How to Choose a School

CHOOSING A SCHOOL? WE CAN HELP.

We recognize that families choose schools in different ways, and all families prioritize differently. This resource guide aims to support families in narrowing choices to find a school that is a strong fit for their family. This guide is meant to help families start navigating their school choices in Boston.

Boston School Finder is available to help families find information on all Boston schools.

elementary school children kids classroom

 

Recommended Actions:

 

To Do In: November/December/January

  • Visit & Learn About Schools. The city of Boston has many types of school choices available to families, but no single application for families to apply to all schools at the same time. We recommend you consider the following types of schools for your child:

    • Boston Public Schools (BPS). We recommend all families explore BPS options, which are public and free.

      • Visit DiscoverBPS to see which BPS schools your child is eligible to attend, based on your address and other information.

      • Decide which schools to visit (visits times are in November, December, and January). Go to the BPS School Preview Site to see school preview times.

    • Boston Charter Schools. We recommend all families explore charter school options, which are public and free. You can always apply for the lottery and turn down a seat if it is not the right choice for you.

      • You can also join our newsletter to have school preview dates emailed to you.

      • Visit the Boston Public Charter Schools application to apply to Boston Charter Schools.

      • The application deadline for most Boston charter schools is February 28, 2019.

    • Independent Schools. If you are willing and able to pay tuition for your student, there are Parochial and Independent Schools in Boston. Many offer financial aid. You can research these schools and their individual application processes using:

 

To Do In: January/February/March

  • Review Data. Review data on schools that is most important to you and your family. This may include researching specific school-based programs or reviewing specific subgroup data (subgroup data is data that is given for groups of students who share similar characteristics such as racial or ethnic identification, socioeconomic status, physical or learning disabilities, language abilities, or school-assigned classifications e.g., special-education students). You can find school data on Boston School Finder, by school.

  • Apply to or register for school options. Remember: there are many types of school choices available to families, but no single application for families to apply to all schools at the same time. Families may apply to any number of choices, and applying to multiple different types of schools does not impact your chances of attending any other type of school.

  • Use our How to Apply Resource Guide to Apply or Register for school options, or visit Boston School Finder.

    • Boston Public Schools (BPS)

      • K0, K1, 6th, 7th, 9th: January 3 - February 1

        • Parents should register their child for these grades. Families will be notified of assignment by March 29.

      • K2 and all other grades: February 11 - March 22

        • Parents should register their child for K2. Families will be notified of assignment by March 29.

    • Boston Charter Schools

      • All Grades: February 28

      • Register your child for the charter lottery by February 28. Families will be notified about school acceptances/waitlists in March.

    • Independent Schools

      • All tuition based schools have their own processes. Check their school profile on Boston School Finder or the individual school site for information on key dates.

  • Enroll. Once your school choices become available, choose a school from the choices you have gathered!

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