The Truth About School Choice Part 2: Exercising Your Right to Choose A School

At a time when the daily news cycle can seem chaotic, it’s incredibly important to focus on the many parts of life that remain in our control. School choice is one of those areas where we have a lot of control, as long as we are shown the roadmap to our destination: a school you’re choosing for your child because it’s the right fit.

In order to feel as prepared as possible to make the best choice for the children in your care, we’ve developed a 3-step process to guide you through the school choice process.

Step 1: The Common Charter School Application

In Buffalo, 18 of the city’s charter schools participate in the Enroll Buffalo Charters (EBC) common application. Parents and caregivers can use one single application to apply to any of the schools listed on the application, all at once. The website shares the location, contact information and description of each school on the common application.

Step 2: Learn About Your Choices

As mentioned above, the Enroll Buffalo Charters (EBC) website not only houses the application for all 18 participating schools, it also contains the location, contact information and a description of each school. This is a wonderful place to start to learn about the schools available to you, and what makes each unique. Once you begin to look around and find schools that sound like they might be a good fit for your child(ren), we encourage you to take a deep dive into getting to know the schools:


  • Cost > all public charter schools are tuition-free. Other questions related to cost could be: does the school offer before and after care? Do students wear uniforms? Are there additional costs associated with enrolling?

  • Program > What type of programming does this school offer? What curriculum is taught in each subject? Do they have a Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum? What do they say about students with IEPs or who are English Language Learners (ELL)? Do students attend field trips, do they have a playground, how do they handle disciplinary concerns? Does the school offer specials such as art, music, dance, and physical education? How does the school build community?

  • Size > What grade does the school start with and what grade does it end with? How many classes are in each grade? How many students are in each class? How is the space set up - do the children get to move around the room or are they sitting for much of the day? What is the student to teacher ratio?


Email | Call | Follow on Social Media | Ask for a Tour | Attend an Open House

  • When you’re communicating with the schools, think about how it makes you feel and what the overall environment is like.

  • On social media, think about what the school’s overall messaging is: does it match with what feels important to you?

  • During a tour or open house event, what three things did you learn - do these match with what feels important to you?

Step 3: The Lottery

The application deadline is April 1, 2022 for the Enroll Buffalo Charters (EBC) application. On April 5th, the lottery for all schools on the EBC application will take place. After the lottery is run at each school, all families who have applied with the EBC application will receive notification about which schools their child(ren) have received a seat in. Parents and caregivers are given a set amount of time to review the offer letters they’ve received, think through their options, and notify the school they’d like to choose for their child(ren) by the deadline.

Once the lottery is complete, there are far fewer opportunities to apply and secure a seat in a charter school. You may be placed on a waitlist at your schools of choice.

The Commons Choice

At Buffalo Commons Charter School, we excitedly welcome the input, questions, and ideas from families in Buffalo who are looking for an excellent option for their child(ren). Don’t miss out on your chance to build something all together different alongside us!

Apply or give us a call: (716)222-0416!


Recent Posts

See All