Admission, Enrollment and Withdrawal Information 2012-2013
The mission of the LCPS Academy of Science is to provide an academic environment where students are encouraged to develop creative scientific endeavors of their own design, while having the opportunity to pursue a rich, well-rounded high school experience. A student at the Academy of Science (AOS) will acquire skills to ask sophisticated scientific questions and conduct research and experimentation, to explore the interconnections between the sciences, math, and the humanities, to read, write, and communicate at a level that is required of university students, and to develop perspectives to assess the impact of scientific advancements on society.
The cornerstone of science preparation is a ninth/tenth grade integrated science program, which blends the physical sciences of physics, chemistry and earth science into a seamless, inquiry based lab course in preparation for AP coursework. The goal of the lab program is student designed investigations coupled to an in-depth writing/scoring rubric. In addition, sophomores begin instruction in basic research technique to be followed by two years of research in a topic of their choosing. The Math program offers courses from Algebra and Trigonometry through Multivariable Mathematics. All courses have a heavy component of statistics and modeling and are taught in terms of practical application in order to coincide with the science program.
AOS students are selected through an application process. Rising ninth grade students are invited to attend after a competitive process that evaluates test scores, academic achievements, writing samples, teacher recommendations, and self-reported interests and activities. Student motivation and interest in science are the most valuable characteristics of AOS students. Highly motivated students who are consistent, dedicated learners have the greatest chance of success.
Accepted students are required to enroll as full-time students in Loudoun County Public Schools. Students will attend AOS on alternating days, with the opposite day being spent at their home high school. Students take required science and math courses at the AOS and all other courses at their home school.
At a minimum, students must be enrolled in Algebra I during Grade 8 to be considered for admission to the AOS. Geometry is also highly recommended; however, it may be completed during summer school prior to Grade 9 or 10.
Students planning on the AOS should work closely with their counselors to develop a “Plan of Studies” which allows them to complete graduation requirements and plan for electives. Possible scheduling conflicts may necessitate the need to choose among options. Selecting a foreign language, such as Spanish, where many sections of advanced levels are offered will help to reduce scheduling conflicts. Singleton electives may be impossible for AOS students to schedule at the home school every year. Some AOS students may not be able to enroll in every elective desired at the home school.
Admission to the AOS is for entry at the beginning of grade nine; students are expected to maintain a minimum overall grade point average of 3.0. Students sign an admissions agreement at the time of application which details other requirements and expectations. Students may consider withdrawal from the AOS during their high school tenure; however such movement may present difficulty in meeting diploma requirements for high school graduation unless the appropriate withdrawal procedures are followed. The initial point of contact for students and/or parents considering withdrawal from the AOS is the AOS Guidance Director. The withdrawal process includes a mandatory meeting for the student and his or her parent(s) with the Academy Director and the AOS Guidance Director. Schedule changes should not be made until a recommendation regarding the student's withdrawal from AOS has been made by the Director of AOS and forwarded to the principal and the guidance director at the student’s home high school.
Interested students should visit the AOS homepage for the most current information concerning the application process (www.lcps.org/aos). District-wide information sessions and open house programs for prospective students are held in prior to the application deadline.
The LCPS AOS, located at
Details about the Virginia Standards of Learning, Advanced Placement, and graduation requirements are located in the Loudoun County Public Schools High School Program of Studies, a publication available from middle and high school counselors.
Any questions about AOS and the application process should be directed to the