Application Process


Thank you for your interest in Mary G. Porter Traditional School.

At this time, the 2024-25 application period has ended.    We had a very successful application period again this year, receiving 1,366 applications! We have only 81 openings in first grade, with 44 siblings having applied. There are only 9 openings for the remaining grades, which means, unfortunately we will have a very long waiting list. The lottery will take place sometime in February. 

Applicants will receive an email in early March notifying them about the change in status to their application.  At that time, applicants will be directed back to the PWCS Specialty Program application portal to log into their Application Dashboard to check the status of their application.

Due to the overwhelming number of applications received, the vast majority of applicants will be on the waiting list for their respective grade level.  Please know that we will contact applicants if we come to your name on the waiting list. 

Please do not contact the school requesting to know the current place on the waiting list….we cannot logistically handle 1,366 phone calls requesting this information. We thank you in advance for adhering to this request.


The 2025-26 APPLICATION LINK will be posted on DECEMBER 1, 2024.


Enrollment at Porter Traditional School is limited, if the number of applications received exceeds enrollment capacity, a lottery is used to select students for current openings. The lottery will be conducted in February.

Parents are notified of results, via the PWCS Specialty Program Application portal, at the end of February.  Families receive an email directing them to sign back into the application portal to view the lottery results. 

Any student not pulled in the lottery is placed on the waiting list (by grade)

We continue to pull from the waiting list until September 30. The waiting list becomes void after September 30. If a student is not pulled from the waiting list, then he/she will have to re-apply the following year.


If a student does not meet the PWCS Age of Entrance for Kindergarten: age 5 by September 30 of that school year, and he/she is attending a private school for Kindergarten, in order to advance to 1st grade at a PWCS school, the private school MUST BE ACCREDITED by the Virginia Council for Private Education (VCPE) and/or the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). You may go to VCPE.ORG and/or to check if a private school is accredited.

**per REGULATION 723-1:"...A child who has not attended kindergarten but meets the age requirements for first grade may be admitted to first grade. After appropriate informal and/or formal observation and assessment, the principal, with the consent of the parents, may recommend alternative placement."

Additionally, "...Instruction in the home of a child or children by the parent/guardian or other person having control or charge of the child or children shall not be classified as an accredited kindergarten program. ."


Students residing in the eastern part of Prince William County are eligible to apply to Porter Traditional School. If your child's base (neighborhood) school is listed below, you may apply:


Antietam Ashland Bel Air Belmont Covington-Harper
Dale City Dumfries Enterprise Featherstone Fitzgerald
Henderson Jenkinds Kerrydale Kilby King
Lake Ridge Leesylvania Marumsco Hills McAuliffe Minnieville
Montclair Neabsco Occoquan Old Bridge Pattie
Potomac View River Oaks Rockledge Rose Parks Springwoods
Swans Creek Triangle Vaughn Westridge Williams