This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
by Jeseamy Muentes
Parents of elementary and middle school students should note that the deadline to apply to special admission, citywide, and out-of-catchment neighborhood schools is this Friday, Jan. 17. Applications will not be accepted after the deadline.
For the first time, the process was separated from the high school selection process, which is more robust — 20 special admission schools compared to seven special admission middle schools. The application deadline for elementary and middle schools now falls a month later, in January, rather than in early December.
When applying to neighborhood schools, where odds of admission are higher than at special admission and citywide schools, applicants must be certain that the schools listed as their top five choices are also on the District’s list of schools with available space. More than 70 elementary and middle schools have room, but a number of schools in Center City, Northeast Philadelphia, and University City are at capacity, so are not on the list.
The District advises applicants to visit schools of interest and discuss options with teachers, administrators, and their students. Applications for the seven special admission middle schools should include student transcripts.
Admission decisions — except for those to the seven special admission middle schools — will be determined by a computer-randomized lottery system. Any applications to schools without available space will be automatically declined.
All applications should be sent to 440 N. Broad St., Suite 111, Philadelphia, PA 19130 no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 17.