How it Works in Charter Schools

Being independently managed schools, parents who wish to have their kids attend charter schools must apply or contact those schools independently. These schools are very specific in the grades they offer. Most schools start with a single grade and add on more each year as the students progress. Student enrollment is done during a particular time only.

Be advised that there may not be a charter school in your community school district. However, student enrollment into charter schools is not restricted to your CSD. You can apply to schools outside your community school district although these schools do give priority to students in their CSD.

Age is not much of a factor while applying. The easiest way to get into a charter school is through kindergarten. The child must, however, turn five years old by 31st December on the year of enrollment.

If your child has been on a special education plan charter schools, do accommodate such students. In this case, however, just like typical public schools, some charter schools don’t have a perfect student placement record. Some do offer a variety of placements and services.

How Enrollment Works in Charter Schools

In the charter school calender, there are some important dates that all interested parents should know of. From January to March parents should research and visit schools. Apply during this time as well.

April to May the schools conduct an admission lottery. Parents also receive notifications during this time. A charter school lottery is a random process through which applicants are admitted to a charter school. This ensures that equal chances of being enrolled. This however only happens when there are more applications than the charter school can admit.

From May to June parents complete the enrollment process and school starts in August.


Many Charter schools offer tours of their facilities to the interested parents to make sure that they are satisfied with the quality of education offered at the school. This tour also serves as a way for parents to see which charter school fits their kid’s needs. You can apply to more than one charter school at a given time.



Applying to a charter school is easy:

•    Go to the school’s website and download an application. Online application is also available in some schools.

•    Call the school and request them to mail you an application, send it back to them before the deadline date.

•    The charter schools school search tool is a great way to know more about the school.

•    Application should be made through the Charter centers Common Online Charter School Application


Understanding a school’s application process is vital, we recommend calling them to clarify.