Charter Schools in NYC

As you know from experience, your child’s learning environment can have a huge impact on their desire to learn and do well in school. Middle school is an important season; it’s critical for pre-teens to start building confidence in their abilities and setting goals for the future.

You want to make the best decision for your child and choose a middle school where they will thrive. Have you considered the benefits of a charter school?

Perhaps you’ve looked at charter schools before, or maybe this is your first time. Regardless of where you are, we want you to feel confident as you decide what the best learning environment looks like for your middle schooler. That’s why we’ve put together this short overview of public versus charter schools in NYC — including a glimpse at what St HOPE Leadership Academy, our charter school in Harlem, has to offer. Take a look, jot down your questions, and contact the St HOPE team if you would like to learn more.

Why charter schools?

Did you know that the NYC school system is the largest school district in the United States? There are more than 1,860 schools within it, spanning across the five boroughs. With so many students in one system — approximately 1,126,501 students — the last thing you want is for your child to become another number. 

Families choose charter schools in NYC because they are:


There are only 260 privately run charter schools in NYC. These charter schools set their own mission and are governed by an independent Board of Trustees (versus the NYC Department of Education). Because of this, they are often considered more flexible than traditional public schools and can focus on specific programming, such as Fine Arts or STEM.

Community Focused

Although charter schools are open to all NYC students, some charters include provisions to meet the educational needs of their local community. For example, St HOPE Leadership Academy was created to provide a quality education to the children in Central Harlem, as well as English Language Learners, students with disabilities, and those who are economically disadvantaged. St HOPE’s high school and college-preparatory program focuses on moving all students to academic success and instills a commitment to serve others in their communities.

Free Education

Charter schools are public schools and receive funding by the state and federal government, which means it doesn’t cost your child anything to attend.

Accountable for Success

While charter schools define their own performance goals and decide how they assess student achievement and growth, they are also held accountable by the state for student performance. If they do not meet their goals, a charter school can be closed. With this in mind, charter school students typically outperform their peers from other district public schools on state exams and benchmarks.

The iPad preview for the St. HOPE Parent Info Packet

We Help Middle Schoolers Dream a Bigger Tomorrow.

Download our Parent Info Packet to learn how.

The combination of freedom and accountability for success allows charter schools to try new approaches, respond to community needs, and put student learning first.

NYC Charter Schools

98% of scholars reported they feel safe at St HOPE, compared to the citywide average of 82%

55% of St HOPE teachers have been teaching for 5 years or longer

1 of 2 middle schools to receive the distinction of 2021 National School of Character

St HOPE alumni received $181,750 through individual scholarships last year

Frequently Asked Questions

Applying to Charter Schools in NYC

STEP 1: Apply

Use School Mint to create an account and apply to your charter school(s) of choice. 

STEP 2: Receive notification of your child’s acceptance

Acceptances are distributed via email. 

STEP 3: Register Online 

Time to enroll! Each charter school has their own registration process. To learn more about registering your child at St HOPE, visit our admissions page.

Is your middle schooler ready to thrive?