School Options and Transfers


Option schools/programs offer specialized educational instruction to pre-K, elementary, middle, and high school students.

Arlington Public Schools provides families the opportunity to attend an option school/program or request a neighborhood transfer as an alternative to attending their designated neighborhood school.  Interested students must apply for an option school/program or a neighborhood school that is accepting transfers. APS assesses the ability to provide neighborhood transfers for the upcoming school year annually.

Learn about option schools, neighborhood transfers, information sessions, and the application/lottery process for:

Registering for a Neighborhood School

Every student is guaranteed a space in the neighborhood school designated by their home address. Use the School Boundary (Attendance Zone) Locator to find your neighborhood school. Registration is required and can be completed online, at your neighborhood school, or by appointment at the APS Welcome Center.

  • Registration for school year 2023-24 begins on February 1, 2023.

Applying for an Option School

In order to be considered for an option school, families must submit an application online.  If more applications are received than there are seats available, APS will conduct a random, double-blind lottery to determine admission.

All option school applicants are also encouraged to register for their neighborhood school.

  • If a space in an option school is offered to a family, the registration documentation provided will be transferred to the option school.
  • If a student is placed on a waitlist for an option school, registering at their neighborhood school guarantees the student will have a space for the upcoming school year.
  • Early neighborhood school registrations support APS with staffing projections and resource allocation.

Tuition and Transportation for Option Schools

K-12 neighborhood schools and option schools are free for all students to attend and transportation is provided. Early Childhood option schools/programs may have fees based on a sliding scale.

Options and Transfers Policy and School Information Resources

The Options and Transfers Policy (J-5.3.31) and Policy Implementation Procedure (J-5.3.31 PIP-1) outline the process determined by the School Board that APS follows to ensure equitable access for all students to the available option school/programs and neighborhood transfers.

Families interested in applying for a middle or high school option program or neighborhood transfer are encouraged to review a list of frequently asked questions.

For additional information or questions, please contact the APS Welcome Center at 703-228-8000 (option 3) or