Posted on August 31, 2023
Categories: News from SDP

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August 31, 2023

Dear School District of Philadelphia Families,

Today, I am happy to share important updates and resources regarding the school selection process for the 2024-2025 school year. The school selection process allows students currently in pre-kindergarten through 11th grade to apply to attend any District school with available space, outside of their neighborhood or catchment area, for the 2024-2025 school year.

Earlier this month, I shared Accenture LLP’s final report on the District’s 2022-2023 school selection process, which included its findings and recommendations for improvement. Following the release of that report, we committed to implement five of the six recommendations for this year’s school selection process. This year, we will also develop a process for students who did not receive offers, met eligibility criteria, and are waitlisted at all of the criteria-based and city-wide schools to which they applied, to receive an offer for placement at alternative criteria-based and city-wide schools where:

  • the student meets the criteria,
  • seats are available, and
  • there is no waitlist.

Please review the information below as you prepare to participate in school selection when it opens on September 15, 2023.

Updated School Criteria

Updated criteria for the criteria-based schools is now available on the school selection website here. Becoming familiar with the criteria will help you make informed decisions when applying to schools during the school selection window. You can also find a general summary explaining how the criteria changed, and what remains the same, on the school selection website. Some highlights include:

  • Assessments – the best scores across two years on the ELA and math PSSAs will be considered, and the option of a 50th percentile cut point on ELA or math (not both) has been added.
  • Grade Requirements – changed at some schools to include As, Bs, and 2 Cs.
  • Attendance Requirements – changed at 15 schools to require 90% attendance rate (18 or fewer unexcused absences). The required rate at 7 schools remains 95% (9 or fewer unexcused absences).

Student and Family Engagement Opportunities

School Selection Town Halls: Ask questions and learn more about the overall school selection and application process.

  • Date: September 7, 2023

Location: George Washington Carver High School of Engineering & Science
1600 W. Norris Street, Philadelphia, PA 19121

Time: 5:00pm – 6:30pm

  • Date:September 8, 2023

Time: 12:00pm – 1:30pm

This event is virtual. Access the town hall here.

Individualized Review Town Halls: Ask questions and learn more about the updates for the individualized review process (previously referred to as the LeGare Review or Impartial Review) within school selection.

  • Date: September 12, 2023

Location: High School for Creative and Performing Arts
902 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147

Time: 5:00pm – 6:30pm

  • Date: September 13, 2023

Time: 12:00pm – 1:30pm

This event is virtual! Access the town hall here.

2023 K-12 Philly School Fair: An opportunity for students and families to interact with the schools and programs from across the city, ask questions, and understand application requirements and deadlines.

Location:Pennsylvania Convention Center,

1101 Arch Street

Philadelphia, PA 19107

Times: Friday, October 13th (3:00pm – 6:00pm)

Saturday, October 14th (10:00am – 2:00pm)

Application Assistance Labs: The School Selection team is offering Application Assistance Labs at schools across the city for families during the application window. Please visit the school selection website for the hours and locations of upcoming labs.

As a reminder, the school selection process for the 2024-2025 school year opens on Friday, September 15, 2023 at 4:00 p.m. and will close on Friday, October 27, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. Visit the school selection website to learn more about the school selection process including the additional changes that were made to the process this year. This process will be overseen by Dr. Jermaine Dawson, the Deputy Superintendent of Academic Services. The District will establish a dedicated school selection call center by Friday, September 8th. For more information, please email We ask for your patience as we are experiencing higher than normal call and email volume at this time of the year.

Thank you for entrusting us with your child’s education as we continue to prepare them to imagine and realize any future they desire.

In Partnership,

Tony B. Watlington Sr., Ed.D.


The School District of Philadelphia