FAQs about APPS

Frequently Asked Questions about the Advanced Placement Power Scholars Program

Program Questions:

How many students are admitted?

Currently, a freshman APPS class consists of about 105 students.

Can my child take a class other than National State and Local Government (NSL) in the first year?

No. Students have a better chance to succeed in AP NSL than in some other AP classes where it is a good idea to have a preparatory class before taking AP level, for example Honors Biology followed by AP Biology.

Can my child take more than one AP class in the freshman year?

Yes. Though this is a very individual choice. Students who have been strong Algebra students may also want to take AP Physics I as a freshman.We would like students to be successful; often that means focusing on one AP class and learning how to handle the workload.

Does Clarksburg have any interesting programs or competitions?

We have a full range of sports and clubs at our school. We have a robotics team, a debate team, public speaking club (Forensics), a Democracy in Action Club and a Pre Med Club (both started by APPS students), and have been an MIT Invent Team to name just a few. We have also started a Health Rehabilitative Sciences and Pharmacy Pathway of classes for students interested in medicine and health fields. We have outside internships available to students in the senior year.

Can my child be accepted into the program after grade 9?

It is discouraged only because the 7 AP requirement still holds and this can be difficult to manage in 3 years, but we will accept applications from 10th graders. The program is not open to juniors and seniors unless they have transferred from another school.

How much time will my child spend on homework?

The average time for homework each night is about 3 hours. It is always difficult to answer this question because of the variation in student’s rate of working and their tendency for procrastination. Our program hopes to turn out well rounded students who also have time for sports, clubs, and activities as these can often be the things that differentiate “good students” from one another when applying to college.

My child is in competitive sports. Will they have enough time to study and do their sports in APPS program?

This is a question best answered by you and your child. The APPS program works on a regular school day, so students have more time for sports, clubs and other extra curricular activities. Your child will need to balance these commitments to something that works for them.

What is the difference between APPS and magnet programs?

Magnet programs pull students from all areas of the County while Clarksburg HS pulls students only from the Clarksburg High School boundaries. Magnets usually have a set path of study across disciplines and APPS is a program that offers flexibility in scheduling of classes as the student progresses. IB  requires a research based essay of 4,000 words and 150 hours of community service which they call CAS (Community Action Service). A CHS student has the opportunity to do an Internship or take Concurrent Enrollment classes (classes with Montgomery College or Universities at Shady Grove) in the APPS program – but these are opportunities, not mandatory, giving the student some flexibility. APPS also consists of a “regular” school day, affording the student more time for sports, clubs, or other extracurricular activities.

How does the APPS program work with the Internship or Concurrent Enrollment Programs?

These are not mutually exclusive. All of these programs are available to students in their Junior and/or Senior years. A student can take a class at a local college to fulfill APPS AP requirements. Internships may be able to fill an AP class requirement but the internship must be as rigorous as taking a college level class. Internships that may qualify would be those offered at NIH, NCI, Johns Hopkins Aspire or similar.

  • The Internship Program consist of a student having a work experience in a field they are interested in studying for  two, or three periods of their senior year.
  • The Dual Enrollment Program allows a student to take an actual college course on-campus or online at local colleges including Montgomery College. All of these classes can be used to meet the requirements of the APPS program.

How many students are in the program?

Currently, 516.

Do you go out to Middle Schools to recruit?

Yes. We go to Roberto Clemente, Neelsville and Rocky Hill, our feeder schools during the open season of registration to talk with students about the program. Our schedule for this outreach is included in our timeline.

Can you get in the program if you live outside the Clarksburg HS school district?

No. You must be a student living in the Clarksburg HS boundaries to be accepted into the APPS program.

Application Questions:

How do you apply to the program?

The open season of the program runs from October 1 to the first day of Winter Break  each school year. You need to fill out an application which is available on this website.

Do I have to take a test?

No. Admission is determined on transcripts, attendance, extra-curricular activity, teacher recommendations and writing sample.

Can I use the teacher recommendations from other programs such as Poolesville HS or Richard Montgomery HS?

Yes. We have aligned our recommendation forms to coordinate with these programs. We ask for 3 recommendations from content area teachers (English, Social Studies, Math, World Language or Science).

How do you register for classes for freshman year if you don’t know if you got in?

We have moved up our deadlines to earlier in the year to circumvent this issue. However, if registration does occur, you would register as if the program did not exist. We will make the section changes upon admission. If your child would not normally be entering honors classes, they were probably not a candidate for the APPS program.

What selection criterion is used?

The selection committee of 5 staff members review the applications. A rubric is used to award scores in each application category. Each folder is reviewed by two members of the committee and scores are averaged. A list of admitted students is established from the applications all students who apply and meet the program admission rubric score.

When are students notified?

Students are notified of decisions (admitted, not admitted) by mid–February.

If you have additional questions about the APPS program  submit them below or contact Sarah_L_Costlow@mcpsmd.org


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