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Inside PGCPS

FAQ: Applying to Middle + High School Specialty Programs

FAQ: Applying to Middle + High School Specialty Programs

  • For Parents |
  • September 20, 2019

Applications for middle school and high school specialty programs for the 2020 - 2021 school year are open! We’ve answered some frequently asked questions to help in the application process. 

Q. What information do I need to apply?

Before applying to specialty programs, please have your student’s PGCPS identification number and SchoolMax portal log-in credentials. Keep in mind that many applications also require teacher recommendations, a personal essay (completed by student) and/or an audition. Be prepared by considering teachers or faculty who might offer a recommendation for your child. You’ll need to submit their names and email addresses as part of some applications.

Parents of eighth grade students may also wish to help children become familiar with and prepare for the PSAT 8/9. The PSAT 8/9 is a nationally normed multiple-choice achievement test administered through the College Board. PSAT 8/9 scores are used as part of the entrance criteria for  the following programs: Academy of Health Sciences at Prince George's Community College (Health Sciences and Teacher Preparation), 3D Scholars, Science and Technology, Aerospace Engineering and Aviation Technology.

Q. What’s the process for private/homeschooled students to apply?

Private and homeschool parents must obtain a PGCPS ID number for their student to apply and must apply online by the deadline. Non-PGCPS families must also submit academic transcripts or portfolios from the prior school year and first quarter/trimester of the current school year to the Department of Testing. Students must also register to take the PSAT 8/9 assessment on December 7, 2019.  November 8 is the deadline to register and location is to be announced. *Please note: Non-PGCPS students must apply to programs of interest before taking the PSAT 8/9 in December. 

Q. I’d like for my current eighth grade student to apply to the Science and Technology and/or Aerospace/Aviation program, but I see no option.

All PGCPS eighth grade students are automatically considered for both the Science and Technology and Aerospace Engineering and Aviation Technology programs and do not have to fill out an application. Your student will be notified if they are eligible for Science and Technology and/or Aerospace programs in the spring.

Q. What is the criteria used to determine student acceptance into Aerospace and Aviation and the Science and Technology programs?

Criteria include: prior school year grades in core classes and first quarter grades in core classes from the current school year and  PSAT 8/9 test scores. 

Q. To which programs must I submit a direct application or test-in for consideration?

Middle School

Benjamin Foulois Creative and Performing Arts Academy 

Hyattsville Middle School

Thomas G. Pullen Creative and Performing Arts School

Dora Kennedy French Immersion 

Maya Angelou French Immersion

High School

3D Scholars 

Academy of Health Sciences at Prince George’s Community College

Aerospace Engineering + Aviation Technology (current ninth graders and non-PGCPS students only)

Career and Technical Education academies

Central High School French Immersion

Dual enrollment

International Baccalaureate Program

Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) 

Northwestern High School Visual and Performing Arts

Suitland High School Visual and Performing Arts

Science & Technology Program (current ninth graders and non-PGCPS students only)

Q. Do I have to pay for the PSAT 8/9?

Eighth grade students currently enrolled in PGCPS do not pay for the PSAT 8/9. The PSAT 8/9 is administered to eighth grade students, at no cost, in December. Non-PGCPS students and PGCPS 9th grade students pay a $12.00 fee for the PSAT 8/9. 

Q. How can students prepare for the PSAT 8/9?

Khan Academy and College Board make test practice easy and personal! Visit Khan Academy to set up an account for your child to access practice activities.

Q. I’m interested in the International High School at Largo or Langley Park. How do I apply?

The lottery application for both International High Schools will be available for eighth grade students in the ESOL program January 2 - March 12.

Q. How can I learn more about available program options?

There are several ways to explore our programs. Consider attending our High school Specialty Program Showcase on October 16 at Suitland High School, or the middle school showcase on October 17 at Thomas G. Pullen Creative & Performing Arts School. You may also attend upcoming open houses for individual programs. 

Q. Can my student be accepted into more than one program?

Yes. But you may accept only one offer of admission.

Q. When is the deadline to apply to middle and high school specialty programs?

The deadline to apply is November 15

View all program options and apply here.