Admission FAQs

What is a Charter School?

A charter school is a public school, funded by tax dollars. The Environmental Charter School is authorized by the Pittsburgh Public School District. Charter schools are mandated to be "innovative" in their approach to teaching and learning while also being accountable to the local, state, and federal governments. We are held accountable to the Pittsburgh Public School District, the state of Pennsylvania, and the federal government.

When was ECS founded?

We opened our doors in the fall of 2008 as a K-3 school and are currently K-8.

What is the cost to attend ECS?

ECS is a tuition-free school.

How many students attend ECS?

As of the  2013-2014 school year, there are 604 students total enrolled in our Upper and Lower School.

How do I apply?

For the 2014-2015 school year, applications are accepted November 5 through January 31.  The order in which applications are received is irrelevant. A public lottery will be held in mid-February 2013 with priority given to City of Pittsburgh residents. 

Please note that all applications must be sent to our PO BOx address. Applications will not be accepted at our schools.

What are the school hours?

Our Lower School (K-3) begins at 8:45am and ends at 4:15pm. Doors open at 8:15am.

Our Upper School (4-7) begins at 8:30am and ends at 4:00pm. Doors open at 8:00am.

Do students wear a uniform?

Yes, our students adhere to our uniform policy which includes wearing navy blue, light blue, white,  and/or khaki colors. Click here to view our Uniform Policy

Is transportation available to and from school?

Yes, transportation is available, free of cost, to all students who reside in a home school district that provides transportation. 

Will my child be eligible for the Pittsburgh Promise if he/she attends ECS?

The Pittsburgh Promise is available to all graduates of the Pittsburgh Public Schools and charters, regardless of financial need or income.

How old must my child be to attend the ECS Kindergarten program?

All ECS kindergarten students must turn 5 by September 1st.

Does ECS provide special education services?

Yes, we offer a full continuum of special education programs and services to all eligible students who attend the school. ECS is committed to meeting all state and federal special education regulations.  In accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, all of our students receive a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). 

What does character education look like at ECS?

ECS has a school-wide positive behavior support system which encourages students to be safe, kind and responsible.  The school has also implemented the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program.  Each week classroom meetings are held to reinforce these initiatives.  Additionally, daily morning meetings provide an opportunity to address monthly character education traits and reinforce positive behaviors. 

Does ECS provide breakfast and lunch?

Yes, all students may purchase both breakfast and lunch for a small fee. Free or reduced priced meals are available through federal funding, for those that qualify. Our food service team is dedicated to providing tasty, nutritious hot meals that are made from scratch and include locally grown and purchased foods. We are exceptionally proud of the menus that our food service team has developed and our students and faculty love to eat here! Click here to learn more about our food program

Does ECS offer before school and/or after school programs?

We offer a tuition-based afterschool program where students can stay as late as 6pm, Monday through Friday. Click here to learn more about our thoughtful extended day program. At this time, ECS does not offer before school care.