INTEGRATING CLASSROOMS SINCE 1966
Founded in the peak of the Civil Rights Movement, METCO places Boston residents of color in predominantly white suburban schools—breaking down barriers to educational opportunities and creating rich, racially diverse learning environments for students of all backgrounds.
Watch the METCO mini-documentary by alumna, parent, and filmmaker Natalie Guthrie on the left.
AUTHORIZED BY STATE LAW
In 1965, Massachusetts General Law Chapter 76, Section 12A gave city and town school committees and districts the right to "help alleviate racial isolation" and "racial imbalance" by placing children who reside elsewhere in their schools. "Racial isolation" is defined as occurring when a school population is more than 70% white. METCO has been the vehicle for this placement since 1966, administered by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
ENROLLMENT BY WAIT LIST
Any person of color who is a Boston resident entering Kindergarten through 10th grade may apply to be enrolled in METCO. Districts select students with completed applications every year in the order they're received based on the number of slots available in each grade. No preference is given based on academic or athletic performance, personal relationships, or financial need.
METCO has proposed a new application system, which would go into effect for the 2019-20 school year if implemented. Read more here.
CROSSING BARRIERS OF GEOGRAPHY AND RACE
Assigned at random to a suburban district, METCO students travel by bus or by parents’ transportation (or, for older teens, by train), to get between their Boston home and their school. There, they are full and equal members of the school community.
Over the last half century, METCO has reached tens of thousands of students, supporting 3,300 families annually in 31 participating suburban school districts and 190 public schools, with graduation rates and college attainment far above state averages.
But METCO's true power goes beyond academics. METCO creates environments where students, parents and teachers of different backgrounds can appreciate diversity, find common ground through shared experiences, build lifelong friendships between diverse students, and strive toward the mutual goal of preparing young people to become global citizens.