Charter Schools are public, tuition-free schools that function under a charter (PA Charter School Law was enacted in 1997).  The charter enables schools to engage in innovative educational programs that meet high performance standards.

School begins at 7:45 A.M. and ends at 3:30 P.M.  Dismissal times may stagger for various grade levels.

Yes.  Extended Day care (aftercare) is offered until 6 P.M. every school day.

Onsite and offsite summer programs are designated by each campus.

No. The School District of Philadelphia provides transpasses for students who live 1.5 miles or more from the school.

Yes.  All students who are eligible will receive free or reduced price breakfast and lunch.  To apply, visit the LUNCH INFORMATION page.

Yes.  All students are required to wear the official school uniform and the uniform policy is strictly enforced.  Uniforms can be purchased at Cramers Uniforms:  www.cramersuniforms.com.

Yes.  The school follows the Child Find Policy and offers Special Education programs and services.

Yes.  The school develops and accommodates gifted individual educational plans and offers advanced and honors courses.

Yes. For more information, see the CURRICULUM & CULTURE page.  In addition, high school students have the opportunity to participate in dual enrollment courses with universities in the area for college credit.  For more information, visit the COLLEGE PARTNERSHIPS page.

  1. Does the school offer sports and other after school activities?


Yes.  Families must read and sign the Acceptable Use Policy for Technology as part of the Student-Parent/Guardian Handbook each year.


Application Process

All students living in Philadelphia and entering grades K-12 are eligible to apply through the online application found HERE.

Kindergarten applicants MUST be five (5) years old by September 1st of the school year for which they are applying.

Applicants living outside of Philadelphia, but still residents of Pennsylvania, who apply through the lottery process may be admitted only if enrollment for a particular grade is not capped following the admission of Philadelphia resident students.

When the application opens each year, an application window and deadline will be published on the APPLY AND ENROLL page of the website.  As long as the application is submitted by the lottery application deadline, the application will enter the lottery.

All applications submitted after the lottery application deadline are placed at the bottom of the waitlist on a first-come, first-serve basis.

No.  Only one (1) application per student may be submitted.  All duplicate applications are not admitted into the lottery drawing.

Please email admissions.ppa@stringtheoryschools.org to correct or update information in the application.  Do not submit a duplicate application (it will not count).  It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to update the school if contact information for the applicant has changed.

Waitlists remain valid for one (1) school year only and are based on the current school year applications.  If an applicant on the waitlist is not notified of acceptance, he/she MUST reapply for next school year.

The online application is available in English and Spanish.  In addition paper applications are available to download in several foreign languages from the APPLY AND ENROLL page.  Please email admissions.ppa@stringtheoryschools.org if you need an application in a different foreign language from what is available.


Each year, the lottery is held in the winter for the following school year admissions.  For exact dates and location, see the APPLY AND ENROLL page.

Yes.  The lottery is open to the public.

In Kindergarten, there are approximately 180 students accepted each year.

In 1st-12th grades, there are a limited number of spots available, approximately 25 in total each year.

Approximately 5,000 applications in total are submitted each year for grades K-12.

Sibling Preference

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.

Applicants must have a sibling, as defined above, who is currently enrolled in and attending Philadelphia Performing Arts: A String Theory Charter School for at least one (1) full academic year.

No.  A Sibling Lottery will be held in the event that there are more siblings applying than seats available in any particular grade.  This means that siblings could be on a waitlist for any particular grade.


The Majors program begins in 5th grade and continues through 12th grade.  For information about the Majors Program, see OUR MODEL page and CURRICULUM AND CULURE page.

Yes.  Middle School applicants (Grades 5-8) select from the “Schools” of Majors. This selection will enter the applicant into the lottery for that Major School in the corresponding grade. If accepted from the lottery, the student will be placed in one of the Majors within the selected School.

High School applicants (Grades 9-12) select their top THREE (3) choices for a Major.  The lottery takes into account the applicant’s top three (3) preferences for Majors when entering the applicant into the lottery drawing for the majors selected in the corresponding grade. If accepted from the lottery, the student will be enrolled in the Major for which the lottery selected him / her.


At this time, there are very few spots available in all Majors, as the school has reached its full capacity.  Open spots are determined each year if and when current students exit the school.

There is a Change of Major Request Policy in the Student-Parent/Guardian Handbook; however, there are extensive waitlists for most Majors at this time.  No request to change a Major will be granted for the 2016-2017 or 2017-2018  school years.

No. Students are placed in a level that suits their abilities.  Levels range from Beginner to Advanced.