Getting Ready for Middle School Choice

  • In the fall of 5th grade, students start the process of choosing a middle school if

    • They attend an elementary school that serves only up to 5th grade and does not feed directly to a school with middle grades or
    • They attend a school that serves up to 8th grade or feeds to a school with middle grades, but they want to explore different options

    There are more than 20 middle school options, including elementary/middle schools, stand-alone middle schools, and middle/high schools; charter schools; all-girls and all-boys schools; schools with special focus areas, like design, science, project-based learning, or career exploration; and schools that offer Advanced Academics or the Ingenuity Project, with academic entrance criteria for admission.

    The path to your top middle school, grade by grade

    In 3rd grade:

    In 4th grade:

    • Talk with the choice liaison at your school about options for middle grades
    • Think more about your interests and talents and what kind of school would work best for you
    • Attend open houses at different types of schools, so you can see the range of options available
    • Stay focused on doing well, so you’ll meet requirements for special programs

    In 5th grade:

    September to December
    • Narrow down your choices by visiting schools you’re interested in, going to the School Choice Fair, and talking to current students, parents, and staff members
    • Stay focused on doing well, so you’ll meet requirements for special programs
    • For the Ingenuity Project, register for the test; for charter schools, make sure you know the application deadlines
    • Meet with your choice liaison to get your questions answered and for help with your choice application
    January to March
    • Submit your choice application by the deadline (usually in January)
    • Submit applications to charter schools by the deadline (usually in February)
    • Find out where you'll be going to middle school (usually in March)