frequently asked questions

Separating Fact from Fiction

MYTH: Charter schools are not public schools.
FACT: As defined in federal and state law, charter schools are public schools. They must meet the same standards that all public schools must meet:
1) tuition-free and open to all students,
2) non-sectarian and no discrimination on any basis,
3) publicly funded by local, state, and federal tax dollars based on enrollment, like other public schools; and
4) held accountable to state and federal academic standards.

MYTH: Charter schools cherry-pick the best students from traditional public schools.
FACT: Public charter schools are generally required to accept all students who want to attend.
If there are more interested students than available seats, the schools are generally required to hold lotteries, which randomly determine which students will be enrolled.
Unlike magnet schools overseen by public school districts, public charter schools cannot selectively admit students. According to federal law, they must accept all students, including students with disabilities and English Learners (ELs), regardless of previous academic performance.
In 2014, the U.S. Department of Education revised its long-standing policy requiring charter schools to use a “blind” lottery when they are oversubscribed. Where it is permitted by state law, charters can now use “weighted” lotteries to preference “educationally disadvantaged” students. This change will likely result in charter schools serving an even greater share of disadvantaged children. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a charter public school?

Charter schools are independently operated public schools. There is no charge to parents because funding comes from state and local taxes. Charter schools must meet the same academic requirements as traditional public schools but are also directly accountable to parents.

What is the cost of tuition?

North Side is a public school open to any age appropriate resident of the City of St. Louis, Missouri. There is no charge to attend the school for residents of the City of St. Louis.

When does enrollment occur?

North Side accepts enrollment applications at any time.

How does a family enroll a student in North Side?

Click here or you can stop by the school office on any of our three campuses to pick up an enrollment form. There are several supporting documents that must be submitted before an application is accepted. Examples are immunization records, proof of City residency, and prior school records, if applicable.

Is there an after-school program?

Extended Day Learn & Do
2d-6th grades

North Side is an extended-day school. This means that all of our students in 2nd through 6th grade are in school until 4:45 p.m. Monday-Thursday and until 3:30 p.m. on Friday. Extended day programs begin at 3 p.m. and offerings include dance, art, music, cheerleading, basketball, robotics and student council.

After School Active Learning Club
Pre-K (must be at least 5 years old)-1st grade

For students age 5 through 1st grade, we offer our own After-School program. Two staffers provide set periods for supervised homework, snack, structured learning activities, and active play. The program ends at 6 p.m. Older children are allowed to attend after the extended day ends. There is small cost for enrollment in this program which does fill.

Are teachers at a charter school required to have the same credentials as other public school teachers throughout the City of St. Louis and State of Missouri?

Yes. In Missouri, charter schools are required to have 80% of teachers certified.

How does North Side handle Special Ed needs?

North Side formally assesses each student when they enroll. If we determine that there are special needs, a student is referred to our Special Education team who, in conjunction with the child's classroom teacher, works out a schedule for individual and small group instruction apart from the core classroom lessons.

When necessary, our special educators, the home room teacher, the grade-level principal, and our Executive Director work together to do a formal psychological evaluation of the student. This process can result in the development of an Individual Education Plan (IEP) to better meet the academic needs of the child.