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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Charter School?

Charter Schools are public schools. They are funded by tax dollars and are tuition-free. Act 22, Charter School Law mandates that charter schools be unique and innovative in their approach to teaching and learning. Charter schools were not meant to replicate or be compared to traditional public schools. Instead, charter schools were enacted by law to offer families a choice outside of the traditional school setting and one in which a family believes will offer the best fit for the way their child learns. Charter school law mandates that charter schools be self-managed, public schools established for an expressed purpose: to foster innovation and to be models for replication. Green Woods ensures that our students are successful learners by teaching a rigorous, standards-based curriculum taught by highly qualified teachers.

What is the grade structure and current enrollment of the school?

Green Woods serves 675 students in grades K through 8.

What are my chances of gaining enrollment to Green Woods for my child?

As a public charter school, Green Woods welcomes applicants from throughout the city of Philadelphia. At present, our school represents families from more than 30 Philadelphia zip codes. The School District of Philadelphia, however, mandates that Green Woods fill a minimum of 75% of lottery seats with applicants from within the "catchment area" of our local public schools: Dobson, Cook-Wissahickon, Shawmont, and Mifflin.

Green Woods had over 1,100 applicants for September 2015 and currently has more than 900 families on our waiting list. The current waiting list will expire and families on the waiting list will need to reapply to the lottery for September 2016 admission.

Is transportation provided to students?

Transportation services are not provided for Kindergarten students. Green Woods students in grades 1 through 8 receive yellow school bus transportation to and from school by the School District of Philadelphia, based on the School District's transportation policies. Green Woods is required to utilize the transportation services through the District.

Are students required to wear school uniforms?

Green Woods students are required to wear uniforms. Please see the student handbook for a full explanation of our dress code. Parents purchase uniforms for their children through Flynn and O'Hara, via the following website: www.flynnohara.com. Each year we also do a “uniform swap” providing an opportunity for families to come and get gently worn uniform clothing free of charge. Please see the link for the PTA Facebook page if you have further questions.

Does Green Woods provide breakfast/lunch?

Green Woods does not have a breakfast or lunch program. Our families pack a lunch and a healthy snack for their children to eat each day.

What is the length of the school day?

Our school day begins at 8:15 and ends at 3:13.

Does Green Woods have a before-school and/or after-school program?

Green Woods families take advantage of the after-care program offered for a fee by the Roxborough YMCA (across the street from GWCS) as well as fee-based programs offered by other local organizations. Arrangements for any of these programs must be made directly through each organization.

How are students selected for admission?

Students are selected by lottery. For a full description of our admissions process, please go to the "Admissions" or "Apply" section on our website.

Where can I find the GWCS Student & Parent Handbook and Discipline Policy?

Green Woods has very high expectations for student behavior, attendance and academic accountability. To learn more about our expectations, please refer to our Student-Parent Handbook which can be found under the Parents and Students link on this website. 
Does Green Woods provide Special Education Services and, if so, what services does it provide?

Green Woods was founded as a full-inclusive school. This means that we provide the types of support services for students whose needs can, within this least restrictive learning environment. We believe that education should be delivered in an appropriate setting in which a child has the greatest likelihood of being a successful learner and member of the classroom and community. The identified needs of some students can, at times, require a level of services and support beyond what can successfully and appropriately be delivered in a full-inclusive setting. Should it be determined that a child's needs require a placement with more support, resources and services, Green Woods works closely with our families to provide a are that ensures a child's greatest opportunity for success.

A student, successful within our full-inclusive setting, may receive additional services if the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team determines that related services are required for that student to make adequate academic progress in the general curriculum. These related services include, but are not limited to, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, reading and math support, and counseling. 

What is the focus of Green Woods Curriculum?

Green Woods Charter School uses an approach to teaching and learning known as EIC, which stands for using the Environment as an Integrated Context for learning. EIC is a nationally-research, evidence-based program proven to energize students, empower teachers and close the achievement gap. Our students spend time outdoors in all kinds of weather, immersed in learning experiences that expand their knowledge base while having them actively engaged in observing, questioning, and discovering how the environment works. 

How do Green Woods' test scores compare to other schools?

Green Woods has won numerous awards for its success and innovative approach to teaching and learning. Our test scores far exceed the local and state averages. For example, the Spring 2014 PSSA results indicate100% of 7th-grade students scored proficient/advanced in Reading, while 85% of 4th-grade students and 85% of 8th-grade students scored proficient/advanced in Science. Math scores for grades 3-8 average 86% proficient/advanced. Our 8th-grade students are accepted to the top high schools in the city.

What kind of student would enjoy learning at Green Woods?

Our mission is to create active stewards of the natural world. To that end, we strongly encourage parents applying to Green Woods to please consider the many potential allergy triggers that exist when students are actively learning outdoors. Please be aware of how your child reacts to weather-related events, seasonal changes, and allergens. Children can often be out of doors, in all kinds of weather, engaged in active learning.

What is expected of Green Woods' Parents/Guardians/Families?

Research has proven time and again that involved adults have a profound and positive impact on a child's success in school. Our students' families are our partners in education and we have high expectations for family support and involvement.

How do I volunteer at GWCS?

Please visit the Get Involved! page, where you can read about "Volunteering at Green Woods Charter School".