school clusters. Blair also offers a commu-
Charles Drew in Silver Spring, Lucy V.
nications arts program open by applica-
tion to students who attend middle schools
in a specific geographical area. Wheaton
High School is the home of biomedical
and engineering magnets, and John F. Ken-
nedy High School in Silver Spring offers the
Leadership Training Institute.
Generally, applications to regional or
consortium programs are limited to stu-
dents who live within prescribed geo-
graphical boundaries. However, unfilled
spots may be available to students who
live outside the zones. The middle school
magnet consortium program is available
to everyone residing within prescribed
geographical boundaries, and is open to
other students by application.
Third-graders can apply to participate
in the Elementary Center Programs for
the Highly Gifted in their region of the
county. Applications are due in the fall,
and acceptance decisions arrive in the
spring. Eight schools offer center pro-
grams: Pine Crest, Oak View and Dr.
Barnsley in Rockville, Cold Spring in
Potomac, Fox Chapel in Germantown,
Clearspring in Damascus, and Chevy
All third-grade students can apply
for this program, but each must take an
aptitude test, which is given during reg-
ular school hours. This two-year pro-
gram may require students to change
schools in fourth grade and doesn’t
guarantee admission into magnet or
consortium programs in middle school
or high school.
Some county public schools also offer
Chinese, French and Spanish language
immersion programs for elementary
and middle school students. These programs allow students to take some or all
of their core courses in a target language.
On the elementary school level, Chi-
nese and some Spanish programs are par-
tial immersion, while the French program
and other Spanish programs are total
immersion, meaning all core subjects are
taught in the specific language. Middle
school programs are all partial immersion.
These elementary schools offer lan-
guage immersion programs: College
Gardens in Rockville and Potomac offer
Chinese; Maryvale in Rockville and Sligo
Creek in Silver Spring offer French; and
Burnt Mills in Silver Spring, Rock Creek
Forest in Chevy Chase and Rolling Ter-
race in Takoma Park offer Spanish.
Middle school students can continue
Chinese at Herbert Hoover in Potomac,
French at Gaithersburg or Silver Spring
International and Spanish at Silver Spring
International or Westland in Bethesda.
Students entering kindergarten
through fifth grade are eligible to apply
through a spring lottery. Admittance
for students in grades two through five
is determined by both language profi-
ciency and available space.
Visit www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org for
more information. n