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The Application Process

Thank you for you interest in Philadelphia Performing Arts: A String Theory Charter School! This page is designed to help you understand the application process and apply to the school.

You may click any of the sections below to move ahead on the page.

How to Apply

Submitting your lottery application is easy!

Submit your lottery application online to Philadelphia Performing Arts by clicking on the application below and filling out the required information. We accept applications for grades K-12.

Lottery application

lottery application


Please note: The application for the current 2022-2023 school year is still available and is linked below. Any applications accepted for the 2022-2023 school will be added to the waitlist in the order they are received.

Lottery Application (2022-2023)

Lottery Application (2022-2023)

If you need the application translated into a language other that English or Spanish, please call the admissions office at (267) 428-2224 and select prompt 6, or email

Important Dates

January 31, 2023

Deadline to apply to enter the Lottery.

February 8, 2023               

Virtual Lottery at 4:00pm    

The weblink to view the virtual lottery will automatically be sent to applicants via email. The virtual lottery is open to the public, and anyone can contact our Admissions Office for the weblink.

February 10, 2023          

Families are notified via email of acceptance status


Deadline for online registration forms for students accepted from the lottery. Please see the "Forms Link" in your registration email to complete registration.

What is a lottery?

Governed by Pennsylvania Charter School Law, admission into Philadelphia Performing Arts is based on a lottery that is conducted each year. A lottery is a random drawing process that is used for selecting applicants for available seats in a particular grade. We use a computer program designed to randomized applications and generate a list of accepted students and a list of waitlisted students.

While the lottery process randomly selects students for enrollment, there are two lottery preferences given to specific populations of students. More information regarding these preferences can be found in the section, Lottery Preferences.

Please note, being accepted from the lottery does not result in automatic enrollment! Additional information must be submitted to secure a student’s seat. You can find that information here.

Admission Requirements and Policies

The following are important admission requirements and policies. Understanding and adhering to these guidelines will help ensure that your application is processed correctly:

  • Kindergarten students must be five years old on or before September 1, 2023.
  • All lottery applicants must live in Philadelphia. (If accepted, proof of residency is required.)
  • Applications for the 2023-2024 school year must be submitted by the lottery application deadline on January 31, 2023 in order to be entered into the lottery.
  • Applications received after the January 31, 2023 deadline will be entered into the bottom of the waitlist on a first come, first serve basis.
  • If your student is placed on a waitlist, their spot will remain valid for one school year. After that time, they must reapply for the next school year. 

Download the Charter School's Admissions Policy and Procedures to learn more.

Lottery Preferences

There are two types of preferences given to specific student populations: sibling preference and preference given to rising ninth graders who attend our sister school, The Philadelphia Charter School for Arts and Sciences.

Sibling Preference

In order to qualify for sibling preference, the applicant must have a sibling who is currently enrolled in, and attending, Philadelphia Performing Arts for at least one full academic year. Please read on to learn about important requirements for sibling applicants:

  • Sibling preference will not apply unless the sibling is a Philadelphia resident, and the currently enrolled student is in a grade lower than twelfth grade for the 2022-2023 school year.

  • If an applicant is selected through sibling preference for the 2023-2024 school year, the student currently attending must continue to attend for the upcoming school year.
  • A sibling lottery will be held if there are more siblings applying than seats available in a particular grade.
  • Siblings apply using the same application as all other student applicants.

Please note: A sibling is defined as a brother or sister, by blood, marriage, or adoption, living in the same household. Nieces, nephews, cousins, or unrelated children, even if living in the same household as the applicant, are not considered to be siblings.

Arts and Sciences Preference
  • Students applying from our sister school, the Philadelphia Charter School for Arts and Sciences, are given preference in the lottery below sibling preference and above the general population of applicants.

  • This preference is only given to Arts and Sciences students who are applying for ninth grade.

Majors Selection Details

All 6th-12th grade students participate in our Majors Program that enables students to cultivate knowledge and skill in an artistic of academic area of study. Students spend 90 minutes in their major each school day and remain enrolled in their major until graduation. For this reason, incoming students must think carefully about what major they choose on their application. To learn more about the different majors we offer, please see the Majors Program page.

Elementary School Students
  • Kindergarten students must be five years old on or before September 1, 2023.
  • All students in grades Kindergarten-fourth participate in all seven specialty arts and science classes. For a complete list and description of these classes, please visit our Arts Integration page.
  • Fifth grade students take part in a Pre-Majors Program where they choose two majors to participate in each week for the entire school year.

Middle School Students
  • Applicants applying for grades 6th-8th must select from one of our three "schools" or majors. Those schools are:
    • The School of Performing Arts
    • The School of Design
    • The School of Science and Technology
  • The lottery takes into consideration the "school" that an applicant selects on their application. The program enters an applicant into the lottery for the "school" and corresponding grade they are applying for.
  • If an applicant is selected from the lottery, that student will be placed in one of the majors within the selected "school". The majors available for middle school student within each school are:

The School of Performing Arts

  • Classical Ballet
  • Contemporary Dance
  • String Orchestra
  • Concert Band
  • Vocal Music
  • Theatre
  • Television and Broadcast Arts (only available for 7th and 8th graders)

The School of Design

  • Arts and Design

The School of Science and Technology

  • S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)

High School Students
  • Applicants applying for the high school (grades 9th-12th) must select their top THREE choices for a Major.
  • The lottery program takes into account the applicant’s top three preferences for a Major. When the application is entered into the lottery drawing, the majors selected will correspond with the selected grade.
  • If accepted from the lottery, the student will be enrolled in the Major for which the lottery selected the student.
  • High School Majors include the following:

The School of Performing Arts

  • Classical Ballet
  • Contemporary Dance
  • String Orchestra
  • Concert Band
  • Vocal Music
  • Theatre
  • Television and Broadcast Arts

The School of Design

  • Fine Arts
  • Digital Design
  • Applied Arts

The School of Science and Technology

  • S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)
  •  Life Sciences & Biotechnology (grades 10-12) 
  • Engineering & Robotics (Grades 10-12)

I've Applied, Now What?

After you submit your application, you should immediately receive a confirmation email.

The virtual lottery will be livestreamed on Wednesday, February 8, 2023 at 4:00 P.M. Prior to February 8th, you will be emailed the weblink to view the virtual lottery. 

Lottery result notifications will be sent to families via email on February 10, 2023. 

Accepted Applicants

  • If an applicant is accepted from the lottery, the student's parent/guardian will receive registration instructions following the acceptance email.
  • Registration instructions will list deadlines and enrollment requirements in order to secure the accepted seat. New students and families will have opportunities to attend orientations and events at the school leading up to the new school year.
  • You must complete registration to fully enroll your student for the upcoming school year.

Waitlisted Applicants

  • If a student is waitlisted, the waitlist email will include the student's waitlist number. 
  • Waitlists are valid for one school year and the school's Admissions Office will contact you if your student is ever accepted off the waitlist.
  • If an applicant on the waitlist is not notified of acceptance throughout the year, then you MUST reapply or the next school year.

If you have read through the information and are ready to apply for the 2023-2024 school year, click the button below to get started. 

lottery application (english)

lottery application (spanish)

lottery application (chinese)

If you would like to be placed on the wait list for the current school year (2022-2023), you may fill out an application to do so here.

If you have any additional questions regarding the lottery process or online application, please see our Frequently Asked Questions page, or email the Admissions Office at