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Philadelphia, PA 19130
2017-18 Charter School Applications
2017-18 Charter School Applications
Enrolling in Philadelphia Charter Schools – Quick Facts and Information
Dear Parents, Guardians and Students:
The following document provides information on the enrollment process for charter schools in the City of Philadelphia. Charter schools are public schools that are supported by local, state and federal taxpayers. All Philadelphia charter schools (except the cyber charter schools) are authorized by the School District of Philadelphia.
Anyone who lives in the state of Pennsylvania is eligible to enroll in charter schools. Charter schools located within Philadelphia must give students living in Philadelphia first preference. The law provides protections to ensure that charter enrollment processes are equitable and non-discriminatory. Charter schools must admit students without consideration of the student’s intellectual ability, athletic ability, test or placement scores, special education status, or ability to speak English.
Every year, each charter school in Philadelphia creates an application for new students and announces a deadline to receive applications for available seats in the upcoming year. Many Philadelphia charter schools also participate in the “common application” – participating charter schools will accept either the common application or their school-specific application. While each school is permitted to establish its own timeline, most charter schools in Philadelphia announce application deadlines in January, February and March.
If the school receives more applications than the number of seats available in a particular grade, it must offer its spaces through a random selection process. Charter schools lotteries are conducted at random, but can also use certain preferences required or allowed by charter law:
1. All Philadelphia charter schools must offer a first preference to residents of the city of Philadelphia;
2. Some charter schools are required to provide a preference to students who reside in a certain neighborhood (sometimes these are called “catchment areas”);
3. Some charter schools to provide a preference to students who previously attended another school (sometimes these are called “feeder patterns”);
4. Some charter schools offer a preference to siblings of students currently enrolled in the charter school;
5. Some charter schools offer a preference to children of parents/guardians who actively participated in the development of the charter school; and
6. One Philadelphia charter school, Youthbuild Philadelphia Charter School, has special preferences for its program for overage students.
If a child is selected in the charter school lottery, the school will contact parents/guardians with directions on how to enroll their child in the school. Charter schools may only request the following five documents to confirm enrollment of your child*:
1. Proof of the child’s age (cannot limit to birth certificate)
2. Immunizations required by law
3. Proof of residency
4. Parent Registration Statement (a statement about previous suspensions or expulsions involving drugs, alcohol, weapons, and infliction or violence on school property)
5. Home Language Survey
*Note: a charter school may request additional information, but not providing additional information cannot be a cause for denial of enrollment. In addition, a charter school cannot request for enrollment or residency proof a social security number or card, a student or parent visa, or the reason a student does not live with the natural parents.
The best way to get more information on a charter school’s application timeline and enrollment requirements is to contact the school directly. You can find a directory of Philadelphia charter schools here.
For the charter schools that also participate in the Philadelphia Charter School Common Application – you can find instructions for that application at Great Philly Schools.
If you have any questions about charter school enrollment or have concerns about the policy or practice of a current Philadelphia charter school, please contact the School District of Philadelphia’s Charter Schools Office at 215-400- 4090.
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Phone: 215-400-4090 Fax: 215-400-4091