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Student Admissions

Join the Harambee family!

Now accepting applications for the 2023-2024 School Year.

When a student applies for admission to Harambee Institute of Science and Technology, it is the responsibility of the school to complete enrollment if the student has been selected through the standard lottery process and the family submits the required enrollment documentation.

When parents seek help regarding admission or transfer, every effort shall be made to provide them with complete information to expedite the legal admission process.

The following documents (6 items) are the only documents that are required to enroll a student into school:

Proof of the student’s age - One of the following is required. Acceptable documentation includes (the following are examples and not a conclusive list):

  • Child’s original birth certificate
  • Child’s valid passport
  • Original Baptismal certificate indicating the child’s date of birth
  • A notarized statement from the parents or another relative indicating the child’s date of birth
  • Notarized copy of the child’s birth certificate
  • Prior school records indicating the date of birth
  • Copy of the record of baptism - notarized or duly certified showing the date of birth

Immunizations Required by Law - One of the following is required. Acceptable documentation includes:

  • The student’s immunization record
  • A written statement from the former school district or a medical office that the required immunizations have been administered, or that a required series is in progress
  • Verbal assurances from the former school district or a medical office that the required immunizations have been completed, with records to follow

Proof of Residency - Only two (2) of the following are required. Acceptable documentation includes:

  • Deed
  • Lease
  • Current Utility bill (gas, electric, cable, telephone, etc.)
  • Property tax bill
  • Valid DOT identification card
  • Current credit card bill
  • Vehicle registration
  • Valid driver's license or compatible change of address card

Parental Registration Statement
A sworn statement attesting to whether the student has been or is suspended or expelled for offenses involving drugs, alcohol, weapons, infliction of injury or violence on school property must be provided for a student to be admitted to any school entity. 24 P.S. §13-1304-A

Home Language Survey
All students seeking first time enrollment in a school shall be given a Home Language Survey according to the requirements of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. The enrollment of the student may not be delayed to administer the Home Language Survey.

As a part of Harambee’s efforts to maintain a safe environment for all students and to determine the supportive services that a student needs upon enrollment in school, we may request the following registration documentation AFTER the student has been enrolled.

Although we may ask for any of this information, it is not required as a condition of enrolling or admitting a student and we shall not delay a student’s enrollment or attendance until these documents are provided.

  1. A copy of the parent/guardian’s picture identification at the time of registration. This copy will be kept on file to verify the identification of persons who are authorized to escort the student to and from the school.
  2. Student Registration Form, which includes demographic information that is not included in the Charter School Application.
  3. Emergency Contact Information Form
  4. Request for Release of Information Form
  5. Report Card
  6. Family Survey
  7. Special Education Documentation (IEP, ER/RER, NOREP)
  8. Press/Photo Parent Release Form
  9. Physical Examination Form
  10. Dental Examination Form
  11. Health Center Consent Form
  12. HIPAA Release Form, for release of medical records (e.g., behavioral/mental health records) from an agency/hospital to the school

We may follow up with the parent/guardian to obtain this information after the student has been enrolled in the school.

If at the time of enrollment, the student’s grade level cannot be verified, a temporary grade assignment will be based upon the available information. When the school obtains the necessary promotion, retention, or grade level information for proper placement, the grade assignment may change.

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2023-2024 School Lottery

Lottery Procedures

Lottery Applications

  • Each student must have a completed Charter School Application to enter the lottery process. Only one application may be submitted per student. (NOTE: THIS APPLICATION IS NOT A CONDITION OF ENROLLMENT BUT IS FOR SCHOOL LOTTERY AND WAITLIST PURPOSES ONLY)
  • Applications must be submitted by the lottery deadline using the online form below or via email at, or fax to (215) 472-9611.
  • Changes cannot be made to the application after it is submitted.
  • It is the responsibility of the adult who applies to notify the school immediately if there are any changes to the contact information provided.

Lottery Instructions

  • The date, time and location of the lottery will be posted on the website no fewer than fourteen (14) calendar days before the date of the lottery and until the lottery is concluded.
  • The lottery will be held at the Harambee Institute of Science and Technology Charter School.
  • The name of each child for whom an application was received by the lottery deadline will be randomly generated by a computer-based system.
  • Names will be drawn for the available seats in each grade. Once all available seats are filled, the remaining names will be randomly assigned a number for the waiting list, beginning with the number one (1) and continuing until every name has been assigned a number.
  • Names will then be placed on the waiting list in numerical order.
  • Families will be notified via email of their child’s acceptance or their number on the waiting list. Waitlist students will be offered acceptance when seats become available in their grades.

Staff Preference

  • Harambee gives lottery preference to new students of staff who are employed for the requested school year.
  • To be eligible for staff preference, employees must submit a lottery application by the deadline. Any staff preference applications received after the lottery deadline will be added to the end of the waiting list and will lose their staff preference.
  • If a child is accepted for the upcoming school year through staff preference, but the current Harambee employee does not return for the school year, staff preference is no longer valid.
  • If an employee is applying for more than one child, an application must be completed for each child. Siblings will only be accepted if space is available.

Sibling Preference

  • Harambee gives lottery preference to new students who have a sibling enrolled in the school. Siblings must live in the same household, have the same parent/guardian, and both siblings must be enrolled for the requested school year.
  • To be eligible for sibling preference, families must submit a lottery application by the deadline. Any sibling preference applications received after the lottery deadline will be added to the end of the waiting list and will lose their sibling preference.
  • While Harambee cannot guarantee that space will be available for siblings entering grades 1-8, siblings will receive a preferred space on the waiting list.
  • If a child is accepted for the upcoming school year through sibling preference, but the current Harambee sibling does not return for the school year, sibling preference is no longer valid.
  • If a family is applying for more than one sibling, an application must be completed for each child. Siblings will only be accepted if space is available.

Waitlist Procedures

  • Harambee does not carry over the waitlist from year-to-year. If a child is on the waiting list for the year requested on the application and space does not become available, the family must submit a new application for the lottery the next school year.
  • When the school reaches its maximum enrollment or there are grade and space limitations, the parent/guardian will be provided with their child’s number on the waiting list.
  • Harambee will fill opening seats throughout the school year. When a seat becomes available, the school will accept new students from the waiting list in the appropriate order for particular grades or new applicants if there are no applicants for that grade on the waiting list.
  • An ordered, up-to-date waitlist will be continuously maintained, reflecting at any given time the next eligible student to be offered admission in each grade, identifying any applicable preference(s) for each student, and indicating the date any student is removed from the waitlist with the reason for removal.

Enrollment Applications

  • Parents have at least four weeks to complete and return the required enrollment documentation post lottery acceptance.
  • Enrollment documents may be submitted in person, or via US mail, fax (215-472-9611), or email (
  • Failure to submit the required enrollment documentation by the deadline forfeits the student’s acceptance. The student will then be placed at the end of the waitlist, regardless of sibling preference.

Exemption from immunization

  • Medical exemption: Students need not be immunized if a physician or the physician’s designee provides a written statement that immunization may be detrimental to the health of the student. When the physician determines that immunization is no longer detrimental to the health of the student, the student must be immunized.
  • Religious exemption: Students need not be immunized if the parent, guardian or emancipated minor objects in writing to the immunization on religious grounds or the basis of a strong moral or ethical conviction similar to a religious belief.
  • Special circumstance: If a student has just started a series for each type of shot, they may be enrolled. The student must be in the process and must keep up with the timeline of the series (e.g., a student just got shot one and he/she will get shot two in thirty days from shot one).

Disciplinary records

  • Harambee shall not deny or delay a student’s enrollment based on the information contained in a disciplinary record or sworn statement. However, if a student is currently expelled for a weapons offense, the school can require that the student complete their alternative education program during the period of expulsion before a lottery application is accepted. 24 P.S. § 13-1317.2(e.1)
  • If the disciplinary record or sworn statement indicates the student has been expelled from a school in which he was previously enrolled, for reasons other than a weapons offense, the school will review the student's prior performance and school record to determine the services and supports to be provided upon lottery acceptance into the school.

Delegation of Parental Responsibility

  • A Delegation of Parental Responsibility is granted following the Pennsylvania Public School Code of 1949.
  • When a resident of any school district keeps in his home a child of school age, not his own, supporting the child gratis as if the child were his own, such child shall be entitled to all free school privileges accorded to resident school children of the district, including the right to attend public school maintained in such district or in other districts in the same manner as though such child was, in fact, a resident school child of the district, and shall be subject to all the requirements placed upon resident school children of the district.
  • Before accepting such child as a pupil, the school board of directors of the district may require such resident to file with the secretary of the Board a sworn statement that he is a resident of the district, that he is supporting the child gratis, that he will assume all personal obligations for the child relative to school requirements, and that he intends to so keep and support the child continuously and not merely through the school term. (Amended December 14, 1967, Act. No. 381).

Residency Affidavit

  • A residency affidavit is used when a parent/legal guardian of a student cannot provide two (2) proofs of residency in his/her name at the time of registration because his/her primary residence is owned or leased by another party and he/she is not receiving any acceptable proofs of residency.
  • Residency affidavit approvals expire on the last day of the school year. A child’s school may require a student’s parent/legal guardian to provide two (2) proofs of residency documents showing his/her name and address before the last day of school. If two proofs of residency are not provided, Harambee may investigate the validity of the information provided by the parent/legal guardian on this legal document. If the information is found to be false, the school may formally submit the parent/legal guardian’s name to the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office for investigation for applicable offenses.

Foster Care

  • The foster parent must present the documentation for the student’s placement within the home. A copy of the documentation from the agency and/or legal entity assigning the child in the home will be placed inside the pupil pocket.
  • Educational Stability for Foster Care Youth in PA - Per the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Harambee Institute will make the following provisions:
    1. Dual-agency Collaboration: Staff will work closely with the Department of Human Services (DHS) to tailor processes and procedures for enrollment, protocols, transportation agreements, best interest determinations, and records transfers.
    2. Best Interest Determination (BID): A child in foster care will remain in his or her school of origin unless it is determined that remaining in the school of origin is not in the child’s best interest.
    3. Immediate Enrollment: If not in their best interest to remain in the school of origin, students will immediately be enrolled in the new school and records will be transferred.
    4. Points of Contact (POCs): Harambee Institute has designated a Foster Care POC to assist with enrollment, transfer, coordination, and support.
    5. Transportation: Harambee will collaborate with DHS/SDP to implement transportation procedures for the duration of a child’s time in foster care.

Homeless children

  • The McKinney-Vento Homeless Act guarantees FAPE for homeless/displaced children and youth. Homeless students will be enrolled immediately under the guidelines of the McKinney Vento Act, even when they lack proper enrollment/transfer documents.
  • A child whose family becomes homeless may remain in the school he/she was attending before becoming homeless for the duration of the school year. If it is feasible, a student may transfer to a school if it is closer to his/her transitional housing.
  • The receiving school may not prevent or delay the enrollment of a homeless child by requiring proof of residency or lack of documentation such as immunization records.
    • The school may seek written confirmation of shelter residency from the shelter director but may not refuse a child admission pending such confirmation.
    • The school can contact the Department of Health (215) 686-5000 to obtain oral confirmation of immunizations. This confirmation can be accepted as verification for enrolling a student *(BEC 42 USC & 11303).
    • Written confirmation should be requested and received within 30 days.
  • Homeless children living more than one mile from the school should be given SEPTA Fare Card.
    • The Shelter/Transitional housing provider must give the student and/or parent verification of residence letter requesting transportation.
    • Students living in other homeless categories must have written confirmation/notification submitted to the transportation department on school letterhead (Considered supporting documentation).
    • SEPTA Fare Card for homeless students are to be requested on the Compass TARS System.
    • This form must be completed and forwarded to Transportation within 48 hours. Harambee is responsible for providing the student pass if this form is not submitted within the specified time.
  • The emergency/transitional housing providers will notify the school counselor when the student moves from the facility. If the student moves between or among emergency or transitional housing and the location is still a mile or more from school, student passes are to be continued throughout the school year.
  • Homeless students temporarily residing outside of Philadelphia School District boundaries are eligible for transportation.
  • No child’s education should be interrupted due to the lack of a school uniform.

Kindergarten students

  • Beginning students entering kindergarten for the first time must be 5 years old on or before September 1 of the school year to which they are applying.

Special Education

  • Students with Individual Education Plans (IEPs) follow the same admission process as regular education students.

Dispute Resolution

  • The following individual has been designated to handle inquiries and disputes regarding the enrollment policies and procedures: David A Rosario, Assistant Principal for Operations.

2023-2024 Timeline



December 11, 2023

2024-2025: The Application process begins

January 15, 2024

Lottery applications are due by 4:00 PM

January 22, 2024

Lottery held at 6:00 PM

January 29, 2024

Notification of acceptance and waitlist status via email

February 26, 2024

Enrollment packets are due from accepted families by 4:00 PM

March 11, 2024

Waitlist students accepted to fill available seats. Enrollment packets are due 10 business days after notification with acknowledgement