Before you begin:

  • The online application is only available to current HCPS eighth-grade students.
  • All parents or guardians must complete an online Parent Authorization and Waiver Form, accessible through the PowerSchool Parent Portal starting Nov. 10. The window to submit this form will close at 4 p.m. on Jan. 14.
  • The form is located under the menu on the left: “Specialty Center” (star icon). 
  • Once the permission form has been submitted, your student will have access to the application within 24 hours after the application window begins Nov. 16.

For more information regarding HCPS specialty centers and the application process, click the Specialty Center button.

Read all directions
before beginning the application. 

Application window opens Nov. 16, 2020

Application window closes Jan. 15, 2021 

Apply online at

Download PDF

Student Application Directions:

  1. The “Parent Authorization and Waiver Form” is required. Twenty-four hours after a parent or guardian submits the form during the application window (Nov. 16, 2020-Jan. 15, 2021), students can access the online application at to begin the application.
  2. Click the “Specialty Center Online Application” link and use your HCPS credentials to log in. Note: PowerSchool Parent Portal credentials will not allow access to the application.
  3. Review the Home tab. It contains important information.
  4. Once you are ready to begin, select the “Create Application” button.
  5. Take a moment to verify that your personal information is correct. If you see any errors, please report them to your school counseling office before you proceed with the application. This may require you to log out and return the application on another day.
  6. Select specialty centers: From this page, select all centers that you would like to include in your application for consideration. Once this is complete click the “Process Selections” button.
  7. Enter activities: Enter an activity name, hours per week, grade levels of participation and the description for each activity you wish to include. Each time you save an activity, the activity will show up at the bottom of that page. Once you have completed all activity entries, click on the “Finish Activities” button (top right). Note: You must include at least one activity but no more than five.
  8. Teacher recommendations: Select two teachers from your school to request recommendations. One of the teachers you select should be from a core subject area (math, English, science or history). Each time you select a teacher, save your application. Once you have made two selections, click once on the “Complete Recommendations” button.
  9. If you applied to the Center for the Arts (dance, music, theatre and/or visual arts) under the “Select Specialty Centers” tab, you will need to select an audition session. Click once on the blue “Edit” button next to the center to select an audition session. Once you have selected the audition session, click once on the “Apply Changes” button.
  10. Review your activities, specialty center selections, audition selections (if applicable) and teacher recommendation selections before you select the “Finalize Application” button, r Note: At this point you can still make changes by clicking on the tabs.
  11. Project page: Once you select “Finalize Application” and then “Continue,” you will be directed to the project page. If the center to which you are applying requires a project, you will see the information on this page. Print this page and complete all projects. Another option is to use the snipping tool to snip and save.
  12. Confirmation: An email will be generated to your “Contact 1” and “Contact 2” on file in PowerSchool, confirming that the application has been received and is being processed. The contacts are reminded to follow up with their student to ensure they complete any required projects or attend any mandatory events.
  13. Click on the “Application Summary” tab to review or print a summary of your submission.
  14. You may return to the application during the application window to review the applicant summary and completed projects. If you wish to change your application, see your counselor.
  15. Once the application window closes, you will no longer be able to see this information.
  16. Project Dropbox: Students will need to drop their required projects into the Schoology course called “Specialty Center Writing Samples and Projects.” (Example: “Brookland MS Specialty Center Writing Samples.”)

Please note: This application is a different process from the Maggie Walker Governor’s School application or the ACE Centers application. Each application process must be completed in its entirety and considered a separate application process.