How to Register for Boston Public Schools (BPS)
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What is the Boston Public Schools (BPS) district?
Boston Public Schools — also commonly referred to as BPS — is the free public school district for the city of Boston. The majority of Boston’s school-aged children are enrolled at a BPS school. BPS schools serve students in grades K0 to K2 (ages 3 to 5 years old) through 12th grade and beyond.
List of Public Schools in Boston
- Click here to view our School Profiles for all BPS schools with our School Finder Tool.
BPS Registration Timeline & Checklist
Registration for BPS schools starts very early. The priority registration period is January through March in the same year that your child will enter school. For example, if your child will enter grade K2 in September 2025, you register your child for school in January 2025.
Boston School Finder strongly encourages registering during priority round registration for the grade your child will enter, because this gives you the best chance to get a seat in a BPS school you want.
If you are considering enrolling your child in a BPS school, here are the steps and when you need to complete them during the year for the following September.
- Understand how BPS assigns students to its schools. Your child is not guaranteed a “neighborhood” school. BPS uses a Home-Based Assignment Policy (HBAP) that factors distance from the school, school quality, and sibling preference into the school options available to your child.
- Get your list of your available BPS school options from DiscoverBPS.org.
- Learn more about each school on your list by using our Boston School Finder Tool to view detailed School Profile pages for each BPS school on your list.
- Visit schools during their BPS School Preview Days in November, December, and January.
Pre-register for Boston’s online school registration system. This will make registration easier at your Welcome Center appointment if you complete this ahead of time.
- Make an appointment to complete your paperwork either in-person at a BPS Welcome Center OR remotely over the phone so you don’t have to wait during peak registration times.
- Visit a Welcome Center, OR
- Complete your paperwork verification over the phone with a BPS registration specialist.
- Priority registration windows happen from January-April for different grades. Find the priority registration window for your student and instructions for how to register here.
- If you miss the priority registration deadline for your student, you should still register ASAP by contacting the BPS Welcome Center.
- School Assignment:
- School assignment notifications will be sent out digitally from March-May, depending on the grade. All BPS school assignment notifications will also be sent by postal mail to registered home addresses. If you register during your priority registration window but don't receive your BPS assignment by the dates here, please call the BPS Registration Hotline at 617-635-9046.
- Note: if you have moved after registering, your change of address could affect your school and transportation options. Please visit the BPS website for more information about change of address
Types of BPS Schools & Programs
BPS has many different types of schools that serve a variety of student needs, including traditional district schools, exam schools, pilot schools, Horace Mann charter schools, innovation schools, international Baccalaureate program, dual language, and receivership. Below is information about some of the different types of schools and programs available in BPS; more information on BPS school types is available here.
For Elementary & Middle School Students
K0 & K1 Grade Levels
BPS offers a small, but growing number of school seats for children ages 3 and 4, according to the formula below:
If your child will be age _____ by September 1 of the same year they are supposed to start school, they are eligible to enter into grade ____.
- Age 3 = Grade K0
- Age 4 = Grade K1
- Age 5 = Grade K
Advanced Work Class (AWC) & Excellence For All (EFA)
Advanced Work Class (AWC) and Excellence for All (EFA) are two program options available at select BPS schools for students in grades 4-6.
For more information on AWC, please visit this BPS website.
For more information on EFA, please visit this BPS website.
Middle School Pathways
For students in general education programs, some BPS elementary schools are connected to a middle school or K-8 school as a guaranteed next school. For more information, visit the BPS Middle School Pathways page.
For High School Students
High Schools that Require Special Admissions or Additional Application Requirements
Boston has three “exam schools” which serve students in grades 7–12. Entry into these exam schools is determined by the student’s grades and their performance on a district-identified assessment. Learn more about Boston’s Exam Schools at our Exam School resource guide.
Some other BPS high schools have additional requirements for admission. These additional requirements can include a separate, extra application and other materials such as essays, teacher recommendations, or the completion of an audition. For more information on these high schools with additional admission requirements, visit the BPS High Schools page.
For ALL Grades
Pilot schools, Horace Mann charter schools, and innovation schools have increased flexibility and autonomy on hiring, budget, and curriculum, and often represent a chance for local school committees to lead their own schools. They span a variety of grade configurations through elementary, middle, and high school grades. See this website for more information and a list of Pilot, Horace Mann, and innovation schools in BPS.
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