Facts about METCO
METCO was incorporated in 1966 under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
METCO exists in 34 suburban school systems across the state of Massachusetts. The central administrative office is located in Roxbury at 40 Dimock Street.
METCO is a voluntary educational partnership program. Parents choose to enroll their children in METCO. The suburban communities choose to participate in the METCO Program. These programs offer Boston and suburban youngsters opportunities to learn together, to develop an understanding of our pluralistic world, and an appreciation of various cultures.
METCO provides the opportunity for a quality integrated public school education for African Americans, other children of color, and for suburban children in participating towns.
METCO is a state funded program. Each year, suburban communities receive state funds which cover the costs related to their METCO program.
METCO, which stands for the METropolitan COuncil for Educational Opportunity, is a state funded, voluntary educational desegregation program designed to eliminate racial imbalance through the busing of children from Boston, MA and Springfield, MA to suburban public schools in the 38 communities where the program operates. The METCO program provides opportunities for urban and suburban students to experience diversity, learn to respect human differences, and celebrate the richness of a multicultural setting.
Q: What is the mission and purpose of METCO?
A:The mission of METCO is to provide, through professional leadership and voluntary citizen action, the development and promotion of quality integrated educational opportunities for urban and suburban students in the Greater Boston and Springfield communities, and to work toward the expansion of a collaborative education program with urban and suburban school systems. Its purpose is to provide the opportunity for an integrated public school education for children of color from racially imbalanced schools in Boston and Springfield by placing them in suburban schools; to offer a new learning experience for suburban children; and to facilitate understanding and cooperation between urban and suburban parents and other citizens in the Boston and Springfield metropolitan areas.
Q: How long has METCO been in existence?
A: Since 1966. Swampscott has been a METCO community since 1968.
Q: What is the value of the METCO program?
A:The METCO program not only provides the opportunity for enhanced
multicultural interaction, it also has helped to broaden the scope and content of professional development by providing access to programs that underscore instructional methods that foster high expectations and achievement for all students in general and minority students in particular. Such programs include the ongoing study of cooperative learning techniques, efficacy training, anti-racism initiatives, and multicultural education.
One of the reasons for METCO’s longevity is the success of its graduates. According to statistics generated by the Massachusetts Department of Education “METCO Student Participation and Achievement Survey (2003-2005)”, cited in the METCO, Inc. Education Policy Initiatives (http://metcoinc.org/METCO_Policy_Initiatives_Updated_1-19-07.pdf), one-hundred percent (100%) of METCO seniors in the Class of 2004 passed the 10th grade English and Math MCAS tests. Additionally, eighty-seven percent (87%) of Boston students participating in METCO matriculate to institutions of higher learning.
Q: Is the METCO program the same as a Choice program?
A: The METCO program is not a Choice program. The students’ home districts do not transfer tuition funding for METCO participants.
Q: How is METCO funded?
A: The program is funded by a grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Funding must be approved annually by the legislature.
Q: Are there residency requirements for METCO students?
A: METCO students must reside in the Greater
Boston or Springfield metropolitan areas.
Q: Isn’t METCO for students from low-income families?
A: No. Family income is not a determining factor in applying for METCO. The widely assumed misconception that METCO students are from low-income families often stems from the stereotypical generalization that minority families who choose to live in inner city areas are poor. METCO families encompass a broad range of income levels and lifestyles.
Q: How many METCO students are there in the districts?
A: Each district has determined a maximum seat allocation number. METCO students may be admitted at this maximum number but METCO enrollment may also be decreased at the discretion of the districts to compensate for increases in resident student enrollment. Currently, Swampscott has 63 seats allocated for METCO students.
Q: Are resident students denied space due to the
placement of a METCO student?
A: No. Placement of METCO students is based on available seating in each school.
Q: Is there a waiting list for METCO?
A:Yes. The number of students varies but as of January 2007, the METCO waiting list was at 15,000 students.
Q: How many students are there in METCO?
A:At any given time, there are approximately 3,300 students participating in district METCO programs.
Q: In which grades are METCO students placed?
A:METCO generally places students in grades K-12; however, decisions regarding grade level acceptance and placement are generally left to the discretion of the
districts and can vary annually based on various factors including, but not limited to, individual class enrollment sizes. Swampscott METCO does not place students in kindergarten.
Q: Is there a difference between METCO, Incorporated and the local METCO programs?
A: METCO, Incorporated is the service provider for all METCO district programs throughout the suburban Boston area.
Q: Where is METCO, Incorporated located?
A: METCO, Inc. is located in the heart of the Roxbury community at 40 Dimock Street, across from the Dimock Community Health Center. The phone number is (617) 427-1545. You can also access their web site at www.metcoinc.org.
Q: Who is in charge of transportation?
A:The Swampscott METCO Program contracts with METCO, Incorporated to provide transportation services for METCO students. Questions regarding transportation should be directed to Lance Carter, METCO, Inc. Director of Transportation Services, at (617) 427-1545.
Q: Will my child be the only person of color in the classroom?
A: Since many METCO programs across the Commonwealth are relatively small in student numbers, and since the minority population in receiving districts is usually minimal, there is a possibility that your child could be the only person of color in his or her classroom. However, participating METCO districts try to maintain a heightened sensitivity to the concerns of all students in general, and METCO students and their families in particular, and continue to establish and implement programs and policies that help alleviate alienation and isolation of all students within their population.
Q: What is expected of METCO parents?
A: Despite the distance to a participating community or other personal circumstances, METCO parents are expected to participate fully in their child’s total academic and social growth experiences. It is expected that parents will make themselves available to attend all scheduled meetings and functions at their child’s school, pick up their children at school should the need arise (for instance, in the case of sudden illness or school suspension), provide transportation to and from school in the event of an emergency and attend scheduled METCO parent meetings during the course
of the academic year.
Q: Do parents get to choose which METCO community their child is enrolled in?
A: Parents are not given a choice of which community their child is chosen for; however, a parent can decline placement for any reason and ask to have their child placed back on the waiting list. Placement preference, by community, may be given to siblings at the discretion of the Director/Coordinator. Placement in the case of siblings is still based on waiting list eligibility and available seating.
Q: Are there criteria for accepting students into METCO?
A: Schools in the participating METCO districts are public schools and do not have entrance requirements for resident students, then, by law, any student whose parent signs him/her up for METCO is eligible for placement. No child can be denied placement by any participating district for reasons of attendance, behavior, or special needs – except in the case where a student receiving services and accommodations through an IEP (Individual Education Plan) requires a placement that the district does not offer.
Q: Do METCO students need to have a specific grade point average to qualify to participate in the program?
A: No. METCO is open to any student whose parents wish to enroll them. Students are placed on a waiting list – often at the time of their birth – and chosen for placement as their waiting list number comes up. Students enter the METCO program from a variety of early childhood and academic settings; which include day care as well as public, private, and parochial institutions. Since METCO was designed to help achieve racial balance in the participating districts in which the students are placed, students on the waiting list are
predominantly of African, Hispanic, and Asian descent.
Q: Are Special Education students eligible to participate in METCO?
A: Students with special education needs are eligible to participate in METCO if the accommodations and services needed by that student are offered in the participating district.
Q: What happens to a METCO student on an Individual Education Plan who needs accommodations that cannot be met in the
participating district school?
A: The rules governing Special Education are subject to frequent change; therefore, current guidelines posted on the Massachusetts Department of Education web site, located at www.doe.mass.edu, should be consulted on an individual, case-by-case basis. In general, as of the date of this FAQ compilation (July 2007), if it is determined by the members of the participating district Special Education Team that the district cannot offer services and accommodations based on a students’ Individual Education Plan, and if Boston Public Schools is in agreement with the findings of the district Special Education Team, then the METCO student, with the help and support of the participating district, the METCO
Director/Coordinator, Boston Public Schools placement personnel, and METCO, Incorporated, will be re-entered into the Boston Public School system in a placement which can accommodate his/her needs.
Parent Information Section: Important Information and Dates to Remember!
Our next Swampscott METCO PCO meeting is happening on Tuesday, March 21st. The meeting will start promptly at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting will be held at 12th Baptist Church, 150 Warren Street in Boston (Roxbury). We hope to see you there.
*New Information* Lobby Day has been rescheduled for April 4th. The Lobby Day Rally will be held at the Museum of African-American History, 46 Joy Street in Boston and the rally will take place from 9:00-10:30. Immediately after the rally wel will go
around the corner to the State House and lobby our state legislators.Thanks again for your ongoing support of the Swampscott METCO Program and we hope to see you there.
News for our High School Parents and Students:
Congratulations to the following students for making the Honors List for the second term of the 2016-2017 school year:
Faith Andris, Dymond Clarke, Samira Correia, Tessa Diaz, Bianca Doman, Martel Horton, Jr., Jaylene Montilla, Andy Nunez, Fatima Sidibe, Felicia Silveira, Joseph Sylvester, Precious Sylvester, Alexandria White and Asja Zimmerman
Congratulations to Tessa Diaz for finishing as the gold medalist in the Northeastern Conference Swimming championship in the 50-yard freestyle. She also represented Swampscott well as the lone swimmer competing at the highest level at the sectionals and states with a 16th place finish in the 50-yard freestyle.
Edwards Scholarship Fund
200 Clarendon Street, 27th Floor
Boston, MA 02116
ph: (617) 654-8628
Jackie Robinson Foundation Attn: Scholarship Application
75 Varick Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10013
ph: (212) 290-8600
Yawkey Scholars Program c/o TPI
160 Federal Street, Floor 10
Boston, MA 02110
ph: (617) 338-2590 ext. 242
News for our Middle School and Elementary Parents and Students:
Congratulations to the following students for making the Honors List for the first trimester of the 2016-2017 school year:
Natrel Allen, Dominic Diaz, Myra Diaz, Lahina Fadael, Quinci McLeod and Kyoni Simms.
And congratulations goes to Akeem Cohen, Jr. and Naina Alves Varela for winning the Stanley Elementary School's Super Star Student Award for Outstanding Achievement.
The second trimester for Swampscott Middle School will end on Tuesday, March 14th and grades will be posted on Monday, March 20th. The second trimester for the Hadley Elementary and Stanley Elementary will close on Friday, March 3rd and report cards will be made available on Friday, March 10th.
And for the time being the third and final trimester for the Hadley Elementary and Stanley Elementary will close on Thursday, June 15th and report cards will be made on the last day of school.
This is just a reminder of how to see your child's report card on our website. First, go to the Swampscott Middle School website (www.middleschool.swampscott.k12.ma.us). Then click on the button for the Aspen Portal. Every family has an Aspen account, if you are unsure about your account, you can email the help desk by clicking on the Aspen Help box.
FunBrain.com is a series of interactive games that help students in grades K-8, develop skills in math, reading, and literacy.
FreeMathHelp.com was established in June 2002 as a resource to help students improve their math skills. Everything on the site is free, and developed to help its users succeed. Math subjects include: Algebra Lessons, Geometry Lessons, Trigonometry Lessons, Calculus Lessons, Statistics Lessons, Sports Math, and Financial Math.
KidsNumbers.com is the absolutely free math resource dehttp://www.khanacademy.org/signed by teachers, specifically for students and children of all ages. Students are able to practice all aspects of math, from addition to division, and everything in between, in a fun and pressure free way.
This free website provides interactive challenges, assessments, and videos on all math and science subjects. Teachers and coaches are available to assist you through blogs and emails whenever you need them. You can even monitor your progress through assessments and data that is also available.
Cool Math 4 Kids is a math site has been designed with kids in mind; the way they learn and have fun! This site makes math fun!
SWAMPSCOTT METCO PCO MEETING:
Due to inclement weather, our January meeting was cancelled and that the following month's meeting happened during Winter Break, our next Swampscott METCO PCO meeting is happening on Tuesday, March 21st. The meeting will start promptly at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting will be held at 12th Baptist Church, 150 Warren Street in Boston (Roxbury). We hope to see you there.
The Swampscott METCO PCO Board consists of the following parents:
Mr. Ronald White, Chairman
Ms. Kawanda Boyd, Secretary
Ms. Ivelisse Caraballo, Communications Coordinator
Mrs. Melody White, Treasurer/Event Planner
Mrs. Ebony Irvin, Parent-At Large
Mrs. Ruth Dorcy, Parent-At Large
There are several slots vacant on the Board. Please consider using your gifts and talents in supporting the Swampscott METCO PCO. Thank you.
HOST FAMILY INFORMATION:
If your child doesn't have a host family here in the program, please consider in doing so. Having a host family will only enhance the academic and social experience while being in the Swampscott METCO Program.
Please seek out and contact Mr. Greene to start the process.
To the parents who are residents of the Town of Swampscott, if you are interested in becoming a host parent, I can be reached at (781) 596-8830, EXT. 5821 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org and I can fill you in on the details.
Thank you for your time and consideration. All the best.
Upcoming Dates for Swampscott METCO PCO Meetings
For our new parents, the purpose of our PCO meetings is for us as a community to come together and share information,fellowship and understand our goals and objectives for the school year. For our parents who have volunteered to fulfill some of our various PCO administrative positions a big thank you for your time, energy and effort in doing so and I'm looking forward to seeing you at our meetings.
Here are the remaining dates of our PCO meetings of 2016-2017.
Please note that on the Swampscott METCO PCO meetings will be held on each third Tuesday of each month at Twelfth Baptist Church. If there are any changes you will be duly notified in advance by the Swampscott METCO PCO Board. We look forward to seeing you there.