Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What academic supports are in place at City High?
A: Most classes at City High are team-taught and embed Teaching Associates and Learning Support in the classroom. Every student also has their own Academic Advisor to provide personalized support for each student and family.

Q: How are students with learning support educated at City High?
A: City High is a full-inclusion high school.  All students with IEPs will have dedicated case managers, and learning support teachers team-teach classes. 

Q: What if I apply and my child has an IEP?
A: Once your student is enrolled in City High, our Director of Special Education will reach out to you to begin the process of implementing your student’s IEP. The extent of special education services and the location of delivery of such services are determined by the parents and staff at the IEP meeting and is based on the student’s identified needs and abilities, chronological age, and the intensity of the specific intervention. City Charter High School provides a continuum of services as appropriate.

Q: What is the City High attendance policy?
A: City High has an attendance policy that reflects the fact that attendance and punctuality are keys to academic success as well as success in the workplace.  More than 7 absences will impact a student’s final letter grade. If a student is absent, parents must provide an excuse within three (3) school days or the absence remains “unexcused”.

Q: How does COVID-19 impact attendance?
A: When City High is operating under synchronized livestream virtual learning, students are required to attend live on-line classes, just as if they were at school. Attendance will be taken. The modified attendance policy applies to students who miss virtual classes as well. 

Q: Does City High have Honors or AP classes?
A: City High believes that all students need to be challenged academically to reach their fullest potential. Our academic program offers Honors Credit for core academic courses in grades 10, 11, and 12. 

Students completing Honors receive 25% additional quality points in the calculation of their QPA. Students taking Honors will have the Honors indication on their report card and transcripts.

Q: Does City High have For-credit College Electives?
A: Students in grade 12 may qualify to take up to 2 courses at CCAC or Point Park University. Qualifying City High seniors may take one course during the August/December term and a second course during the January/May term, if space is available. Successfully completed courses (grade C or better) will count as electives towards City High graduation requirements.

Q: Is City High more like a college prep school than a public high school?
A. In some respects, this is true. City High models workplace and college environments. Students are provided with tools, learning activities and projects that mirror the world of work and the world of college. Each student is assigned a Post-High School Planning Manager to individually assist them with the college or training school application process, or to help place students in post-high school employment.

Q: Are Internships mandatory, and do I need to find my own?
A: All students must successfully complete an Internship. City High Internship Managers will provide students with an internship position. We have over 130 current sites to pick from, and if you have a business in mind that is not on our list, we can also work together to try to add them to our business community.

Q: Are students at City High eligible for the Pittsburgh Promise?
A: Yes, City High is a Public Charter School of Pittsburgh, so all students who live in the city of Pittsburgh and who meet the grade and attendance criteria are also eligible at City High. In fact 92% of our eligible students qualify each year.

Q: Do I have to pay for my laptop?
A: All students at City High are provided with a laptop computer free of charge for their use. Before a student may take a laptop home, students and parents must sign off on an Acceptable Use and Procedures for Repair policy.

Q: Does City High have a dress code?
A: Yes. As a college and career-focused school, City High has a business casual dress code to prepare students to work in a professional environment. More information about the dress code can be found here.

Q: What is the lunch menu?
A: City High has a full-time culinary staff that prepares hot and cold lunches every day, including salads, soups and sandwiches. Vegetarian and other special-diet options are also available.

Q: What is the cost of meals?
A: Breakfast includes a breakfast sandwich or cereal accompanied by a milk and fruit. Cost is $1.50. A la carte items may include yogurt, granola and breakfast bars.

Lunch includes a main entrée accompanied by a fruit and milk. Cost is $3.00.A la carte items are available for individual purchase. A la carte items may include bowl of soup, side dishes, fruit, milk and juice.

City High participates in the National Student Lunch Program. In fact, two-thirds of our students are eligible for free/reduced price lunch.

To qualify:  Children from families with incomes at or below 130% of the poverty level, and children in families receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and children in families receiving food stamp benefits are eligible for free lunches. Children in families whose income is between 130% and 185% of the poverty level are eligible for reduced price lunches.

Q: How will my student get to City High?
A: Transportation for all charter school students in Pennsylvania is provided by your home district.  Pittsburgh Public students will receive a bus pass/tickets for all trimesters that school is in session. If you are not in Pittsburgh Public, you will need to contact your district directly.

Q: When are your breaks and how long are they?
A: City High is on a trimester schedule.  Most breaks are approximately 3 weeks long (December, April, August). Please refer to the City High Calendar for details.

Q: What is a day at City High like?
A. The regular City High School day runs from 8AM-3:45 PM every day, with a 30 minute lunch period each day.

During distance learning, students will follow their in-person schedule from home and attend live online classes Monday-Friday.  Students must take and submit daily attendance for each of their classes.

Due to COVID-related restrictions on in-person meetings, students are live-streaming classes based on a half-day schedule.  See Back-to-School update for more information.

Q: What field trips are available at City High?
A: Students have many field experiences throughout the school year. The educational experiences range from visiting job sites and universities to going to camp for the day. 
During the fall trimester, all classes participate in an outdoor field trip adventure. Each spring trimester, 9th, 10th and 11th graders have an additional out-of-town field trip experience. Juniors can apply to participate in an immersive service-learning trip to Costa Rica. Senior students enjoy a Formal Prom and Graduation Ceremony. School dances are held twice a year – one informal and one semi-formal.

Q: What is the arts program like?
Students may take music or arts electives during each of their four years at City High. City High also has a Chorus and a student-written/directed and produced Musical each year.

Q: My child is on a sports team at their current school, can he/she continue playing for that team?
A: Yes, student athletes are able to continue playing sports at their home school for one season per year.

Q: Do you have a sports team?
A: Although we have a competitive Robotics team, we do not currently offer any competitive athletic teams. However we do have an on-site fitness center that students may access after school. There are also intramural options including basketball and a climbing club.  

Q: What extracurricular activities are available at City High?
A: Students have an activities period built into their schedules each trimester. They can choose from a wide range of activities, based on their interests. The can participate in Robotics, SAGE Entrepreneurship group, National Honor Society, and STEM. There are also after-school clubs ranging from the arts to cooking, fitness and rock climbing to social activism. Each Fall, an Activities Fair is held to inform students of these extracurricular options.

Q: Do you have counselors?
Our Health & Wellness program includes a full-time nurse and two full-time mental health professionals to help each of our students realize their full potential – intellectually, socially, emotionally and physically.

Q: What protocols are in place for COVID-19?
City High has employed a proactive approach to COVID-19, in accordance with guidelines established by the CDC and the PA Department of Education.  Full details can be found at:
Back-to-School update.

Q: Is your facility handicapped accessible?
A: Yes, City High provides elevators and handicapped accessible facilities for those who need assistance.

Q: What documentation will I need to apply to City High?
A: You will need: Application (either online or paper version) and copies of the following: 
  • Two proofs of residency (both addresses must match Parent/Guardian’s CURRENT address). Acceptable forms include:
    • Driver’s license
    • State ID
    • Vehicle Registration Card
    • Utility Bill
    • Mortgage/Lease documents
    • Bank/credit card statement
  • A copy of your child’s birth certificate
  • A copy of your child’s immunization record
  • Legal guardianship documents (If there are any)

Q: Do I need to have a specific letter grade to apply to City High?
A: If you have passed the 8th grade you are able to begin the 9th grade at City High

Q: How long will the application process take?
A: The typical application process generally takes two weeks. You will receive confirmation when all required documents have been turned in, and a letter will be sent confirming your student’s seat number.

Q: When will I know when my application is complete?
A: You should receive a confirmation email within 2 weeks once an application is complete and all supporting documents have been submitted.

Q: What if I do not hear from City High after 2 weeks?
A: If you do not hear back from City High, you can call or email the admissions department at 412-690-City ext. 111, or

Q: Will my application hold my place in line?
A: Yes, a completed application will hold your place in line as long as all supporting documents have been submitted.  

Q: How will I know if I have been accepted to start at City High?
A: Once accepted, you will receive an email acceptance letter and a packet will be sent via mail with your seat number (1-180).  All higher numbers will be part of the waiting list. 

Q: Can I transfer into City High after I have started at another high school?
A: Yes, but we only accept transferring students into the 9th and 10th Grades until January 31st. After this date, the transfer window closes for incoming 9th and 10th Graders.