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Boston school choice plans will incorporate walk-zone preference

The Boston Public Schools have proposed to keep elementary and middle school walk-zone preference as part of a new school choice plan — an important piece of information for current and future parents that was missing from Jeremy Fox’s article on the Josiah Quincy Elementary School in Chinatown and potential impacts of the ongoing school choice process (“Ripples of worry over school’s future,” Metro, Oct. 22).

Under all but one of the five Boston schools proposals (the no-zone model), walk zone would work much like it does today: A student has a higher priority to attend an elementary school that is within a 1-mile radius of the student’s home or, for a middle school, a 1½-mile radius, even if that school is across a zone boundary line. Students would receive assignment priority at these schools, just as they do now.

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In the case of the Josiah Quincy, the majority of students living in the South End, Bay Village, Back Bay, and Chinatown would continue to have access through walk-zone preference.

Ultimately, the school system will present a plan that takes into account the feedback of more than 4,000 Boston residents. We’ve heard that parents love walk-zone preference, and we will include it as an element of any final proposal.

Carleton Jones

Executive director

Capital and

Facilities Management

Boston Public Schools

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