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Military Families - K-12 Enrollment: Public Charter Schools

Public Charter Schools

Public education in Washington, DC comprises more than 60 local education agencies (LEAs) overseeing over 200 individual campuses. This includes the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), with over 100 employees, and more than 100 public charter schools operated by 60+ nonprofits.

Like DCPS, public charter schools are publicly funded and tuition-free. However, enrollment in public charter schools is a separate process. All new students interested in attending a charter school must use the My School DC application. My School DC is the common application and lottery process to apply for placement at schools across the city.

How do I enroll my child in a public charter school?

To enroll your child in a charter school you must complete the following steps:

  1. Apply: Submit an application through the My School DC Common Lottery (more information below)
  2. Enroll: Once assigned to a school, enroll your child in their assigned school by the appropriate enrollment deadline (see below).
    1. Note: If the public charter school does not participate in the My School DC Common Lottery, visit the school’s website to learn more about enrolling your child.
  3. If not assigned to a school or placed on a waiting list, enroll your child in their right-to-attend school within DCPS.

Where can I find more information on public charter schools?

The DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB) is an independent agency that provides oversight to all the public charter schools in the District. You can view and compare charter school profiles here.

What is My School DC and the DC Common Lottery?

The My School DC application is a single online application families must complete to be considered for placement in public charter schools (pre-K 3–12), DCPS out-of-boundary schools (K–12), all DCPS pre-K 3 and pre-K 4 programs, and DCPS citywide selective high schools (9–12).

How do I apply for the My School DC lottery?

In order to successfully apply for the lottery, you will need to create an account through My School DC and be prepared to submit the following information:

  • Child’s name and date of birth
  • Child’s current school and grade
  • Your current place of residence - you must use a District address to apply for the lottery (see below for information on establishing residency in the District).

How does the My School DC application process work? What happens after I submit an application? What happens after I receive my results? How do I confirm a match/placement with a school? How do I enroll in my matched/placement school?

How do I verify my District residency to enroll my child in a public charter school?

  • Military families not living on a military installation: All students enrolled in public schools in the District (DCPS and public charter schools) must provide proof of residency in the District or pay tuition as an out-of-state student. 
  • Military families living on a military installation:
  • You may use your current official military housing orders to establish proof of residency. They must show your student’s name, the name of the caregiver enrolling the student, and the address.

If you do not yet have your housing orders, please contact the Office of Enrollment and Residency at [email protected] for assistance completing the DC Residency Verification Form.