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What is a charter school, and how is it different from other public schools?
A charter school is an independently run public school granted greater flexibility in its operations, in return for greater accountability for performance.
Charter schools are public schools of choice, meaning that families choose them for their children. They operate with freedom from some of the regulations that are imposed upon district schools.
Charter schools are accountable for academic results and for upholding the promises made in their charters. They must demonstrate performance in the areas of academic achievement, financial management, and organizational stability.
Charters serve all students, including those with special needs and English language learners.
Am I eligible to apply to a charter school?
Public charter schools are open-enrollment schools of choice. All students are free to apply!
Charter schools do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, national origin, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, age, ancestry, homelessness, special needs, English language proficiency or foreign language proficiency, athletic ability or prior academic achievement.
Does it cost money to attend a charter school?
Charter schools ARE public schools, which means they are tuition-free.
What is the "lottery", and how does it work?
If a public charter school receives more applications from interested students than there are seats available, public charter schools will conduct a random lottery in order to admit students.
If there are not enough seats available after the lottery has been drawn, children will be placed on a waitlist. The school will notify parents if and when a seat becomes available.
If your student is placed on a waitlist, you can explore other school options for your child by visiting Families Empowered.
When is the deadline to apply?
In order to be considered for the lottery, applications must be submitted by the deadline specified by each individual school. Applications submitted after this date may be placed on a waiting list; applications received after the application deadline will only be considered if the school has space available.
What are some of the age and other school requirements?
For entry to Pre-K4, prospective students must be age 4 on or before September 1, 2022. For entry to Kindergarten, students must be age 5 on or before September 1, 2022.
For schools whose entering grade levels are not Pre-K or Kinder, depending on the school, you may need to demonstrate completion of the previous grade prior to enrollment. For more information, please refer to the specific enrollment policies of the schools to which you are applying.