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Table of Contents

Timeline for Choosing a High School

 

 

BONUS! Want a printable version of this timeline? Download this timeline by clicking the file in the top right of this page.

 

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Two to Three Years Before Entering High School

  • Begin thinking about your options. Use GreatPhillySchools.org to begin your search.

  • Visit the schools that seem as though they might be a good fit and speak with principals, teachers and parents. Use our guide to school visits to help ask the right questions.

 

The Year Prior to Entering High School

September

  • Get high school application forms through eighth-grade counselors, school websites, or the district Office of Student Enrollment and Placement (215-400-4290).

  • Visit the Philly High School Fair and speak with representatives from district schools. 

  • Schools begin to hold open houses.

October–December

  • Get the district High School Selection Application form from the applications insert in this guide, your student’s eighth-grade counselor, the Philly High School Fair or the Office of Student Enrollment and Placement (215-400-4290 or philasd.org), or online at phillyschoolapp.org.
  • Visit the Philly High School Fair and speak with representatives from district schools. This event is held on November 16th, 2013. 

  • Applications to transfer between neighborhood schools are due. Call the district’s Office of Student Enrollment and Placement at 215-400-4290 for the this year’s deadline. (Read more about school transfers.)

  • Private schools accept applications and hold entrance and scholarship exams. (Read more about applying to Catholic schools and independent private schools.)

  • Some schools hold visits, information sessions or open houses.

  • District special-admission schools conduct interviews and evaluate applications. Some application deadlines fall during this period.

  • Most public charter schools begin to accept applications. (Read more about applying to charter schools.) Check the list of schools on PhillySchoolApp to see which charters accept the Common Application.

  • The deadline to submit the district High School Selection Application for the 2014–2015 school year is December 6, 2013. Find more information at phillyschoolapp.org.

January-February

  • Most private school admission and financial aid applications are due during this period.

  • Charter schools will have application deadlines during this period. Check the applications insert in this guide for individual deadlines for charter schools that use the Philadelphia Charter School Common Application.
     
  • Most private schools release acceptance, rejection and wait-list decisions.

March

  • District special-admission schools release acceptance, rejection and wait-list decisions.

  • District citywide-admission schools with more applications than spots run lotteries for all applicants. Neighborhood schools run lotteries for transfer applicants. 

  • District school notification letters are sent to students who have been accepted to one or more schools. Students with multiple acceptances have until the end of the month to reach a decision and notify their eighth-grade counselors or, if not currently enrolled in a district school, the Office of Student Enrollment and Placement.

April

  • After district schools receive decisions from students who have been accepted to one or more schools, letters are sent to all students indicating where they’ve been accepted, rejected or wait-listed.

May–September

  • District schools conduct a last round of lotteries for the few remaining students.

  • Parents, counselors and principals can advocate on behalf of students originally wait-listed or rejected by district special-admission schools through phone calls and recommendation letters.

  • The district sends out additional letters notifying some students of final placements.

This information was adapted from a guide in The Public School Notebook.