How to Apply to Lower School

Use the guide below to help you move smoothly through the application process.

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Apply Online for the 2022-2023 School Year

Penn Charter requires that children applying to pre-kindergarten have turned four years old before Sept. 1 of the year they enter Penn Charter; for kindergarten applicants, five years old; for first grade applicants, six years old. 

Online application forms will be available beginning September 1. The deadline to submit a complete application with all its components for first-round consideration is December 1. Applications completed subsequently will be considered for any remaining spaces on a rolling basis. The greatest availability of spaces for new students in the Lower School's entry points of pre-kindergarten and kindergarten is in the first round. If you plan to apply for financial aid, we strongly recommend completing your child's application, including the financial aid application, before December 1. 

Penn Charter will offer information sessions for families. The sessions will be scheduled at a variety of dates and times. Sign up to receive information about upcoming sessions. Or, watch pre-recorded sessions

A complete application includes all of the following:

Online application forms will be processed and acknowledged beginning September 1. Submit the application form  online and look for an email acknowledging its receipt the next business morning. This email will contain further instructions for completing the rest of the application. The online application form is the first step in the application process.

Campus Visit
Tours of the Lower School will be offered to parents/caregivers of applicants. All applicants will meet in-person, individually, with Penn Charter teachers. Parent meetings will be virtual. More information will be provided after submission of the full application. Please be aware that all visitors will be required to provide proof of vaccination to tour.

When possible, we ask that the teacher recommendations be completed by your child's teacher after October 15, which is when the online forms will become available. We believe that teachers should be given time to work with your child during the current school year in order to provide us with appropriate feedback about your child’s abilities. Instructions for submitting a teacher recommendation.

Personal Recommendation (optional): Families also have the option to submit an additional recommendation from a non-family member who knows the child and can speak to their character.

Release for School Records Form
For applicants to first through fifth grades, this form should be completed and signed by the parent/guardian and sent to the current school after the end of the first grading period. The official transcript should include grades from the past year and the first marking period of the current year. Please have the school send the records directly to Penn Charter. Parents download and submit the form to your current school. Instructions for completion are found on the form.

Admissions Testing
Applicants to pre-K submit no testing. Applicants to kindergarten through fifth grade submit the results of the Wechsler Intelligence test, either the WPPSI for younger applicants or the WISC for older elementary students. Please visit our Testing Information page for more information and a list of psychologists who do this work for families. 

Pre-K: No testing required
Kindergarten: WPPSI and Beery VMI
First: WPPSI or WISC depending on the age of the child
Second-Fifth: WISC

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Child Care Programs

After-School Program
Penn Charter's After-School Program provides a safe and nurturing environment that meets the needs of our Lower School students and families during after-school hours, from 2:50 p.m. to 5:50 p.m.

Early Drop-Off
Families may drop off their Lower School children beginning at 7:30 a.m., free of charge. Faculty members provide care indoor or outdoor, depending on the weather.

Full-Day Child Care
Penn Charter offers age-appropriate full-day child care for Lower School students on non-instructional days. These full-day child care days are made available for the convenience of parents. Details.

We offer a free, optional Enrichment Program to fourth and fifth grade students during the fall, winter and spring trimesters, typically held three days a week. Activities may include sports such as soccer, squash and basketball, and activities like drawing, bell choir, eco art and yoga.