Admissions Process

The Prospect Hill Academy admissions process is open to all Massachusetts residents and is non-selective and non-discriminatory. Governed by Massachusetts charter school laws, admission is lottery based with preference given to Somerville and Cambridge residents and those with siblings in the school. Below is a detailed outline of the various steps in the application process.

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. 

Applicants to Kindergarten must be five years of age by August 31 of the year they plan to enter Kindergarten.
  1. Open House: Attend Open House and School Tour (strongly recommended but not mandatory). School Tours are schedule following the Open House events in January.
  2. Application: Complete and submit an application form: Application forms can be received during Open Houses, at the main offices of all campuses, or completed and submitted online. Applications are excepted for grades K through 9.  It is required by law that families provide proof of residency at the time they submit the application by providing one of the following documents: a gas bill, an electricity bill, or a lease agreement.
  3. Lottery: The first lottery takes place the second Wednesday in March. Subsequent lotteries are held in late spring. At the lottery, applications are drawn at random. However, preference is given to the following applicants:
    1. Somerville and Cambridge residents with siblings in the School*: 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. All other district resident with siblings in the School*: 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. All other districts: 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. 

  4. Acceptance Notification: Accepted students will be notified within 2 weeks of the lottery.

  5. Shadow Student: Upon acceptance, children applying for 5th grade or higher can request the opportunity to spend one day at school with a currently enrolled student.

  6. Orientation: All applicants and parents/guardians will attend an orientation. At orientation all students and parents/guardians sign a compact that outlines student and parent expectations.

  7. Grade-level Assessment: All students applying for grades 1-9 are required to take a grade-level placement assessment.  Families will be contacted after results are received. Not all students may qualify for the grade they applied.

  8. Registration: Upon acceptance of grade placement, all parents/guardians complete a formal student registration. A registration packet will be sent to the applicant’s home and parents/guardians are required to complete all forms and provide all requested documentation in order for the child to begin school at PHA.

  9. Waitlist: Students not accepted are placed on the Waitlist until a space becomes available or enrollment closes on February 15 of any given year. Applications do not carry over to the next year. All children not accepted by February 15 must reapply  the following year.

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

Click here for the school full enrollment policy.



  • Did you receive a letter regarding Lottery Results?

    If you submitted an Admissions Application prior to the February 28, 2014 deadline and have not yet received a letter regarding Admissions Lottery results, please see the grade-specific contact information as follows:

    Posted 4.2.14
  • PHA's 2014-2015 Admissions Process Information

    June Lottery Application deadline: Friday May 30, 2014

    The application deadline for the March 12, 2014 Admissions Lottery has passed.

    We will continue to accept applications for the June Admissions Lottery; June Lottery applicants will be added to the wait lists that were generated by the March Lottery. All applications received or postmarked between March 1-May 30, 2014 will be included in the June 4, 2014 lottery, pending verification of the information submitted.

    Please click "read more" for additional information

    Posted 3.31.14

    Parents/Guardians interested in touring the Early Childhood Campus in advance of the 2014-2015 Admissions Lottery may sign up for the following tour dates (click "read more"):

    Posted 11.21.13