Magnets aren’t the only great programs, Montgomery County offers Consortia for Specialization
Blair, Einstein, Kennedy, Northwood and Wheaton High Schools have been grouped together to form the Downcounty Consortium, and each offers a distinctive focus. Eighth grade students within these high school cluster borders—roughly the southeastern corner of Montgomery county —can apply to any one of these programs, which include the International Baccalaureate; science, math, and technology; medical careers, sports medicine, and sports; engineering; politics, advocacy, and law; and many others. Admission is noncompetitive, based on student preference, school capacities, demographic factors, and a certain amount of chance.
Blake, Springbrook, and Paint Branch High Schools have been grouped into the Northeast Consortium and similarly given distinctive programs. Eighth grade students in these high schools’ areas can join programs in fine arts and humanities, science and media, or international studies and technology through the same sort of noncompetitive admissions process.
If you have a 5th grader in the Bel Pre, Brookhaven, Georgian Forest, Harmony Hills, Sargent Shriver, Strathmore, Viers Mill, Weller Road, and Wheaton Woods elementary schools, you can expect to receive a Choice Letter from the Middle School Magnet Program in late fall. The program is open to all 5th grade students in Montgomery County, but only those within these schools’ feeder areas will be actively invited to apply to a specialized Middle School within their boundaries. Students will go through a lottery process that takes into account school ranking, socioeconomic status, gender, and many other factors. The three middle schools involved are Argyle (which focuses on digital design and development), Loiderman (arts, humanities, and communication), and Parkland (math, computer science, and robotic engineering.)
Montgomery County also offers language immersion programs in French, Spanish, and Chinese at both the elementary and middle school levels. There are generally 25 to 50 places available each year in each of a half-dozen programs, and admission is mostly conducted by lottery.
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