8th to 9th Grade Transition

Information is beginning to come in regarding the registration process for the 2022/2023 school year. 

Dates to be aware of:

  • Academy Open Houses begin November 11th. A full list of dates for 9th grade academies can be found here. For more information on the academies, please see this video
  • December 1st: Academy/Murray Applications are now live. To sign up for the lottery, please use this form.
  • December 3rd: Zoom meeting for 8th grade families regarding transition to AHS
  • December 7th: Parent Portal opens for selection of AHS classes and AHS Curriculum Showcase
  • January 4th: Parent Portal/class registration closes. 
  • January 4th: February 12th: Individual family meetings to discuss 9th grade classes/transition to high school. 
  • January 29th: Academy interest forms due.
  • February 5th: Students selected for academies notified
  • Late March: Summer School registration usually begins (applies to those interested in Summer health and PE).

Information will be updated and posted here regarding the registration process for 2022/2023. Please check back regularly as new information will be added as it becomes available.

Sign up for a meeting with a SMS School Counselor:

Throughout the month of January, we will offer 30 minute meetings for all families to discuss their child's course selection and transition to high school. Please see the Sign-up Genius below for your child to meet with a school counselor on Zoom. 

Parent Portal Access:

Parent Portal will open for students and parents on December 7th, 2020 and will remain open until January 4th, 2021. Students and families will have one month to register for all classes. All students will select their courses, as well as alternative electives, at this time.

Starting in January, counselors will meet with all 8th grade students and families to review the courses selected for AHS, create a plan for graduation, and answer questions about high school. A sign-up genius will be sent out for meeting dates.

Courses will be finalized in February. Students will not be able to make changes to their course requests for 9th grade by the end of April. As of the end of the year, any questions regarding 9th grade courses should be directed to the AHS Counseling Office.

Selecting Classes:

9th graders at all high schools will take 8 classes. Freshman Seminar is a required course and will be auto-populated by the high school. Students will select seven classes for their freshman year: English, Math, History, Science, Health and PE I, and two electives or an elective and World Language.

Because students may have at most two electives, we ask that students select a few alternates on ParentPortal during the registration window. Many freshmen do not receive their first choice electives, so it is important to review the Program of Studies to select a few back-up choices.

To learn more about classes, please look at The Program Of Studies. For more help on how to use the Program of Studies, please see this video.

Parent/Student/Counselor Meetings:

Throughout the months of January and February, families and students will meet with a counselor to discuss course selections, alternative electives, and make any course selection changes after the ParentPortal window closes. We will also review a four-year plan that will follow your child to the high school as a tentative road map to graduation at the end of 12th grade year. Parents/Family are not required to attend these meetings, but are encouraged to come.

It is important to note we will register all rising 9th grade students as if they were a typical AHS 9th grade student. Meaning, if a student is applying to any of the specialty programs (listed below) we will not know about their acceptance until February. Thus, we register all students as if they are not in a program. If a student is selected for MESA or any other program, the high school will change the student's schedule appropriately upon acceptance.

Denial of Credit Letters: At the end of the current school year, any student who took a high school credit class will receive a Denial of Credit letter. These letters will list all high school credits received in middle school (Spanish I, French I, Algebra I, and/or Geometry) and the grades received for each class. Before entering high school, rising 9th graders can opt to deny the credit if the family was not satisfied with the grade. If a credit is denied, the grade will not show up on a high school transcript. Generally students who choose to deny a credit either repeat the course the following year or opt to take a different course in its place.

Specialized Programs/Academies

Math, Engineering, and Science Academy (AHS)

The Albemarle County Public Schools Math, Engineering & Science Academy (MESA) aims to educate a cross-section of students with a variety of interests and strengths, to infuse traditional school curricula with real world problem-solving, collaboration and inquiry-based learning, and to prepare the engineers, researchers, inventors and entrepreneurs of the 21st century.

The Pathways:

Albemarle High School has designed an academic pathway for our students: the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math Pathway. These "Pathways" will permit students to choose among fifteen areas of concentration, and in addition to course study, students will participate in internships, community service, and a capstone project related to their chosen discipline. Students wanting to complete a Pathway must complete a Declaration of Intent form and may enter the Pathway in either 9th or 10th grade.

Environmental Studies Academy (WAHS)

The Environmental Studies Academy is a four-year program designed to offer a cross curricular integrated environmental education for all learners. Curricular focus will include the following career concentrations.

  • Agricultural: Career pathway in agricultural sciences, horticulture, green materials, and sustainability. May include industry certifications.
  • Conservation: Career or educational pathway in resource management including fisheries, wildlife, forestry, land use, natural resources, ecology, and alternative energy.
  • Research: Educational pathway preparing students to pursue careers in environmental science, research, health, policy, law, physical, and earth sciences.

Murray High School

Murray High School is a Charter School for the state of Virginia, the first Glasser Quality Public High School, and a school of choice, serving 9th through 12th grade Albemarle County students. Any interested students may apply and will be considered for enrollment.

The Health and Medical Sciences Academy (MHS)

The Health and Medical Sciences Academy provides opportunities for students interested in Health Care Careers. Course curriculum is designed to prepare students for post-secondary education and the workforce. Students will engage in various learning experiences during their tenure in their academic course work.


Advancement Via Individual Determination, is a course taught at AHS dedicated to closing the achievement gap by preparing all students for college and other post-secondary opportunities. In the AVID class, students receive daily instruction and support to prepare them for college from a trained AVID elective teacher. AVID impacts students school wide as academic strategies like writing to learn, inquiry, collaboration, organizational skills, and critical reading are taught in all classes by teachers who have been trained to use AVID strategies in their specific content areas. The deadline is January 24th, 2020.