Time is ticking; realistically, in the great metropolitan area of Boston, it's never too early to prepare to register your child for Pre-K or Kindergarten. Most schools accept children starting at
4, while others have their minimum age at 3, so keep that in mind as you explore your local options. However,
if your kiddo is approaching this age they will be ready to take the leap into
their schooling, then it's time to explore your options and register while
seats are still open – because they fill quickly!
Picking out the schools that you will apply
your child to is exciting! The next chapter of their childhood is fast
approaching. But remember, don’t rely on just one school, as seats can fill
quickly, and spots are limited. Ensure you have plenty of options by applying
to multiple pre-schools that meet your expectations. Remember, just
because your child is accepted into a program does not necessarily mean that
you have to enroll them in that specific program. If they get a seat in three
schools, awesome! Having options is your best outcome.
As you review your local schools, you’ll
likely have a public, charter, or local private school available, so you'll
need to choose the best option for you and your family. Notably, the
application process and timelines for these school systems changes, so get to
know them now, so you're prepared for the upcoming deadlines.
Families looking to register their child in
a K1 Boston Public School program for the coming school year should always aim
to be a part of the Priority Registration round to ensure their child gets a
seat. Missing this registration round could mean that there aren't any seats
left at your local school. View the guide to registering your child in the BPS here.
If you didn’t know, in addition to K0 and
K1 programs at Boston Public Schools, the city has also created Universal
Pre-Kindergarten seats at several community organizations, which are open to a
limited number of three-year-olds. However, UPK programs require children to be
at least four by September 1, and applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
Thus, it's essential to register your child as soon as possible. Learn more
about the UPK program here.
Charter schools tend to confuse a lot of
parents. Are they public or private? How much do they cost?
Charter Schools are independent of the
public school system but authorized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts'
Education Reform Act of 1993. They are public schools that operate outside the
Boston Public School System and are therefore free for students.
you want your child to attend a charter school, it's important to note that
placement is based on a lottery system, which needs to be applied for via the Boston Charter PublicSchool Lottery Application online application. This year, the lottery was
held in March, so if you want to register your child for Pre-K at a charter
school, you will need to wait until the next school year.
If you live across the Charles River in
Cambridge, these schools don’t fall under the same lottery as those in Boston.
It’s important that you visit each school’s website independently for
information on their application process.
If you’re new to the Boston area, you might
not know that there is a long history of private schools in our region, many of
which have programs specifically designed to direct children into some of the
most prestigious universities in the country.
Private pre-schools can range from being
a part of larger elementary and high schools to small Montessori schools. They
are scattered across the city, and their education programs and costs vary
are so many impressive private school options in Boston. If you’re leaning
towards sending your child to a private academy, research your options and
arrange visits with the campuses. This is your child’s first steps into an
exciting academic future. You can see a detailed list of the Boston private school options here.
forget, even if your child is still a year or two away from school, it's always
a good idea to reach out to your local schools to start to understand their
programs, when you need to get prepared to register, and which school options
will best suit your child.