There are two types of charter schools in Philadelphia: traditional and renaissance charter schools. Traditional charter schools can enroll students from any part of the city; if they receives more applications than the number of available seats in a certain grade, they offer seats through a random selection process (“lottery”). Some schools offer preferences for certain groups of applicants (for example, siblings). Renaissance charter schools must enroll all students living in a designated neighborhood.
TIP: Check a school’s admissions policies to determine whether or not they require students to live in the catchment.
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Traditional Charter Schools at Apply Philly Charter
After you decide which charter schools you want to apply to, the next step is to fill out a short online application. You can apply to most Philadelphia charter schools at Apply Philly Charter. Apply Philly Charter is a website where you can easily apply to most Philadelphia charter schools for the 2022-23 school year, starting on September 24, 2021. The deadline to apply for the 2022-23 school lottery is January 24, 2022. Charter schools must give all students an equal chance at admission. Charter schools cannot deny application or admission to students because of their grades, race, income or special needs.
You can apply to participating charter schools using your smartphone, desktop computer, tablet, or even by phone. Once you’re on the website, you can create a secure profile and enter basic contact and grade-level information about your student, then choose which charter schools you want to apply to.
Applications submitted through Apply Philly Charter will be sent out to the schools listed on your application. Families will be contacted by schools directly regarding your application(s). Families can log in to their Apply Philly Charter profile any time to see the status of their application or their waitlist status.
Traditional Charter Schools not on Apply Philly Charter
The exact enrollment process varies from one charter school to another for charter schools not participating in Apply Philly Charter. In general, most charter schools require applications to be submitted by early February and conduct their lotteries by early March. For specific deadlines and admissions information, it is important that you contact each charter school directly if they are not participating in Apply Philly Charter.
Renaissance Schools were selected as “turnaround” schools by the School District of Philadelphia and converted into charters. Like other charter schools, Renaissance Schools operate with increased freedom. However, like traditional public neighborhood schools, Renaissance Schools are required to enroll all students living within designated neighborhood boundaries. This is unlike traditional charter schools, which do not give preference to families living nearby.
You can apply to all Renaissance schools at Apply Philly Charter. If you live in catchment, you will be notified by the school of the next steps to register.
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