Open Magnet Charter School

Welcome to Open Magnet Charter School

Open Magnet Charter is an Affiliated-Charter and Magnet Elementary School (K-5) in the Los Angeles Unified School District.  We are conveniently located near the 405 Freeway in the City of Los Angeles adjacent to the community of Westchester.

Like an oasis away from the busy city, Open students, parents, and staff come together to build a true learning community where students learn through meaningful experiences. Teams of two teachers sharing the same “cluster” of multi-age students design the instructional program to create a thematic project-based curriculum.  Enrichment programs covering visual arts, vocal arts, orchestra, physical education, and gardening are also integrated.  With its constructivist approach to teaching and a dedicated and diverse school community, Open is one of the most unique schools in the district.

Our goal is to inspire and support our students’ love of learning, thereby enabling them to master the skills they will need as lifelong learners and responsible citizens in our ever-changing society.

Information about upcoming tours will be available on our website usually in October. Applicants MUST be residents of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) at the time of application in order to participate in the LAUSD Magnet Program. Click here on how to apply to Open Magnet Charter.


Due to our school closure, please contact us at  if you have questions regarding your child's enrollment application or if you have wait list questions.

Thank you for your patience, as we usually experience a high volume of questions during this period.  We will try to reply as soon as possible.

Note that the application window has closed for the 2020-21 school year.  The next opportunity to apply will be in the Fall 2020 for the 2021-22 school year.


Open Magnet Charter has been designated as a California Distinguished School in 1997, 2003, and just recently in 2012.

California Distinguished School

"[These Schools] demonstrate the incredible commitment of California's teachers, administrators and school employees to provide a world-class education to every student, in spite of the financial hardships facing our state and our schools. Their dedication is inspiring, and I applaud and admire their passion and persistence."
--State Superintendent Tom Torlakson

In 2001, we were one of three schools chosen in the county of Los Angeles to be the recipient of the Los Angeles Educational Partnership Excellence Award. The LAEP Excellence Awards highlight the accomplishments of teachers, schools and school-communities in the Los Angeles Unified School District that have enhanced student learning and achievement in pre-K through 12th grade.

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News Highlights

2020 Friends of Open School Alumni College Scholarship Recipients (Article)

Submitted by Antoinette Cass on May 21 (last updated May 21)

This year Friends of Open School piloted The Friends of Open School Alumni College Scholarship. The Open School community is so close, and this connection spans far beyond the years when students are actually at Open School.

Yesterday, we had the joy of honoring three Open School Alumni each with $500 scholarships for college. In these trying times, especially for graduates, it was such an honor to celebrate a few alumni and wish them well in their future endeavors. The scholarship recipients are:

  • Ayana W. (LACES) will be attending UCLA
  • Caitlin F. (LACES) will be attending University of Oregon
  • Aidan S. (Hamilton) will be attending UC Berkeley


Initially our goal was to honor two alumni. However, with the direct donations of a few members of our Open School Family, we were able to give a third scholarship. A special thank you to:

  • Stacy Barnhisel
  • Ivy Cass
  • Cathy Furer
  • Debbie Glezer
  • Kim Min
  • Dolores Patton
  • Ariel Roth
  • Dena Vatcher


Also, an additional thank you to all in our community who were a part of our Scholarship Committee. The input of these wonderful volunteers made this new tradition possible.

  • Denise Benjamin
  • Imani Blackwell
  • Cherie Dame
  • Ann Kaatz LoBue
  • Shawna Mills
  • Matt Wall

As the African Proverb reminds us, "It take a village to raise child." I am so thankful to be a part of the Open  School village.

In partnership,


Supporting One Another: There is a Teacher in All of Us (Article)

Submitted by Antoinette Cass on May 1 (last updated May 8)

In an email I received from a parent last week, she referenced “calling uncle,” which I found so fitting during this "new normal," for we all can relate to that. We left school on March 13, thinking we would be away for two weeks. Now entering our seventh week, we are figuring out how to operate with calm and grace, because we now know that we will be doing this for a bit longer.

But for a lot of us, just knowing that we are not the only person that wants to scream “uncle,” is so important. Knowing that we are not alone, is so important. Knowing that your Open School community is here for you, is important. We are! No matter what your unique situation, we have all been tried to our limit and then some. But the beauty of that is, we all now truly know (if we didn't already) what we are made of.                                   


The partnership of teachers and parents, now more than ever, is so crucial and meaningful for our children. Parents, thank you for jumping into the role of full-time teacher with no warning. We appreciate you! I have heard many parents say that they had no idea how challenging it is to be a teacher, and all of the behind the scenes work that goes into it. I thank you for taking the charge and partnering with us. There is no greater teacher than one’s first teacher, their family. 

A special Teachers Appreciation Day shout out to all of our wonderful teachers,aides and specialists. They have been tested, stretched and prodded, and are showing up everyday unscathed. I give kudos to our teachers, because, hand in hand with our students, they are the undying beauty and testament to why our school is so wonderful. Teachers, on this day and always, I salute you for doing the job of giants, within your human-sized bodies. You are so special, and we are all forever grateful!


Enrichment for the Week of May 4, 2020:

Open School Specialists:

Please look at the review of lessons, which is a review of the lessons over the past three weeks. This review will prepare all of the students for the zoom classes with the specialists this week beginning Tuesday. Please refer to this weeks' cluster schedule sent by your teachers to determine the enrichment zoom class time for your child.

Got Game:

Here is the Got Game schedule and class descriptions for this week.

California Science Center:

The following link has Stuck at Home Science activities. Check them out!


Supporting One Another: We are in this Together (Article)

Submitted by Antoinette Cass on Apr 26 (last updated Apr 27)

Dear Open School Families,

All of us at Open School are wishing you and your family love, health and happiness. We miss you all and we are reminded that we are all better off together. Remember, we are your Open School family and we are here to help. 

This is the last week of the Spring themed lessons provided by our Specialists. Please check out the lessons for this week here. Then, the week of May 4th the Specialists will have Zoom meetings with all of the clusters to check in with the kids and give them a chance to share any of the enrichment activities that they have done. Please remember to read the weekly messages from your teachers as they will have the times for these special opportunities via Zoom.

Also, here is the activity schedule for Got Game. Try some classes out. Here is a description page to help you decide. 

And don't forget to sit down tomorrow for Storytime with Michelle Obama. 

This link is to the Nerdy Book Club’s #VirtualFieldTrip to the Everywhere Book Fest on May 1st & 2nd. Take a peek.

In partnership,


Supporting One Another: Community Resources to Help During the Pandemic (Article)

Submitted by Antoinette Cass on Apr 19 (last updated Apr 19)

Hello Open School Families,

Everyday, even though I am finding a little bit of a better rhythm with working from home and this notion of #saferathome, I still feel isolated from everyone and everything that I enjoy so much. And I know I am not alone in these feelings. These are indeed trying times. It is such a polarizing feeling to be torn in so many ways, with so many emotions. However, I find comfort in knowing that my Open School family is ONE and I know we will all prevail, together. These are times that call for the best in all of us.

With our current reality, has come hard times for everyone. If you are experiencing troubling times please reach out to your Open School family. We are here to support you. Also, please click here to use this amazing resource page on our website.  A HUGE shout out and thank you to Ms. Lew and Shazneen Gandhi (parent editor of Thursday's Backpack) for putting together this wonderful COVID-19 Resource page on our Open School website for our community. Please share the word. We will continue to update the information so that it remains relevant.

Please see below for a few supplemental family and educational resources for this week:

 Enrichment Schedule

Please click here for wonderful P.E., garden, music, library, and art activities for the  week of April 20th. Every week our wonderful specialists will be providing activities for students to explore. Thank you for guiding your children through the lessons that they find interesting.

Got Game

An Open School favorite will have weekly online opportunities for our kids. Please check out this Got Game Schedule for the week of April 20th. Please spread the word to direct friends, families and colleagues with children who may be interested! All programs are also available at

Story Time with Michelle Obama

Tune in for the next four Mondays with Michelle Obama for Story Time.

Bedtime with Mickey

If your child would like a unique voice at bedtime, try the Disney bedtime Hotline.

In partnership,


Supporting One Another: Welcome Back (Article)

Submitted by Antoinette Cass on Apr 8 (last updated Apr 13)

Dear Open School Families,

Welcome Back

Hopefully everyone had a much needed Spring Break to calibrate all the newness in all of our lives. This has been a time like no other for all of us. Gratitude, still fills my heart every day. And I hope it does the same for you! 

Please continue to read emails from your clusters, as we all begin using Class Dojo with regularity and preparing lessons via pre-recorded video or zoom, your child's teachers are the best source of information. Although we all have an intuition about the way the end of this school year will pan out, we will all be tuned in tomorrow for Superintendent Beutner's announcement, as it pertains to all of LAUSD. Once we know more, we will share additional information with you. 

Governing Council - Apply by April 15, 2020

 Parents/Guardians, you have until this Wednesday, April 15 by 5:00pm to put in your self-nomination form for Governing Council. Please read about why Michael Thomas (current Governing Council Vice President) served on Open School's Governing Council:

At a young age helping my aunt set up her classroom for the school year I learned what goes into creating a successful learning environment. So when our daughter started at Open I looked for ways to help contribute to that success. 
Hi my name is Michael Thomas and I serve on Governing Council because I wanted to be involved with my child’s school experience. The idea of community and working together are important to me and I was able to foster these ideas by serving on the council. Working with the other parents, teachers and administrators to make this school a better place for our children has been an enjoyable experience. I will truly miss it. Please run for Governing Council and send your nomination form to Denise Benjamin -

Activities for Remote Learning for the week of 4/13/2020:

Open School Enrichment:

Your donations that go to the Friends of Open School makes it possible for our children to have AMAZING enrichment opportunities. Please click here for wonderful P.E., garden, music, library, and art activities for this week. Every week our wonderful specialists will be providing activities for students to explore. Thank you for guiding your children through the lessons that they find interesting.

Got Game

Also Got Game, an Open School favorite will have weekly online opportunities for our kids. Please check out the Got Game Schedule. Please note, they are shifting to a MON-THURS schedule effective this week - so classes start tomorrow!! Please spread the word to direct friends, families and colleagues with children who may be interested! All programs are also available at

In partnership we will prevail,


Supporting One Another: Remote Learning for 3/26/2020 (Article)

Submitted by Antoinette Cass on Mar 25 (last updated Apr 1)

Dear Open School Families:

So many resources have been shared with you with in a short amount of time, I wanted to make sure you had some of the key ones again.

LAUSD Grab & Go Meals Centers

Grab and Go Food Sites are at the following ESC West Locations from 7am-11am daily. Please note the hours have been extended for food pick up:

Audubon MS, Bernstein HS, Bret Harte Prep MS, Cochran MS, Dorsey HS, Fairfax HS, Marina Del Rey MS, Muir MS, Palms MS, University MS & Washington Prep HS

Free Internet and Wi-Fi Resources for Students:

Spectrum internet is offering free internet for 60 days.

For free wifi call: (844) 488-8395


Story Time on YouTube with Ms. Pam (School Librarian) for Thursday, 3/26/2020:

Augustus and His Smile by Catherine Rayner

After the Fall by Dan Santat


Extend School Closure: Still Supporting One Another (Article)

Submitted by Antoinette Cass on Mar 23 (last updated Apr 1)

Hi Open School Families,

By now you know that the school closure has been extended until at least May 1, 2020. The teachers and I are having our third faculty meeting (since the closure) tomorrow morning at 10am to discuss next steps for Open. We are in the midst of rolling out a system that we hope will be feasible for all families. You will hear our plan soon. Please have your child continue to work on the two-week plan that was sent home initially and continue to check all correspondences from your cluster teachers. In the meantime, if you are in need of a school issued device (laptop), please let us know immediately. We are aware that most families have devices, however under these extenuating circumstances, if using a school device would make life a little easier, please reach out, we are here to help.

Please send the email to immediately. We want to have all devices to our students by this Thursday, 3/26.

Here are some fun PE and Art ideas for Tuesday, 3/24 :


Try some of these activities to get your bodies moving.


Parents and students,

The art I am suggesting should be enjoyable for all. Everything can be done simply with scrap paper and pencil or you can use supplies you have around the house.

Be creative and have fun! 

TEXTURE is 1 of 7 elements of art 

our sense of touch or feeling of a piece of art is created by using or making texture with the art piece

Watch this video about texture


the way something feels

sea urchin, hedgehog, pineapple, cactus=SPIKY

clay, chocolate, honey, mud, eggs=GOOEY

metal, ribbon, jewelry, disco ball=SHINY

Take the time to really notice the textures around you. 

The smooth leather of a chair, the coarse grains of the carpet, and the 

fluffy softness of the clouds in the sky all bring feelings.


pencil and paper can add color if you want
Think of or look at an object and how it feels, for example, a rock, is it smooth or bumpy? 
Then draw that rock with the texture you want it to have. If it is smooth it should have long soft lines if it is bumpy it could have short choppy lines.

Texture rubbings

place a paper over an object and rub, with either a pencil or the side of a crayon, back and forth. Floor tile, a piece of wood, the bottom of you sneaker, pineapple skin are all good places to start.


We are Listening: What is Open School's Social Emotional Program? (Article)

Submitted by Antoinette Cass on Oct 17 (last updated Oct 31)

We are Listening is a segment of Thursday's Backpack that will be published monthly to address some of the information gathered from our May 2019 Program Evaluation Survey. Many families filled out the Open School Program Evaluation Survey, and we thank you for your feedback, as this information helps to guide the work we do to improve and maintain Open School.

What is Open School's Social Emotional Program?

We recognize the importance of teaching not just cognitive skills, but also social emotional learning. As such, after much research, investigation, and discussion, we created our Roots of Respect program. This curriculum provides a literature-based framework for our teachers to create experiences that increase and develop our students’ self- management, social awareness, and relationship skills.

There are ten words that are the foundation of our Roots of Respect curriculum: courage, citizenship, empathy, integrity, optimism, gratitude, perseverance / grit, responsibility, cooperation, and communication. Each year we focus on 5 of those words for 6-8 weeks each and embed a variety of experiences into the classroom and school environment. Teachers plan lessons to engage the students in thinking about and practicing the behaviors represented by each word. 

To help students build a sense of community, teachers give them many opportunities to develop the listening and speaking skills necessary to be able to resolve problems on their own. Both school-wide and in the classroom, members of our community help establish the codes of acceptable behavior. When a conflict arises, students discuss and solve their own problems, either as a group or one-to- one, with adult guidance as needed. At times, the problem may need to be addressed with the whole group where every student is given an opportunity to speak, and every member of the circle is treated with equal importance. This can be in the form of a community circle, Council, or morning meeting. We understand that problems are expected and a part of learning. When those opportunities arise, it's a chance to work through those situations. 

Our school is a place where we are teaching students to "respect themselves, respect others, and the environment."


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Thu 5/28 6:00 pm
Thu 6/4 5:30 pm
Fri 6/5 9:00 am
Fri 6/12 (All day)