When to Make Choices and Register

The Roxbury Welcome Center and the Newcomers Assessment and Counseling Center (NACC) are now located in the Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building, 2300 Washington St. in Roxbury, next to the Dudley Square bus station.

To increase the chances of receiving an assignment to a school of choice, students should apply in the first registration period for their grade. Once families are familiar with their school choices, they should prepare the documents that are required for school registration and bring them to a BPS Welcome Center during the registration period for their grade.

New-to-BPS applicants for Kindergarten and any students enrolling in Grade 6 or Grade 9 should register in the first registration period. All other new-to-BPS applicants should register in the second registration period which ends on April 15. School assignments are made after each registration period ends, using a lottery system, so it doesn't matter when you register within a particular period -- it's not first-come first-served and everyone has the same opportunities as long as they register within the earliest period. The full schedule is below.

BPS students completing the highest grade at their current school will receive their selection form from school. In many cases, these students are guaranteed a seat at their next pathway school and no action is required. Exam School applicants follow a different process and timeline. Please see the Exam Schools page for more information.  Moving on to high school? Check out a helpful "How to Complete Your Choice Form" video crafted by teachers at the Dever Elementary and McCormack Middle schools. 
Under the Home-Based school choice plan, each school applicant receives his or her own personal application. The application form lists all the schools you may choose – the “customized list.”
  • Choose as many schools as you wish—but we encourage you to make at least FIVE choices.
  • Number your choices in order of your preference.
  • Save your copy of the application in case there’s a problem.

Save time at registration with BPS Express: Pre-registration

Families can electronically send information to the BPS Welcome Centers before their visit using or pre-registration tool.
  • Families can complete application form(s) and make school choices on-line in advance.
  • Filling out forms electronically reduces errors and saves time
  • Pre-registration users access a separate line at the Welcome Center during peak registration times
  • Pre-registration does not increase your chances of receiving a particular school choice. Families still need to visit a Welcome Center with their required documents in order to complete registration. At the end of online pre-registration, Pre-registration provides a printable summary with a receipt number. Please bring this summary with you to the Welcome Center.
To access the tool: Visit https://sis.mybps.org and click on "Create an account or Pre-register for BPS" and follow the on-screen instructions. You will be asked to create a free BPS online account before you can pre-register.
Registration Schedule
To increase the chances of receiving an assignment to a school of choice, students should apply in the first registration period for their grade. This schedule is for new registrations and transfer requests for the 2016-2017 school year, which begins in September, 2016.
January 4-29, 2016
Kindergarten, Grade 6 and Grade 9: STUDENTS NEW TO BOSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS
To avoid long lines, we recommend the following schedule, based on the first initial of the parent’s last name:
A–I: Register January 4-8
J–Q: Register January 11-15
R–Z: Register January 19-22
All: Register January 25-29
January 4-February 10, 2016
Kindergarten, Grade 6 and Grade 9: STUDENTS CURRENTLY ENROLLED IN BPS

Kindergarten through Grade 12

Boston Public Schools is extending the deadline for submission of Round 2 applications for student assignment for all grades until April 15. This is in part due to the expected addition of K1 general education seats for the upcoming school year, as well as proposed changes to the Advanced Work Class program. More information will follow.

BPS will run the school choice lottery after the completion of each registration period and will send school assignments by mail. These assignments are usually mailed about six weeks after the close of the period.
All students who receive a new school assignment will also receive an RSVP form to let us know if you will attend the Boston Public Schools in September. Please sign and return the form so we can assign another student from the wait list if you are not attending. You can also use the RSVP form to tell us if you want to stay on wait lists for other schools.  If you misplace your form, you can also send an email to RSVP@bostonpublicschools.org. Be sure to include your student's name, date of birth, school you are accepting or declining, and so forth.
School registration continues after the Rounds close, however, starting in late July, assignments are made only to schools that still have available seats. Therefore, it is advised that families visit a Welcome Center in the earliest round possible for their grade level and certainly by June 30, if at all possible.
For a better chance of getting one of your top school choices…
  • Apply within your first registration period—January 4-29, 2016* for the transition grades (kindergarten, grade 6, and grade 9), and February 3–April 15, 2016 for all other grades. All applications received within a registration period are processed at the same time, not in the order received. It doesn’t matter if you apply on the first day or the last day of the registration period.  (* January 4-February 10 for current BPS students.)
  • You may go to a Welcome Center any time during the year to register for school or to request a transfer—but the longer you wait, the fewer choices you will have. Many schools are full after the first registration period.
  • Make at least FIVE choices. (More is better!)
  • List your school choices in your true order of preference. If you list a popular school first, you won’t hurt your chances of getting your second choice school if you don’t get your first choice.
  • Choose a variety of schools—including schools for which you have sibling priority and schools that are easier to get into. For information about less frequently chosen schools that may be a good “fit” for your child, ask Welcome Center staff or check Countdown to Kindergarten.
For more information
Planning to register in January? Attend a School Choice Registration & Information Session (Español) near you.  Nineteen sessions will be held in November and December, all across Boston.
These documents and resources may also help families with the school choice process:
  • Ready, Set, Go! - A step-by-step checklist for 2016 school registration. [Translations to follow]
  •  Countdown to Kindergarten Information Sheets - Detailed information for K0-K2 families
  • Discover BPS 2016: K-8 edition - A comprehensive guide to BPS school choice, registration and assignment for pre-kindergarten through grade 8.
  • Discover BPS 2016: High School edition - A comprehensive guide to BPS school choice, registration and assignment for grades 9-12.
  • School demand reports (excel spreadsheet) for 2011-122012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15. Note: Given the move to the Home Based system of student assignment, please note that it is no longer possible to conduct an apples-to-apples comparison between schools based on their demand data, since each school has its own unique catchment area from which it draws students. In addition, it is important to remember that some schools may be able to accommodate additional students even if they are listed as having 0 seats available before the round. This is particularly true for rising 6th grade students. Many schools, including most of the traditional middle schools, appear to have 0 seats available for rising 6th graders. This is due to the middle school pathway policy. Under this model, the seats at each middle school are slated to be filled by students from the feeder elementary schools, so these seats are not listed as open seats. However, students from feeder elementary schools may choose not to participate in their middle school pathway, in which case the seats designated for those students would be available for others. Therefore, the demand report by itself cannot capture the many shifts in enrollment that take place because of choices made during the round.

Welcome Centers

discover bps logo

Campbell Resource Center
1216 Dorchester Ave.
Dorchester, 02125
(next to Burger King)
Open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and Wednesdays, 12 noon-7 p.m.
Help in Cape Verdean creole, English, Portuguese, Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese


Bruce C. Bolling Building (Dudley Square)
2300 Washington St., 2nd floor, Roxbury 02119
Open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and Wednesdays, 12 noon-7 p.m.
Help in Cantonese, English, Haitian creole, Mandarin, Spanish and Vietnamese


Jennie Barron Bldg.
515 Hyde Park Ave.
Roslindale, 02131
(near Cummins Highway)
Open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and Wednesdays, 12 noon-7 p.m.
Help in Cape Verdean creole, English, French, Haitian creole, Portuguese and Spanish 

East Boston

Mario Umana Academy
312 Border St.
East Boston MA 02128
Open Mondays and Tuesdays from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. In January and late August it is also open on Wednesdays from 12 noon-7 p.m. 
Help in English and Spanish  

Summer hours, 2016: 

  • BPS Welcome Centers will be closed July 4- July 22 for summer recess. 
  • July 25-29, 2016 Only the Roxbury Welcome Center will be open.
  • Roxbury, Dorchester, and Roslindale Centers open on August 1 ( normal business hours).
  • The East Boston Satellite will re-open August 15, 2016