Proposals on School Choice Released by BPS

The Boston Public School Department has released several propsals for redistricting the city’s school choice zones in an effort to return to community schools.

BPS will present its findings and share the proposal at a meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 10 (6pm-8:30pm) at Charlestown High School 240 Medford St., Charlestown.

Under the new school choice plan, BPS has come up with several scenarios to make the commute to school for Charlestown students and parents easier.

Right now there are two options on the table.

The first is a ‘no zone’ model. In this model BPS  would assign Charlestown students directly to the school closest to them, with adjustments for capacity and programmatic options. In this model, families would not make school choices and students would receive their assignment based on their address and specific programmatic needs. If the capacity at the closest school is full, then the student would be assigned to the second closest school.

The second option would use a school choice model breaking up the city into 23, 11, 9 or 6 zones. In each of these scenarios Charlestown parents would choose between the Warren/Prescott, Harvard/Kent or the Elliot School in the North End.

Only in the 9 or 6 zone option would Charlestown parents have the option to send their children to schools in East Boston.

Under the zone plan students living in a zone would apply to any school in their Home Zone or within their walk zones, even if that school is across a boundary. Students could also apply to citywide options.

Inside every zone is a pathway. Elementary school students would feed into middle school and K-8 Schools. If a student moves into the district after 5 grade, they would be eligible to apply to any middle school or K-8 within their middle school zone boundary. All high schools would remain citywide just as today.

Sibling preference and walk-zone preference would still apply. If a school is across a boundary line from a students’ home but within the walk zone, that family could still apply to the school.

The proposals are based on feedback and input from the External Advisory Committee, BPS will update the proposals in after Charlestown’s community meeting in October. Then, the EAC will make a recommendation to the Superintendent, who will bring a proposal to the Boston School Committee in December. The School Committee will then hold additional public hearings before voting on a new plan this winter.

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