Operating at Full Capacity: Warren Prescott at Capacity Leaves Some Charlestown Parents in Strife

August 9, 2012
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What all parents want for their children is an exemplary education. They want to feel secure knowing that the school they’re sending their bright-eyed learners to is an institution that fosters community, knowledge, and character. The Warren Prescott Elementary School is Charlestown’s premier learning facility for students in kindergarten through eighth grade, however, the potential supply of students wishing to go there is far outstripping available seats.

Warren Prescott does not have enough seats to meet the number of incoming students.

Many residents hoping their youngsters would attend the school are now scrambling to have them go elsewhere.

There are currently 33 children on the waiting list for Warren Prescott’s incoming kindergarten class, according to Boston Public School (BPS) Communications Director of Media Relations Matthew Wilder.

“If someone were to come register now they would be added to the wait list,” Wilder said. There are only 56 seats available to kindergarteners, and with 33 in limbo, any newcomers at this point can cross Warren Prescott off of their list of potential schools. “It is very unlikely they would get a spot,” Wilder said of parents new to Charlestown wanting to send their children to the favored school.

Charlestown is in the North Zone of the BPS citywide map of schools. “Parents who live in the North Zone would choose a school in the North Zone,” said Wilder, adding that, “Warren Prescott is a very popular and successful school. A lot of parents want it for their kids but [for newcomers or those on the waiting list] we would recommend finding another school.”

The North Zone does not only include other public schools in the community but other Greater Boston neighborhoods as well, including Allston-Brighton, East Boston, the South End and Fenway-Kenmore. For a parent, the thought of sending a young student to school in a different town is daunting. Isn’t proximity part of the definition of a zone? A lot of Charlestown parents seem to think so, as evident from opinions voiced at a BPS parents meeting held at the Warren Prescott Elementary School.

When BPS officials were asked what the possibilities were for a child on the waiting list of the desired school, they advised parents to choose a different school. The alternative would be to wait until the next school year, which Wilder and other BPS employees advised highly against. The best option for parents who are not able to send their children to the school of their choice is to choose another available school and hold to the fact that just because it might not be their first choice, it doesn’t mean it’s the wrong choice.