The School District of Philadelphia Voluntary Transfer Program has announced via its website the application deadline for the Fall 2011 school year. The deadline is soon–October 29–so don’t delay. You can download a brochure explaining VTP as well as the application from the website. If you are considering trying to get your child into a Philadelphia public school that is not in your catchment, I highly recommend reading our primer on the transfer process.
File this post under the category of things you don’t much notice when you are not researching schools. I have seen literally dozens of these private school open house signs around my neighborhood, mostly from GFS, highlighting 2010 open houses. If you are interested in open houses, I suggest taking a look at the PSS open house calendar.
ATTENTION PARENTS – THIS PRIMER WAS WRITTEN FOR STUDENTS ENTERING FOR THE 2011-2012 SCHOOL YEAR.
FOR THE MOST UPDATED VERSION, CLICK HERE.
The most frequent question I get from readers is with regards to catchment boundaries and the flexibility for families to go to schools that are outside of their specific catchment. In response, I put together this primer with the help of Catherine Collins, the moderator of the Mount Airy Parents Network. Actually, Catherine did most of the work….
Disclaimer: The information contained in this post was gleaned from the School District of Philadelphia website, newspaper articles, blog postings, and conversations with principals and parents. In many cases it is subjective and as such may be inaccurate or subject to change. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE contact the School District of Philadelphia and the school of your choice to verify all policies and procedures for your specific situation. If you do learn of any changes or inaccuracies in this information, please contact me. Best of luck!
How do I know which catchment I live in?
Philadelphia public schools have very specific boundaries. There are several ways to find out about Philadelphia school catchment boundaries
- Check our map page for a geographic view of all schools in the city
- The City Maps Page at Phila.gov page allows you to look up your catchment (and other city services) by address.
- The School District of Philadelphia School Profile Pages allow you to look up school profiles which include a catchment map for each school.
Even though the second two sites I listed are published by official sources, it is not clear how often that they are updated. As such, you should not rely on these websites, the word of a neighbor, realtor, or friends since catchments change and can vary even on an individual block or the side of a street. It is strongly recommended that you call the School District of Philadelphia at (215) 400-4000 and verify your catchment.
Can my child attend a public school in another catchment?
It depends. Continue reading
Thomas Friedman, columnist for the New York Times wrote in a recent column entitled Steal This Movie, Too that “there is a movement stirring in this country around education.” I like to think that I have not only noticed this movement myself (in South Philly and West Philly, specifically) and, in the creation of this blog, been an active participant. I also wrote a story about an upcoming documentary, Waiting for Superman that is also the subject of Friedman’s column. I encourage all of my readers to check out the column and check out the film (opening September 24).
It’s Fall, and that means school is starting once again. Parents of schoolchildren are busy buying pencils, paper, trapper keepers (do they still make those?) and new clothes. Parents of preschoolers, on the other hand, now turn their attention to visiting potential kindergarten classes and elementary schools. Personally, I have been chomping at the bit all summer waiting to visit (and in some cases, revisit) schools that I am evaluating for my children.
I set up a publicly accessible calendar of Philadelphia-area elementary school open houses. As of now, most of the listings are for private schools, because they are in many cases kind enough to publish their open house schedule months in advance. I will publish public school open house schedules as I learn of them. If you know of an open house (public or private) that should be listed on the calendar, let me know.
In any event, I am providing this service on a best effort basis, so here’s the obligatory disclaimer: ALL EVENT INFORMATION IS PROVIDED AS A COURTESY OF PHILLY SCHOOL SEARCH, AND ITS VALIDITY IS NOT GUARANTEED. BE SURE TO CONFIRM/REGISTER FOR ANY EVENT WITH THE EVENT ORGANIZERS. PHILLY SCHOOL SEARCH DOES NOT TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR EVENTS THAT ARE CANCELED OR POSTPONED.