How to Make Your Final School Decision

 

As early as March of each year, you may begin to receive notifications from schools for which you have registered or applied about enrollment offers or application outcomes. Our School Decision-Making Guide will take you through what to consider as you decide on your final, great-fit school choice for your child.
 

Before You Decide:

  1. Remember: There is no single school enrollment timeline in Boston and every school has its own notification timeline and process, which means you may hear from different schools at different times. 

  2. Given that you may find out about seat offers or waitlist status at different times, Boston School Finder recommends that families should keep their options open until you’re ready to make your decision. 

  3. You are allowed to ask for extensions if you need more time to decide. Contact your school(s) directly to see if they will grant you an extension if you need it.
     

When You Can Expect to Hear from Schools

Boston Public Schools (BPS) 

  • By week of March 15, 2020:

    • BPS will notify families by mail and email about 7th and 9th Grade Exam School decisions.

  • By March 31, 2020: 

    • BPS will notify families by mail and email about BPS school assignments for grades K0, K1, 6, and 7.

    • BPS will notify families by mail and email about all other BPS High School assignments for grade 9, including special application high schools and in-district Horace Mann charter schools. (You may separately receive notification from special application high schools directly.)

  • By mid-April 2020:

    • BPS recommends families RSVP by returning the notification form you received from BPS. 

  • By May 29, 2020:

    • BPS will notify families by mail and email about BPS school assignments for all other grades.
       

Commonwealth Public Charter Schools

  • After March 10, 2020: 

    • Individual charter public schools will each conduct their lotteries on March 10, 2020. 

    • Each charter public school chooses how it will notify families of lottery results. Schools will send out an email and text based on the preferences you chose when you completed the Boston Public Charter Lottery application online via SchoolMint. Families should log into SchoolMint to find their lottery results.  
       

METCO

  • March 2020:

    • Families have two weeks after the Winter Lottery Application Cycle deadline (Feb. 1 - 29, 2020) to submit their required documents for verification by METCO Headquarters. For more specific details about what documents can be accepted, please visit the METCO website.

    • METCO will make referrals out to Partner Districts from now through October 2020. 

  • May 2020:

    • Families have two weeks after the Spring Lottery Application Cycle deadline (Apr. 1 - 30, 2020) to submit their required documents for verification by METCO Headquarters. For more specific details about what documents can be accepted, please visit the METCO website.

    • METCO will make referrals out to Partner Districts from now through October 2020.

  • Remember: Referral to a district is not a guarantee that your student will be enrolled. We recommend families should always have additional school enrollment plans in addition to the METCO program.
     

Private Schools (Religiously-Affiliated & Independent)

  • Private school placements and notifications vary by school. Please contact the school directly to verify its application decision notification dates.
     

What to Do When You Get Notifications from Schools

1. Organize all of your school notifications in one place.

  • Use our School Decision Notification Tracker Worksheet to keep track of important decision deadlines.

  • If you need more time to make your decision, we recommend contacting the school directly to ask for an extension as needed.
     

2. Visit each final school you are considering

  • If a school does not have formal visitation dates or open houses, you can call and request to visit. 

  • Our School Visit Checklist can help you prepare to get the most out of your visit and help you narrow down your decision. 
     

3. Accept the seat OR stay on the waitlist at any school you are still considering.

  • It is possible to accept multiple seats at multiple schools until you make your final decision.

  • Even if you accept a seat at one school, it’s possible to remain on waitlists at other schools, but each type of school has different waitlist procedures:

    • BPS: BPS recommends families RSVP by returning the notification form you received from BPS. Review BPS waitlist policies at their website

    • Charter Public Schools & Private Schools: You can accept a seat at any/all schools to which you have applied and remain on other school waitlists in these sectors. If a private school charges tuition, you may need to put down a deposit to hold your seat. 

4. Once you have made your final school decision, let all of the other schools know. 

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