Application & Enrollment Resources

You may print a copy of the Enrollment requirements here.

Every year, eligible students throughout Philadelphia are able to participate in the application process for all charter schools. Many charter schools participate in using the Apply Philly Charter (APC) standard application, which is developed by Great Philly Schools (GPS), an independent entity not affiliated with the District. Participating charter schools will accept applications at Schools who do not participate in the APC standard application create their own application. While charter schools are allowed to select their own application deadline, most deadlines typically take place in the months of January, February, or March.

The APC application window for the 2023-24 school year opened on September 23, 2022 and closes on January 23, 2023. The APC site is available in multiple languages and offers additional translation services. Questions regarding the standard application process should be directed to APC’s Helpline at 1-800-891-3999.

Note: The application deadline for all participating APC schools is January 24, 2022. For application questions, visit the APC website here.

  • Alliance For Progress Charter School
  • Antonia Pantoja Charter School
  • Belmont Elementary Charter School
  • Deep Roots Charter School
  • Eugenio Maria De Hostos Charter School
  • First Philadelphia Preparatory Charter School
  • Frederick Douglass Mastery Charter School
  • Freire Charter School
  • General David B. Birney Charter School
  • Global Leadership Academy Charter School
  • Global Leadership Academy Charter School Southwest at Huey
  • Green Woods Charter School
  • Hardy Williams Academy Charter School
  • Independence Charter School
  • Independence West Charter School
  • Inquiry Charter School
  • John B. Stetson Charter School
  • John Wister Mastery Charter School
  • Keystone Academy  Charter School
  • KIPP DuBois Charter School
  • KIPP North Philadelphia Charter School
  • KIPP Philadelphia Charter School
  • KIPP Philadelphia Octavius Catto Charter School
  • KIPP West Philadelphia Charter School
  • Laboratory Charter School of Communication and Languages
  • Mariana Bracetti Academy Charter School
  • MaST Community Charter School III
  • Mastery Charter High School (Lenfest)
  • Mastery Charter School – Pickett Campus
  • Mastery Charter School – Shoemaker Campus
  • Mastery Charter School at Clymer Elementary
  • Mastery Charter School at Harrity Elementary
  • Mastery Charter School Cleveland Elementary
  • Mastery Charter School Mann Elementary
  • Mastery Charter School Pastorius Elementary
  • Mastery Charter School Simon Gratz Campus
  • Mastery Charter School Smedley Elementary
  • Mastery Charter School Thomas Campus
  • Mastery Prep Elementary Charter School
  • Mathematics, Science and Technology Community Charter School II
  • Mathematics, Science, and Technology Community Charter School
  • Memphis Street Academy at J.P. Jones
  • Multicultural Academy Charter School
  • New Foundations Charter School
  • Northwood Academy Charter School
  • Olney Charter High School
  • Pan American Academy Charter School
  • People for People Charter School
  • Philadelphia Electrical and Technology Charter School
  • Philadelphia Hebrew Public Charter School
  • Philadelphia Montessori Charter School
  • Richard Allen Preparatory Charter School
  • Russell Byers Charter School
  • Tacony Academy Charter School
  • TECH Freire Charter School
  • The Philadelphia Charter School for the Arts & Sciences at H.R. Edmunds
  • Universal Alcorn Charter School
  • Universal Audenried Promise Neighborhood Partnership Charter School
  • Universal Bluford Charter School
  • Universal Creighton Charter School
  • Universal Daroff Charter School
  • Universal Institute Charter School
  • Universal Vare Promise Neighborhood Partnership Charter School
  • West Oak Lane Charter School
  • West Philadelphia Achievement Charter School
  • Wissahickon Charter School
  • Young Scholars Charter School

Applying to a Charter School

Created by Great Philly Schools (GPS), Apply Philly Charter (APC) is an online resource that allows families the opportunity to apply to dozens of charter schools using one application.

Great Philly Schools offers additional guidance on selecting charter schools in Philadelphia and information regarding early childhood learning programs, academic results, safety, graduation rates, and extracurricular activities.

All Pennsylvania residents ages five (5) through twenty-one are eligible to attend Philadelphia charter schools. 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.

The following DO NOT affect a student’s eligibility to attend a charter school:

  • Academic grades
  • Test score results
  • History of detentions or suspensions
  • Special education needs
  • English speaking or reading ability

If a charter school receives more applications than spots available in a certain grade, a lottery is held to determine who is accepted and who is placed on a waiting list. Lotteries randomly select students for enrollment, with the following POSSIBLE exceptions listed below (varies by school):

  • Students living in Philadelphia receive preference over students residing elsewhere in Pennsylvania
  • Some schools (not all) may use the following lottery preferences according to their charter terms and enrollment policy
  • Sibling preference may be given for brothers and sisters of current students at the school
  • Founder preference for children of the school’s founders or those actively involved in establishing the charter school may be given preference
  • Geographic preference for students living in certain neighborhoods, zip codes, or catchment areas
  • Feeder preference for students currently attending specific feeder schools

If a child is selected for a spot in the charter school, the school will contact the family after the lottery. Selection in the lottery does not result in automatic enrollment, as additional information must be completed and submitted to secure a student’s seat.

If a child was not selected for enrollment, they will be placed on that school’s waitlist. If and when seats become available, waiting families will be notified in the order of the students on the waitlist.

This process continues throughout the school year, not just before school starts in the fall. The school will contact you if additional spots open up.

Although the enrollment period may end with most charter schools filling all available seats, some charter schools may still have open seats for the upcoming school year.

In addition to contacting schools directly to find out if they have open seats,  families can also visit the Great Philly School’s (GPS) website here and simply scroll down to the table, located towards the bottom of the page. Open seat availability is organized by grade, per school. If you are not sure which schools are charter schools, please refer to our directory here.

Please note, open seat availability is typically updated every August, closer to the new school year.


Students who are accepted must submit the documents listed below by the school’s established deadline (upon receiving notice that a seat is available for your child). At that time, your child will be officially enrolled in the charter school.

As a part of the District’s efforts to maintain a safe environment for students, schools may request the following:

  • A copy of the parent/guardian’s picture identification at the time of registration. This copy will be kept on file for the purposes of verifying the identification of persons who are authorized to escort the child to and from school.
  • Health or physical examination records, academic records, attendance records, Individualized Education Program, and other special-education records so the student can be placed in the appropriate grade level/classroom with the appropriate level of supports.

Additional Requirements

Schools may ask for any of the following supporting documents as part of their enrollment process. Please note, although they may request it, they cannot require it prior to enrollment, and your child’s enrollment cannot be delayed if you have not provided it. The school may follow up with the parent/guardian for this information after the child has been enrolled in the school. To enroll a child/student, the guardian must provide:

1] Proof of child’s age (the following list includes examples, but is not exhaustive)

  • Child’s original birth certificate
  • Notarized copy of the child’s birth certificate
  • Child’s valid passport
  • Original baptismal certificate indicating the child’s date of birth
  • Copy of the record of baptism, notarized or duly certified and showing the date of birth
  • Notarized statement from the parents or another relative indicating the date of birth
  • Prior school records indicating the date of birth

2] Immunization record (one of the following is required)

  • Child’s immunization record
  • Written statement from the former school district or from a medical office that the required immunizations have been administered, or that a required series is in progress
  • Verbal assurances from the former school district or a medical office that the required immunizations have been completed, with records to follow
  • Exemption from immunization
    • (a) Medical exemption. Children need not be immunized if a physician or the physician’s designee provides a written statement that immunization may be detrimental to the health of the child. When the physician determines that immunization is no longer detrimental to the health of the child, the child shall be immunized according to this subchapter[GD2].
    • (b) Religious exemption. Children need not be immunized if the parent, guardian, or emancipated child objects in writing to the immunization on religious grounds or on the basis of a strong moral or ethical conviction similar to a religious belief.

Please note: If a student has just started a series of shots/immunizations, she or he may still be enrolled. The student must be in the process and keeping up with the timeline of the series (for example, the student just got shot one and he/she will get shot two within thirty days of shot one).

3] Proof of residency (one of the following is required)

  • Deed
  • Valid Department of Transportation identification card
  • Mortgage settlement sheet
  • Current credit card bill
  • Current utility bill (gas, electric, cable, telephone)]
  • Recent vehicle registration
  • Recent property tax bill
  • Voter registration card showing current address
  • Valid driver’s license or change of address card with current address
  • Recent bank statement with current address
  • Letter from Social Security Office with current address
  • IRS statement or other wage and tax statements, such as W2, 1040, 1099
  • Letter from Public Assistance Office with current address
  • Recent employer pay stub showing current address
  • Foster care/childcare and Department of Human Services letters are acceptable for registration when a student is in the care of a foster/child care agency
  • Shelter placement or residency letters are acceptable for homeless students
  • Original lease with name(s) of parents/legal guardians and children\
  • Signed property sales agreement, followed by original copy of settlement papers within forty-five calendar days of settlement
  • Schools should be flexible in verifying residency, and should consider what information is reasonable in light of the family’s situation.

4] Parent registration statement

A sworn statement describing any suspensions or expulsions for offenses involving drugs, alcohol, weapons, infliction of injury or violence on school property must be provided for a student to be admitted to any school entity. However, the school cannot deny or delay a child’s school enrollment based on a student’s disciplinary record or sworn statement.

If a student is currently expelled for a weapons offense, the school can provide the student with alternative education services during the period of expulsion. If the student has been expelled from a school in which she or he was previously enrolled, for reasons other than a weapons offense, the school will review the student’s prior performance and school record to identify services and supports to be provided upon enrollment in the district.

5] Home language survey

All students enrolling in a school for the first time will be given a home language survey, as required by the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. A student’s enrollment cannot be delayed in order to administer the Home Language Survey.

A charter school shall not discriminate in its admission policies or practices based on intellectual ability or athletic ability, measures of achievement or aptitude, status as a person with a disability, English language proficiency, or any other basis that would be illegal if used by a school district.

Further, a charter school may not use achievement tests, entrance examination tests, enrollment forms, admissions interviews, or other means of testing a student’s intellectual ability, disability status, English language proficiency or other basis that would be illegal if used by a school district to grant or deny admission. A charter school also may not require a student to obtain or maintain a particular grade point average to be admitted to the charter school.

The chartering school district may conduct periodic audits of the school’s applicants, accepted students, and enrolled students.