Bedford's participation began in September 1974 when twenty-two students enrolled in Bedford Public Schools. Over the years, the program expanded to students attending school in Bedford in grades K-12. The program has grown and now includes over 90 students.
The mission of the Bedford METCO Program is to provide a quality education and a more diverse cultural experience for all students attending school in Bedford.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, through the Department of Education under the Racial Imbalance Act, funds the METCO Program. Funding includes the cost of student transportation, materials and supplies, program initiatives that enhance academic achievement and cross-cultural understanding, and salaries for program staff. The Town of Bedford also receives funds in support of the program.
Placement of Students
The METCO Program is open to all children of African-, Latino-, Asian and Native American descent who reside in the City of Boston. Parents must be willing to volunteer and participate. The Bedford Public Schools attempts to enroll a diverse group of students from broad economic, cultural, religious and ethnic minority backgrounds with a range of educational strengths and needs.
Students are referred by METCO, Inc., the central, Boston-based service provider, on a first-come-first-serve basis. Participants are assigned to Bedford schools according to space availability. Every effort is made to place siblings in the same town, but this does not always happen.
Placement in Bedford typically begins in December. If you have students that you would like to refer to the program, please send me the students name, grade, parents contact information and I will try to place students that are a good match.
Please remind families that they will always need to go to METCO, Inc. to get placed. They need to have a completed application with updated reports cards and immunization paperwork. If they fail to provide this information, their child's application will be considered incomplete and they will not be placed.
The Bedford Public Schools (BPS) and the Bedford METCO Program are committed to working in partnership with families to develop, monitor and support efforts that promote the academic achievement of Boston students. The METCO program provides a number of support strategies to help students maintain a focus on regular school attendance, good school citizenship and academic responsibilities.
When a student continues to perform below a "C-" level because of his lack of effort and responsibility, or when a student continues to violate school rules, it is occasionally necessary to place the student on probation. Probationary status enables the BPS and the METCO program to develop a specific plan to help the student improve his/her performance.
Rights and Responsibilities
Students are subject to the same rights and responsibilities as the resident students. Participating school districts are expected to provide all of the ordinary services and benefits to METCO student that are provided to resident students, as well as any additional support necessary to assure that the non-resident students have a successful educational experience. Students are expected to fulfill the academic requirements and to adhere to school rules and regulations. They are subject to the same disciplinary actions and procedures as resident students.
Parent Involvement/ Minimum Parental Expectations
Parent involvement is an important part of the student's experience in the BPS. Parent involvement can take many forms: providing home based learning activities, participating in and attending school events, volunteering at the school, being an advocate for the school and its programs, or serving in an advisory or decision making capacity on the Bedford METCO Parent Advisory Board (BMPAB). Parents are encouraged to participate in the school based parent-teacher organization and other committees at the child's school
Regardless of the level of involvement a parent chooses, one thing is clear: the more involved parents are, the more successful the child will be, both personally and academically.
For events and other activities, this year we will have an active parent list and an inactive parent list. Please note that active parents attend meetings, visit the schools for parent conferences and volunteer at least one Bedford METCO sponsored event. The parents who are actively involved often help with fundraising and offset a lot of the costs associated with events and programming for the students. As a way to create an equitable opportunity for all students, the Director and BMPAB will maintain attendance for meetings and events through the year. If you are a parent in good standing, you will have access to all that the program has to offer. Parents who are not in good standing will still be allowed to participate but there may be an additional fee associated with attending certain events and activities.
At a minimum, Bedford Public School METCO parents are expected to:
- Attend all parent-teacher conferences, and all back-to school open house programs at their child's school.
- Attend all METCO parent meetings in Boston in order to keep abreast of program business and to develop networks of support among themselves. Note from METCO, Inc. Parent Handbook: "Districts occasionally take the position that families who do not participate in the METCO parent meetings may lose the right to have siblings placed in the program."
- Impress upon their child the necessity to obey bus regulations for the safety of all.
- Volunteer at least once during the school year at an event at your child's school OR at a Bedford METCO Parent Advisory Board sponsored event