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The Grizzly Gazette

The Gifted Magnet: What’s that all about?

Everything you ever wanted to know about our SMS Gifted Magnet
Reporters Avila and Campos took time this semester to investigate what defines our SMS Gifted Magnet. They interviewed students, teachers, and one Mrs. Mayra Cueva the Coordinator for the Gifted Magnet Program here at Sepulveda.

PART I – An Interview with Mrs. Cueva, Gifted Magnet Coordinator

Question: What is the Gifted  Magnet all about?

Mrs. Cueva: The Gifted Magnet provides Gifted and high ability people and opportunities to study an enriched curriculum.  Gifted Magnet students develop problem solving and higher level thinking skills through the elements of depth, complexity, novelty, creativity, and acceleration.

Counselor Powers and Principal Ortega often recruit Magnet students from nearby elementary schools. (M. Cueva)


Q: Is the Gifted Magnet for advanced students only?

A: The Gifted Magnet is for many students, not only for students who have been identified as Gifted by the LAUSD through a referral process. Students take a test with an LAUSD Magnet psychologist who tests their creativity and problem solving strategies, and identifies them as Gifted students. The high achievers are students who are verified by their teachers in 5th grade. 


Q: Why do the Gifted Magnet students have most of their classes in the Village?

A: The students have most of their classes in the Village because the teachers have to collaborate, talk, reflect and also be able to plan together across their curriculums. It’s more efficient to have them all in one area especially because they’re all working with Gifted and high achieving students together. 


Q: What makes the Gifted Magnet special?

A: What makes it special is that it’s like a family, it’s a small group.The teachers get to know the families for years so it creates a close relationship between the school and the families as well.

Gifted Magnet students enjoyed a field trip to the CA Science Center in Fall 2023. (M. Cueva)


Q: How do you get into the Gifted Magnet?

A: Students apply in 5th grade mainly once they culminate. When the enrollment window is open, you (parents for students) can apply to Magnet through the E-choices. If you apply as Gifted, you need to be identified as Gifted by LAUSD. If you’re not already identified, you can still apply through the application process but then the District has to verify you as Gifted. Then you wait until you get accepted to be in the program.


Q: How does the Gifted Magnet prepare you for highschool?

A: The Gifted Magnet is accelerated learning, so students are working to be accelerated and go a bit faster. You’ll see that once you hit high school you’re going to get used to the AVID strategies.

PART II – Interviews with The Gifted Magnet Teachers


Question: What do teachers look for in Gifted Magnet students?

Ms. Lozano, history teacher: We look for students that are on task and that they are able to work independently and in a group setting, where they’re using academic language and able to honor the timeline for assignments. 

 Mr. Jimenez, math teacher: We look for hard working students. We look for students that are here every single day and students who know how to follow the Sepulveda Way.

 Ms. Cube, science teacher:  We look for creativity, thinking outside the box and having a lot of ideas and we also look for them to be leaders and problem solvers

M. Cueva

Q: What is it like teaching Gifted Magnet students?

 Ms. Cube:  It’s great!. They have ideas that make me smile because I would never think of something that way the way they think. It’s enlightening to me.

 Ms. Delgadillo, English teacher: It makes my job really easy because (the students) come to Sepulveda already with the necessary tools to succeed. We are just adding more tools to their tool box. They make my job pretty easy and behave pretty well. 

Mr.Torres, history teacher: It’s great I love teaching with students and parents from the Gifted Magnet program.


 Q: Do you like teaching Magnet students?

 Ms. Delgadillo: Yes, I do. I really enjoy Gifted Magnet students because they always follow directions they are committed to their studies. They always come up to me whenever they need something so that their grade can go up. I don’t have a lot of students that fail in the Gifted Magnet.

 Mr. Jimenez: Yes, I love teaching Magnet students because most of the time they’re ready to learn.

Ms. Lozano: Yes, I do like working with the Gifted Magnet students because for the most part they are very bright and they enjoy learning. They are independent and self motivated.

Mr.Torres:  Yes, I do really enjoy working with the Magnet students and with every student on this campus.

PART III: And finally … What do the Gifted Magnet Students have to say?


 Question: What’s your favorite Magnet class?

Peter Lee, eighth grader: My favorite class is math.

Magnet students enjoy electives along with a rigorous academic schedule. (M. Cueva)

Marlyn Osorio, seventh grader: English because it’s a really chill class and my teacher is really cool and my Magnet friends are in that class.

Seth Paras, eighth grader: History because it’s really interesting to learn about all the wars that have happened.

Alonzo Melendez, seventh grader: Ms. Perrigue because she’s really fun.

Scarlett Mendez, seventh grader:  My favorite Gifted Magnet class is science with Mr. Aguinaga because his class is really fun and because we get to do experiments. It’s not hard but we just have to write a lot.


 Q: What is it like being in the Gifted  Magnet?

 Kathrine Catalan, seventh grader:  Being in Gifted Magnet is not that bad and it’s fun at the same time.

Marlyn Osorio: It’s cool. I like being in a Magnet because we sometimes get better stuff because we’re Magnet, but at the same time I feel like it’s all the same.

Peter Lee:  It’s fun because all the teachers are nice.

Karimat  Oduguwa, eighth grader : It’s fun sometimes and I really like most of the teachers. I like the work, it is not too bad and you get to work with different people.

Alonzo Melendez: It’s good because I get to have more opportunities and more field trips. I like it.


Q: Do you think Gifted Magnet is hard?

Group work and problem solving happen in Mr. Torres’ history classes. (M. Cueva)

Katherine Catalan: No, I don’t think Gifted Magnet is hard because teachers help you a lot.

Alonzo Melendez: Yes, for me it’s hard. For other people it’s easy but for me it’s hard because I have to work a lot at math and English, but yeah I like it.

Scarlett Mendez: No, I actually really think that it’s really easy.

Seth Paras: A little bit, but sometimes it can be fun.

Karimat Oduguwa:  It depends. It’s not really that hard just as long as you complete your assignments and stay on task.

If you would like to learn more about the Sepulveda Middle School Gifted Magnet program, please visit .

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About the Contributors
Jasmin Avila
Jasmin Avila, Photo Editor
Jasmin Avila is a 7th grader in the SMS Gifted Magnet.
Melanie Campos Constantino
Melanie Campos is a 7th grader at SMS.

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