Frequently Asked Questions

What is the GIS Academy?

The GIS Academy is a special program for highly able students, grades 9-12,  with a concentration in the humanities and international relations. These students share a passion for history, literature, languages, and communication. 

Where will the GIS Academy be housed?

Leonardtown High School

Who attends the GIS Academy?

Any student can apply, but there are criteria to select students who are most likely to succeed in this specialized program. Each grade level cohort has a maximum capacity of 48 students.

What is the structure of the academic day? How does this program differ from the regular high school program of studies? 

The daily schedule is not vastly different from the existing schedule and structure at your assigned high school. The significant difference is the daily, rigorous content and the stringent emphasis on history, languages, and communication. GIS students should be lifelong readers and writers. There is a specific set of GIS courses that are taken at each grade level, and just like all students, GIS students will be scheduled into other electives as their schedules permit.

Will transportation be provided?

Yes, bus transportation will be provided. Students will be transported from hub stops to and from LHS each day. Detailed transportation information will not be fully available until students are selected and enrolled into the GIS Academy. After finalizing the acceptance lists, we will provide you with a transportation plan. Parents may also choose to transport their children to and from the GIS Academy if that is more convenient.

What technology will my child have access to on a regular basis?

Global and International Studies classrooms will be equipped with state of the art technology including SMART technology, laptop computers,  and desktops. In addition, GIS students are issued an iPad to use for their Academy studies and their Capstone research and development. 

What is our family commitment to the GIS Academy?

As long as your child is making satisfactory progress in the GIS Academy, and maintaining a 3.0 GPA, your family commitment is for one school year at a time.

When will the selection of students for GIS be made?

Applications will be open online in late February or early March. Students and their families will be notified by early May. At that point, there will be more information and specific orientation nights, transportation information, opportunities to meet the teacher(s), etc. available to accepted students. For students not admitted to the program, they will remain on the waitlist.

What about school-based extracurricular activities such as sports, dances, intramurals, clubs, and civic/service groups?

GIS students may participate in any extracurricular event taking place at Leonardtown High School.

Are special education students eligible to apply to the GIS program?

Yes, all students are eligible to apply to the GIS Academy.

Who should I contact if I have additional questions about the GIS Academy programs?

Please contact Ms. Denise Mandis at ddmandis@smcps.org if you have additional questions.