Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Neighborhood School?
A neighborhood school has an attendance boundary which gives admission priority to those students who live within that particular boundary. Students who live within the attendance boundary of a school do not need to submit an application to apply to that school. However, parents must be able to provide appropriate proof of residency for enrollment. Students who live outside of the neighborhood attendance boundary are required submit an application in order to be considered for acceptance.
What is a City Wide School?
These schools do not have a neighborhood attendance boundary and all students must submit an application to attend, no matter where they live. These are magnet schools offering specialized courses or area of study that may concentrate on academics, career or technical programs. Admission to citywide admission high schools is based upon some elements of competitive entrance requirements, space availability and selection by computerize lottery. Admission to citywide admission elementary or middle schools is based upon space availability and selection by computerize lottery.
What is a Special Admission School?
These schools do not have a neighborhood attendance boundary and all students must submit an application to attend, no matter where they live. Special Admission schools are “magnet schools” which offer a rigorous, enriched curriculum and may concentrate on a particular discipline or area of study, such as mathematics, natural sciences, engineering, humanities; social sciences, or fine and performing arts. They have competitive entrance requirements related to attendance, punctuality, behavior, grades and standardized test scores. These schools select and approve for admission those students who best meet its admission criteria. Parents/students should review the set of admission criteria for each school and the student’s scholastic record prior to applying.
How do I apply for a school of my choice?
The School District of Philadelphia's School Selection Process begins October 1, 2015. The deadline for applications is 5:00 PM on November 13, 2015. Click here to accesses the online application and to reveiw additional information about the process.
How are students selected for admission?
Neighborhood Schools— For students who live outside a school’s attendance area, admission is based upon space availability and selection is made by computerized lottery.
Citywide Admission Schools—Admission into Elementary/Middle School is based upon space availability and selection by the computerized lottery. For High School admission, students who are eligible for the lottery must meet competitive entrance requirements (attendance, punctuality, behavior, and grades). The computerized lottery will then complete the process until all spaces are filled.
Special Admission Schools—These schools have competitive entrance requirements based on attendance, punctuality, behavior, grades and standardized test scores. Each school’s admissions review team select and approve students who best meet its admissions criteria.
What school will my child attend if he/she is not selected for admission at any of the requested schools?
If your child is not selected, he/she will remain at the current school. Students who are in exiting grades will be assigned to the feeder/neighborhood school.
Are Students Guaranteed Admission into one of the Schools Listed on Their Application?
ALL APPLICANTS MAY NOT BE ADMITTED DUE TO SPACE LIMITATIONS because of the great number of students who apply. However, to be considered for admission, the parent must complete and submit the appropriate application within the specified time frame.
What is the policy regarding transferring siblings to the same school?Because of the limited number of spaces available and the enormous amount of requests for sibling preference, there is no guarantee that siblings will be placed in the same school.
Preference is given to elementary school transfer requests for siblings of a student who is currently enrolled in the requested school (children living in the same household). This is done only if there is available space in the appropriate grade at the requested school. A sibling lottery is conducted to select siblings until all available seats are filled.
Returning to My Neighborhood School
Parents are encouraged to maintain their child in the school to which they have transferred. However, if it becomes necessary for a child to return to the neighborhood school, their current school will recommend the childs’ return for the following school year.
STUDENTS ARE ONLY PERMITTED TO TRANSFER TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOLS WHICH SERVES THEIR ATTENDANCE BOUNDARY OR AS AN OPT-OUT OPTION FOR A RENAISSANCE CHARTER SCHOOL!
The Neighborhood attendance boundary is determined by the legal address of the parent or legal guardian.
Will my child receive transportation if approved through the Elementary/Middle or High School Selection Process?
The School District of Philadelphia is continuing to adjust our services and programs in response to significant reductions in state funding for K-12 education. Beginning in September 2006, several budget decisions resulted in changes to the student transfer transportation practices. Students eligible for free transportation has been categorized in the following ways:
1. Students (grades K-5) who are selected and approved for transfer through the school selection process are no longer eligible to receive transportation services. If your child is selected for a school, he/she will have the option to attend that school, however, the parent/legal guardian will be responsible for the transportation of the student to and from the school daily.
2. Students (grades 6-12) who are selected and approved for transfer through the school selection process are eligible for free tranpasses, if they live one and a half miles or further from their assigned school. The Office Transportation Services will determine those who are eligible to receive free transpasses. If your child is eligible for a free transpass, Transportation Services will send notification by US mail prior to the start of the new school year (usually late August).