Application Forms -

MCPS High School Countywide and Regional Special Programs At-A-Glance

The High School Application process has closed for the 2019-2020 school year.

Application and Testing Information

  • What is a Whole School Magnet?   
  • Who may apply to any of the House Certificate Programs?
  • How do I learn more about the House Certificate Programs?  
  • What is the selection criteria?  
  • What do I need to know about the testing portion of the application?  

What is a Whole School Magnet?

A whole school magnet is organized around instructional “houses” made up of small teams of teachers and students from multiple disciplines, centered around a proven magnet course of studies. Students may choose from three instructional houses: Global Ecology House, Humanities House and Science, Math, Computer Science House. In the Global Ecology House students will pursue rigorous interdisciplinary science and social studies curricula focused on human impact on the natural environment. In the Humanities House students will study humanities through the lens of American History and English to introduce inquiry. In the Science, Math, Computer Science House students will develop and deepen skills in problem-solving, analysis and laboratory investigations. All three houses use an interdisciplinary approach to learning. Classes are linked to provide flexibility and a deeper understanding of each house focus.

The Poolesville High School Whole School Magnet Program is funded to accept 50 "out of area" (not residing in the Poolesville Cluster) Montgomery County 9th grade students in each Magnet House (150 total students). There is no limit to the number of Poolesville cluster students accepted to the programs. In order to earn a certificate in any program, students must be accepted to the program via the application process.

Who may apply to any of the House Certificate Programs?

Students in Grade 8 who are enrolled in at least Algebra I may apply to any of the House Certificate programs for the following school year. Applicants who wish to apply for either the Humanities House or the Science, Math, Computer Science House must reside in one of the following MCPS high school clusters at the time of testing: Clarksburg, Damascus, Gaithersburg, Magruder, Northwest, Poolesville, Quince Orchard, Seneca Valley, or Watkins Mill. Applicants who wish to apply for the Global Ecology House may reside in any MCPS High School Cluster. Students in other high school clusters who are interested in a Science, Math, Computer Science Program can apply to the Montgomery Blair Magnet Program.

How do I learn more about the House Certificate Programs?

Each fall there is a informational meeting about the Magnet for interested students and their parents/guardians. The meeting is always held in the beginning of October.  Parents should come with their children.  Please check the exact date under Upcoming Events.  We run two meetings because of the large demand.  One meeting is at 5:00 p.m. for students whose last name begins with A-M, and at 7:00 p.m. for students whose last name begins with N-Z.  The meetings will be held in the Poolesville High School Auditorium.  An information booklet will be available at this meeting, or online, that gives greater detailed information on all the magnet house programs.  

What are the selection criteria?

Selection is based on a student's achievement record in mathematics, social studies, science, and English, demonstrated interest in mathematics, science, social studies and computer science, and teacher recommendations. Applicants take a series of mathematical and verbal aptitude, achievement, and critical thinking tests in December.

What do I need to know about the testing?

This information is for applicants applying to PHS Magnet including any or all of the following:  Global Ecology House, Humanities House or Science, Math, Computer Science House. All applicants are to report to the assigned testing site between 7:30 and 7:45 AM.    No contact will be made to confirm this testing date. Students who are unable to test on Saturday due to religious reasons will be able to test on Sunday.  You must request alternate testing when you submit the application.  If the applicant requires special education testing accommodations, a copy of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Section 504 plan that specifies the accommodations MUST be submitted with the application. The program coordinator will contact the applicant's parent/guardian to discuss accommodations and times. Special needs testing is on Sunday at Richard Montgomery.   

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