This page offers some of the options other than the typical Montgomery County Public Schools offerings. This is neither exhaustive or definitive; it is meant to jumpstart thinking outside of the box.
Early Entrance to Kindergarten and First Grade
Yes, it is possible to whole grade accelerate into Kindergarten and first grade in MCPS. Full information here, on the MCPS website
Per Maryland State Department of Education
regulations, to be eligible to enter kindergarten for the 2009-2010
school year, children must be five years of age by September 1, 2009.
Children who will turn five years old between September 2 and October
15, 2009 are eligible for consideration for the early entrance to
kindergarten process. To be recommended for early entrance to
kindergarten, children will need to demonstrate above average
performance and development in academic skills as well as
social/emotional and physical development. The standards for early
entrance are very high to ensure that students are not frustrated by
their advanced grade placement.
Regarding First Grade:
Per Maryland State Department of Education
regulations, to be eligible to enter first grade for the 2009-2010
school year, children must be six years of age by September 1, 2009.
Parents/guardians of children who wish to apply for early entrance to first grade should complete MCPS Form 271-1, Application for Early Entrance First Grade Program.
Parents/guardians should bring this form to their child's home school.
For the 2009-2010 school year, applications will be accepted from July
1, 2008 through September 4, 2009. Children who are applying for early
entrance to first grade will begin the school year in a kindergarten
classroom. Within the first six weeks of school assessments and
classroom observations will be conducted and a team of school staff
will meet to make a decision on early entrance to first grade.
Placement determinations will be finalized no later than October 15.
- Global Garden Public Charter School
- a group of parents, educators and community members working to establish Montgomery County’s first charter school. They believe that charter schools are an opportunity for Montgomery County to lead the way in public school innovation and to broaden its already exemplary provision for students.
Maryland Virtual Learning Opportunities
- The Maryland Virtual Learning Opportunities Program (MVLO), an educational service managed by the Maryland State Department of
Education, is designed to expand the access of Maryland public school
students to challenging curricula aligned to the Maryland Content
Standards as well as to other appropriate standards through the
delivery of high quality online courses.
MVLO offers online courses for high school credit in collaboration with the local school systems through the Maryland Virtual School (MVS). The teaching is conducted online with the teacher physically separated from the student.
MVS is not a school
and does not offer a complete high school diploma program online. The
credit earned by taking a MVS course is entered into the student’s
record by the local public high school or school system. Students may
take a course through MVS only with the permission of the local system
and the school principal. Credit can only be awarded for MSDE-approved
Not every school is a good match for every child. Homeschooling can be an ideal academic alternative for gifted children, because it provides an education tailored to individual intellectual, social and emotional needs. There are countless resources, such as online learning and homeschooling cooperatives that can make the prospect of homeschooling less daunting. This can get you started.
Distance Learning and Homeschooling
- MCPS Online e-Learning - Student eLearning, through the Montgomery County
Public Schools (MCPS), is a way for high school students to take online
courses outside of the traditional classroom setting. For more
information or to enroll in an online class, please see your school
- EPGY (Educational Program for Exceptional Youth) at Stanford University - EPGY's goal is to present gifted students with the opportunity to
take courses suitable to their ability. Because the EPGY courses are
computer-based, students can take advanced courses regardless of where
they live, and without leaving their normal school environment.
- EPGY Online High School - EPGY Online High School is a fully accredited, diploma granting, online
independent school situated at Stanford University. Serving grades
7-12, the EPGY OHS prepares students from around the world for success
both in life and in their future intellectual pursuits.
- Art of Problem Solving - Art of Problem Solving online classes allow top students from around the world to hone their problem solving skills. Ideal for gifted math students in grade 6-12 who seek a greater challenge in mathematics, and those students preparing for MATHCOUNTS, the AMC, or other prominent mathematics contests.
- Calvert School - Calvert courses are approved by the Maryland State Department of
- Guinevere's Gifted Group - Online G3 offers fast-paced online humanities courses for gifted students, with the understanding that younger children may be ready for middle school content
and analytical thinking, but still desire age-appropriate activities.
High School and Homeschooling
Some books to explore:
Although a GED is not a necessary component of homeschooling for high school -- completion of a homeschooling program in accordance with the state regulations is all that is necessary in the vast majority of instances -- there are special cases where a GED can be useful. For example, if you homeschool in *New York state* AND your child plans to play a sport in a Division I or Division II school. The NCAA will require the GED from these homeschoolers.
- Maryland General Educational Development (GED) Test - Eligibility to take the GED Test requires that an individual:
a. Has been a Maryland resident for at least three months at the time of testing;
b. Is at least 16 years old; and
i. Meets both of the following requirements:
1. Has not obtained a Maryland high school diploma or a high school certificate or diploma
issued by another state or non-U.S. or correspondence school; and
2. Has been officially withdrawn from a regular full-time public or private school for at least
three months at the time of testing; or
ii. Has obtained a Maryland High School Certificate of Program Completion in accordance
with COMAR 13A.03.02.09D
Local Early College Options
Some students find that they are "done" with high school earlier than the norm, for these students, early entrance college options are worth exploring. Check this Wikipedia citation
for a listing of early college programs around the country
Students younger than 16 years of age CAN take courses at Montgomery College. Most college-level classes offered for credit, whether day, evening,
or extension center
) offerings, are open to Early Placement students.
Students may register for summer, fall, and spring sessions.
From the MC website:
In order to be eligible for the Early Placement Program students will:
1. Have completed their sophomore year prior to their participation in the program.
Have an articulated plan for school and college attendance during their junior and/or senior year, which will include ALL courses required for high school graduation with time remaining in the schedule to include
3. Have an overall 3.0
grade point average at the end of their sophomore year or overall 2.75 grade point average at the end of their junior year and have the approval of their parents (or guardians), principal, and/or guidance
counselor as an early placement candidate.
Home school students must submit documentation indicating they are in compliance with state and county educational guidelines and must meet the same aforementioned requirements.
Students in a public or private high school or equivalent, who do not meet these requirements, but whose achievement in a certain field of study is clearly exceptional, surpassing the level of courses offered by the school attended may be admitted on an exceptional case-by-case
6. Students under the age of 16 must be interviewed and approved, with a parent, by the Dean of Student Development.
Students may obtain a Montgomery
College application and Early
Placement form in their high school career center. Students must
return the completed form, high school transcript, and MC application
for admission to the Office of Admissions, Records, and Registration
at the campus they wish to attend.
Assessment and Prerequisites
As with all students at Montgomery College, students in the Early Placement
Program will be required to meet all assessment and prerequisite course
requirements. MC counselors will assist you in appropriate course selections.
Tuition and Fees
A student enrolled in the Early Placement Program is considered a Montgomery
College student; therefore, he or she is subject to all Montgomery College
academic regulations, tuition, and fees.
Early Placement students are not eligible for federal financial aid.
Grants for which you may be eligible:
Maryland State Dual Enrollment Grant
Applicants for this grant and their parents must be residents of Maryland.
The grant can only be used to pay for the cost of tuition and fees
of one three credit hour course. Home-school students are not eligible
for this grant.
MC Board of Trustees High School Grant
Applicants for this grant must be Montgomery County residents. The
grant can only be used to pay for the cost of tuition and fees of
one three credit hour course. Home-school students are eligible for
College Institute Grant
Applicants for this grant must be Wootton or Gaithersburg High School
students enrolled in the MC College Institute. This grant pays for
tuition and fees, as well as a book allowance that is determined by
the Scholarship Coordinator. The maximum grant per student depends
on financial need and available funds.
more information about these financial aid programs, please contact
the Scholarship Coordinator, Montgomery College, 51 Mannakee Street,
Rockville, MD 20850.
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
- UMBC is very welcoming of early entrant students and has an informal "Young Scholars" group that offers guidance and support.
Mary Baldwin College
- PEG, the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted at Mary Baldwin College, offers an opportunity
for bright and accomplished young women to complete college during
their high school years. PEG students live in a fully supervised,
state of the art residence hall with their true peers on the beautiful
campus of Mary Baldwin College.