FAQ’s

Back to School 

Q: When is the first day of school?

A: Tuesday, August 31, 2021!

Q: What time does my school start?

A: Every school determines their own start time.  It would be best to check with that specific school for the exact start time. You can check their website or call the school.

Q: What is the school uniform at my child’s school?

A: Every school has different rules for uniforms. You may find out what they are by accessing the School Uniform Resource.

Q: What schools supplies does my student need?

A: School supplies for each school are different and should be listed on the website of the school your child will be attending.  The information can also be sent home to families via backpacks. If you’re still not sure, you can definitely call the school.

Q: Will my child get a transpass? When will that be available?

A: Please visit the The School District of Philadelphia’s Office of Transportation FAQ’s for Families to learn information on your students eligibility for transportation.

Q; When is my school’s orientation?

A: Each school will have a different schedule for new student orientation. Please check the school website or call the school.

Q: How can I find out which immunizations we’ll need to have for this school year?

A: Please visit Student Health Services for more information.

Q: What if I still need to register, for kindergarten or 1st through 12th grade?

A: You can still register your student at the catchment school. Please see the Enrollment Guidelines to assist you with more information about registration.  Please also feel free to use the Kindergarten Resource for additional information.

 

Registration

Q:  What do I need to register my child into school?

A:  Families need to provide the following:

  • proof of the child’s age
  • a copy of the child’s immunization report
  • two (2) proofs of address
  • a valid picture identification card (may be requested at registration)

Note: While photo ID is not required for enrollment, parents and guardians must present and have ID on file in order to remove their student from school or access student specific information from the school.

Q:  How long can my child attend school?

A:  Students may attend the school that is associated with their home address and until the age of 21, unless they have completed a program through graduation or have been validly expelled from the school.  Students who wish to return to their catchment school must be permitted to enroll or re-enroll in regular daytime classes.

 

Charter Transition Process 

Q: If my charter school closes, what options do I have for my child to attend a School District school?

A: Families have the right for their child to attend the catchment school of the primary residence in which the student is residing. Catchment school information can be found using the Find my school option on the School District of Philadelphia’s website.

Q: What do I need to register my child in my catchment school?

A:  Families need to provide the following:

proof of the child’s age
a copy of the child’s immunization report
two (2) proofs of address
a valid picture identification card (may be requested at registration)

Note: While photo ID is not required for enrollment, parents and guardians must present and have ID on file in order to remove their student from school or access student specific information from the school.

 

Types of Schools and Transferring  

Q:  What is a Catchment School?

A:  Schools within the District that have a catchment area, where admission priority is given to students living within the particular catchment area. Students who live outside of the catchment area of a Catchment School can only be assigned to the school through a Central Office placement process. Admission in Catchment Schools by students who do not reside in the catchment area is subject to space availability. This definition of Catchment Schools does not pertain to Renaissance Charter Schools. Refer to Policy 401 – Charter School Authorizing Functions for more information regarding Renaissance Charter Schools.

Q:  What is a Citywide School?

A:  Schools within the District that do not have a catchment area and can accept students from any part of Philadelphia. Admission to a Citywide School is based on the submission of an application and the outcome of a computerized lottery. Admission in these schools is subject to space availability.

Q:  What is a Criteria Based School

A: Schools within the District that do not have a catchment area and can accept students from any part of Philadelphia. Criteria based schools require an application as well as students meeting established criteria in order to gain admission. Admission in these schools is subject to space availability and based on the outcome of a computerized lottery.

Q:  How do I apply to a school outside of your catchment area?

A:  For more information on how to apply for a school outside of your catchment area please visit our  School Selection Process webpage.

Q:  How do I return to my catchment school?

A:  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 catchment school, families can do so at anytime by supplying the appropriate documentation to the catchment school. If you do not know which school is your catchment school you can locate it by using the School Finder application.

Renaissance Charter School Questions

Q:  Can my catchment Renaissance Charter School deny enrollment of my student?

A:  Since the school is a Renaissance Charter School, the school has grade and space limitations. If the school exceeds its threshold, the school may not be able to enroll your student. If the school does not have space, the Office of Student Enrollment and Placement will help you with identifying a new school for your student.

Q:  Does my child have to attend my catchment Renaissance Charter School?

A:  No. You may choose to opt-out of your Renaissance Charter School. The Office of Student Enrollment and Placement will provide you with an alternate placement for your student in a Philadelphia School District school.

Q:  What do I need to provide to complete this process?

A:  The legal parent or guardian will need to provide Valid Photo Identification and two (2) documents verifying your primary address.

Q:  How long does the process take?

A:  Typically, placement will occur within 72 hours. However, given the volume of request as well as the needs of the student, the process could take longer.

Q:  What about students with special needs?

A:  If your student requires specific educational programs that are only available in specific schools, the Office of Student Enrollment and Placement will work with the Office of Specialized Services to make an alternate placement.

Q:  Do I get to pick the school?

A:  The Philadelphia School District has several different alternate schools for students who need to be assigned. These schools were determined based on a number of different factors including but not limited to proximity and space availability.

Q:  Is transportation provided?

A:  Transportation will be provided to students based on the existing Philadelphia School District transportation guidelines.