2024-2025 Lottery Process

The application for next school year will be available on September 22, 2023. Please read this page carefully before submitting an application.

The lottery application submission deadline is January 22, 2024.

All applications must be submitted through Apply Philly Charter.

The lottery drawing will be held through Apply Philly Charter.

      1. Application window: Friday, September 22, 2023, through Monday, January 22, 2024.
      2. Common Lottery Date: Wednesday, February 7, 2024
      3. Notification Date: Friday, February 9, 2024
      4. Acceptance Date: Friday, February 23, 2024

Any application received after the lottery deadline will be added to the end of the waiting list.

Our waiting list does not carry over from year to year. You must submit a new application each year to be entered into that year’s lottery.

​Independence Charter School-Center City is located at 16th & Lombard Streets in Center City Philadelphia. Yellow school bus transportation is provided for 1st-6th grade students who live more than 1.5 miles from the school. SEPTA Transpasses are provided to 7th-8th grade students who live more than 1.5 miles from the school. There is no transportation for kindergarten students. The school day begins at 8:15 and ends at 3:30 (3:15 for kindergarten students). We dismiss early every Wednesday at 1:45pm (1:30 for kindergarten students). We do not provide aftercare service, but many private local aftercare organizations pick up at our school.

Our Vision: Independence Charter School will foster equity and excellence in learning by embracing global citizenship, bilingual education, rigorous academics, and creative expression through the arts.

Our Values:

  • Community. We honor and celebrate the fullness of our individual and collective humanity.
  • Courage. We accept the challenge and joy of standing for who we are and for everyone’s right to be themselves.
  • Growth. We take risks and do difficult things every day because learning strengthens our relationships to ourselves, each other, and the world. Learning is worth the effort.
  • Equity. We create a just learning environment that provides all learners with what they need to feel and be healthy, safe, and affirmed. All learners deserve academic opportunities that meet their needs.

Spanish Immersion & Spanish Enhanced Programs

ICS-Center City currently offers two programs, Spanish Immersion and Spanish Enhanced.

  • Students in the Spanish Immersion program are taught in Spanish for the majority of the school day, with the goal of creating students who are bilingual and biliterate. In the Immersion program, major subject areas such as math, reading, social studies, and science are taught entirely in Spanish.
  • Students in the Spanish Enhanced program are taught in English for the majority of the school day and receive separate Spanish language instruction 4-5 times per week for 30-45 minutes per day.

We strongly recommend that you understand the difference between our two language programs before applying for our 1st-8th grade lottery.

You can read more on our websiteemail us, or call us at 215-238-8000, x2500.

Visit our Language Programs page to see a video of a Spanish Immersion kindergarten classroom.

Application Guidelines:

  • For an application to be valid, all information must be complete and accurate.
  • You must submit a separate application for each child.
  • Only one application per child will be valid.
  • To be qualified to enter the kindergarten lottery, your child must turn 5 years old by September 1, 2023. No exceptions.
  • It is your responsibility to notify us if your contact information changes.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure that you have received an email receipt and save it for your records.
  • The waiting list does not carry over from year to year.
  • If you live outside of Philadelphia, you are not eligible to enter the lottery drawing. You will be added to the end of the waiting list after the lottery drawing.

Sibling Preference

ICS gives lottery preference to new students who already have a sibling enrolled in the school. Siblings must live in the same household and have the same legal parent/guardian. Families must submit a valid lottery application by the deadline to be eligible for sibling preference.

If you would like to learn more about our school services, policies, and procedures before applying, please refer to our Policies page.

Any application submitted after the lottery deadline of January 22, 2024 will be added to the end of the waiting list.

Opening Worlds of Opportunity




      215-238-8000, ext. 2222

      215-238-8000, ext. 2228 (Para español)

      Contact us


1600 Lombard St.
Philadelphia, PA 19146

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