English Language Learner Resources


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The Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE) requires that all families enrolling students in public schools in Massachusetts take the Home Language Survey. Depending on your answers on the Home Language Survey, your student may need to take a placement test. This test will determine whether they qualify for English Language Support or not.

If a student does not need additional English Language support they will follow all the general processes to apply to and enroll in school.

If a student does need additional English Language support, they may need to attend a specific school that has a specialized program and is set up to give the necessary services to your child.


Boston Public Schools (BPS)

  • Enrolling in School for the First Time: The quickest, most direct path for enrollment in schools and in specialized language support services is through DiscoverBPS. You will register your child and set up a time to take a language assessment. BPS recommends that you register during priority registration, and register to take the test as quickly as possible, the September prior to when your child will enter school. Based on the results of that assessment, the district will support you in choosing a school.

  • Transitioning Schools: Initially, school-based staff at your current school will communicate with the district staff to place your student. However, don’t be afraid to advocate for your child. If your child is not receiving the support they need, make an appointment to speak with the school principal or with the district office for additional support.

  • List of SEI (Sheltered English Immersion) BPS Schools by Language

  • List of Dual Language/Two-Way Immersion BPS Schools


What about ELL Services at other Boston schools?

  • Other schools such as charter schools, private independent schools, and private religious affiliated schools each follow their own separate registration and enrollment in language services process. Ensure you stay in touch with the school throughout the process.


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