Countywide Option Middle Schools/Programs and Neighborhood Transfers Application Process

General Application Process

The application period to apply to secondary option schools is the first Monday in November to the third Friday in January for the following school year.


  • The online application will be available on Nov. 4, 2019. Parents should complete an Options School Application online between Nov. 4, 2019 and Jan. 17, 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 Options Schools, APS will conduct a lottery to determine admission.
  • If families apply to more than one school/program, their application will go into all lotteries simultaneously. 
  • Lotteries for all Secondary Options schools will be held on January 29, 2020 at the Welcome Center by the Department of Teaching and Learning.


  • Families will be notified of their acceptance or placement on the waitlist by email and/or text by the APS Welcome Center on February 7, 2020 after 4 p.m.
  • Parents must confirm or decline attendance to the school or program by February 21, 2020. 
  • If families do not accept or decline their seat by the deadline, their seat will be given to the next student on the waitlist.


  • 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 If the slot is not accepted within the one-week window, the offer will be rescinded and offered to the next student on the waitlist.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 for neighborhood transfers will be maintained by the APS Welcome Center until May 1. Option seats are continuously filled throughout the school year as seats become available.
  • Beginning with applications in the fall of 2018, 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
  • 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.

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

Secondary lottery information for SY 2019-20 for students who received an offer through the secondary lottery for an option school/program or neighborhood transfer.

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