Exam Schools

  • Update on Exam School Invitation Timelines:

    April 15, 2021, the court issued a ruling in the exam schools admissions suit that means Boston Public Schools (BPS) can now proceed with the temporary Exam Schools admissions policy as adopted by the Boston School Committee in October 2020. This one-year policy was developed in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges of administering the entrance exam during a public health crisis.

    We are in the process of finalizing exam school invitations and working with our external independent partner to make sure our final calculations are accurate. Invitations to the three exam schools will be sent via email and regular mail by the end of April as soon as that work is completed.

    We remain committed to communicating directly with our families and our BPS communities throughout this process, and will continue to make updates available.

    For more information on the exam school invitation timeline, please see the Exam Schools Update from March 18, 2021. 

    School assignments for non-exam schools were sent out via email on March 31, 2021  to students entering grades K0, K1, 6, and 9. 

    For students entering grade 7 this fall: BPS cannot finalize any grade 7 assignments until we determine exam school invitations. This is due to the high number of students transitioning into a new school at grade 7, including exam schools, open enrollment and special application 6-12 and 7-12 schools. The projected timeline for exam school invitations is mid to late April.

    For students entering grade 9 this fall: Assignments to non-exam schools were sent out on March 31, 2021. These assignments have no impact on exam school admissions or invitations. If your student is in the exam school eligibility pool, they will still be considered for an invitation even if they have received or accepted an assignment for another BPS school. Invitations for exam schools will not be sent out until a decision is made by the court.

     

    Exam Schools Admissions Update - April 8, 2021

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    Exam Schools Admissions Update - March 18, 2021

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    Boston Public Schools has three exam schools: Boston Latin AcademyBoston Latin School, and the John D. O'Bryant School of Mathematics and Science. All three schools accept new students for grades 7 and 9. The O’Bryant School also accepts a limited number of new students for grade 10.*

    *BPS has determined that we are unable to invite additional 10th-grade students to attend the O’Bryant School for Mathematics in Science this year. For more information, please visit our Exam Schools FAQ page.

    In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on student learning, the Boston School Committee approved the suspension of the entrance exam for Fall 2020.  Administering an exam during the public health pandemic in a way that meets public health guidance would be difficult, particularly given the uncertainty related to the progression of the COVID-19 virus.  

    Please view the BPS Exam Schools Admissions slide show presentation for more information on the one-year admissions policy for the 2021-2022 school year.

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  • Please view the recorded Public Info Sessions on the exam school admissions process for the 2021- 2022 school year. 

    Monday, November 30, 2020

    Recorded Session: English | Passcode: nnA5KS+# (With interpreter for Spanish)

    Tuesday, December 8, 2020

    Recorded Session: English (With interpreters for Mandarin and Cantonese)


  • Eligibility

    Students must be enrolled in grades 6, 8, or 9 and live in the City of Boston in order to apply for admission to the BPS exam schools for the school year 2021-2022.

    Due to the limited number of seats in grade 9 at two of the three exam schools, current grade 8 exam school students are not eligible to apply for admission this year.

    This year students are required to meet the minimum GPA or MCAS score requirement in order to be eligible to apply for admission:

    • Met or Exceeded Expectations in ELA and Math on the Spring 2019 MCAS or
    • Earned a B or higher average GPA in ELA and Math in the marking periods completed prior to Covid-19, specifically the first two completed marking periods (prior to March 13, 2020) will be used.  In cases where only one marking period has been completed prior to March 13, 2020, only grades from that marking period will be considered.
      • For BPS grade 7 applicants, this would be fall and winter terms of their grade 5 marks.
      • For BPS grade 9 applicants, this would be quarter 1 and quarter 2 of their grade 7 marks.
      • For BPS grade 10 applicants, this would be quarter 1 and quarter 2 of their grade 8 marks.
      • For private, parochial, and commonwealth charter school applicants,  please check with your individual school or district to determine which marks will be considered.

    Residency Verification

    Parents of students who are not currently enrolled in the Boston Public Schools are required to verify their City of Boston residency with a BPS Welcome Center as part of the application process.

    Students who must complete the Residency Verification Process include:

      • Students attending a private school
      • Students attending parochial school
      • Students attending METCO program schools
      • Students attending Commonwealth Charter schools (excludes UP Academy, Boston Green Academy, and other “in-district” BPS charter schools)
      • Students attending schools outside the City of Boston
      • Students being home-schooled must demonstrate that both the student and parent/guardian live in the city of Boston 

    As part of the verification process, parents are required to provide two Proofs of Residency that list the Boston home address, the child’s original birth certificate, the child’s immunization record, and the parent’s photo identification. 

    If the registration application process is not completed by January 15, 2021, the student will not be considered for admission to a Boston exam school.

    If the student currently attends a public school outside the City of Boston (excluding METCO program schools) we will require a letter from the respective Superintendent from that city or town stating that they are aware of Boston residency, as per our requirement, but attending their public school. The letter must be original, notarized, on school district letterhead, and must be presented in person with the BPS required residency documents during the verification period.

    Note: The residency verification must be completed even if you have other children enrolled in the Boston Public Schools; your student is receiving special education services from BPS; you are a current city employee; or if your child was previously enrolled in the BPS.

    There are two ways to submit an application:

    • By computer: Pre-register here and schedule an appointment here to complete the process with a registration specialist at a later date.  Please select ’Pre-Register for BPS’ from the side menu and click the first option if you have never registered any child for Boston Public Schools, or select the second option if you already have an Aspen account.
    • By phone: Call 617-635-9010 and complete the application with one of our registration specialists.

    A list of required documents for the registration application can be found here: BPS Registration Document Checklist


    Grade Point Average (GPA)

    A student’s GPA will be calculated using the marks in English Language Arts (ELA) and Math from the completed marking terms in the 2018-2019 school year prior to COVID-19 (prior to March 13, 2020).  In cases where only one marking period was completed, only the grades from that marking period will be considered.  

    Please review the GPA Fact Sheet for more information regarding the calculation process.

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    For more information on exam school admissions and the invitation process, please see our Exam Schools FAQ page, watch one of the virtual information sessions, or see the resources at the bottom of this page.