Mistakenly Reassigned, Too Bad


This year was our big year of entering the Boston Public School lottery for a pre-kindergarten spot for Roozle. It’s an incredibly frustrating process that ends not so well for lots of families. In our zone, there are lots of really great schools. There aren’t enough pre-kindergarten, called K1, spots for all the kids trying to get seats, so lots don’t get spots. No big deal, they just go to pre-school for an extra year. Totally fine. Except that most of the great schools in our neighborhood have the same number of K1 spots as K2 spots. This means that those schools become impossible to get into at K2 because all the K1 kids that are moving up fill all the seats. That aspect of the lottery makes it super stressful, frustrating, and brings a level of desperation to the table.

We got lucky. Really lucky. Roozle got a spot at our 3rd choice school. Our third choice was one we had heard lots of great stuff about, but hadn’t met the principal and had a a crowded, rushed tour before the lottery. So we decided to keep Roozle on the wait list for the other two schools above #3.

Soon enough, we started meeting other families at school #3. We found out that one of Roozle’s preschool friends had an assignment there too. And another. We learned more about the schedule and realized we could make it work in such a way that Roozle wouldn’t have to attend the after school program at all. We had another tour. This time was different. We quickly realized that this school would be a great fit for Roozle and our family. It began to look like a dream.

So we called the Resource Center to take Roozle off the wait list for schools #1 and #2. They told us we had to come by, in person, to sign some papers in order to do that. They told us that wait lists don’t move much before June, or even August, so we didn’t have to rush. On April 29th, we went to the Resource Center. I filled out the three pages of paperwork. It was reviewed, approved, and I was given a copy. Off we went.

Last week, we visited School #3, which was now Roozle’s school. By taking her off the wait lists, we secured her spot at this school. We were thrilled. We met her future teachers, future classmates, and finally, the principal. We were excited. Roozle was nervous, but excited. She loved the school, especially the playground. This was it. Public school isn’t perfect, but it was starting to feel pretty close.

Then last night, I got home late and got the mail. A new assignment letter. Roozle had been suddenly assigned to School #2. A school she was no longer on the wait list for. It was a mistake. A big one. This morning we went right to the Resource Center. They couldn’t help, but assured us that it was a mistake and clearly would get worked out. We were told, “You have the paperwork. You have proof. It will be fine.” So we left and I called a few times through the day. No answers. Then I emailed. At 4:45 I got an email back. It wasn’t good.

Almost all the Boston Public Schools have wait lists. Some of them are long. The school Roozle was assigned to is no exception. When they incorrectly moved her to School #2, her seat at School #3 opened up and was immediately filled by the next kid on that wait list. Their only solution is to put Roozle on the wait list for the school she had been assigned to originally. The one we accepted the assignment for. The one she was going to. Now she’s on the wait list. They’re saying they will work hard to get her a spot, but there’s no guarantee.

Hopefully this is not the end to this story. Hopefully.


GOOD NEWS! Boston Public Schools have corrected the problem! Roozle will be heading to her originally assigned school in the fall. Everyone we dealt with at the Assignment Office was lovely and apologetic. Their first attempt to correct the issue was to put Roozle as #1 on the waitlist of the school we wanted, but we pushed back against that, and they THANKFULLY were able to work it out to get her back in. HOORAY!

Author: Casey

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