How to apply for New York City charter schools

Children with face mask back at school after covid-19 quarantine and lockdown.
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New York City charter schools are now accepting applications for the 2021-2022 school year.

One can apply through the NYC charter schools website to multiple charter schools in their neighborhood as well as find available virtual open house dates and times through the NYC virtual visits calendar.

The NYC charter schools website makes it easy for essentially anyone to navigate, with options to apply in 10 different languages. 

If you scroll down slightly on the home page, you will see four different options: Find a school, apply, parent info and virtual school.

The Find a School section will lead you to a page with a map. Here, you can see a schools list as well as options to refine your search by neighborhood, community school district (CSD), borough and grade level.

The Parent Info section contains answers to frequently asked questions such as “What makes charter schools different from traditional district schools?” and “What are the benefits of enrolling my child in a charter school?” It also contains tips for applying. 

The Virtual Schools section will open up to a calendar containing the dates and times in which you can visit any school of your interest. They have dates available all the way up to April. If you click a school, a page will pop up that shows you what grade levels the school contains, where the school is located, what time the virtual event will be held, and a Zoom link you can use to join the meeting. There is also an option to add this event to your calendar, which will remind you of the event closer to the date of by sending you a notification.

Now to apply, you can click this link, which will take you to the login page where you can then create an account to start the application process. 

Once you create an account, the online application form will ask you to create your profile in three steps. The first step will ask you for parent/guardian information such as your address, relationship to student, etc. The second step will ask you information regarding the student such as their name, date of birth, etc. The final step asks you to choose preferred schools, fill out an application and confirm said application.

Applications must be submitted by the deadline, midnight on April 1. You may log in after you have completed your application to make changes to your family profile if needed or add school selections. Some charter schools may continue to accept applications after April 1. In that case, a parent or guardian is advised to contact schools directly in order to find exact dates.

If there are more student applications than there are seats available at a given school, charter schools are required to hold lotteries to randomly select students for admission. Those students who aren’t selected in the lottery process will be put on the school’s waitlist and may be chosen for admission if a seat becomes available in the future.

Each charter school runs their own lottery and enrollment process. Families should expect to hear back from schools after the application deadline.

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