The School District of Philadelphia Office of Student Enrollment and Placement accepts online applications in the fall of each school year.

Philadelphia resident students go through the School District of Philadelphia Office of Student Enrollment and Placement to apply to three types of schools:

  1. Neighborhood Schools. For students who live within a particular attendance boundary)Renaissance Charter runs some and has space limitations. A few of these schools act as lottery or magnet TOO: students can apply outside attendance boundary. These include Hamilton Elementary Elementary School AIMS Program (Grades 6 to 8). Some neighborhood elementary and middle schools enroll half or more of their students outside their catchment area. Click here to read more about it.
  2. City Wide Admission Schools. No attendance boundary; Specialized courses or area of study; selection by lottery.
  3. Special Admission Schools. aka Magnet schools, offering “rigorous, enriched curriculum”; admission by selection of Admission Team within individual school.

N.B. Philadelphia charter schools maintain individual admission requirements and timelines and are therefore considered in separate section, below.

School District of Philadelphia links:

  • School Selection Overview, including links, process, & helpful videos (According to this webpage the selection window for 2020 is September 18 – November 6)
  • School District of Philadelphia’s Office of Student Enrollment and Placement home page:
  • School Selection Process for students who are not currently attending a District of Philadelphia school (includes link to application itself)

Another helpful link:

Transferring to a Philadelphia Charter School

Charter schools are publicly funded, independently operated public schools, according to the School District of Philadelphia Charter Schools Office. As such, they operate as single, independent entities, with separate entrance requirement and dates. Families who live in Philadelphia must check each charter school to which they may apply separately for admission requirements.

To look up a specific charter school and find out its requirements, application, deadlines, contact information, and reports, go to

For a map of Philadelphia charter schools and a listing by areas within the city, click here.