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School Choice in Delaware

Charter Public Schools

Delaware’s school choice application window for the 2016-2017 school year closes Jan. 13, 2016. Don’t miss your chance to choose the best-fit school for your child!

About charter schools

Charter schools are independent, tuition-free public schools that serve students K-12 and operate with a “charter” or contract, stating their mission, program and goals.

Who can attend a charter school? Any child residing in Delaware can attend a DE charter school, as long as it serves her grade level.

What is a lottery? Parents can still apply to DE charter schools for their children after Jan. 13, 2016, but if a school with more applicants than openings has to hold a lottery, only applications received by Jan. 13 will be included in it. In a lottery, each applicant is assigned a random number that will determine whether or not he will be admitted to the school. 

What is a preference? A preference can give a student a higher chance of being accepted into a charter school. Types of preferences allowed by law include:

  • location of residence
  • gender
  • being the child of a founding
  • board member or current
  • staff member
  • being a sibling of a current student
  • being at risk academically

How to apply and enroll

Use the Delaware Standard Application for Educational Options at SchoolChoiceDE.org to apply to any school option (charter schools, vo-tech schools, magnet schools and traditional schools outside your feeder pattern).

Many charter schools require that parents fill out a supplemental information form as well. If it is needed for a particular school, this form will be available from SchoolChoiceDE.org.

If a charter school offers your child admission, you will get a letter of notification and enrollment forms. If you do not complete the forms, your child’s spot will be given to another applicant.

Every school is not the right fit for every child. Finding the right school is not an easy process, but you can take these steps toward a solution:

• Make a list of what you and your child want from a school.
• Research schools on GreatSchoolsDelaware.org and DECharterNetwork.org.
• Talk to teachers, principals, parents and students at schools of interest.
• Visit schools with your child.
• Ask questions and keep informed.

Be involved as much as you can. And remember that you have many choices. 

Kendall Massett is executive director of the Delaware Charter Schools Network. 

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