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Congratulations! You have completed the Countdown to Kindergarten process and you and your child are embarking together on an exciting journey of learning and discovery. Kindergarten in the Boston Public Schools typically begins the Monday following Labor Day. The following suggestions will help make those first days of school go more smoothly. We thank you for chosing the Boston Public Schools.

Develop a Plan for the First Day of Kindergarten. Some schools have strict policies and prefer parents to say good-bye outside,most would ask you to bring child to classroom and spend 10-15 minutes with the student. Once you know your school's guidelines, you can prepare your child ahead of time so she will know what to expect. If your school has a policy that invites you to come in to the classroom, talk about how long you will be there (10-15 minutes may be all you need). When saying good-bye, mean it. If you anticipate a difficulty might occur for your child, when it comes to rest time or separating in the morning, feel free to discuss it with your child's teacher or principal so that together you can ease the transition for your child. Remember you know your child better than anyone else.

Taking the Bus. If your child will be attending BPS and has been assigned a bus, you may want to take off the morning of the first day of school to see him off, and then follow the bus to get to know the route your child will take to school.  Please include a name tag with your child information so that the school knows where the child belongs. 

HINT: For the first day of school, dress your child in comfortable clothing. Have him wear elastic waistband pants (zippers, belts and buttons may be too much during the first couple of days). This way if he waits until the last minute to use the restroom, it will be easier for him to pull his pants down. Also, if your child does not know how to tie his own shoes, have him wear Velcro or slip-on shoes. Once your child feels comfortable and he is used to the new routines you can let him dress how he chooses.

 

Your 'Start School' Checklist

Complete in September. The steps you need to take are listed below and all relevant documents are available in the downloads tab.

  • If your child is taking the bus, make sure that you have your transportation assignment. For more about transportation, 617-635-9520
  • Review, complete and submit the 'BPS Parent / Student Agreement' by the date specified
  • Celebrate the entrance into Kindergarten by participating in a 'Kindergarten Days' at your local library.
  • Join parents and kindergartners at Countdown to Kindergarten's Annual 'Citywide Celebration at the Children's Museum on Tuesday, August 30th, 2016
  • Find out about Parent Council meetings at your school and attend them!
Attachments:
Download this file (WholeFoods Flyer (1).pdf)WholeFoods Flyer (1).pdf[ ]2373 kB

Summertime is a great time to get involved in fun social and learning activities with your child to help him or her get ready for kindergarten. Click on Activities tabs or Talk, Read, Play website for ideas, and take advantage of the free activities through your 'I'm Going to Kindergarten' readiness materials (see below.)

Transitions can be very challenging for anyone, adults and children alike, especially the transition into kindergarten. Here are a few suggestions that may help:

Create Routines by setting a bedtime and wake-up time, and stick to it. This helps children know what to expect and ensures they get enough rest.

Read Books about going to school, but also continue to read books with your child for pleasure. Read over and over if your child likes the book. Visit a Read Boston Storymobile event and your child  can take a free book home or sign up for library card at your local library branch and enjoy a huge selection of books that you can borrow and enjoy at home.  Make sure you pick up a Summer Reading list and have fun reading.

Encourage Independence by allowing your child to make certain choices such as 'do you want to wear your purple shirt or the yellow one?' Allow your child to dress him or herself and that they button, zip and put on their owm shoes. Teach your child how to open juice boxes and food containers. These skill will help make the transition into the classroom a little easier.

PLEASE NOTE:
If your child has been assigned a bus (distances greater than one mile from your home), you will receive bus details in the last half of August, after most assignments have been processed and routes laid-out. If you do not receive an assignment, or have questions about the bus, you can contact BPS Transportation at: (617) 635-9520.  We will have busses at the Boston Children's museum where you can ask questions and participate in a bus safety session.  This helps ease any anxiety for the students. 

Communicate any address changes to your new school and to BPS by visiting a Welcome Center with proofs of your new address so that you will continue to receive important notifications mailed to you.

Your 'Get Ready for School' Checklist

Complete during July to August. The steps you need to take are listed below and all relevant PDFs and links available in the Downloads tab!

  • Pick up your FREE "I'm Going to Kindergarten" Countdown t-shirt, and guide at your local Boston Public Library and enjoy free admission to select activities this summer
  • Learn about 'school transportation' on our Registration Guide
  • Finalize any arrangements for before- and/or after-school care if needed
  • Purchase 'school uniforms' if required at your child's school
  • Complete the 'Parent Questionnaire' to give to your child's teacher at the start of school to help them to know your child
  • Read '10 Ways to Get Ready for Kindergarten'
  • Celebrate the entrance into Kindergarten by participating in 'Kindergarten Days' (see Special Notices below)
  • Join us at the Countdown to Kindergarten Citywide Celebration on Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Attachments:
Download this file (BPS_UniformPolicy_16-17.docx_alphabeticalOrder.pdf)2016/2017 School Uniforms[ ]168 kB
Download this file (Cape Verdean SEI Kindergarten Kick-Off 2016.pdf)Cape Verdean SEI Kindergarten Kick-Off[ ]9054 kB
Download this file (Celebration_ways to get to the museum.pdf)Buses for Celebration[ ]619 kB
Download this file (Chinese SEI Kindergarten Kick-Off 2016.pdf)Chinese SEI Kindergarten Kick-Off[ ]9643 kB
Download this file (English SEI Kindergarten Kick-Off 2016.pdf)SEI Kindergarten Kickoff English[ ]9054 kB
Download this file (GUIDEinside2016__English.pdf)GUIDEinside2016__English.pdf[ ]1179 kB
Download this file (Haitian Creole SEI Kindergarten Kick-Off 2016.pdf)Haitian Creole SEI Kindergarten Kick-Off [ ]9053 kB
Download this file (KDays Parties2016 2 list.pdf)Kindergarten Days 2016[Small events in your local library to celebrate the entering into Kindergarten]196 kB
Download this file (Portuguese SEI Kindergarten Kick-Off 2016.pdf)Portuguese SEI Kindergarten Kick-Off[ ]9054 kB
Download this file (Save the date_2016.pdf)Save the Date 2016[Citywide Celebration for our Kindergartners]280 kB
Download this file (Somali SEI Kindergarten Kick-Off 2016.pdf)Somali SEI Kindergarten Kick-Off[ ]9055 kB
Download this file (Spanish SEI Kindergarten Kick-Off 2016.pdf)Spanish SEI Kindergarten Kick-Off [ ]9055 kB
Download this file (Vietnamese SEI Kindergarten Kick-Off 2016.pdf)Vietnamese SEI Kindergarten Kick-Off [ ]9884 kB

Schools invite newly assigned kindergarten families to Welcome Sessions in the spring. These sessions are a great opportunity to meet other kindergarten families, meet your principals and kindergarten teachers, and put your child at ease about their upcoming transition. It also allows you to build relationships with school staff and learn about your new school's culture and curriculum. Although school won't officially begin until September 2016, schools look forward to getting to know you and your child in the spring. When you visit, ask the principal about guidelines and procedures for the first day of school. 

Does your school have a uniform policy? If you are unsure, make sure to read about school uniforms download the school uniform PDF (Uniform PDF will be updated in June 2016) or you can ask your school when you visit. Great shops for uniforms include L&M, Target, Sears, Marshalls, Wal-Mart, Old Navy, and many other discount stores.

Does your school offer before-or after-school services?  this is important especially for families entering K1, most after school programs due to liscensing regulations are not liscense for 4 year olds.  Please check with your school in regards to after-schools and age requierements. If school has after-school program, ask for an application, complete it and leave a deposit. Enrollment in school-based programs is often limited and frequently on a first-come, first served basis. If your school does not offer care and/or you need help finding other options, visit www.bostnet.org for a complete listing of programs in Boston.

Your 'Meet Your School' Checklist

Complete during April to June. The steps you need to take are listed below and all relevant documents and links are at the bottom of page!

  • View the 'Welcome Sessions Schedule' on our calendar and attend a session at your school. 
  • Review 'What's Next' after registration
  • Find out if any, 'school uniforms' are required at your child's school
  • Make arrangements for before- and/or after-school care if needed
  • Read our 'Helpful Handbook for K0, K1 and K2 Families'
  • Learn about '10 Ways to Get Ready for Kindergarten'
  • Pick up a FREE "I'm going to Kindergarten" Countdown to Kindergarten t-shirt, and guide at your local Boston Public Library in June.  Wait for your postcard please!
Attachments:
Download this file (bps_uniforms.pdf)bps_uniforms.pdf[ ]332 kB
Download this file (K1handbook.pdf)K1handbook.pdf[ ]7487 kB
Download this file (K2handbook.pdf)K2handbook.pdf[ ]4779 kB
Download this file (Welcome Sessions dates_2017.pdf)Welcome Sessions dates_2017.pdf[ ]414 kB

 

The Boston Public Schools offer a variety of academic, social and cultural experiences that are hard to match anywhere else. Families can make choices from a customized list of schools that typically includes more than 15 elementary schools. When you register, we strongly encourage you to pick at least five schools, but you may list as many as you wish. Since the schools differ a lot, it is helpful to think about what factors are important to you and your child.

Registration is ongoing; however, for your best chance at a school assignment of your choice, it is important to register during Round 1 January 3, 2017- February 3, 2017. All students who register within the same round are assigned to schools at the same time when the round closes.

First Round Registration for the 2017/2018 school year runs the month of January 3,2017-February 3, 2017 For best service, register according to the parent/guardian’s last name:
                               A-I:January 3-6, 2017
                               J-Q:January 9-13, 2017
                               R-Z:January 17-20, 2017
                               Open to all: January 23-February 3

Your child must be 5 by September 1, 2017 to register for K2 kindergarten
Your child must be 4 by September 1, 2017 to register for K1 kindergarten
Your child must be or 3 by September 1, 2017 to register for K0 kindergarten
K1 and K0 seats are NOT guaranteed, so register during the First Round for your best chance of getting a seat!

For students with disabilities, placement in a school is determined by their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and the availability of appropriate seats. While families are able to indicate school choices through the regular assignment process, placement decisions are made by Boston Public Schools’ IEP team. Students with low levels of need (i.e. Pull-Out or Push-In Resources) can have these needs met in any district school on their Home-Based List. However, students with higher levels of needs may qualify for program seats from across a broader cluster of schools. The SPED tab on your DiscoverBPS results page will show you which schools may be available to your child. Please note that while the school list reflects all programs offered, placement is highly individualized and will depend on a student’s specific needs, as determined by the IEP. For questions about SWD placements, please call: 617-635-8599.

Countdown to Kindergarten Registration Guide

"Your 'Register for Schools' Checklist

If you share housing and the lease in not in your name, please bring this completed form with you at the time of registration. BPS Affidavit

The steps you need to take are listed below and all relevant documents and links are indicated at the bottom of the page.

  • Make sure to download and review the 'Registration Guide' for complete information
  • Visit at 'Discover BPS' to get a list of schools available to you
  • Pre-register using 'BPS Express'
  • Go to a 'Welcome Center' to complete the registration process (Remember 1st Round is in January)
  • Bring your child's original birth certificate, record of immunizations, and two proofs of residency as listed on the 'BPS Residency Policy'
  • If you register the previous year and did not get an assignment, you must register again if you are interested in K1 or K2 seats.
  • Read 'What's Next' after registration
Attachments:
Download this file (New flier2016.pdf)Registration Document Checklist[ ]100 kB
Download this file (RSG 2016 English v2.pdf)RSG 2016 English v2.pdf[ ]490 kB

 

It's time to Discover BPS

Families should start preparing for Kindergarten (K1 for 4 years old and K2 for 5 years old) a full year in advance of their start date, which is the September before their child turns 4 or 5. For a few families, it may start sooner. Boston Public Schools (BPS) has a number of a very limited number of seats for K0 programs for children who are 3 by September 1. There are 76 Early Learning Centers, Elementary and K-8 schools in the City of Boston. Families can choose from a number of schools that are located close to their homes.

Attend an Information Session for answers to all your questions about BPS schools, the registration process and more. Starting in November, Information Sessions provide tips on the transition and kindergarten selection/enrollment process, along with suggested activities to help families prepare for a successful entry into kindergarten.

During School Preview Time (December– January), the Boston Public Schools invites families to get to know the schools. With more than 76 early learning, elementary and K-8 schools in the City, visiting schools is the best way to decide which ones might be good matches for your child and your family. If you cannot attend a School Preview Time session, call the principal to set up visit. In most cases you will have the opportunity to walk around the school, talk with staff and see classrooms. You may be able to meet school parents or the parent liaison.

Attending the Boston Public Schools Showcase In Our Schools  usually held on the second Saturday  of November is a great way to visit your available schools all in a day.  And be sure to use our School Visit Checklist to keep track of the information you gather on each of the schools you visit!

Your 'Visit & Choose Schools' Checklist

Complete during October to January. The steps you need to take are listed below and all relevant documents and links are indicated in red in the Quick Links box to the right!

  • Visit DiscoverBPS.org to determine which schools are in your Home Base.
  • Attend Showcase In Our Schools  Saturday, December 3, 2016
  • All Schools will host School Preview Times visit our calendar for the dates and times of the schools on your list.
  • Visiting schools is the best way to decide which ones might be good matches for your child and your family
  • Keep track of the schools you visit by using our 'Visiting Schools Check List'
  • Read Countdown to Kindergarten 'Registration Guides' for complete registration information
  • Check our registration Information Sessions calendar and pick a session to attend to get up-to-date information on the registration process.
  • In December, Log on to Pre-Register  for schools online.
  • January, Visit a Welcome Center and complete your registration process.