Elementary Option Schools Application Process

The application time frame to submit a pre-K or elementary options and transfer application closed on April 15, 2019. Families will be able to log into the online application portal to apply to be placed on the waitlist after April 25 or to verify their application status at any time. Applications received at this time will be placed at the bottom of the waitlist in the order in which it is received. In addition, families are able to monitor their location on a school’s waitlist through the online application portal. 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 2019-20 school year is February 1 – April 15, 2019.


  • The online application will be available on Feb. 1, 2019 at 8 a.m. Parents should complete an Options School Application online between Feb. 1, 2019 and April. 15, 2019 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 April 23, 2019 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 1, 2019.
  • Parents must confirm or decline attendance to the school or program by May 15, 2019. 


  • 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.
  • 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.


  • Administrative transfers can be requested through the appeals process listed in Options and Transfers Policy J-5.3.31.
  • Administrative transfers are considered on a case-by-case basis and are based on the particular circumstances of a student’s situation. In order to file an appeal, families must first submit an application through the online application portal and be placed on the waitlist.
  • Appeals must be submitted in writing to the Department of Administrative Services by emailing sharon.goode@apsva.us.
  • Families will receive a written acknowledgement confirming receipt of the appeal and a written response to the appeal that is consistent with the policy. Approval under the appeals process occurs after the lottery and the timeline to accept or decline options and transfers offers.
  • If families are dissatisfied with the response from the Superintendent/designee, they may appeal in writing to the School Board for consideration.
  • Once a student is approved for an administrative transfer through the appeals process, enrollment will be continuous through the grade levels of that school/program, unless there is cause to discontinue.

*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.