Applying to Selective High Schools

Applying to Selective High Schools

A selective high school is a high school with no boundary. DCPS has six selective high schools that admit students based on specific admissions requirements and selection criteria. Anyone can apply to these schools, but only students who meet the school’s requirements will be eligible to attend that school. Students applying to one or more DCPS selective high schools must complete an additional section of the My School DC lottery application. In this section, applicants will need to provide:

  • PARCC scores in math and in English language arts/literacy (Not required for School Without Walls HS) 
  • Final report card from the 2016–17 school year 
  • Most recent report card from the 2017–18 school year
  • Essay (for some schools)
  • Email addresses for teachers, administrators, and counselors who will provide recommendations (for some schools)

Please refer to the chart below to familiarize yourself with each selective high school’s selection criteria.

TIP: Students: Write your essay in a Word document first to check for spelling and character count. Some schools require a word and character limit on their essays. Save, then copy and paste onto the application when ready.

 

 Download chart (PDF)

 

 
Benjamin Banneker

 
Columbia Heights Education Campus (CHEC)
Duke Ellington School of the Arts

 
McKinley Tech

 
Phelps Architecture, Construction, and Engineering
 
School
Without
Walls
Minimum
GPA
Minimum 3.0 GPA None None Minimum 2.75 GPA in 4 Core Classes (English, Math, Science, Social Studies); 3.0 Preferred Minimum 2.4 GPA Minimum 3.0 GPA in core subjects
Minimum Standardized
Test
Requirements
Score of “met” or “exceeded expectations” in both math and reading on the PARCC exam or any standardized test None None Score of “met” or “exceeded expectations” in both math and reading on the PARCC exam or any state standardized test

Score of “met” or “exceeded expectations” in both math and reading on any standardized test

 

Attendance rate of 95% or higher

N/A
Essay Yes No essay; however, a student interest survey is required Yes Yes Yes No
Essay
Question
Discuss why you wish to attend Benjamin Banneker Academic High School. N/A
Essay 1: Please write a paragraph explaining why this art (selected in the application) is important to you - and what role art plays in your life.​
 
Essay 2: Most applicants audition for a single arts area, however you may also request an audition for a 2nd arts area. Please write a paragraph explaining why this art (selected in the application) is important to you - and what role art plays in your life.​
At the current moment what matters most to you and why? (Directions: You should select something of substance that you can speak to if you are selected to interview) Describe and evaluate one experience that significantly influenced your academic interests in Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School N/A
Essay
Character
Limit
Word count: 250 words; Character limit: 5,000 N/A Character limit: 2,000 per essay 300 words or less. Essays should be AT LEAST 2 paragraphs long. Character limit: 5,000 Character limit: 5,000 N/A
Admissions Process
Application review;
Family interview
Application review (including attendance/ tardies & grades);
Individual interview
Application review; Audition; Admissions test; Family interview Application review; Interview Application review;
Family interview
Application review; Admissions test; Student & Parent interview
Recommendations English teacher;
Math teacher;
Counselor;
Principal
English teacher, 
Math teacher, 
Counselor
English teacher;
Math teacher;
Art teacher
(or other)
English teacher;
Math teacher;
Counselor
English teacher;
Math teacher
None
Grades
Accepting Applications
9th - 10th 9th - 12th 9th - 12th 9th - 11th 9th - 11th 9th - 12th