1307 Glenwood Avenue
Raleigh, NC 27605
Raleigh Charter High School Frequently Asked Questions
PDF version of FAQ page

How do I apply to RCHS?
  • Prospective students complete an online application for admission to Raleigh Charter High School. Families also have the option to come to the school to complete the online application.
  • Applications are available by clicking a link on the RCHS website. The application period is a month long - from the end of January until the end of February. Specific dates are announced each December before the application period.
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.
  • The parent or guardian of the applicant must be a legal resident of North Carolina at the time of the lottery. Proof of residency at the time of the lottery is required before a student can be enrolled.
  • Emancipated minors may apply to RCHS. When filling out the application, they should list their own name as the parent or guardian.
  • Applicants must be ready for Algebra I/Math 1 or a higher mathematics course in the ninth grade.
How does the admissions lottery work?
  • On a predetermined date each March, students are randomly drawn via our Smart Choice lottery software 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 wait list for each lottery pool is established to fill slots that become available at later dates. When we come to a student’s name on the waitlist, we will call the family and wait to talk with that family before moving further down the list.
  • On the day of the lottery, information about acceptances, waiting lists, and denials will be emailed to families via their Smart Choice account.
Do I have to come to the lottery?
  • No. RCHS holds a public lottery, and you are welcome to attend. However, families will receive lottery results via email that day. Parents can also log in to their Smart Choice account to view lottery results on their account dashboard after the lottery has been run.
What are my chances of acceptance?
  • Over the past few years, due to the large amount of interest in our school, non-siblings have had between a 9% 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 be prepared 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 fill out separate applications for each student.
  • If one sibling is accepted in the lottery and that sibling decides to attend RCHS, then 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?
  • Please fill out separate applications for each student.
  • State law allows one lottery number per family to be entered into the lottery for twins and multiple birth siblings. If that number is drawn, all multiple birth siblings will be admitted.
May I apply for upper grades?
  • Yes. The school comprises grades 9-12. Therefore, 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 we become aware of openings.
  • Siblings of current students or alumni applying for grades 10, 11, or 12 will receive preference in lottery and will be drawn at the top of the waiting lists.
How do the ninth grade math pools work?
  • The student's math pool is determined by the math course the student is taking in the 8th grade.
  • Once we’ve received all of the applications, the numbers of students admitted in each math pool is set to ensure that fairness in admissions.
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 students, teachers, and administrators and learn about RCHS. Dates and details about the Open Houses are posted to the Admissions page of our website in December.
  • 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 8:00 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.
How diverse is Raleigh Charter?
  • 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.
  • 37% of our current student body is non-white.
Where do your graduates attend college?
  • Visit the College Counseling section of our website for information about schools where our students have been accepted.
Is there a volunteer requirement for parents?
  • No.
  • 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 Phoenix Parents. You can learn more about this organization on the Parents 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.
  • Our parent organization, Phoenix Parents, helps families establish carpools.
  • The Raleigh city bus (#6) stops right in front of our school on Glenwood Avenue. It is free for teenagers to ride the bus system if they get a pass. See the Transportation page on our website for more information about obtaining a bus pass.
Is there a cost to attend RCHS?
  • No, RCHS is a free, public charter school.