Soaring high, students can earn their pilot’s license through Magruder High School’s Aviation and Aerospace program

Heather Jauquet

High School Application open now for MCPS programs
Your 8th grader can learn how to fly through Magruder High School's Aviation and Aerospace programKristopher Allison/Unsplash

Montgomery County Public Schools has opened the application window for the county’s specialized high school programs. Interested and eligible 8th graders are encouraged to look through the catalog of available programs and apply now. The online application window is open from October 7 through November 4 through ParentVue.

Montgomery County offers several interest-based high school programs. At Magruder High School, students accepted into the Aviation and Aerospace program will focus on studying flight and aircraft systems. Students have the opportunity to:

  • earn a private pilot license
  • earn a remote pilot certificate
  • earn college credit.

Beginning in grade 9, students can choose one of two pathways: The Pilot Pathway or the Unmanned Aircraft System. Either pathway will include flying experience using the Redbird TD2 flight simulators.

Through the Pilot Pathway, students can work towards earning a private pilot’s license. Students learn safety, aerodynamics, aircraft systems, instrumentation, flight physiology, and flight planning.

Students can earn a remote pilot certificate in the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Pathway. Students learn how drones are used in security, search and rescue, and disaster management operations. Students also learn drone design, maintenance programming, and systems automation.

Who can apply?

Magruder’s Aviation and Aerospace Program application is open to all Grade 8 Montgomery County residents. However, transportation is only provided for students who live in the following high school clusters:

  • Gaithersburg
  • Magruder
  • Rockville
  • Sherwood

While any Montgomery County 8th grader can apply to the program, the selection is lottery based. Acceptance and enrollment to any program are on the condition that the student is eligible for the program based on address. Every MCPS 8th grade has received an eligibility letter. Parents can read the letter under the documents tab in ParentVue. There are no academic requirements to apply, but students are strongly encouraged to consider their math skills. Taking Algebra 1 or higher in middle school is recommended but not required for entrance into the program.

The Magruder High School Aviation and Aerospace Program is one of the career readiness programs offered through MCPS. The upper-level courses will prepare students for post-secondary education, Federal Aviation Administration certification exams, and careers in the aviation and aerospace industry. The program is offered in connection with the Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association (AOPA)

Students can earn college credit, and Magruder High School has an articulation agreement with the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and the Community College of Baltimore County.

Magruder is hosting an in-person informational session on Thursday, October 13, 2022 at 5:30pm.

More information can be found on the MCPS webpage.

Interested in the difference between the interest-based and criterion-based MCPS high school programs? Check out this article: Is your 8th grader ready for high school? Get ahead and apply now for MCPS specialized programs.

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Certified educator K-12 and Reading Specialist with a focus on the adolescent brain. I write about how educational decisions affect parents, students, and staff. As an educator and parent I also focus on community events for the whole family.


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