School Options and Transfers

Arlington Public Schools provides families the opportunity to attend an option school/program or request a neighborhood transfer as an alternative to attending their neighborhood school. Option schools/programs offer specialized educational instruction to pre-K, elementary, middle, and high school students. 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.

What is the Difference Between Registering for a Neighborhood School and Applying for an Option 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 out which school is designated as your neighborhood school. Registration is required and can be completed online, at your neighborhood school, or by appointment at the APS Welcome Center.

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.

School Options and TransfersK-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 are encouraged to review this policy and PIP for additional procedural information on the options and transfers process.


Pre-Kindergarten Application Timeline For School Year 2023-24

Primary Montessori
Application Window: February 2023
Application Deadline April 2023
Lottery (online) TBD
Lottery Notification TBD
Accept/Decline TBD
Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) & Community Peer Pre-K Program (CPP)
Application Window: CLOSED February 2023
Application Deadline April 2023
Lottery (online) TBD
Lottery Notification TBD
Accept/Decline TBD

Learn about Pre-K programs, information sessions, and the application and lottery process


Elementary School Options & Transfers Application Timeline for School Year 2023-24

Application Window: February – April, 2023
Application Deadline TBD
Lottery (online) TBD
Lottery Notification TBD
Accept/Decline TBD

Learn about elementary option schools/programs, information sessions, and the application and lottery process


Middle School Options & Transfers Application Timeline for School Year 2023-24

Option Middle Schools & Programs
Application window: Nov. 1, 2022 at 10 p.m. – Jan. 13, 2023 at 4 p.m.
Lottery (online) Jan. 23, 2023, 1 p.m.
Families receive lottery results Jan. 30, 2023 after 4 p.m.
Accept/Decline Feb. 13, 2023 by 11:59 p.m.
Middle School Neighborhood Transfers
Application window: Feb. 20 – March 3, 2023 at 4 p.m.
Lottery (online) March 17, 2023, 1 p.m.
Families receive lottery results March 24, 2023 after 4 p.m.
Deadline to accept/decline March 31, 2023 by 11:59 p.m.

Learn about middle school option schools/programs, transfers, information sessions, and the application and lottery process.


High School Options & Transfers Application Timeline for School Year 2023-24

Option High Schools & Programs
Application window: Nov. 1, 2022 at 10 p.m. – Jan. 13, 2023 at 4 p.m.
Lottery (online) Jan. 23, 2023, 1 p.m.
Families receive lottery results Jan. 30, 2023 after 4 p.m.
Accept/Decline Feb. 13, 2023 by 11:59 p.m.
High School Neighborhood Transfers
Application window: Feb. 20 – March 3, 2023 at 4 p.m.
Lottery* (online) March 17, 2023, 1 p.m.
Families receive lottery results March 24, 2023 after 4 p.m.
Deadline to accept/decline March 31, 2023 by 11:59 p.m.

Learn about high school options programs, neighborhood transfers, information sessions, and the application and lottery process.


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