A mandatory assignment occurs when students are not able to be matched to one of the three choices listed on their school registration form. While some families decide to remain at a school where they were mandatorily assigned, other families find it stressful to be assigned to a school that they had not previously considered.
Following are some ways you can reduce the risk that your child will be offered a mandatory assignment.
1. Maximize Your Chances in the Kindergarten Lottery
During the Kindergarten Lottery, a computerized system will attempt to fill as many #1 School Choice selections as possible before moving on to fill as many #2 and #3 choices. Therefore, the order in which you list your three choices is important. In many cases, listing a program where your child has an increased chance of being assigned is a wise strategy. This may be a proximity school. If your child is bilingual or fluent in Spanish, Chinese, or Portuguese, it may be one of our dual immersion programs.
The Kindergarten Lottery does involve some elements of chance, so if you believe your child’s perfect match is a school where you will have no priority, you may want to list that choice as #1 in order to have a higher position on that school’s waiting list in the future. However, it is wise to carefully consider all of the options and to list at least one school that is less competitive or where your child will have some advantage.
2. Understand the Difference Between the Kindergarten Lottery and All Other Registration Time Periods
If your family is registering a child for school after the Kindergarten Lottery or for grades 1-8, it is important to understand that proximity is no longer a factor in school assignment. The only school assignment policy for grades 1-8 and for late Kindergarten Registrations is “first come, first served.” It will benefit you to contact the Family Resource Center and learn what schools have open seats in your school assignment category (Free/Reduced vs. Paid).
3. Look for Hidden Gems
School popularity is not the same thing as school quality. The top graduates at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School come from a variety of different elementary schools, so it’s important to focus on the particular needs of your child and your family and remain open to the options.
If you are registering for grades 1-8 or for Kindergarten during the current school year, ask the Family Resource Center to tell you which schools currently have available seats or very short waiting lists and get to know these schools. You will recognize which one is a gem when you see it.
Special features that your family might treasure may include connections to your family’s language or culture, an atmosphere that emphasizes values you share, special technology initiatives, an environmental program, arts enrichment experiences, or athletics programs that you would not know about without taking a second look.
For further guidance contact the Family Resource Center:
Hours: Monday - Friday | 8:30AM - 3:30PM
Tel: 617.349.6551 | Fax: 617.349.6552
Email the FRC
Staff are available to assist you during business hours all year long, except holidays.