It’s crunch time for parents of school-age children as many districts gear up for their first day this week, but some families say they’re less worried about finding the right supplies and more worried about finding the right school amid confusing attendance boundaries.
When Liliana Guillen learned her two boys would be transferring from Lillian Street Elementary in South L.A. to the newly-constructed Lawrence Moore just a few blocks away, Guillen was thrilled.
“I went and registered them right away,” she says, in Spanish.
Guillen says she could picture her boys in first and fourth grades, happy in the classrooms and on the playground.
But, during the summer, the family moved five short blocks south — and that was enough of a jump that LAUSD re-assigned her two boys to Miramonte Elementary, the school which dismissed two teachers suspected of child sexual abuse last school year. Neither Guillen nor her husband, Candido Fabian, are happy about that.
LAUSD maintains an open enrollment policy that allows parents to send their children anywhere in the district. A school representative says that when a new school is built, parents learn in the spring where their children may transfer in the next academic year. There’s also a website they can use to check whether the boundaries for their school’s feeder area have changed.
"The most important thing," Fabian said, "is their safety. And making sure they’re being looked after."
Fabian has already grilled Miramonte's security guard about his schedule, and seemed relieved to know all visitors are required to sign in and show a picture ID before being admitted into the brightly painted two-story school.
Still, the father of two says, if they’d known about the district’s boundary line for the new school, they wouldn’t have moved.