The admissions process is designed to identify students with a strong interest and desire to pursue advanced studies in government and international studies. The process seeks to include a pool of culturally diverse applicants which reflects the demographics of the school divisions. Local and regional selection committees are provided with a variety of information to identify students who have the potential for success at Maggie L. Walker Governor's School.
Except in cases where extenuating circumstances exist, applications are accepted only from students during their eighth grade year of school. All applicants residing in a participating school district must meet the application deadline in December of each year to be considered for admission. If a new student moves into a participating school division between the deadline and the beginning of the fall semester, the student may submit an application and be placed on the waiting list if the student meets the qualifications.
The selection process is highly competitive. More than 1200 eighth grade students apply each year for admission. Maggie L. Walker Governor's School will only accept full-time students who have met the regional requirements for admission.
Applicants must be enrolled in Algebra I or higher-level mathematics course when they apply, and they will be required to have successfully completed Algebra I for high school credit prior to enrollment.
If offered during the middle school years, it is highly recommended that entering ninth graders have completed the following courses:
Information Forums are held at Maggie L. Walker Governor's School in the Fall where prospective students and parents may come meet teachers and students, ask questions, tour the building and receive an overview of the program and extracurricular activities offered at Maggie L. Walker.
Students who meet the following criteria are eligible to apply:
Applications are available in Mid-October. Public school students who are interested in becoming applicants from their local school division must request applications from their middle school counseling department. Private and home-schooled student application contact persons vary by locality. Upon receipt of the completed application, the contact person will forward it to the local division’s gifted program administrator.
Basic student information is requested on the first page of the application.
Recommendations (limited to two recommendations)
Each student will solicit two recommendations to support his/her application. One of the recommendations must be from a middle school social studies or international language teacher. The other recommendation may be from a middle school teacher or another adult who knows the student's ability and potential for success. Parents and other relatives may not submit letters of recommendation. Persons completing recommendations must submit them to the school counselor no later than the deadline in early December.
The school will provide a transcript of second semester, seventh grade and the first semester of eighth grade work. Standardized test data must be included. Evaluation of the transcript will include the grade point average (GPA) of the core subjects and rigor. Rigor is a comparison of the courses listed on the applicant's transcript with the most challenging courses offered in the local public middle school.
Each student is required to attend a regional testing session. The student will complete standardized ability and achievement tests, and a written essay based on a topic provided on the test day.
Students must submit their application to their counselor no later than the deadline in early December. Persons completing recommendations must submit them to the school counselor* no later than the deadline in early December. The counselor must forward application packets, which include the student's application and the two recommendations, to the local school district's gifted program administrator. The gifted program administrator will submit application data (public and private) to the Maggie L. Walker Governor's School Coordinator of Admissions. No additional information from the student or parent may be added to the students application after it has been submitted.
Each student is required to attend a regional testing session. Only students with a valid application submitted by the gifted program administrators will be allowed to participate in testing. The assessment will include standardized ability and achievement tests, and a writing sample which will be scored on three criteria: composing, written expression and usage/mechanics.
Note: In emergency or extenuating circumstances a make-up session is available. Pre-approval is required. Please submit a request to the gifted program administrator in the home school division.
A regional committee composed of members from each participating school division will evaluate all applications. The standardized tests and writing sample are evaluated by trained personnel. The other items are scored by experienced and trained teams of evaluators. A profile including assessment results will be created for each applicant.
Following a review of the student applications/profiles, the MLWGS Planning Committee will establish the regional minimum composite score required for admissions eligibility.
Each participating local school division will select students to attend MLWGS based on the regional evaluation of applicants and the number of available slots for the school division. The number of slots for each division is primarily determined by the number of seniors graduating from that division. Each school division will also set up an alternate list for slots that open after the initial selection. For students with alternate status, each school division reserves the right to review a student’s current transcript before offering admission.
All applicants who complete the admissions process will receive a letter of decision from their local division superintendent. Letters will be placed in the mail in mid-March. No information from the evaluation process will be available before this date. Students offered admission to Maggie L. Walker Governor's School will be invited to "shadow" at the school and be given a due date to accept or decline the invitation.
New students will register for courses at the Maggie L. Walker Governor's School New Student Registration on an evening in May.
Parents/guardians who have initial questions regarding the admissions decision shall contact their local division Planning Committee member. If an understanding cannot be reached, the parents/guardians may initiate an appeal of the admissions decision by submitting a written request to the Gifted Program Administrator in their home school division within 10 school days from the date on the letter of decision received from the division superintendent. The request of the parents/guardians should include specific concerns related to the application process that they would like to have considered in the review. The Gifted Program Administrator will refer the appealed case to the Coordinator of Admissions and the Regional Appeals Committee.
The Regional Appeals Committee is composed of at least three members from the participating school divisions not involved in the appeal. This committee reviews all pertinent information (submitted by the application deadline) that is used in determining student admission. Appeals are heard within 20 school days of the receipt of the written request. The finding of the Regional Appeals Committee will be submitted to the division superintendent or designee who will notify the parents/guardians within 10 school days of the final decision.
Students who establish residence in a participating school division during the second semester of eighth grade may apply and be tested during the summer. The application due date is prior to testing.
General public information about the admissions process for Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School for Government and International Studies is found on this web page. For specific questions, please refer to the Admissions Handbook received with the application. For unique questions, you may contact the office of the gifted program administrator from the public school division in which you reside.