METCO stands for Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity, Inc. It is a state funded, voluntary desegregation program. The Town of Weston began to participate in METCO in the spring of 1967. The first Boston students began attending the Weston Public Schools in September of 1967. Two hundred and forty-nine students have graduated from Weston High School through the Weston/METCO Program. Some graduates have returned as parents of second-generation students or to serve on committees that support the program.
There are two major goals of the program:
Students are enrolled in METCO at METCO, Inc. located on Dimock Street, Roxbury, MA. In order to enroll in a METCO program, a family must be a resident of metropolitan Boston. A parent or guardian signs the child up for a METCO program in a suburban school district. Parents cannot choose the district that the child will attend. The child is then placed on a waiting list until a seat becomes available in a participating suburban school district. METCO Directors and the METCO, Inc. Placement Office work with school principals and teachers to place students on a first signed-up, first-served basis. Every attempt is made to keep siblings together in the same school system. There is no test that students must pass in order to enter a METCO suburban school district. Enrollment includes African American, Latino, and Asian students from a wide spectrum of economic backgrounds. Each year parents sign a form indicating whether their child will continue in the program.
The program is funded by a state grant. The Weston Public Schools apply for the grant each year. The Massachusetts Legislature allocates funding for METCO Programs under the state’s racial imbalance law. The Department of Education initiates and manages the grant application process.
The Weston/METCO Family Friends Program extends the program beyond the walls of the classroom. Under the program, each Boston student who enters the Weston Public Schools is paired with a Weston student. The Family Friends’ component of the Weston/METCO Program offers families from both communities an opportunity to share urban and suburban experiences. Throughout the school year, the Weston/METCO Program organizes a variety of activities for Family Friends participants. The biggest and most successful event is the annual potluck dinner. Volunteers can serve on committees to support the program. Those committees are the Family Friends Committee, the Weston/METCO Scholarship Committee or the Weston/METCO Community Coordinating Committee. The Community Coordinating Committee consists of representatives from organizations in Weston, Weston’s school system, and the Boston Weston/METCO Parent Organization.
You may call the Weston/METCO Office, located in the High School, 781-529-8036. If no one is available to answer your question at the time of your call, please leave your name, your question, and a telephone number and time when your call may be returned.