Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Free School really free?

Yes, kids are free to direct their own day. No, we are not tuition free. Tuition for 2022-2023 is a sliding scale from $1,800-$15,500 for the year, with a discount available for siblings. Beyond this, we have scholarships and programs that assist families for whom the lower end of the scale is burdensome. For more information, see our Admissions page.

Where is the school located?

In the Fall of 2020, PFS moved to our new home at 4950 Springfield Ave, in the Cedar Park/Kingsessing neighborhoods of West Philadelphia. 

How can I get to PFS?

Students come to PFS from all over the region! Many of our families carpool or ride public transit. Some students walk or ride their bikes to school. SEPTA lines run very near the school -- more info at Students who live in Philadelphia more than 1.5 miles away from the school may receive free weekly transpasses for their SEPTA commuting.

Does the school provide breakfast or lunch?

PFS does not provide meals. Most students bring packed lunches or go off campus to get lunch at one of the local shops in the neighborhood. The school provides a mini-fridge, electric kettle, and microwave available for student use. 

What are the school hours?

School is open 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday, although 9:00 AM is when the school day really gets going. Extended care options before or after school hours of may be available for an additional fee, based on interest levels. 

How do I apply for financial aid?

At PFS, we are committed to making the school accessible to those who wish to enroll, regardless of ability to pay. Our school uses an independent third party called FACTS to determine the need for tuition assistance. Click here to apply to FACTS to determine what your expected family contribution would be for tuition.

Can my child enroll and thrive at PFS if they have learning differences, special needs, and/or behavior issues at school?

Most children can thrive at PFS. Students often find that the learning differences and behavior issues they experience in other environments do not manifest themselves in a Free School environment. We are happy to work with any outside entity which provides support to children with special needs to provide services to them at PFS. Please reach out to us if you have specific concerns.

How are parents involved at school?

Parents serve a vital role in supporting students as they learn to direct their own education. We ask that all parents of PFS students trust their children fully, respect their personal autonomy, and communicate any thoughts they may have openly and honestly to the school and their child. 

Joining a committee is always encouraged as well. To help with the smooth running of the school, committees do things like plan events, manage our social media presence, and do outreach for the school. Additionally, parents have the option to be involved in school governance as voting members of our School Assembly, which meets twice a year to decide broad policy, like tuition and calendar.

What is the current enrollment at PFS?

Since we enroll students year-round, our numbers fluctuate during the year. As of January 2023, we have 52 students.