Your guide to public and charter school open houses in NW Philadelphia

     Students lining up on the first day of school at Martin Luther King High School in West Oak Lane. (Brad Larrison/for NewsWorks,file)

    Students lining up on the first day of school at Martin Luther King High School in West Oak Lane. (Brad Larrison/for NewsWorks,file)

    If your family is considering public and charter options in and around NW Philly, here’s a look at your options. 

    While pre-enrollment open houses were traditionally the business of private schools, many public schools in the area are working to change that. 

    This is helpful for two reasons. One, it allows parents (and children) to get a feel for the school before deciding whether or not to enroll. And two, since children can apply to school outside of their catchment area, it allows families a glimpse into the differences between schools.

    This alphabetical list is by no means complete, so please add any open house, tours or prospective parent group dates in the comments below.

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    AMY NORTHWEST, a 6th to 8th grade special admission middle school, will be holding an open house this fall on Nov. 2 at 10 a.m.. No RSVP required. The format will be an introduction by the principal, discussion with current students, and a tour of the school. 

    CW HENRY ELEMENTARY Tours of the CW Henry School take place at 9 a.m. on the third Thursday of the month from October through May. Visitors meet in the lobby of the main entrance. All are welcome! If the weather is bad, please call the school office to see if the tour is being rescheduled. For more information, please contact or

    JAMES DOBSON ELEMENTARY Interested families can call (215) 487-4460 to set up a time for a tour of the school.

    GREENWOODS CHARTER Greenwoods will be hosting an open house for prospective families on Jan. 10, 2015. Check the website as the date approaches for additional information.

    HENRY H. HOUSTON ELEMENTARY There is an informal parent group for prospective families “Considering Houston.” Meetings are held in Mt. Airy. Questions? Call Michael Ramberg at (215) 432-4667. Hosted by Ali Michael, Michael Ramberg and Chana Rothman. Meeting dates are as follows:Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014, 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015, 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.Thursday, March 19, 2015, 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.Thursdau, May 7, 2015, 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.Please RSVP to

    Houston will host school tours the second Monday of every month at 9:30 a.m. starting Nov. 10. Please bring photo ID to enter the building. A staff member, Houston parent and Principal Leroy Hall will be available to answer questions.

    INDEPENDENCE CHARTER Two tour dates are listed for families interested in applying to the school:Monday, Nov. 24, 5 to 6 p.m.Monday, Dec. 15 , 9 a.m., 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Tours are by registration only.

    Imhotep Institute Charter High School 

    J.S. JENKS ELEMENTARY Two open house dates are scheduled this fall:Nov. 12, 9 to 10:30 a.m.: Open House at Jenks. See the school in action during the school day. Meet the Principal, Tour the school.Nov. 18, 7:30 p.m.: Kindergarten Tea. Meet current parents and other prospective parents for conversation about the school.RSVP preferred.

    ANNA LINGELBACH ELEMENTARY Interested families can call (215) 951-4001 to set up a time for a tour of the school.

    THOMAS MIFFLIN SCHOOL Tours are offered once a month on Thursday. Tours by appointment. Please call (215) 951-4007 to arrange.

    WISSAHICKON CHARTER Since the school now has two campuses, there are multiple open house dates:Fernhill Information Sessions:4700 Wissahickon Ave.Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014 from 9 to 10:30 a.m.

    Awbury Information Sessions:815 E. Washington Ln.Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015 from 9 to 10:30 a.m.

    In addition to this list, all Philadelphia elementary schools typically participate in an open house day in May.

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