Kimida Torres, a Dorchester mother, thought she had found the perfect school for her 5-year-old son: Orchard Gardens K-8 School in neighboring Roxbury. It had rising MCAS scores, an assortment of afterschool activities, and a preschool program — giving her hope that her 3-year-old daughter could attend, too.
But when Torres shared her decision with a customer service representative at a school registration center in Dorchester, she received some startling news. Orchard Gardens was not an option, after all. Under Boston’s new student-assignment system, it was too far from their home.