School Selection

This process allows students currently in pre-kindergarten through 11th grade to apply to attend any school with available space outside of their neighborhood or catchment area.

Look out for your waitlist offer!

Find answers to your questions about the waitlist here.

About the School Selection Process

The school selection process allows students currently in pre-kindergarten through 11th grade to apply to attend any school for the 2024-2025 school year with available space other than their catchment school. A catchment school is the school that connects to your family’s home address, so you don’t have to apply. See more in the School Options tab.

The District’s school selection process:

  • uses a centralized lottery and waitlist system
  • applies school-specific grades, attendance and standardized assessment criteria
  • makes the online application available in 10 different languages
  • opens each fall, and closes each spring – this is the only application window for school selection
  • prioritizes the applications of qualified applicants who live in specific zip codes  (coming soon) that have the lowest representation of students accepting offers over the last four years, at the following criteria-based schools:
    • Academy at Palumbo (for admission to 9th grade)
    • Carver Engineering & Science at (for admission to 7th and 9th grades)
    • Central High School (for admission to 9th grade)
    • Masterman (for admission to 5th and 9th grades)

This application process does not include other charter or tuition-based schools like Catholic or Friends Schools.

Timeline for School Selection
for the 2025-2026 school year

Coming soon!!!

Coming soon

School Options

There are various types of high schools in our District, and each has slightly different admission processes.

Criteria-Based High Schools

Each of these schools has its own set of admissions criteria related to attendance, punctuality, behavior, grades, and standardized test scores. Students citywide may apply to these schools but must meet the criteria to be considered for admission.

View Criteria-Based High Schools

Advanced Placement Courses:

Career & Technical Education 

City-Wide High Schools

These schools accept students from across the city. City-wide schools do not have admission criteria and interested students are selected through an impartial lottery process.

Catchment High Schools

These schools have an open admissions policy (no criteria) for students who have attended grade eight in the school’s feeder pattern. The schools that the child attends within a certain feeder patter is based on the family’s home address. Students outside the catchment are still able to apply through the selection process.

View Catchment High Schools

Advanced Placement Courses:

Career & Technical Education: 

Dual Enrollment: 

21st Century Schools:

Performing Arts:

All Catchment Schools:

About the Criteria (Updates coming summer 2024)

Criteria based schools will review a student’s grades, attendance, and standardized test scores. Some notes on these criteria:

All schools will accept the best grades and attendance rates from the previous two school years (SY2021-2022 and SY2022-2023)

  • Grade requirements are for the 4 core subjects: ELA, Math, Science and Social Studies
  • Attendance requirements: 95% attendance rate is 9 or fewer unexcused absences. 90% attendance rate is 18 or fewer unexcused absences.
  • Assessment Requirements:
    • Students applying to 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th grades, all schools will accept the best assessment scores from the previous two school years (SY2021-2022 and SY2022-2023)
    • For students applying to 5th grade, schools will only use the previous year’s assessment scores
    • For students applying to 11th & 12th grade, standardized assessment scores will not be reviewed

Use the following conversion charts to see how your child’s PSSA scores translate to criteria submission:

Approved Alternative Assessments

The approved assessments for School Selection are PSSA Scores for Reading/ELA and Math. Reading/ELA and Math scores from the following standardized assessments will be accepted for student applicants who do not have PSSA scores from 2021-22 or 2022-23. To qualify, assessments must have been taken for the grade level the student was enrolled in at the time the test was taken.

  • California Achievement Test (CAT-10)
  • Educational Records Bureau – Comprehensive Testing Program (ERB-CTP)
  • Education Records Bureau – Independent Schools Entrance Exam (ERB-ISEE)
  • IOWA Test of Basic Skills
  • Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA)
  • Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT)
  • State standardized assessment for a state other than Pennsylvania
  • TerraNova

Application Process

The application window for this year has closed.

Coming soon

Appeals Process

The appeals process is limited to specific circumstances, over a specific timeframe.

Decisions that CANNOT be appealed:

  • Applications that were not submitted
  • The student did not meet eligibility criteria, but the parent/guardian believes the student should be eligible based on their overall performance as a student
  • Any decision by the Individualized Review Team (formerly known as “LeGare”) because the Individualized Review is, in effect, an appeal
  • The result of an applicant’s audition or project-based presentation

Who CAN appeal?

Applicants with an ineligible status have an opportunity to appeal that decision when there is evidence of a verifiable barrier to a fully complete application and you have received an ineligible status due to a(n):

  • Language barrier that prevented the applicant or parent/guardian from fully completing the submitted application; or
  • Disability that prevented the parent/guardian/representative from fully completing the submitted application; or
  • Existing custody order that prevented the applicant or parent/guardian from accessing the necessary records required to complete their application

Deadline to Appeal

The appeal window for this year has closed.

Appeals Process FAQ

Coming soon


The waitlist phase began on Monday, January 29, 2024.

Offers & Waitlist

So I’m on a waitlist. Now what?
Find answers to your questions here.

Offers from waitlists will be extended every Monday as seats become available in the school and grade where the student applied.

Please look out for a waitlist offer notification. Once you receive an offer notification, you have 72 hours (3 days) to respond to that offer. If you take no action within 72 hours (3 days), the offer will be auto-declined.


This step-by-step document explains how to access your lottery results, as well as instructions for accepting or declining your allotted position in the lottery, and other helpful instructions.

How-To Guide: Directions for Viewing School Selection Results:
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For questions or concerns with the school selection process or offer status: The Office of Student Enrollment and Placement (215-400-4290, is available to support students and families and will have extended phone hours from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM on January 19th.
Regular hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

For technical issues with accessing your application: The Family Tech Hotline (215-400-4444, will have extended phone hours from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM on January 19th.
Regular hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

What is a post-lottery review?

One of the commitments we made to improve school selection after last year, was to support qualified students that did not receive an offer in obtaining spots at schools with open seats.

To that end,

  • qualified students who participated in school selection for the 2024-2025 school year AND
  • have not received an offer for placement from a criteria-based or city-wide school that they applied to,
  • will be matched with criteria-based or city-wide schools that have available seats and for which they meet the criteria.

Qualified students are those in 5th through 12th grades who participated in school selection, applied to at least one criteria-based or city-wide school, received no offers, and:

  • are waitlisted only, OR
  • completed an application and uploaded all application documents, through the signature page, but did not submit, OR
  • provided grades and attendance documentation but failed to submit the required common transcript form, did not request an appeal, and therefore did not receive any waitlist offers.

Qualified students will be matched with schools that have space, based on the students’ ability to meet the schools’ criteria.

NOTE: This post-lottery review process will not affect any students’ current waitlist status.

Families of students who meet the qualifications for this post-lottery review process will be contacted directly with additional details. 

Individualized Review (formerly LeGare)

What is Individualized Review?

  • The Individualized Review expands upon the process that was previously known as the Impartial Review or LeGare Review.
  • Occurs when applying to the first year of a criteria-based middle or high school program.
  • The Individualized Review is the appeal process
  • An individualized review does not guarantee eligibility.

Who Receives an Individualized Review?
Any student who has been identified as:

  • A student with a disability that has a current IEP or
  • Having a current 504 Plan or is 504 eligible or
  • An English Learner (EL)


  • Who is applying to the entry grade of one or more criteria-based middle or high schools during the School Selection process.


  • Who does not meet ONE of the three criteria and has elected to waive that one criteria in the application.

How do I get Started?

While completing the online application, applicants will be able to request an Individualized Review by completing the Education Accommodations section of the application, and uploading the Admissions Addendum and necessary supporting documentation.

Who Should Apply for an Individualized Review?

Students qualify for an Individualized Review when:

  • They have a current IEP, 504 Plan or are receiving EL services
  • They are applying to criteria-based high schools
  • They do not meet ONE of the three required criteria for each of the criteria-based schools they are applying to.
  • They submit a waiver asking for ONE criteria area to be waived: attendance, grades or standardized assessments.

If your student meets these qualifications, it is recommended they apply for an Individualized Review, at the time they submit their school selections.

When Does Individualized Review Occur, During Selection?

The Individualized Review determines eligibility for the lottery; it occurs prior to the lottery.

Who Helps With the Individualized Review Process?

It all starts with members of the school the student currently attends. The School-Based Team consists of, but is not limited to:

  • Principal or Designee
  • School Counselor
  • Special Education Teacher or SPECM
  • EL Point/ESL Teacher
  • School Nurse (504 Plan)

What Does the Review Team Look At?

  • Teams from criteria based schools and central office review supporting documentation and academic records, PRIOR to the lottery.
  • The Documentation helps the review teams determine if a school can reasonably provide supports for each student requesting to attend a criteria-based school.

What Does the Review Team Do?

  • The Individualized Review team looks at the student as a whole. A review of  the supports the school/schools can provide
    • A review of the students’ supports  and academic growth
    • The team is looking to see if the student can be successful, provided reasonable accommodations are made

Who Does Not Get an Individualized Review?

  • Any student who did not apply to a criteria-based school.
  • Any student who did not request to waive one of the criteria.
  • Any student who waived the wrong criteria.
  • Any student who does not submit supporting documentation.
  • A student who needs to waive more than one eligibility criteria.
  • Any student who is eligible for at least one criteria-based school they have applied to.

Town Halls & Events

Click below to find details about events you can attend, where you can learn more about the school selection process, ask your questions, and receive hands-on assistance!

Town Halls

School Selection Overview – Watch the recording here!

Individualized Review (formerly LeGare) Overview – Watch the recording here!

School Selection Training & Application Assistance Labs

The application labs for this year have closed.

School Open Houses

Visit these schools in-person, meet the staff and learn more about the school culture. We highly recommend doing this research during the application phase rather than waiting until the final week of selection!

Open Houses for the first phase of School Selection have passed. Stay tuned for updated information

Philly School Fair

The 2024 K-12 Philly School Fair is an opportunity for students and families to interact with the schools and programs available in the city, ask questions, and understand application requirements and deadlines. The fair serves as a one-stop-shop for public, charter, and private high schools to display promotional materials, videos, contact information, and post school-led virtual events.

The upcoming Fair will be held in mid-October. Please use the additional opportunities detailed on this page to learn more about the schools you are interested in.

Resources & FAQs

How-to Guides (updated forms coming, summer of 2024)

*more how-to guides coming soon

How-to Videos (click to view library)

2024 High School Directory

The Directory provides a complete list of high school experiences within our District and their locations. You will also find the academic, specialty, athletic, extracurricular and Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs available at each high school.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I meet criteria for a school or program?

The information in the “criteria by school” section on this page outlines the criteria needed for each school, for reference.

How can I find out what the criteria are for a specific school or program?

The criteria for all schools can be found on this page, in the section called “criteria by school.”

I only have grades, attendance, or assessments for one year. Can I submit the one year?

The best grades in the four core subject areas (ELA, math, science, and social studies), the best attendance record for unexcused absences, and the best percentile in ELA and/or math (depending on the school’s requirement) from the 2021-2022 school year and the 2022-2023 school year are used to determine eligibility.

If the academic data (grades, attendance, and assessments) is only available from one of these two previous years, that data will be considered the best academic data and will be used to determine eligibility.

My child is homeschooled and does not use letter grades. What should I do?

For homeschooled students, please put “0″ in the attendance field and select “none “ in the grades field via the drop-down menu.

Upload their homeschool letter received from their evaluator at the end of the school year in lieu of the transcript form.

This will be reviewed and considered for grades and attendance. You must still upload standardized assessments.

What should I do if incorrect grade and/or attendance information displaying for my student within the application?

Families should contact their school directly if they believe that the grade or attendance information that is displaying in the application is inaccurate.

If a student is missing grades or attendance in their application for a year where the student was not enrolled in an SDP school, the student’s former school must complete the common transcript form, and then the family can upload that completed form to their student’s application.

What should I do if my District student’s Education Accommodation screens do not accurately reflect their IEP, 504 or EL status?

If there is Education Accommodation information in the application that is incorrect or missing, families should reach out to their child’s school to update their accommodations in the appropriate system.

It will take up to 48 hours from when the data is updated in the Student Information System to appear in the Enroll system.

Should I be including the Common Transcript Form with my application?

The common transcript form must be used if applying to a criteria-based school and your grades and attendance are not automatically populated in the application because you were not a school district student in the 2021-2022 and/or 2022-2023 years.

My child's school does not use letter grades. Can I upload their report card?

No. Your child’s school must complete the transcript form that is found on our website and in the application.

In doing so, they should use the rubric that is on the form to translate your child’s numerical grades, standards, or academic progress to a letter grade. We developed this rubric for this purpose and will honor the correlation that the school has made for the final grade in each of the core subject areas.

Note: Failure to include the transcript will result in an incomplete application which will be marked ineligible and will not be included in any evaluation processes.

I am applying for kindergarten, do I need to enter grades and attendance?

No. The grades, attendance, and assessment criteria along with the transcript requirement are only for students applying to criteria-based middle and high schools.

When you are filling out the School Selection application, please put “0″ in the attendance field and select “none “ in the grades field via the drop-down menu.

My child is currently in a pre-K program, how do I apply?

You should apply as a “non-district” student.

Can I apply to a charter school or a private school through School Selection?

No, the School Selection Process allows families to be able to apply to participating School District of Philadelphia schools for the 2024-2025 school year.

Families interested in applying to charter, private or parochial schools are encouraged to contact those schools directly to learn more about their enrollment process.

I don't see the school that I want to apply to as an option in the application.

Please confirm that their current grade is correct on the student information page and the applying grade is one that the selected school provides for.

The school may not be listed on the application because they do not have space for students outside of their catchment area.

Schools that do not have space for out-of-catchment students and are NOT participating in this year’s school selection process are listed HERE.

Do I need to apply to my catchment school?

No, applicants should not apply to their catchment school. If a student wishes to attend their catchment school, no action is needed through school selection. You can go directly to the school to enroll.

Do my grades, attendance, or test scores matter if I am applying to a catchment or citywide school?

Only criteria-based schools require grades, attendance, and assessment scores.

When are applications due?

Applications must be submitted before the deadline of October 27th, 2023 at 11:59pm.

When will I find out if my student was eligible for the lottery?

Eligibility will be communicated to families in November.

When will lottery results be available?

Lottery results will be available in January.

Additional Resources

  • School Selection Data – In Spring 2022, the Office of Research and Evaluation (ORE) published a series of reports on the 2021-22 School Selection process.

District Students - Access your Information HERE

 For students enrolled in an SDP school (excludes Charter, Parochial, & private schools). The application period is closed. You can still access your account to view your application here.

Non-District Students - Access your Info HERE

For students from other Districts, Charter, Parochial, or private schools applying for an SDP school. The application period is CLOSED. You can still view your application information here.