Back To School FAQ
Answers to families’ most frequently asked questions, by category, alphabetically.
What are the plans and timetable for all schools to have HVAC?
We have installed roughly 900 AC's so far and estimate that every school will have cooling and heating by spring 2023. We are still exploring options to increase ventilation across the district for total solutions. We have implemented full HVAC in our new builds. Until then, fans and air purifiers will help aid the ventilation across the district.
What will be done if air quality levels in a classroom are not what they should be?
BPS Facilities Management staff regularly review the IAQ data and take appropriate action to address IAQ and/or thermal comfort issues, following the BPS Indoor Air Quality Monitoring and Response Action Plan. These actions can include, but not be limited to working with the school to open a window and corridor-facing door, exhaust the air using a fan, turn on the air purifier, or adjust the HVAC systems in the space.)
Have classroom air filters been changed?
Air purifier filters are changed every six months. For the schools with HVAC systems, BPS upgraded more than 4,300 filters to MERV-13 filters, where allowable by the equipment. All HVAC filters are replaced in accordance with regular, ongoing building system maintenance.
Back to School Events
When is the BTU Back to School Book Fair?
The Back to School Book Fair, sponsored by the BTU (Boston Teachers Union) is Saturday, 9/23, from 1pm to 4pm, at the Boston Teachers Union & Carson Beach, 180 Mount Vernon Street, Boston, MA, 02125.
My child is new to BPS. Where do we sign up for after school?
Schools individually manage their own before- and after- school programs. Please ask your school about their offerings, hours, and fees, if any. Our community partners often offer options as well, including YMCA, YWCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, etc.
How do I access Boston Public Schools’ Parent University New Student and Family Welcome Orientation presentation?
Families who missed one of these sessions can check out the recording of the Parent University Zoom Session here.
Will my child receive breakfast every day?
All BPS students receive free breakfast and lunch in BPS. If they participate in a BPS afterschool program, they also receive a free meal during program hours.
Is there a menu for families to look at?
Yes, menus are posted at least one month in advance and can be viewed here, on our website.
May my child bring their own lunch?
Yes, children are always welcome to bring their own lunch. Please observe any rules your school or classroom may have about allergies.
Whom should we call if we will not be using the bus?
Please call our Transportation Hotline at 617-635-9520
How does my family get a 7 day t-pass?
7 day MBTA LINK passes have been distributed to all of our schools. Please contact the school directly or contact the Transportation Hotline at 617.635.9520.
How do I know if my child will get transportation to and from school?
Elementary grade students who live over a mile from school, middle school students who live more than 1.5 miles, and high school students who live more than two miles from their school are entitled to transportation, as are students whose IEPs require this service. Everyone who is eligible who registered before August 12 (or already enrolled) should have received their route information. Families who register after this date receive the information as soon as it is available.
What if my child's bus is late?
BPS parents can use the Where's My Bus app to track where their child's school bus is and plan accordingly. BPS does track on-time performance and will work to address chronic late buses.
Is there a special process to make sure our student gets his M7 card?
If you have received notification that your student is receiving a pass, then you are all set. These are distributed on Day 1 at school.
Please clarify if M7 passes are given to 6th grade students?
Students in the 6th grade are assigned to buses if they meet the mileage requirement of residing 1.5 miles away from school. Families can instead opt to get an M7 pass through our Student support portal which can be found on our website bostonpublicschools.org/transportation.
Are uniforms mandatory?
Every school community votes on their own uniform policy. The School Site Council, which includes parents and educators, vote on this each year. Please reach out to the school to inquire. Phone numbers can be found here.
Will waitlists continue after school starts?
Waitlists remain active through the end of November and then they expire. Families seeking a new school for their child for the following school year are encouraged to request a "next school year" transfer during the first registration period for the next grade (Round 1 for K0, K1, 6 and 9, and Round 2 for all other grades). To check on a waitlist, please call a Welcome Center at 617-635-9010.