Integrating classrooms since 1966.
Founded in the peak of the Civil Rights Movement, METCO places Boston residents in suburban schools—breaking down barriers to educational opportunities and creating rich, racially diverse learning environments for students of all backgrounds.
The 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 state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
METCO students travel by bus or by parents’ transportation (or, for older teens, by train), to get between their Boston home and their suburban school. There, they are full and equal members of the school community. Partner districts provide the same range of support for METCO participants as they do for all their students: academic, social/emotional, transportation, meals, counseling.
In addition, each district has a METCO director or coordinator on staff to ensure the success of the METCO participants and their full integration into school life. Some districts also provide late bus transportation, allowing students to participate in after-school academic and extracurricular activities.
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 student need.