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Boston Parents to Receive New School Assignments This Week

With a new home-based choice system, 73 percent of incoming K2 families have received the their top choice for schools.

Credit: File photo.
Credit: File photo.

Boston families with children entering kindergarten or sixth or ninth grade in the 2014-2015 school year are expected to receive their school assignments this week, with 73 percent of incoming K2 families receiving heir top three choices, school officials announced Tuesday

The assignments are the first under the district's new home-based school choice system, which was developed by an advisory committee in an effort to help families attend schools closer to home. Parents who might not be happy with their 2014-2015 assignment, though, can visit a Boston Public Schools Welcome Center before April 4 to make new choices

Incoming kindergarten students will be able to attend schools that are 18 percent closer to home compared to their old plan, a drop from 1.09 miles to .09 miles this year. For pre-kindergarten students, the average distance dropped by 17 percent from 1.15 to .95 miles. 

Moreover, 73 percent of families with children entering K2 received one of their top three choices this year, compared to the former plan, with 47.3 percent receiving their first choice. By comparison, in past years, 72 percent of families on average received their top three choices, with 39.7 percent receiving their first choice. Officials, though, said the figure has typically changed year-to-year. 

The home-based plan was developed during an 18-month community process led by a 27-member external advisory committee comprising current, former and future BPS parents as well as educators, experts and community leaders and was approved by the Boston School Committee last spring, replacing a three-zone system designed in 1988.

"When the School Committee adopted this new plan, we did so with the understanding that we would examine it closely after its first year and make adjustments to improve it if necessary," Boston School Committee Chair Michael O'Neill said in a statement. "This is a promising beginning and we look forward to learning more so we can ensure even more equitable access to quality schools moving forward."

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