Elementary Option Schools Application Process

The application time frame to submit an elementary options application is open until April 27, 2020. Families will be able to log into the online application portal to apply to a program. For additional information or questions, please contact the APS Welcome Center at 703-228-8000 or schooloptions@apsva.us.

General Application Process

The time frame to apply for an elementary countywide option school transfer for the 2020-21 school year is February 3 – April 27, 2020.


  • The online application will be available on Feb. 3, 2020 at 8 a.m. Parents should complete an Options School Application online between Feb. 3, 2020 and April 27, 2020 by 4 p.m.
  • Staff at the APS Welcome Center (2110 Washington Blvd.), as well as school staff, are able to assist families who do not have access to the online form.


  • If the number of applications exceed the available seats for any of the Option Schools, APS will conduct a random double-blind lottery to determine admission.
  • If families apply to more than one school/program, their application will go into all lotteries simultaneously. 
  • Lotteries for all Elementary Option schools will be held on May 6, 2020 at the APS Welcome Center by Department of Teaching and Learning staff. Click here to view the Lottery FAQ for additional information about the lottery process.


  • Families will be notified of their acceptance or placement on the waitlist via email or text by the APS Welcome Center no later than May 13, 2020.
  • Parents must confirm or decline attendance to the school or program by May 22, 2020. 


  • Students who applied, but were not selected through the lottery process, will be placed in numerical order on a waitlist.
  • Applications received after the deadline are placed at the bottom of the existing waitlist for the upcoming school year.
  • When students on the waitlist are offered a seat, they have a one-week window to accept the slot. If the slot is not accepted within the one-week window, the offer will be rescinded and offered to the next student on the waitlist.
  • Waitlists will be maintained by the APS Welcome Center until July 1. After July 1, waitlists for the current school year will be maintained by school staff.
  • Beginning with applications in the spring of 2019, all families will need to apply for all programs each year to be included in the lottery.

*Students who have already been admitted to and are currently enrolled in an option school do not need to reapply for the following years. 

For additional details by school, please review School Board Policy J-5.3.31 and PIP-1

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