Admissions Overview

Enrollment Policy

In accordance with Massachusetts laws governing charter schools, our enrollment process is nonselective  and non-discriminatory. Prospect Hill Academy Charter School is open to all  Commonwealth of Massachusetts students with preference given to Somerville and Cambridge  residents and those with siblings in the School. Admission is based on a lottery process and class  placement cannot be determined until the student has written a grade-level assessment. Lotteries  are generally held between March and July of a given application cycle.

Eligibility Criteria

Enrollment to the School is non-discriminatory and open to all Massachusetts residents at the  time of application. It is required that families provide proof of residency by providing one of the  following documents at the time they submit the application: a gas bill, an electricity bill, or a  lease agreement. Should a student fail to provide proof of residency or should it be determined  that a family has provided false information of residency or otherwise, the application will be  void.

In accordance with regulation Ch.79. 89 (i); 603 CMR 1.06 (4)(d), in cases where the enrollment 
of a student, who is not a sibling of another previously enrolled student, would exceed the district  charter tuition cap, the student is skipped over but kept on the waiting list. In cases where the  enrollment of a student who is a sibling of a student already attending the school would exceed  the district charter school tuition cap, the sibling will be admitted in accordance to the lottery.

Applicants to Kindergarten must be five years of age by August 31 of the year they plan to enter 
Kindergarten. No age requirements for high school students apply.

There are no academic requirements to be admitted to the School and no testing is administered 
prior to admission. However, accepted students are assigned to a specific grade only after  completing a grade level assessment.

Prospect Hill Academy Charter School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national 
origin, creed, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, mental or physical disability, age, ancestry,  athletic performance, special need, proficiency in the English language or in a foreign language,  or prior academic achievement.

To ensure applicants and their families understand Prospect Hill Academy’s mission, the school 
holds Open House and Information Sessions as well as School Tours at the beginning of each  application cycle and encourages but does not require applying families to attend.

Application Process

Prospect Hill Academy Charter School begins accepting applications each fall for the following  school year. Applications require only one parent/guardian signature. All applications are coded  with one of the following preference pools:
  1. Somerville and Cambridge siblings*: Children who share a common biological or legal  parent of a student enrolled at the School as of the application deadline who is also a  Somerville or Cambridge resident.
  2. Non-Somerville or Cambridge siblings*: Children who share a common biological or  legal parent of a student enrolled at the School as of the application deadline who is not a  Somerville or Cambridge resident.
  3. Somerville and Cambridge residents: any applicant whose residence is within the  Somerville or Cambridge city limits as of the application deadline.
  4. Non-Somerville and Cambridge residents: any applicant whose residence is outside the  Somerville or Cambridge city limits as of the application deadline.
* Twins are considered separate applicants. Sibling preference only applies if one child is already attending the school at the time the other applies.

If there are more applicants than available spaces within the application pool for any given grade, a lottery process will be held to determine acceptance into the School. If there are more spaces than applicants within any application pool for any particular grade, then all applicants within said application pool will be accepted. The process is repeated, sequentially, for each subsequent application pool.

When lotteries are held, each application deadline will be advertised a minimum of one month in 
advance. Prospect Hill Academy will determine the number of spaces available for each grade  level at the time of the lottery. Applications received after the application deadline will enter the  next lottery for any given application cycle. However, if the waitlist from the March and July  lotteries can sustain enrollment and backfill until February 15th, no subsequent lottery will be  held.

In accordance with the amended Charter School Statute M.G.L.c.71; 89 the school will backfill 
vacated seats at minimum in grades K-5 up to February 15th. Should a student who was in  attendance on the first day of school withdraw, that student’s seat will be offered to the first  person on that grade’s waitlist, based on the aforementioned preference pools. Should the waitlist  for the vacated seats be exhausted, a subsequent lottery process will take place. Vacancies which  occur after February 15th are filled the following September.

Lotteries are held between March and July and a subsequent lottery may be added up to February 
15th of an application cycle. Lotteries are drawn by a certified lottery software system. Lottery  dates are posted on the PHA web site. They are held at the Early Childhood campus on 15  Webster Ave., Somerville and are open to the public. Each applicant entered into the lottery will  receive a unique lottery number indicating the applicant’s preference pool prior to the lottery.

Applicants accepted to the School are notified by mail if the notification takes place prior to 
school begin and by phone if the notification takes place after school begin. Parents/guardians  must accept enrollment in writing or via phone within 14 days of the notification date if  notification takes place prior to August 15th and within 5 days of the notification date if  notification takes place after August 15th of a given application cycle.

Should a parent/guardian fail to accept enrollment within the permissible time frame, the school 
will make several attempts at contacting the family. Failure to accept enrollment will lead to the  space being offered to the next applicant on the waitlist.

Waitlist Policy

Applicants who are not accepted to the School will be placed on a grade-level waitlist in the sequence of their lottery placement and preference pool (1. Siblings of residents, 2. Siblings at large, 3. Residents, 4. Students at large). Should a space become available, the first student on the corresponding grade-level waitlist will be accepted and informed thereof by mail prior to school begin and by phone after school begin. If a student declines an offer of admission PHA will remove that student’s name from the admissions list and move to the next eligible student based on the lottery process.

The School will keep accurate records of the waitlist of any given application cycle, including 
names, home addresses, phone numbers and grade levels. However, waitlists are not carried over  to the next school year. After February 15th of a given application cycle, all applications on the  waitlist are void. Students who wish consideration for the following year need to re-apply and reenter  the lottery process.

Returning Students

Students who are already enrolled in the School do not need to re-apply or re-register. Should an  enrolled student fail to attend school, policies and procedures pertaining to attendance will be  applied.

Disclosure of Student Information

PHA respects the privacy of its students and families and will not release student information to  third parties unless required by law to do so. In accordance with Statute M. G. L. Chapter 71,  Section 89, the School will release its mailing list to a state-approved mailing house at the  request of the School’s host cities’ school districts. Prior to release, each PHA family is notified  in writing and given the option to opt out from the mailing list.

The PHA application in English, Haitian Creole, Spanish, and Portuguese can be found at:

For more information about admissions, please send an email to or call 617-284-7911.

The Admissions process for 2016-2017 will begin on December 15, 2015

Please check here for a link to submit your online application between December 15, 2015 and  February 29, 2016.