Application Process

(Now Accepting Student Applications for the 2017-2018 School Year !)


The Johnston County Lab School does not limit admission to students on the basis of disability, race, creed, gender, national origin, or ancestry. The "Lab" is a place for ALL students!

Any student attending one of the following schools in 5th grade during 2016-2017 school year may apply to JCLS: Benson Middle (5th), Four Oaks Elementary, Selma Middle (5th), Micro Elementary, Pine Level Elementary, Glendale-Kenly Elementary, South Smithfield Elementary, West Smithfield Elementary, or Wilson’s Mills Elementary.

There will not be a random lottery for student selection. Students will be strategically selected based on their fit for JCLS using information provided on their applications. We intend to select 100 students for the 2017-2018 school year. Students who are most appropriate for JCLS may have some of the following characteristics (none alone are a requirement; we look for fit and assess the whole child):

      • May be the first member in their family to attend college
      • Have historically performed in the academic "middle" (average grades/test scores)
      • Has college potential with support
      • Be of ethnicity that is historically underrepresented in many colleges/universities
      • Has the desire and individual determination to work hard and succeed
      • Has behavior in and out of the classroom that supports success (suspensions do not disqualify a student from consideration)
      • May have special circumstances/obstacles
      • May have special interests or talents (academic or non-academic)
      • Desires to work with others and will show up to school (attendance)
      • Desires to have an amazing middle school experience by joining a learning family
      • Wants the chance to show off their abilities to learn in innovative ways to large audiences in Johnston County and beyond!!!

The criteria for JCLS students are very similar to the criteria for the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program.

Enrollment Process

During each period of enrollment, the JCLS Lab School will accept applications for new students. Once enrolled, students are not required to enroll in subsequent enrollment periods (years). In order to properly plan, the school will routinely inquire of parents in early Spring through letters of intent to ascertain if students will return to JCLS the following year. Applications for new students are available in hard copy or by clicking the Apply Now button on this page. Applications are considered to be received if postmarked, faxed, or hand delivered by the specified deadline. A representative of the JCLS will notify parents/guardians that their application has been received. Applications are now being accepted. During the application period, the School shall consider student applications and may reach out to parents and their students for interviews to determine their student's fit for the school. Once accepted to JCLS, parents may enroll an eligible student at the school. If the number of applications exceeds the number of available spaces, student information may be kept for the school year and students will be placed on a wait list. Current year waiting lists dissolve when the next enrollment period begins. Parents will be notified in writing at the address provided on the application of their student’s selection for the lab school and/or wait list status. Parents will have 10 calendar days to enroll their student in the lab school once notified of acceptance. On the 11th calendar day, if enrollment has not been confirmed, the next name from the wait-list will be selected to fill the slot.

Other Admissions Policies

Siblings: A sibling is defined as a biological, adoptive, foster or step brother or sister of a student attending JCLS.

Sibling Preference: JCLS does not offer preference for sibling admission, but this policy is subject to change. We would hope that siblings are able to attend JCLS together but cannot guarantee it. Sibling preference for admission after the initial year of operation may be entertained, provided the sibling is deemed a good fit for the school based on the eligibility criteria.

JCLS Employee/JCPS Employee Preference: Preference may be given for admission to the lab school for children of JCLS employees and Johnston County Public School parents. However, student fit will still be determined based on the criteria.

The Innovation Academy at South Campus

521 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr, Smithfield, NC 27577