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High School Choice

Registering for high school means choosing the school that's right for you.

Because every student is unique, at City Schools all students choose the high schools they want to attend. It's not too early to start thinking about high school as early as 3rd or 4th grade, so that all the doors are open for getting into top-choice schools and programs, including those that have academic entrance criteria or special admission requirements.


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School choice guide



School choice guide


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What happens in high school?

Find out what students are learning and doing in high school.

Admission Types

Academic entrance criteria

Students can apply to these schools if they meet the composite score requirements. (Scroll down for information about composite scores.)


These schools have a specific process for admission. Contact each school for more information.

School-based lottery

Some charter schools have their own application process, with a lottery that takes place at the individual school. Contact each school for information.

Choice lottery

These schools have no specific entrance criteria or admission process. If more students select a school than the school can serve, students are selected by lottery. 


For students with specific needs — for example, those returning to school after dropping out or those with special needs that can't be met in a general education setting — the district offers alternative placements. Contact the Enrollment, Choice, and Transfers department at 410-396-8600 for information and assistance.

Composite Scores

Composite scores are calculated to determine if students are eligible for schools with entrance criteria. The calculation varies for different schools, as shown below. 

For high school admission, the score includes results from 7th grade and the first quarter of 8th grade. Taking honors classes or advanced programs in middle school can increase a score and make it easier to get in to some schools. Also, meeting the minimum requirement does not guarantee acceptance. Students are ranked by score and admitted in order until school capacity is reached. Students interested in Baltimore City College and Baltimore Polytechnic Institute usually need to score significantly higher than the required minimum to be admitted. 

Baltimore City College, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Western

Minimum composite score of 610, calculated as follows:

Standardized test reading percentile + standardized test math percentile + (math grade x2) + (English grade x2) + (overall grade x2)

Baltimore Polytechnic Institute

Minimum composite score of 610, calculated as follows:

Standardized test reading percentile + standardized test math percentile + (math grade x3) + English grade + (overall grade x2)

Carver, Edmondson-Westside, Mergenthaler

Minimum composite score of 475, calculated as follows:

Standardized test reading percentile + standardized test math percentile + math grade + science grade + English grade + overall grade + attendance percentage

Online Choice Application

You can check composite scores and fill out choice applications online through Campus Portal.

  1. Log in.
  2. Click "Online Choice Application" at the bottom of the left-side menu.
  3. Click the student's name whose information you'd like to see.
  4. The next screen will show you the student's grades and composite scores (along with the requirement for entrance criteria schools). You can select the schools that you'd like to put on the choice application.
  5. Click "Save."

Students not currently enrolled in City Schools

If you would like to enroll in one of our high schools but do not currently attend a city school, follow these steps:

  1. Fill out the choice application.
  2. Gather required documents.
  3. If you are interested in applying for a school with entrance criteria, you will also need to submit results from the PARCC assessment. If your school doesn't administer the PARCC, please call 410-396-8962 to schedule a time to take the i-Ready achievement tests.
  4. Take all the paperwork to 200 E. North Avenue, room 106.

Don't live in Baltimore City? Read this information.