How and When to Register for School


There is no single registration or application process for all 200+ schools in Boston. Here are the steps to apply for all types of schools in Boston and when you need to complete these steps for the 2020-2021 school year.

In November, December, and January 2019, explore your options.

In January, February and March 2020, register for and apply to the schools from your list.

You can apply to as many different types of schools as you like, but there is no single way to apply to every school; each type of school has different processes.

Remember: you can always turn down any seat that you’ve registered or applied for that you receive—but you can’t turn down a seat you didn’t get because you didn’t register or apply for it.

  • To register for Boston Public Schools, go to and visit a Welcome Center during your priority registration round.

    • Priority registration for students entering grades K0, K1, 6, 7, and 9 begins on Mon., January 6, 2020 and closes Fri., January 31, 2020.

    • Priority registration for students entering all other grades begins on Mon., February 10, 2020 and closes Fri., April 3, 2020.

    • For more detailed information about registering for BPS schools, please visit our How to Register for BPS Resource Guide.

  • To apply to the Boston Public Charter Schools lottery, complete your application online at

  • To apply to private religious-affiliated and private independent schools, please refer to individual school websites for applications and specific deadlines.

In March, April, and May 2020, review your school assignments and make your decision.

  • Review your school assignments. Depending on the types of schools to which you applied, you’ll receive placement notifications at different times:

    • BPS typically notifies families of students entering grades K0, K1, 6, 7, and 9 of their school assignments in March; all other grades receive their school assignments in May.

    • Boston public charter schools typically notify students of their lottery results in early March. 

    • Private school placements and notifications vary by school.

    • METCO districts notify families of placements throughout the spring and summer, as early as February and as late as the end of September, when the school year has already begun. (For this reason, METCO advises families to have other school enrollment options in place in addition to applying for the METCO lottery.)

  • As your student’s school assignments, lottery results, school acceptances, waitlist notifications, and financial aid determinations become available, consider the priorities that matter most to your family and student. Carefully review any deadlines for indicating your acceptance (if applicable).

  • Finally, choose your right-fit school and enroll your student.

  • Once you’ve made your decision, go ahead and enroll your student into their school.

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