Lottery Process

HISTCS is a K-8 charter school serving over 500 students residing in Philadelphia and the surrounding area. As a public school, HISTCS is open to all Pennsylvania students, with priority given to Philadelphia residents and siblings of current HISTCS students.

HISTCS accepts applications for all grades. Incoming kindergarten students must be five years old by September 1 of the year they start kindergarten.

Students are admitted through a lottery system that takes place in the spring each year.

Student Lottery Information
  • Only one application can be submitted per student
  • You must submit your application via our on-line form or in person at the school by the lottery deadline posted at the school and on the website.
  • Changes cannot be made to the application after it is submitted.
  • It is the responsibility of the adult who submits the application to ensure s/he receives an email or paper receipt from HISTCS to confirm the application was received
  • It is the responsibility of the adult who submits the application to notify us immediately if there are any changes to your contact information.
  • HISTCS creates separate waiting lists each year for each grade.
  • HISTCS does not carry waiting lists over from year-to-year. If a child is on the waiting list for the year requested on the application and a space DOES NOT become available the family MUST SUBMIT A NEW APPLICATION for the next school year.
Sibling Preference
  • HISTCS gives lottery preference to new students who already have a sibling in the school. Siblings must live in the same household, have the same parent/guardian, and both siblings must be enrolled at HISTCS for the requested school year. Families must submit a valid lottery application by the deadline to be eligible for sibling preference.
  • HISTCS cannot guarantee that a space will be available for siblings entering grade 1-8, only that siblings will receive a preferred space on the waiting list.
  • Any sibling preference applications received after the lottery deadline will be added to the end of the waiting list.
    • If a child is accepted for the upcoming school year through sibling preference, but the current HISTCS sibling does not return to HISTCS for the following school year and/or the family moves out of Philadelphia, sibling preference is no longer valid.
Multiple Children From One Household
  • If a family is applying for more than one child, an application needs to be completed for each child and each child’s name will be entered individually into the lottery.
  • If one of the children’s names is chosen on the day of the lottery for a space in Kindergarten, the other child/ren from that family who are also going into Kindergarten will be accepted.
  • For Grades 1 through 8, if/when HISTCS selects one of your family’s children on the day of the lottery OR selects one of your family’s children on the waiting list, the other sibling(s) will be moved to a sibling waiting list; however there is no guarantee that a space will become available for those siblings.
Student Lottery
  • The name of each child for whom an application was received by the lottery deadline will be put in a container according to the grade (i.e. K, 1st, 2nd, etc)
  • For the Kindergarten lottery, HISTCS will draw names for the available Kindergarten seats. Then names will be drawn for the waiting list, beginning with number one (1) and continuing until every name has been assigned a number.
  • For the lotteries in Grades 1-8, HISTCS will draw names to fill available seats. Then names will be drawn for the waiting list, beginning with number one (1) and continuing until every name has been assigned a number.
  • HISTCS gives preference to Philadelphia residents; therefore, beginning with the 2017-2018 lottery, any application received by the lottery deadline for a Pennsylvania applicant who does not reside in Philadelphia will not be included in the lottery process. The names of those applicants will be added to the end of the waiting list for their particular grades after the lottery process takes place.
After the Lottery
  • Within five (5) business days of the student lottery, families of accepted children will be notified about their selection. Families of accepted children will receive enrollment information within 4 weeks of the lottery.
  • Within fifteen (15) business days of the student lottery, families will be notified of their waiting list number. Families can also email nholmes@histcs.org or call 215 472 8770 x300 on school days between 10am and 3pm to inquire about their waiting list number.
  • Families will not receive further updates unless HISTCS reaches the child’s name on the waiting list because a space has become available.
  • Complete lists of the accepted children (by grade) and all waiting lists will be posted in the HISTCS foyer within fifteen (15) business days of the student lottery.
  • At the time of enrollment (whether you are selected for a space during the lottery or later from the waiting list), you will be required to bring in original paperwork verifying the address on the student lottery application and proof of the child’s birthdate. If original documentation cannot be presented at the time of enrollment, the space will be forfeited.
Contacting Waiting List Families
  • When/if space becomes available, HISTCS moves through the waiting lists in numerical order, beginning with the child with the lowest number on the sibling waiting list and then moving to the child with the lowest number on the general list.
  • If/when HISTCS comes to a child’s name on the waiting list HISTCS will contact that child’s family via telephone and email (if available). It is the family’s responsibility to keep HISTCS informed of updated contact information.
  • If a child is accepted from the waiting list for a space at HISTCS and that child has another sibling on the HISTCS waiting list (who meets the HISTCS sibling preference policy), that sibling will be moved to the sibling waiting list after their sibling enrolls at HISTCS.
  • If a family that is contacted for a space does not respond to HISTCS within 3 business days the space is forfeited and the next name is contacted.
  • If HISTCS contacts a family from the waiting list and is informed that the child is either being retained in his/her current grade or being promoted two grades (instead of one) the child will be moved to the top of the non-sibling waiting list for the “new” grade, but there will not be a guarantee that HISTCS will be able to offer the child a space in that grade.