New Option Lets Boston Pick School for Child

Lauren Williams's picture
Monday, January 7, 2013

Boston parents who do not get their choices of kindergartens for their children in the first round of the lottery now have the option of letting the School Department pick a school for them under a change that went into effect last week.

The change offers an alternative to the controversial decades-old system in which parents registering their children for kindergarten had to try their luck repeatedly in the School Department’s lottery until they got a school with an available seat — a stressful process that has left some children without a school to report to in the fall.

“The reality is we never want to find ourselves with families who thought they were doing everything right and find themselves in September without a seat for their child,” said Denise Snyder, senior director of the School Department’s Welcome Services.

The option comes amid an uptick in enrollment in the lower grades and a growing public debate over the fairness of a lottery system in a city with schools of widely varying quality.

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