METCO APPLICATION: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
METCO's purpose is school integration. Boston students will be among a relatively small number of children of color in a school with a mostly white student body and faculty. The long commutes are challenging to children, and make being an engaged parent more demanding than it already would be.
But the advantages are also real: excellent resources and quality of teaching, skills in navigating a multi-cultural world, lifelong friendships.
Make an informed decision about what is right for your child.
The application window closes on January 3, 2020. We encourage you to apply by the Verification Deadline of December 8, 2019. After this date, our staff cannot guarantee that your documents will be reviewed for completion and accuracy. Any applications with missing or inconsistent information as of January 4 will not be included in the lottery.
Only a Legal Guardian of a child can complete a METCO application for that child.
Yes. METCO is only available to students who live permanently in the City of Boston.
Yes. All school-aged students must apply every year in order to verify their eligibility. (This has always been the case; the Wait List was only a sign-up sheet and did not constitute an application.)
No. You will not be asked any information about your income during the application process. METCO is designed to increase racial diversity in suburban schools, so a cross-section of socio-economic statuses is desirable.
Yes. Student needs are not known or considered when students are assigned lottery numbers for referral to districts. Upon referral, districts may request information about students’ school backgrounds in order to provide appropriate support. Districts are required to meet Boston students’ needs under the same laws as any resident student; only if a district is not equipped to provide for the educational needs of a student will a process to assess proper placement be launched in cooperation with the district, Boston Public Schools, and the student’s family.
First, all eligible applicants in each grade level are assigned a number, either through the date of the original sign-up for those with Priority Status or through random lottery.
Then, beginning in February and continuing through September, each of the 33 METCO partner districts determines the available seats in each grade in the coming year.
As requests for students in each grade are received by METCO Headquarters, matching students are referred to districts in order of their number.
Districts may conduct an interview, request a teacher recommendation or discipline records, and/or require an orientation to the district before offering enrollment.
Referral to a district is not a guarantee that your student will be enrolled; you may be held on “stand-by” in case of a new slot opening up.
No. Students are referred to districts as space becomes available in each grade, in order of lottery or status number.
Yes, if the guardian indicates that preference, and if space is available in the district in the sibling’s grade. Siblings are not guaranteed a place in METCO.
Districts enroll students at any time between January and October 1 before school starts. You should move forward with other school plans until enrollment in a METCO district is confirmed.
Yes, but only to limited bus stops in Boston (primarily Mattapan, Dorchester, and Roxbury). Each district arranges its own bus route, and families are responsible for bringing students to a bus stop and picking them up when they return.
No. Each student can be referred to a maximum of one district per school year.
No. If you choose to withdraw your student from the school where they are enrolled, they are withdrawing from the METCO program. You may apply again the following year to receive a lottery number for potential referral to a district.
If the student is no longer a resident of Boston at any point during their schooling, they are no longer eligible to participate in METCO and must withdraw from the school. They can enroll in a school in the district where they live.