Charter schools have received an incredible amount of attention over the course of the past decade, and New York City is home to a handful of very high-performing charters, including the Hellenic Classical Charter School in Park Slope, the Lower East Side’s Girls Preparatory Charter School of New York, and the Williamsburg Collegiate Charter, among others. These schools are ranked among the very best in the city by the nonprofit GreatSchools and—not surprisingly—are all a challenge to get into.
Each individual school has its own unique application process. In most cases though, applications will be due during the school year, between the months of December and April. Ultimately, all of the city’s charter schools choose their students via a lottery drawing; however, there is much to be done before that stage. First, make sure that the school you apply to is a viable option for your child. Get in contact with the administration and try to schedule a tour. Touching base with the schools you’re interested in, and getting your paperwork in on time, will at least ensure your child makes it to the lottery stage. While you should start by looking at schools in your neighborhood, charters aren’t completely limited by location, so consider schools further away as well.
Here’s a quick look at three of the most sought-after charters schools in NYC:
1. Hellenic Classical Charter School: Serving grades Kindergarten through 8, this acclaimed Park Slope school provides rigorous classical education. There’s a focus on Greek and Latin studies as well as history, with the promise that students will be prepared to enter the best high schools in New York. Applications can be found on their website.
2. Girls Preparatory Charter School: If you have a young lady ready for middle school, give this East Village school a look. Their philosophy of same-sex education is designed to empower young women with the confidence to succeed as they move forward in their educational lives. Applications are available online.
3. Williamsburg Collegiate Charter School: This Brooklyn school, founded in 2005, serves grades 5 through 8 and has an incredible variety of extra-curricular enrichment activities, from music production to yoga and Zumba classes. Students at this school tend to perform well-above average in mathematics testing, making it a popular choice in Williamsburg. Visit this portion of their website to apply.
Finally, as you explore new neighborhoods and properties throughout the city, consult this map of all the top charter schools in NYC.