There are three major types of district schools.
Neighborhood Schools automatically admit students living within their neighborhood "catchment" boundaries. If you live within the neighborhood "catchment" boundaries, your student is automatically guaranteed a seat, with the exception of Kindergarten.
Use the School Finder to find your designated neighborhood school.
You can also apply to transfer to a neighborhood school outside of your neighborhood (elementary/middle school or high school).
Citywide-admission schools are open to any student living in Philadelphia. Students must typically complete a basic application and be entered into a lottery.
Citywide schools can be run by the district or by a charter school operator. Some charters use a lottery but reserve a certain number of slots for students living in a specified neighborhood zone.
Sometimes called magnet schools, these school have academic and behavioral requirements for admissions. They may also require additional materials such as essays or interviews as part of the application process. Any student living in Philadelphia can apply through the school district. These schools usually require an interview through the district's school selection process.
To read more about applying to citywide-admission and special-admission schools, see Applying to a Public Elementary or Middle School or Applying to a Public High School.
Looking for more information on finding a great school? See all articles here.
Sign up for our GreatPhillySchools mailing list to stay in the loop and receive updates about application deadlines, learning resources for students, schools with open seats, events and more.