How to Apply to Lower School

Applying to Penn Charter is a simple and straightforward process, and the following information will help guide you through the steps.

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Applicants for September 2020

At this time, there are waiting lists for most Lower School grades and financial aid is no longer available. Before submitting an application, please contact the Admissions Office at in order to determine the feasibility of submitting an application at this time. 

Applicants for September 2021

Penn Charter will begin accepting applications for grades pre-K through 5 after July 1, 2020, at which time the updated timetable and application materials will be made available. 

Online applications are easy, environmentally friendly and economical.

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. 

The deadline to complete an application for first-round consideration is December 1, 2020. 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 in the first round.

A complete application includes all of the following:

Submit the application for admission online and look for an email acknowledging its receipt the next business morning. 

Campus Visit
Children applying to pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade are scheduled for a Saturday morning Play Day at Penn Charter. Applicants for second through fifth grades visit for two consecutive school days in their current grade and take reading and math assessments during their visit.

It is important that the teacher recommendations not be completed by your child’s teacher until late October at the earliest. 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.

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 print 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. Penn Charter maintains a list of psychologists who do this work for families.

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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.