For 6th to 8th grade, students can attend a neighborhood school or choose a citywide school or program.
City Schools is in the process of finalizing plans for this year’s Middle & High School Choice process, inclusive of a virtual Choice Fair that is scheduled to launch on December 4, 2020. Using Campus Portal, 5th-grade families will be able to complete and submit their Choice applications between December 1 and January 22.
This year, because of the pandemic, the formula for calculating a student's composite score will be adjusted. Composite scores are needed for students applying to schools and programs with entrance criteria. Typically, composite scores are calculated using attendance, grades, and standardized test scores. However, in response to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent school closures, the U.S. Department of Education waived requirements for Maryland school districts to participate in annual standardized testing. Given the disparate impacts of COVID on our students and our commitment to equity, we have decided not to include attendance and standardized test scores as part of the calculation for composite scores.
Choice applications for students will be available on December 1st. Students and families will be able to complete and submit their choice applications between December 1st and January 22nd in Campus Portal. Additional support to families is available by district staff in the Office of Enrollment, Choice, and Transfers (Enrollment@bcps.k12.md.us) and Multilingual Enrollment and Support Center (MESC@bcps.k12.md.us).
Also, the annual choice fair will be launched virtually starting Friday, December 4th.
If your child goes to a neighborhood elementary/middle school and you want your child to stay at the school through 8th grade, you're all set. Your child is automatically enrolled at your school.
If you're new to the district and would like to enroll your child in a middle school close to your home, find your neighborhood school and stop by to find out what you need to register.
A few neighborhood elementary schools are "feeder" schools for nearby schools with middle grades. This means that 5th-grade students at the neighborhood elementary school are automatically enrolled in a nearby school for 6th grade. Check with your neighborhood school for more details.
Most charter schools have a different admissions process. Contact the school for information.
All 5th-grade students can choose their school for 6th grade — and those whose school does not have middle grades and does not feed to another school must fill out the choice application. Options include elementary/middle schools with special academic programming, schools that serve only grades 6 to 8, and combined middle/high schools.
The school choice application is typically due in January. To help students and families figure out what schools might be right for them, there are open houses and a school choice fair every fall, and a "school choice liaison" at every elementary school can answer questions.
Some middle school programs have academic entrance criteria — meaning you need to do well in 4th and 5th grades to be accepted. (Entrance criteria include results on a standardized test; final 4th-grade results in math, English language arts, social studies, and science; first-quarter 5th-grade results in those subjects; and first-quarter 5th-grade attendance.)
Here are some tips to make sure you keep options open and are ready to make the best choice for you.