Raleigh Charter High School Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply to RCHS?
Prospective students complete an application for admission to Raleigh Charter High School.
- Applications are available at RCHS Open Houses and on the website for one month from the end of January until the end of February. Applications must be completed by hand and must be mailed or dropped off at the school within the application window. The specific dates of this window are announced each December for the lottery the following March.
Who is eligible to apply to RCHS?
Raleigh Charter High School admits students without regard to disability, race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, or ancestry.
- Applicants must be from parents who are currently legal residents of North Carolina. The domicile must be in place at the time of the lottery. Families provide transportation to our school.
- Applicants must be ready for Algebra I/Math 1 or a higher mathematics course in the ninth grade. A math placement form indicating that the student is prepared for Algebra I/Math 1 or higher level math course and signed by the current math teacher completes the application.
How does the admissions lottery work?
All applications for the coming school year are assigned a lottery identification number.
On a predetermined date each March, numbers are randomly drawn during a public lottery, and openings are filled in each math course in the ninth grade (see the math pools question below for more information) and in any open spots in the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades.
- A numbered waiting list for each lottery pool is then established to fill slots that become available at later dates.
- On the afternoon of the lottery, information about acceptances, waiting lists, and denials will be posted on the school's website. Students will be listed by lottery number.
Do I have to come to the lottery?
No. RCHS holds a public lottery, and you are welcome to attend. However, we will post lottery results (the lottery ID numbers of those accepted and waitlisted) on our website late in the afternoon the day of the lottery.
- Our school is small, and the largest room on campus holds about 80 people. So, if you do attend our lottery, please expect crowds and be patient.
What are my chances of acceptance?
- Over the past few years, non-siblings have had between a 10% and 13% chance of being admitted in the ninth-grade lottery.
Do siblings get admission priority?
Siblings of current RCHS students, siblings of RCHS graduates who finished all four years at RCHS (and graduated), and children of full-time employees are given priority. The current student must be enrolled for one year before sibling status is granted.
- Students in priority categories must complete an application, submit it on time, and demonstrate readiness for at least Algebra I/Math 1 in the ninth grade like all other applicants.
What if I am applying for siblings who are not twins (or multiple birth siblings)?
- Please complete two separate applications (one for each sibling) and place them in separate envelopes.
- If one sibling is accepted in the lottery and that sibling decides to attend RCHS, than the other sibling will receive sibling preference the following year. (The current student must be enrolled for one year before sibling status is granted.)
What if I am applying for twins or multiples?
- State law allows one lottery number per family surname to be entered into the lottery for twins and multiple birth siblings. If that number is drawn, all multiple birth siblings of that surname will be admitted.
May I apply for upper grades?
- Yes. However, the school comprises grades 9-12. So, most openings are for the 9th grade where we are filling an entire class. Typically, we have from zero to ten openings in grades 10, 11, and 12.
- At the lottery, we usually draw students applying for grades 10, 11, and 12 to form waiting lists. Students will be admitted from those waiting lists over the course of the summer as current families let us know that their student does not plan to return for the following year.
- Siblings applying for grades 10, 11, or 12 will receive preference in lottery as well and will be drawn to create ordered waiting lists. The sibling waiting lists will be used before the non-sibling waiting lists.
Why are there different math pools and how do they work?
- In order to maintain consistency in the numbers of each math course offered each year, we admit ninth graders in math pools in the lottery. The student's math pool is determined by the recommendation of the eighth-grade math teacher on the math recommendation form (a part of the application).
- Although the number of spots available to freshmen in each math course remains relatively consistent, the numbers of applicants in each math pool varies. Therefore, we cannot give exact percentages of admission for each math pool.
- We can say that over the last few years, the chances of acceptance in each math pool have been just about equal.
May we schedule a tour of the school?
- Due to tremendous community interest in our school and our priority to maintain an environment conducive to learning, we cannot schedule tours and we do not allow visitors during the school day. During our Open Houses in January and February families have the opportunity to see the classrooms, meet the teachers, and learn about RCHS. Return to the admissions page of our website for details about how the Open Houses work.
- In April, we also hold another Open House just for students who were admitted in the lottery to help them to make a decision about whether or not to attend RCHS.
What curriculum is followed?
- We teach the North Carolina Standard Course of Study, and our teachers use every opportunity to enrich the curriculum.
- During high school, students must take at least four courses in Math, English, and History, three courses in Science, and at least two consecutive years of a foreign language in order to graduate from Raleigh Charter High School. We offer math courses from Math 1 to Calculus 3. Many courses are offered only at the honors (advanced) or AP (Advanced Placement) level.
What is the daily schedule?
- Students take six forty-five minute classes each day. Classes start at 9:00 am and finish at 2:40 pm.
- All students have the same lunch period. Lunch is between fourth and fifth periods.
- Teachers assign 20-30 minutes of homework per class, per night (30-45 minutes for AP classes). So, students should expect to have between two and three hours of homework each night.
- School begins at 9:00 am and ends at 2:40 pm. Students should not arrive at school before 8:10 am and should be picked up by 4:00 pm. Students staying on campus after school must be in study hall or in an organized after-school activity.
Do you meet state and local requirements for racial diversity?
- Raleigh Charter High School admits students without regard to disability, race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, or ancestry.
- We seek to diversify our community by encouraging a diverse applicant pool. See the diversity initiative page of our website.
- Our state-mandated lottery process results in a random sampling of applicants.
Where do your graduates attend college?
- Follow this link for information from our college counseling office about schools where our students have been accepted.
Is there a volunteer requirement for parents?
- We appreciate that many of our families choose to volunteer their time and energy to help support RCHS. Since RCHS and other charter schools do not receive capital funding from the state or county, we rely on a great deal of help from our families.
- Our parent organization is called PASTA. You can learn more about this organization on the PASTA page of our website.
Do you follow the Wake County schedule?
- Our calendar is established internally and is different from the Wake County schedule in many, but not all, ways. Our school calendar is available on our website.
How does my student get to school?
- We do not provide buses; parents are responsible for their child's transportation needs. PASTA, our parent organization, helps families establish carpools. The Raleigh city bus (#6) stops right in front of our school on Glenwood Avenue.
Is there a cost to attend RCHS?
- No, RCHS is a free, public charter school.