When to Make Choices and Register
 
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 in January. All other new-to-BPS applicants should register in the second registration period in February. School assignments are made using our lottery system after each registration period ends, 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 correct 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.
 
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 
 
Families can electronically send information to the BPS Welcome Centers before their visit using BPSExpress online. With BPSExpress:
  • Families can complete application form(s) and make school choices on-line in advance
  • Filling out forms electronically reduces errors and saves time
  • BPSExpress users access a separate line at the Welcome Center during peak registration times
  • BPSExpress is only pre-registration and 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, BPSExpress provides a printable summary with a receipt number. Please bring this summary with you to the Welcome Center. 
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 2014-2015 school year, which begins in September, 2014.
 
First registration period: 
January 6-31, 2014
Kindergarten, Grade 6 and Grade 9
To avoid long lines, we recommend the following schedule, based on the first initial of the parent’s last name:
A–I: Register January 6-10
J–Q: Register January 13-17
R–Z: Register January 21-24
All: Register January 27-31

Second registration period:
February 5 - April 4, 2014
Kindergarten through Grade 12
The second registration period has been extended to April 4. 
 
Third registration period:
April 7 - May 9, 2014
Kindergarten through Grade 12
 
Fourth registration period:
May 12–June 13, 2014
Kindergarten through Grade 12
 
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.
 
For a better chance of getting one of your top school choices…
  • Apply within your first registration period—January 6-31, 2014 for the transition grades (kindergarten, grade 6, and grade 9), and February 5–March 28, 2014 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.
  • 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.
Sibling school status update
January 16, 2014 
Families who have recently registered at a Welcome Center and experienced difficulty with having their sibling school appear on their choice lists should be aware of the following steps being taken to ensure their correctly-ranked school choices will be included in the First Registration Period:
  • Families who registered and experienced the issue had a notice placed in the student's case that an adjustment must be made before the application is added to the lottery.
  • When the technology issue is resolved, BPS assignment staff will reopen each case that is impacted by this issue and and make the correction. the First Round registration lottery will not run until all cases are corrected.
  • Families impacted by the issue will receive an updated copy of the registration summary that includes the sibling school and the corrected school rankings. This may be sent to families by email or mail.
  • Families who have questions about the process may call our BPS Registration Hotline at 617-635-9046.
 We are actively working to fix the underlying technology issue that is causing this problem and we expect to resolve it shortly.
 
For more information
These documents and resources may help families with the school choice process:

DiscoverBPS logo  
Welcome Centers
 
Dorchester
(617) 635-8015 
Campbell Resource Center
1216 Dorchester Ave.
Dorchester, 02125
(next to Burger King) 
Help in Cape Verdean creole, English, Portuguese, Spanish, Turkish and Vietnamese
 
Roxbury
(617) 635-9010
Madison Park Complex
75 Malcolm X Blvd.
Roxbury, 02120
(near Roxbury Crossing MBTA)
Help in Cantonese, English, Haitian creole, Mandarin and Spanish 
 
Roslindale
(617) 635-8040
Jennie Barron Bldg.
515 Hyde Park Ave.
Roslindale, 02131
(near Cummins Hwy.)
Help in Cape Verdean creole, English, French, Haitian creole, Portuguese and Spanish 
 
East Boston
(617) 635-9597
Mario Umana Academy
312 Border St.
East Boston, 02128
Help in English and Spanish 
 
Hours:
Welcome Centers are open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30am-5pm and Wednesdays Noon-7pm.
 
The East Boston Welcome Center is open only on Tuesdays from 8:30am-5pm except in January, when it is also open on Wednesdays 12-7pm and Thursdays 8:30-5pm. 
 
Use BPSExpress to complete demographic information and even choose schools before your visit to a Welcome Center.
 
BPS Welcome Centers will be closed June 30 through July 11 for summer recess. From July 14 to August 1, only the Roxbury location will be open during regular hours while annual repairs and maintenance are being done to the other sites. The Roslindale and Dorchester sites will re-open August 4. The East Boston Satellite will re-open on August 26 through September 12, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM and Wednesdays, 12:00 PM - 7:00 PM.