FAQ - Applying to APS Montessori

Because of the three-year cycles in Montessori education, natural entry points into the program are as a three-year-old and in first and fourth grades.  Although children are accepted at other times, it is usually easier for children to enter the program at the beginning of the three-year cycle.   

Primary Montessori

Applying to APS Primary Montessori



Three-year-olds

  • Applications for three-year-olds should be submitted between February 1 - April 15th (by 4pm on April 15th) to be considered for the lottery.
  • Primary Montessori is a three-year cycle and parents should plan to keep their children in the classroom for the full three years (until first grade).
  • Children should be three years old by September 30 of the year you wish to enroll.

Four-year-olds

  • Applications for four-year-olds are accepted at anytime during the year.
  • Primary Montessori is a three-year cycle and parents should plan to keep their children in the classroom for the full three years (until first grade).
  • Children should be four years old by September 30 of the year you wish to enroll.

Five-year-olds to schools other than Drew Model School 

  • Applications for five-year-olds for neighborhood Montessori programs (any APS Montessori classroom outside of Drew Model School) are accepted anytime during the year.
  • Preference is given to applicants with Montessori experience. 
  • Children should be five years old by September 30 of the year you wish to enroll.
  • Applications for five-year-olds wishing to apply to the countywide Montessori program at Drew Model School should apply using the Elementary Montessori process outlined below.

Step-by-step: How to apply for all 3 and 4 year olds
(and 5 year olds applying to schools other than Drew Model School)

  • Download and fill out an APS Primary Montessori application: http://www.apsva.us/ Click "Instruction" and "Early Childhood"
    • Applications for three-year-olds should be submitted between February 1 - April 15 (by 4pm on April 15th) to each school of interest to be considered for the lottery.
    • Learn which schools your child is eligible to attend by first figuring our your neighborhood school on the APS website. (http://www.apsva.us/ Click "Registration" and "Boundary Locater")
    • You can apply to multiple schools, depending on your neighborhood school.
  • Deliver an application to each school of interest before the April 15, 4:00pm deadline.
    • If you are applying to multiple schools, it is sometimes easier to fill out one application without a school designated, copy the application, then check off the appropriate school on its application.
  • 2/3 of the Primary Montessori slots are reserved for lower income families. You will need proof of income if you want to be considered for these more available limited income slots (for families making about $80,000 and below). Please check the APS website for the exact income requirement, it changes year to year. 

Primary Montessori Wait Lists

  • If there are more applicants than spaces available, lotteries are held at each school to determine placement.  A letter is mailed to notify parents of their child’s status.
  • A wait list is managed at each school for students not receiving placement. 
  • Please try to accept or reject your spot as soon as possible, in consideration of other families behind you on the wait list. 
  • If you missed the lottery, put your child on each school’s wait list - no matter what time of year it is.  That will help put you in front of other families who will apply in the following year’s lottery pool. 
  • Three-year-old applications remain on a rolling wait list through their four-year-old year.
  • You must reapply for the kindergarten year. The wait list for four-year-olds does not roll over for the kindergarten year.

Elementary Montessori

Applying to APS Elementary Montessori
(including kindergarten at Drew Model School)

  • If your child is already in Montessori at Drew Model School you do not need to apply.
  • K-5th grade students are considered transfers to Drew Model School's countywide Montessori program.
    • You can apply at any grade K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th grade.
  • Students not already at Drew need to download and fill out an APS Pupil Transfer Application: http://www.apsva.us/ Click "Registration" and "School Options" and "How to Apply to Area and Countywide Elementary Schools"
    • These forms are also available at each elementary school. 
    • Applications should be submitted between February 1 - April 15 (by 4pm on April 15th) to Drew Model School.
  • Registration begins February 1 for the following school year. All registration and health requirements must be met for a child to be admitted.
  • A public lottery is to determine admittance and a wait list is managed for students not receiving immediate placement.  A letter is mailed to notify parents of their child’s status.
  • Kindergarten children should be five years old by September 30 of the year you wish to enroll.

Elementary Montessori Wait Lists

  • If there are more applicants than spaces available, lotteries are held at each school to determine placement.  A letter is mailed to notify parents of their child’s status.
  • Please try to accept or reject your spot as soon as possible, in consideration of other families behind you on the wait list. 
  • You must reapply each year.  The wait list does not roll over from year to year.
Applying to the APS Montessori Middle Years Program
  • Drew Model School 5th Grade Elementary Montessori students are automatically placed at Gunston Montessori Middle Program unless paperwork is filled out otherwise. All APS 5th graders are given yellow cards to fill out naming their middle school choice and elective choice. Drew Montessori 5th grade students do not need to have a pupil transfer form signed by their home middle school if they want to attend the Montessori Middle Years Program at Gunston.
  • Non-Drew Model School rising 6th grade students that are interested in the APS Montessori Middle Years Program can apply using the application found on the Gunston website. Students applying for the Montessori middle school program will have a mandatory interview/meeting with Gunston’s Principal or designee before enrolling in program.  You can visit the Gunston or APS Website for more information.  

Observing an APS Montessori Classroom

Parents are encouraged to observe a Montessori classroom in action.  Observations are for adults only and it is not a good time to ask questions or chat with teachers.

New Students Applying for Drew Model School 

Half-hour observations can be scheduled by calling the school at 703-228-5825.  Observation visits are scheduled within five school days of the request.  Observations are for adults only and it is not a good time to ask questions or chat with teachers.

Current Drew Students

If your child is moving to a new classroom for 1st or 4th grade, you might want to observe a Lower or Upper Elementary classroom.  You might also be interested in observing your child's own classroom while the students are working.  Please contact your child's current teacher to arrange an observation.  Observations are for adults only and it is not a good time to ask questions or chat with teachers.

Other APS  Primary Montessori Programs

Observations at other schools can be arranged by telephoning the school.

Middle School Montessori

Gunston Middle School

Please contact the Director of Counseling at Gunston Middle School to schedule an observation of an APS Middle School Montessori classroom. 703-228-6900

Documents Needed to Register in APS

If you are enrolling your child in Arlington Public Schools for the first time (at any grade level PreK-12th grade), you will need to provide a few documents before s/he starts school:

  • Proof of the child's age and legal name - usually a birth certificate
  • Proof of current residency - Proof that the parent or legal guardian of the student lives in Arlington County, usually a lease or home purchase documents (acceptable documents include a current lease, a copy of a mortgage agreement, or a sworn affidavit from the parent/guardian showing that the student resides in Arlington)
  • Social Security Number or a Social Security Status Form
  • Official school records from another school system or country, if applicable and available
  • Medical information that includes immunization records as well as a physical examination and a tuberculosis screening done within the 12 months prior to starting school.
    • Medical information must be submitted on a Commonwealth of Virginia School Entrance Health Form
    • There is also an official form for documentation of tuberculosis screening and forms for administering medications during school.

More details can be found on the Arlington Montessori FAQ page.