ADDRESS IS WITHIN AISD BOUNDARIES?
  • WHAT KIND OF DOCUMENT SHOULD I SUBMIT TO PROVE RESIDENCE WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF AISD?
    • Your latest City of Austin Utilities Bill in the name of the student’s parent/legal guardian showing the address of your primary residence.
  • CAN I JUST RENT AN APARTMENT IN AISD AND NOT LIVE IN IT?
    • No
    • Your primary residence should be within the boundaries of AISD by the application deadline (January 18, 2020)
  • WHAT HAPPENS IF WE DON’T LIVE IN AISD?
    • Unfortunately, we are unable to consider out of district applicants.
  • ARE THERE ANY EXCEPTIONS?
    • Yes
    • Children of Austin ISD employees may attend any AISD school regardless of address