Operating Hours and Schedules of New York City Charter Schools

Charter schools are independently operated public schools that have more flexibility and autonomy than traditional public schools. This allows charter schools to set their own operating hours and schedules to best meet the needs of their students and communities. In New York City, charter schools have a wide variety of hours and schedules.

Typical Hours and Schedules

Most New York City charter schools follow schedules fairly similar to traditional public schools:

  • School days are typically Monday through Friday. Some charter schools have half days on Fridays or other days.

  • School hours are usually around 8 AM to 3 PM, with some variation. Some charter schools have slightly longer days from 8 AM to 4 PM.

  • The standard school year runs from September through June, with holidays and vacations similar to the NYC public school calendar.

  • There are usually 180 school days per year.

However, charter schools often structure the school day and week differently than traditional schools:

  • Many have longer instructional blocks rather than short, 45-minute periods. This allows more time for hands-on, project-based learning.

  • Some incorporate enrichment activities like art, music, and physical education into longer academic blocks rather than separate periods.

  • Some have staggered start and end times to the school day to better accommodate transportation.

  • Some charter schools have half days every Friday to allow for teacher planning and collaboration time.

  • A few schools experiment with year-round schedules or longer school days or years.

Examples of Charter School Schedules

Here are some examples of different grade levels and school schedules from various NYC charter schools:

Amber Charter School

Amber Charter School is a K-8 charter school with three campuses in East Harlem, the South Bronx, and Inwood. Their schedules are:

  • Grades K-5: School day is 8 AM to 3 PM, with breakfast starting at 7:30 AM. Fridays are half days with dismissal at 12 PM. There are 8 instructional periods per day.

  • Grades 6-8: School day is 8 AM to 4 PM, with breakfast at 7:30 AM. There are 9 instructional periods per day. Fridays are full days.

  • Enrichment activities like art, music, and gym are incorporated into longer academic blocks. For example, students may have a 120-minute English Language Arts block that includes literacy instruction plus arts.

Excellence Girls Charter School

This all-girls charter school in Brooklyn has the following schedule:

  • Grades K-4: School day is 8 AM to 4 PM Monday to Thursday. Fridays are half days with 12 PM dismissal.

  • Grades 5-8: School day is 8 AM to 4 PM Monday through Friday. No half days.

  • All grades have a morning meeting, followed by 90-120 minute instructional blocks. Fridays are used for enrichment programs.

Renaissance Charter School

This popular K-12 charter school in Queens staggers start and end times:

  • Grades K-5: School day is 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM.

  • Grades 6-8: School day is 8:15 AM to 3:45 PM.

  • Grades 9-12: School day is 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

  • All grades have seven 50-minute periods per day. Wednesday is a half day.

Afterschool Programs

Most NYC charter schools offer optional afterschool programs that extend learning and enrichment. Common afterschool offerings include:

  • Homework help and tutoring

  • Reading and math reinforcement

  • Club activities like arts, dance, sports, music, STEM, etc.

  • Specialty classes like robotics, coding, theater, etc.

  • Field trips and guest speakers

Hours for afterschool programs vary, but are often approximately 3 PM to 6 PM with possible late pickup until 6:30 PM. Many afterschool programs align with the regular school schedule – for example having half day Fridays or no afterschool on Wednesdays.

Afterschool programs may be fee-based or free to certain students like English Language Learners. Transportation is usually the responsibility of parents/guardians.

School Office and Campus Hours

While school instructional hours are on the regular schedule, charter school campuses are often open for extended hours for:

  • School office hours: Mornings and afternoons to assist with student drop-off and pickup, take calls, and support families. Often 8 AM to 4 PM or longer.

  • Before and aftercare: Some charters offer child care starting as early as 7 AM until the start of school, and afterschool until 6 PM or later for an extra fee. This accommodates working families.

  • Enrichment and extracurricular activities: Campuses may stay open late into the evenings and on some weekends for sports, clubs, band, drama, and other programs. These are usually scheduled in the afternoons, evenings, and weekends around the regular school day.

  • Community use of facilities: Charters may allow supervised community groups to use facilities like gyms, auditoriums, and classrooms during evenings and weekends. Restrictions and approvals are required.

While each New York City charter school sets its own schedule, they universally aim to provide scheduling flexibility and extended learning time to best serve their students and families. The autonomous nature of charters allows this customized approach.

So when considering a charter school, be sure to carefully examine the hours, school calendar, and any afterschool or summer programs to understand the full shape of the school’s schedule and commitments. The schedule is a major impact on your student and family life, so select a schedule that aligns with your needs.

Key Takeaways

  • New York City charter schools set their own hours, calendars, and schedules. While they generally align with the public school framework, charter schools have flexibility to customize their educational programs and schedules.

  • Typical charter school hours are around 8 AM to 3 PM, with some schools going later into the afternoon or evening. Many have half days on Fridays.

  • Charter schools incorporate longer instructional blocks rather than short periods and blend enrichment into academic time. Some stagger start and end times or use year-round schedules.

  • Afterschool programs at charters provide additional learning time and activities. Hours vary by school but are often 3 PM to 6 PM.

  • School office and campus hours extend beyond the regular school schedule to provide services to families and allow community use of facilities.

  • When choosing a charter school, carefully review the hours and schedule to ensure it aligns with your student and family needs. The schedule is a major consideration.


Are NYC charter schools free?

Charter schools are free and open to all children, regardless of their academic skills or needs. There are never any tests, interviews or transcripts required to apply to a charter school. Charter schools must admit students on a first-come, first-served basis.

What are NYC charter schools?

Charter schools are New York City public schools and they are open to all New York City students. Many charter schools have unique educational approaches that may include longer school days, a longer school year, or themed programs.

What is the largest charter school network in NYC?

Success Academies, founded by former city councilwoman Eva Moskowitz, is the largest and most controversial charter network, with 47 schools covering every borough except Staten Island. Success students, dubbed “scholars,” wear orange-and-blue uniforms.

What locations can I return Spectrum equipment?

You can return older equipment via UPS or FedEx. If there’s no UPS or FedEx in your area, you can drop off your Spectrum equipment at a Spectrum store. If you Spectrum Account has been disconnected, please contact Spectrum for assistance in returning your equipment.

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