Parents react to Boston school assignments

Parents reacted for the first time to their children's school assignments.

Chrissanta Rudder of South Boston got the word on her daughters, ages 3 and 4.

March 28, 2011

Relief, dismay, even guilt greet student placements

The assignments of students rely in large part on a random number assigned by a computer. So a system designed for fairness can inevitably cause divisions among winners and losers.

April 22, 2011

Split decisions on school lottery

Of the many complexities of the city’s school assignment system, it is this central inequity that can inflame the most passionate anger, that the city can pay for many but not all of its 4-year-olds to go to school.

Because of the school lottery, Sawyer Bowen-Flynn, 4, will not be able to attend the school across the street.

May 8, 2011

An early education in the meaning of ‘no’

In Boston, proximity to a school - even one just 33 child-size steps away - is no guarantee of admission.

June 12, 2011

A daily diaspora, a scattered street

There was a time when all the kids on Montvale Street went to nearby Wolfgang Mozart Elementary School. Now, the children scatter every morning to schools beyond their neighborhood.

August 14, 2011

Parents’ anxiety grows as summer fades

Instead of preparing for the first day of school, some parents are still battling disappointment or weighing options in August, uncertain or unsettled about where their child will go.

October 3, 2011

Waiting lists frustrate parents

Almost 10,000 Boston students — nearly 18 percent of the student body — are still on waiting lists, trying to get into different schools than they were assigned.

December 12, 2011

Inequities among Boston’s schools

The uneven distribution of great facilities and programs underpins Boston’s elaborate school-lottery system, and is also the reason the process is so harrowing.

December 25, 2011

Popularity matters in school lottery

The lottery system for Boston public schools has created a group of prized schools and a group perpetually relegated to second-rung status.

December 31, 2011

Boston careful in school-assignment overhaul

Boston schools Superintendent Carol R. Johnson and the School Committee are treading cautiously as they weigh how to overhaul the way students are assigned to schools, a hot-button issue that has polarized parents, community activists, and political leaders in the past. “I think that for us to have a very well-designed process and thoughtful communication we need to make sure we take the time so we are prepared,’’ Johnson said. “It’s a very complex issue.’’

Updates on the families

Kimberly Bertrand of Charlestown reacted to the news that her 4-year-old son, Jack, got her first-choice school.


The Bertrand family

Kimberly Bertrand got her first choice - the Warren/Prescott K-8 School - for her 4-year-old son, Jack.

Anna Ross and Andy Berg with their children, Ita, 4, and Charlie, 1.


The Berg/Ross family

Andy Berg and Anna Ross were assigned their second-choice school for their 4-year-old daughter, Ita.

Masilo, Malia, and Carly Grant.

Jamaica Plain

The Grant family

Four-year-old Malia Grant was assigned a seat in the West Zone Early Learning Center in Jamaica Plain, the first choice her parents, Carly and Masilo Grant.

Mission Hill

The Grophear family

Deborah Grophear wasn’t assigned the first school choice for her 5-year-old daughter, Xolani, but did get her second choice - Jackson Mann in Allston.

Betty Legendre.


The Legendre family

Betty Legendre had two children in the school lottery - Jeffry, 5, and Alexa, 3. She did not receive the news she wanted for either of them.


The Peoples family

Chantel Peoples got good news on placement for her four-year-old son, J'ovanni Thomas, but it did not come through the Boston Public Schools lottery.

Olayemi (left) and Nia Phillips.


The Phillips family

Despite not getting one of her top choices, Olayemi Phillips was excited that her 3-year-old daughter Nia was assigned a spot in a pre-kindergarten classroom at Chittick Elementary School.

Kathy, Eliza , Glyn, and Ayla Polson.

South End

The Polson family

Kathy and Glyn Polson got the bad news from a neighbor over the phone: 4-year-old Ayla did not get a seat at any of her three chosen schools. So they decided to send her to a private school.

Jackelyn Ponce and Jose Angel Guevara

East Boston

The Ponce family

After Jackelyn Ponce learned that her son Jose Angel Guevara, almost 3, was on a wait list for a limited number of spots in the city’s early education program, she was crushed.

Jeff, Chief, Janey, and Jaiyere Rogers.


The Rogers family

Jeff and Kimesha Rogers are counted on luck in the school lottery for their son, Chief. They got the bad news in a short, crisp letter.

Denise Kitty-Rousell and her kids Sophi and Steve Rousell.


The Rousell family

Steve Rousell and Denise Kitty-Rousell didn’t want to rely on the lottery for their daughter, Sophie, so they made a backup plan for a private school. It turned out to be a good move.

Chrissanta, Chrystabella, and Candelaria  Rudder.

South Boston

The Rudder family

Chrissanta Rudder jumped up and down when her 4-year-old daughter, Chrystabella, got her second choice - Perkins Elementary in South Boston.

Isaiah, Josh, Luca, and Becky Wyatt.

West Roxbury

The Wyatt family

Becky Wyatt was relieved when her 4 1/2-year-old son, Isaiah, was assigned to her second-choice school - the Beethoven in West Roxbury.