applying to GALA
October 1, 2020: Applications will be online. Please note, applications are NOT first-come-first-served. All applications will be considered equally if received by the deadline. That said, please apply well before the holidays so your teacher has time to send in a recommendation.
January 1, 2021: Deadline for applications
January 15, 2021: Deadline for your teachers to visit our recommendation link and submit.
March 5 2021: Letters are emailed after 6pm. Please look in your SPAM folder BEFORE you contact the admissions office.
April 2, 2021: "Intent to Enroll" forms due.
April 23, 2021: Enrollment documents due by 3pm.
WHO SHOULD APPLY TO GALA?
GALA is open to all girls in Los Angeles Unified School District. As long as you live in the LAUSD footprint, you do not need any special permits to attend.
Any out of district students may apply for a permit. Permits must be obtained by your own school district first, and then LAUSD. Once you are accepted in April, you should have plenty of time to get a permit.
Applicants should be ready and willing to accept the demands of a challenging academic course load. GALA provides a highly rigorous college preparatory education in an all-girls environment.
Applicants should have an interest in STEM. Our focus is science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with particular emphasis on engineering and computer science. We also have humanities and arts, however, the focus is STEM.
Applicants interested in an all-girls school. GALA is an environment that is exclusively devoted to the education of young women. Our all-girls environment fosters collaboration between the school community, girls and their families. GALA’s core values of excellence, leadership, and wellness are instilled throughout every facet of the school.
WHAT GRADES ARE YOU ACCEPTING?
GALA is a SPAN (6th-12th grade) school. Each year, we will accept 6th-11th graders. Although rising 12th graders are considered, past academic rigor is required.
2016-2017: 6th, 9th
2017-2108: 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th
2018-2019: 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th
2019-Present: 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
HOW MANY STUDENTS ARE ACCEPTED EACH YEAR?
6th Grade: 140 students
7th & 8th Grades: 5-10 students each.
9th Grade: 25 students
10th-12th Grades: 5-10 students each.
HOW CAN MY DAUGHTER APPLY?
APPLICATION: The application is online from October 1 - January 1 each year here on our website. Prospective students answer some questions and parents answer some questions. Parents, it is important that your daughter fill out her own section of the application. Please complete your application thoughtfully.
TEACHER RECOMMENDATION: On the application, we ask for the name and email of a teacher who will fill out a recommendation. When you hit "submit" on your application, the email to the teacher is auto-generated. CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK THE SPELLING OF THE TEACHER EMAIL. PLEASE follow up with your teacher (emails sometimes go to SPAM). If we do not receive the teacher recommendation, your application will be incomplete and not considered. If a recommendation is not received by the deadline, GALA will email the teacher 1 time. If you need to re-submit the teacher information, you can log back into your application account and re-send.
WHICH TEACHER SHOULD I USE FOR THE RECOMMENDATION?
Please use an "academic" teacher that knows your daughter well. If you feel that a teacher from last year knows your daughter better than the one this year, you may also use that teacher. For example, if your 4th grade teacher knows your daughter better than your current 5th grade teacher, you may use the 4th grade teacher. Please do not use a tutor or a friend as they will not be considered.
CAN I SEND IN A SNAIL MAIL OR EMAILED RECOMMENDATION?
No. Once you hit "submit" on your application, an email is auto-generated to the teacher email address you list on your application. That email contains a link to our online recommendation form. It is an easy drop-down menu with one area for a narrative. We do not accept snail mailed or emailed recommendations. Please do not ask anyone else to snail mail a recommendation. They will not be considered.
WILL YOU HAVE A SIBLING PREFERENCE WHEN APPLYING TO GALA?
CURRENT SIBLINGS: If you have a CURRENT student enrolled at GALA, any sibling wanting to attend GALA must also submit an application. Although we do give some preference to reviewing sibling applications, it is no longer guaranteed that siblings will get a spot.
APPLYING SIBLING: If you are applying to GALA for multiple siblings in the same year, we do not give priority. It is possible that 1 sibling would get in and 1 would not.
DO YOU TAKE LATE APPLICATIONS?
No. You must apply by January 1. If you are applying for High School, we occasionally take late applications for certain grades. Middle School applications are closed on January 1, no exceptions.
WHO HAS REGISTERED FOR GALA?
Girls come from over 124 different schools and from over 80 different zip codes. Girls are coming from charter schools, magnet schools, independent charters, religious schools, and private schools.
WHEN WILL I HEAR IF I GOT IN?
For the 2021-2022 school year, acceptance letters will be emailed and snail mailed on March 5 after 6pm. Look in SPAM if you don't find one. Acceptance and waiting list letters are emailed. You can also log into your application account to check your status. It is listed above the checklist items.
WE GOT IN, NOW WHAT?
We highly recommend you attend Registration Day (normally scheduled in April if Covid allows). You will be able to register your daughter, meet teachers, try on uniform samples, buy PE clothes, and tour the campus. If you are not available on registration day, you will have 1 week to register in the office. After that week, your spot at GALA will be forfeited and filled with a student from the waiting list.
WHAT IF I AM WAIT LISTED?
We do not "number" the waiting list. We will open the waiting list up end of April once we know who has not registered from the first round of acceptance letters. Waiting list students could hear from GALA into the first few weeks of the school year. Our waiting list is randomized. The wait list does not carry over from year to year. Each year you are interested in GALA, you will need to re-apply.
WHAT MAKES GALA DIFFERENT?
ALL-GIRLS: We are the only all-girls public school in California. As a public school, we are one of the most diverse racially, culturally, and socio-economically. As an all-girls school, we focus on the whole girls, academics and the social and mental health of teenagers.
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LENS: Because GALA also has a social/emotional lens, we will not let any girl fall between the cracks. We are committed to a whole-child mentality and our school culture is one where girls challenge each other to be successful in a supportive atmosphere.
MASTERY STANDARDS BASED GRADING AND GROWTH MINDSET: GALA believes that learning is not fixed. We encourage mistakes because that's when students learn. Mastery standards based grading allows students to learn, make mistakes, and then go back and fix their mistakes. This not only increases their learning but can also raise their grades. Grades are based on mastering the standards.
STEM: ALL-GIRLS: GALA focuses on girls to make sure they are prepared in STEM courses, as well as complete a well-balanced curriculum. Our goal is for our girls to leave our school confident, self-assured, with great skills to succeed in college and beyond.
ADVISORY CLASS: GALA is not all about academics. Our advisory system will pair teachers and girls in a family group where girls can develop a strong sense of themselves and their responsibility to each other and the world around them.
HOW DID GALA GET STARTED?
Principal Hicks fought to bring the all-girls PUBLIC school model to LAUSD for over 3 years. Click here to learn more about how GALA started.
What she found was that, in LAUSD, elementary school girls out performed boys in STEM subjects. In middle school, the data showed that scores in the STEM fields go down for girls. In High school, the AP calculus, chemistry, and physics classes are primarily made up of boys. GALA will insure that girls are supported and nurtured to be successful in these STEM courses.
Our instructional strategies are geared toward girls and the way they learn. The research shows that girls excel in collaborative and cooperative environments and GALA encourages and gears learning toward collaborative ideas. For example, research shows that girls like to work on projects that also have “meaning”. GALA has a project infused curriculum where girls make meaning of the theories they learn in class.
WHERE IS GALA LOCATED?
We are co-located on the Los Angeles High school campus near Olympic Blvd/West Blvd just south of Hancock Park. Although we share a campus with LA High, we are our own school with our own address, entrance, main office, and our main campus is gated. The benefit of being on a larger, comprehensive campus is we have access to the tennis courts, track and field, indoor swimming pool, etc.
WILL MY DAUGHTER CO-MINGLE WITH LA HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS?
No. Our bell schedule is different than LA High School.
WILL ALL THE CLASSES BE HELD IN THE GALA BUILDING?
Our main GALA building houses the majority of all 6th grade classes. Music, Dance, the pool and the indoor PE room are located in the building south of our field. High school and some classes are located in GALA West, the building next to the cafeteria. Most notably, non-High School classes in this area would include Science, Chemistry and Physics which need distinct lab facilities. GALA has our own classrooms with our own Science teachers. Because we have separate bell schedules, GALA girls will never co-mingle with other students and we have staff that walk the girls up to any classes not within the main building area.
WILL MY CHILD BE SAFE?
Yes. GALA is fully gated with a security door with security video entry and a full-time security person. The neighborhood is just adjacent to beautiful Hancock Park with a wonderful park and historic Library to the north and a comprehensive recreation center to the south.
WHAT IS THE START DATE FOR GALA?
We follow the LAUSD calendar.
WHAT TIME DOES SCHOOL START AND END?
Bell schedule (in person) is Mondays 10:00am-3:30pm and Tues-Fri 8:30am-3:30pm .
The first class will be an “Advisory” period followed by 3 subjects, and a 7th period for electives.
PLEASE NOTE: Mondays only are a late start.
Advisory (same teacher and group of girls each year)
Three 90-minute periods alternating each day.
7th period is an elective.
WILL GALA OUTGROW THEIR SPACE?
No. Each year, we add classrooms as needed. The LA High Campus is large and we have plenty of room to grow.
WILL MY DAUGHTER EAT IN THE CAFETERIA?
GALA's lunch period is completely separate from LA High. Lunch is free. Girls eat in the cafeteria tables, picnic-style on our field, or around our campus.
HOW WILL GALA DEAL WITH GIRL DRAMA, BULLYING, AND CONFLICT ISSUES?
GALA has an honor code. Each GALA student is required to sign the honor code when registering for school. We are a community that takes care of each other. Our culture supports dealing with problems by talking through them in order to find a viable solution for all parties. We have 3 counselors and 1 psychologist to help with any issues.
DO YOU HAVE TRANSPORTATION?
GALA is not a Magnet and, therefore, we do not have transportation. Our parents are active in carpooling or vanpooling to school. Our parent group has an online parent directory where you can search by zip code to find carpools.
DO GALA GIRLS WEAR A UNIFORM?
Yes. Please click here for a full description and to download the approved uniforms. The idea behind uniforms is that students will dress for success, will represent their school, will be highly visible on the campus, it equalizes the socio-economic field, and de-emphasizes what girls wear to school.
WHAT IS AN ADVISORY?
The first period of each day will be an “Advisory” period where a group of girls will be paired with one teacher to work on social/emotional skills. In these periods, we will also be working on college education skills as well as financial literacy.
WHAT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS?
Please call or email the office with any questions! Or you may email firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to talking with you!
WILL MY DAUGHTER BE PREPARED FOR COLLEGE?
Yes! We are a college prep school with a full-time college counselor. Girls will complete a sequence of courses above the A-G minimum requirements for college, taking math, science, and computer science all years, and completing a college level research project in their senior year. We are committed to making sure our girls are prepared for highly selective colleges but are matched to the college that is right for preparation in their field. Click to see our college acceptance list.
WHAT CLASSES DO YOU OFFER IN MIDDLE SCHOOL?
English – The curriculum is College Board Springboard curriculum. This curriculum scaffolds for success in high school Advanced Placement (AP) courses.
History – Follows standards based history curriculum infused with special projects including classical architecture and design and community service oriented projects.
Math – The curriculum is College Preparatory Math designed to engage all students in learning mathematics through problem solving, reasoning, and communication. Students will be able to follow an accelerated pathway in 7th grade taking both 7th and 8th grade standards in one course and progressing to Algebra in 8th grade. You can see a Course Handbook and the Math trajectory map HERE.
Science- The science curriculum is experiment based following the Next Generation Science standards
Computer science courses are aligned with a 9th grade level Exploring Computer Science curriculum as well as infused with practical hands-on projects.
P.E. – Following the state standards plus incorporating yoga, dance, elements of cross fit, dance and other lifestyle fitness concepts.
6th grade – Elective wheel- 10 weeks each of 4 subjects that can change each year. For 2020-2021, it is music, horticulture, creative writing, and music.
Elective - 7th Period – We have a 7th period built into our day for electives such as: Dance Company, Model UN, Leadership, Yearbook, and Film Production, Engineering, and Music, among others. Each year, some electives may vary. Visit our elective page HERE or see the complete list in our Course Handbook HERE.
WHAT CLASSES DO YOU OFFER IN HIGH SCHOOL?
Click here for grade-level grid and the Course Handbook.
WHAT CURRICULUM WILL YOU USE?
All of our curricular decisions are researched based. We follow the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards, and use curriculum that includes scaffolding as well as rigor.
English Language Arts: We are using Springboard College Board curriculum. This curriculum has been common core aligned for many years. The curriculum is sequential building skills through middle school so that students are ready for the rigor of honors and Advanced Placement classes in high school.
Math – We are using College Preparatory Math (CPM). CPM is designed to engage all students in learning mathematics through problem solving, reasoning, and communication. Many problems are solved through a collaborative model of thinking through math problems so the students really understand the math, not just a memorized formula.
Science: Next Generation Science Standards are the basis of our curricular approach. All of our courses have a basis in experiments for hands-on experience with science concepts.
Computer Science: Exploring Computer Science, a course developed by researchers at UCLA and middle school computer science, a curriculum developed by researchers at Stanford will infuse the courses with both practical applications, and theoretical concepts.
History: Standards based sequential history curriculum will focus on changes in the world, the United States and concepts of global awareness.
Art: Visual art is incorporated into the academic curriculum. Our 2-year architecture strand incorporates design and engineering. We anticipate adding digital art and animation.
Language: Sequential language curriculum, oral language based, from Spanish 1 through, eventually, AP Spanish Literature. Students wishing to take other languages will have the option for on-line courses.
Flipped Classroom: The flipped classroom model allows concepts to be explored at home through taped lectures for homework, allowing more time in the classroom for hands-on activities and experiments. Many teachers, particularly in high school, will use a flipped classroom design.
Public speaking and a leadership strand: All the girls will be able to advocate for themselves and be self-starters through leadership courses, experiences as well as advisory.
WILL YOU OFFER SPANISH?
Yes, Spanish is offered during the Academic Day.
WILL YOU OFFER OTHER LANGUAGES
We will offer sign language through Los Angeles City College. As the school grows, we may be able to offer other languages.
WHAT IF STUDENTS CAN'T KEEP UP WITH AN ACCELERATED ACADEMIC PATHWAY?
Teachers are committed to working with students who may struggle with certain concepts or courses and many of our teachers offer "office hours" before and after school by appointment.
WHAT ARE THE TECHNOLOGY NEEDS?
GALA has Chrome books, Macbooks, and PC laptops, however, as we grow, we are looking for corporate sponsors to augment our technology. We currently have a 1:1 ratio. As we grow, we will need to add computers so that we maintain a 1:1 ratio.
WILL THERE BE MENTORS OR INTERNSHIPS?
Girls may have mentors – professional women in the STEM fields - through their advisories. Internships will be available for students starting in 10th grade.
Level Up Village course will also be offered. The girls will be teamed with a school in another country and they will read a book together, sending videos back and forth.
HOW WILL THE GIRLS BE DIFFERENTIATED IN ACADEMICS?
We will look at their designations coming in but many kids are never GATE tested in elementary school. We will make sure each child is challenged, but not overwhelmed.
WHAT KIND OF GRADING DOES GALA USE?
Mastery grading. This method of grading is rather new to LAUSD. Your child’s grade will be based on meeting the standards, not on participation/homework/checked off assignments. The grade will be based on how much each child actually understood. If the child does not meet the standard, the teachers will look at how they can re-teach to help each child master the subject.
WILL YOU BE USING PEER EDITING?
Yes. Peer editing will be incorporated into the curriculum. The girls will look at other’s papers with a lens of “editing” and the final product will go to teacher for grading.
WHAT IS YOUR HOMEWORK POLICY?
Middle School: We believe children should still be children and have time at home to read, play, have after-school activities, and spend time with their families. We will adjust the homework policy for 6th grade accordingly so that students are challenged but not overwhelmed. Homework may vary teacher to teacher and if your daughter is in the accelerated Math program.
High School: Some courses have flipped learning where a student might watch a lecture online and come to class with questions or be ready to launch into experiments. For AP classes, students can expect at least an hour each night.
The research on homework is saying that less is more. That is what we are working on as a collaborative group. The homework will not be “busy work” but will enhance what is learned in the classroom. A homework policy will be posted to students by teachers at the start of each year.
WILL THE GIRLS BE INTERACTING AND/OR COMPETING AGAINST OTHER CO-ED SCHOOLS?
Yes. Robotics, Underwater Robotics, Mock Trial, and Academic completions are throughout the year. We also incorporate dances into the school year where girls can bring 1 guest of their choice.
MY DAUGHTER LOVES STEM BUT ALSO LOVES THE ARTS, DO YOU PROVIDE ARTS EDUCATION?
GALA believes that arts are vital. More information can be found HERE.
DANCE ELECTIVE: GALA has a dance company (audition only) in our 7th period elective.
MUSIC: We have a full time music teacher with a 7th period elective offering a music ensemble and world music.
ARCHITECTURE: GALA offers architecture with a full time teacher.
WILL THERE BE SPORTS AT GALA?
Yes! Please visit the Sports page to read more!
CIF High School sports: GALA has Tennis, Basketball, Cross Country, LaCrosse, Soccer, and Swimming, Volleyball, and Cheer.
Middle School sports: GALA Middle School can participate in sports through Beyond the Bell (free).
The campus has a full size track, swimming pool, tennis courts, gymnasium, etc. If needed, we also have use of the Queen Anne Recreation Center 2 blocks from GALA.
before & after school
IS BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL CARE AVAILABLE?
BEFORE SCHOOL: The GALA front gate opens at 7:30am every morning. There is a staff member in the office starting at 7:30am. As a middle/high school, we do not have a before-care program, however, most students who arrive early work on homework or attend teacher office hours. We have a parent-run yoga class on Monday mornings.
AFTER SCHOOL: GALA closes at 6pm sharp. Please visit our After School page for more details. Beyond the Bell is a free program that provides a study hall for aftercare for MIDDLE SCHOOL ONLY. Any student who stays after school, must be signed up with Beyond the Bell or one of our other organized after school enrichment programs or sports. If High School students stay after school, they are required to be in the Homework study hall if not participating in CIF after school sports or office hours. If not participating in these programs, students will need to leave campus after school.
WHO ARE YOUR TEACHERS?
Teacher educational background, a short biography, and email address are on the GALA website under the faculty section.
WHAT IS YOUR TEACHER/STUDENT RATIO?
Approximately 25 to 28:1 for core courses and electives for 6th grade and approximately 40:1 for PE. For 7th grade and up, some classes may be larger on a case by case basis. Larger classes are usually in the "accelerated" courses where students are expected to be able to work independently and at a faster pace.
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE YOUR TEACHERS?
Teachers completed an interview, and observation of their teaching. Teacher observations included teaching methods and interaction with the students. Of particular interest was how each teacher supported her students, encouraged them, and methods to ensure they were challenged enough to work hard but are not overwhelmed.
Teachers collaborate together on policies, grading and joint subject level and grade level projects. Teachers participate in professional development and collaboration with other teachers in all-girls public and private schools.
volunteer & dontate
DOES YOUR SCHOOL NEED PARENT VOLUNTEERS?
Yes! We have a "Friends of GALA" parent organization and we encourage parent participation. If you can help, let us know by emailing or visit their website at www.fogala.org.
HOW CAN I DONATE TO GALA?
Our parent organization, Friends of GALA is a 50c3 non profit and would love to talk to you about donating to GALA. Please visit the Friends of GALA website for information on corporate, community, and parent sponsors or visit www.fogala.org.