BPS Assignment Notifications: What to Do



If you registered for Boston Public Schools (BPS) for the 2019-2020 school year, BPS has outlined the following schedule for providing your school assignment notification:  

BPS School Assignment Schedule


We know that the school assignment process can be confusing, so we put together answers to some of your assignment questions.

How was my school assignment determined?

When you registered for BPS, you should have received a customized list of schools to choose from. BPS uses the Home-Based Assignment system (HBAP) to determine this list, which should have included:

  • every school located within a one-mile radius your home

  • at least two top performing BPS schools

  • at least four schools that are in the top half of district performance

If the schools within a one-mile radius do not meet these qualifications, the home-based system includes the nearest high performing schools on your list. You rank your school options, and then are assigned by a lottery. Because of this, you aren’t guaranteed assignment to one of your top-choice schools.

I registered for K0 or K1 but didn’t receive a school assignment. Why not?

BPS doesn’t have enough K0 and K1 seats available to guarantee an assignment for every family that requests one for their child. To put some numbers behind that, last school year (2018-2019), there were 176 seats available for K0, and more than 2,000 students on the waitlist. For K1, there were 2,489 seats available, and more than 3,400 students on the waitlist.

While you will be placed on a waitlist for the schools that you ranked if you didn’t receive an assignment, you should also consider exploring other Pre-K options. Childcare Choices of Boston offers a great place to start.

Why didn’t I get assigned to one of my top-choice schools? What can I do about that?

Because BPS uses HBAP - a system that uses a process similar to a lottery - to assign students, they can’t guarantee that students will be assigned to one of their top-choice schools. If this happened to you, your child will be placed on all waitlists for schools they ranked on their choice list until June 15, 2019 and will be assigned to schools from waitlists as seats open up.

After June 15, your child will stay on the waitlist only for his or her highest ranked school. If a seat opens at this school, your child will be moved automatically into higher ranked waitlists through July. If you want to know where your child is ranked on the waitlist, you can visit or call a Welcome Center.

What does it mean if my child got assigned to his or her pathway school?

A BPS pathway is when a family at a certain elementary school is guaranteed a spot at a linked middle school or a K-8. A pathway helps students and families to know their future school assignments. A current list of BPS pathways can be found here.

Who can I contact if I have questions about school assignment in general?

You can visit or call a BPS Welcome Center if you want to discuss your child’s school assignment. You can also visit the BPS website to learn more about the assignment process as a whole.

Do you have more questions about school assignment? We’d love to hear from you. Click here to submit your questions to Boston School Finder!

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