REVISED: Student Transfer Application Season Has Begun

February 3, 2021

Montgomery County parents/guardians who wish to request a Change of School Assignment (COSA) for their children from their home school may begin the process during the transfer season that began on February 1. All COSA requests must be submitted no later than April 1, 2021.

Students in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) are expected to attend the school within the established attendance area in which they reside (home school) or assigned in accordance with their Individualized Education Program (IEP). Students may apply for COSA from the home school, or the school of assignment through the IEP process, based on the following criteria:

  • When a documented unique hardship is shown. Students may apply for a COSA when extenuating circumstances related to their specific physical, mental, or emotional well-being or their family’s individual or personal situation could be mitigated by a COSA.

  • When a family moves within Montgomery County who wish to continue attending their former home school may request a COSA without demonstrating a unique hardship. Such requests may be considered for the remainder of the current school year only, with the exception that students in Grade 11 or 12 may be granted a COSA to stay through high school graduation.

  • When a student seeks to attend the school where a sibling will be enrolled in the regular/general school program, or a special education program, during the year the student wants to enroll.

  • When a sibling attends a magnet, language immersion, or other application program at elementary level, a COSA may be approved to the regular school program for other siblings on a case-by-case basis. Such approval requires consideration of available classroom space, grade-level enrollment, staffing allocations, or other factors that impact the schools involved.

  • When a multi-year program of study or a multi-year single course sequence is not offered at a student’s home school, if there are seats available in the school and program of interest at another school. (NEW)

*The criteria above regarding siblings do not apply if a boundary change has occurred. 

Please note that starting with students who enter Grade 6 during school year 2021–2022, a student attending a middle school on a COSA seeking to attend the high school in that middle school’s feeder pattern will have to reapply for a COSA and demonstrate a unique hardship.

The transfer process begins in the home school where parents/guardians may request the Change of School Assignment (COSA) Information Booklet that contains the COSA form, describes the process and provides useful information. The COSA booklet is also available online at It is available in English and Spanish. Exempt countywide programs that do not fall under the transfer guidelines are listed in the information booklet. 

For information about assignments for students residing in the NEC, DCC or MSMC areas, contact the Division of Consortia Choice and Application Program Services at 240-740-2540 or visit the website at

For more information about the transfer process, parents/guardians are encouraged to contact the principal at their home school.


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