Mayor Walsh announces citywide meetings on Unified Enrollment
September 18, 2015
Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced six citywide community meetings for parents, educators and students to discuss creating a unified enrollment system for district and charter schools in Boston. First announced on Thursday during a meeting with more than 125 district, charter and Catholic principals, the goal of unified enrollment is to ensure that all students in Boston have access to the best schools that fit their individual needs.
"The separate application processes for district and charter schools can place an unnecessary burden on families, leading to confusion, limited options and lack of individual needs being met," said Mayor Walsh. "Families need a clear and simple path to school enrollment and a unified enrollment system will level the playing field for all Boston's families. We look forward to hearing any ideas, thoughts and concerns from the community on how a unified system might work in Boston and increasing success for all of Boston's schools and students."
"The unified enrollment proposal has a great deal of merit," said Chief of Education Rahn Dorsey. "In addition to making school choice easier for families, we have the opportunity to deepen collaboration and create more mutual accountability for student success across all of our schools. We're at the beginning of exploring this idea. There is a great deal of public dialogue needed to produce a plan that will work for families and schools."
"We are excited to begin the citywide community conversation about how we can build on the collaboration between district, charter and Catholic schools," said Rachel Weinstein, chief collaboration officer for The Boston Compact. "These citywide meetings will give us an opportunity to ensure any unified enrollment plan works effectively for all Boston families."
Currently, parents are responsible for navigating the various application systems involved with district and charter schools. A unified enrollment system would allow for one application, one deadline and one process for both district and charter schools.
The first citywide meeting will be held on Thursday, October 8th and all are encouraged to attend. The full meeting schedule is as follows:
- October 8, 5:30 p.m. - Kroc Center, 650 Dudley St, Dorchester
- October 20, 5:30 p.m. - East Boston Public Library, 365 Bremen St, East Boston
- October 21, 5:30 p.m. - Mattapan Public Library, 1350 Blue Hill Ave, Mattapan
- November 5, 5:30 p.m. - Grove Hall Community Center, 51 Geneva Ave, Dorchester
- November 12, 5:30 p.m. - 1st Church of Jamaica Plain, Corner of Elliot and South Street, Jamaica Plain
- November 17, 5:30 p.m. - West End Boys and Girls Club, 105 Allston St, Allston
Any plan to implement unified enrollment in Boston would require a vote by the Boston School Committee and individual charter schools, and action by the Massachusetts Legislature.
The Boston Compact was created in 2011 to foster collaboration between district, charter and Catholic schools. Separate from this process, the Boston Compact is working to renew its compact this fall to build on the collaboration happening throughout the city.