Special Programs → About Admissions
Students may attend the local school that has been designated for the geographic area where they live. A number of special programs are often available at the local school. In addition, students may choose to participate in a regional or countywide program. Application and admission processes vary by program. Please carefully review the process for each program.
Each MCPS schools offers a comprehensive program of instruction to challenge and meet the needs of all students. Some schools also offer special programs for students attending the school. They are called "local school" programs.
Contact your local school for details.
Some competitive programs with a limited number of seats require that students complete an application and meet specific admissions criteria. This may include a written application or the submission of additional materials such as a portfolio. Some programs accept students countywide, while others accept students from designated regions of the county. They are called “criteria based.”
Some competitive programs with a limited number of seats require that students meet specific criteria as determined by a central review of data and be invited through a criteria based lottery.
MCPS has one middle school and two high school Consortia programs that allow students to choose which of several schools in a specific geographic area they are interested in attending. Consortia schools also offer specialty courses related to a particular theme or career area. Through the Choice process, students and their parents complete a form identifying their school preference. While most students get their first choice, it is not guaranteed.
Downcounty Consortium (DCC) Choice Lottery: Students are guaranteed their base school ONLY if it is written as their first choice on the Choice form; or if it is the second choice on the Choice form AND their first choice is not available. Then students are assigned to unfilled seats through a lottery.
Northeast Consortium (NEC) Choice Lottery: Students are guaranteed their base school ONLY if it is written as their first choice on the Choice form; or if it is the second choice on the Choice form AND their first choice is not available. Then students are assigned to unfilled seats through a lottery.
Middle School Magnet Consortium (MSMC) Choice Lottery: Current Grade 5 students who reside within the boundaries for Argyle, Parkland, and Loiederman must participate in the Choice process. These MSMC students are guaranteed a seat in one of the three middle schools. Families of Montgomery County students who reside outside the MSMC boundary will be admitted to their middle school of choice through a lottery process, on a space-available basis.
Immersion Lottery: A lottery may be held to determine admission to a foreign language immersion program if requests exceed available program capacity for kindergarten or Grade 1 students. Admission for all other grades is determined by language proficiency and available space. Change of school assignment requests for younger siblings will be given preference provided that the older sibling will also be in attendance at the receiving school. Contact individual schools about their immersion program(s).