Enrolled Families HomeSchool LocatorEarly EducationExtended DaySpecial EducationGuidance CounselorsBuffer Zone FAQFood ServicesHealth Services

Frequently Asked Questions - Buffer Zones

 WHAT IS A BUFFER ZONE?

A buffer zone is an area surrounding a neighborhood school district that serves two or more schools. All of the elementary schools in Brookline have buffer zone streets in their district. Buffer zones are designed to keep class sizes small by allowing the Office of Student Affairs the discretion to assign students to one of the schools in the buffer zone. Class size, whether or not there are siblings and family preference, are all considered prior to making a school assignment.

 HOW DO I REGISTER?

All registrations are done by appointment with the Office of Students Affairs.  You will be asked to provide all the documents necessary to complete a registration including a birth certificate, immunization records and the original lease or deed for the property where you will be living in Brookline, along with utility statements. You may state a preference for a particular school in your buffer zone and your request will be considered by the Office of Students Affairs prior to making a school assignment. Every effort is made to honor a family's request, if possible.

 CAN I STATE A PREFERENCE?

Yes, families are welcome to state a preference as to which school they would like their child assigned.  The Office of Student Affairs makes every effort to honor those requests, however, the enrollment at each buffer school for the grade that your child is entering plays an important part in the final decision.

 WHEN IS A DECISION MADE?  HOW WILL I BE NOTIFIED?

The timing of a placement decisions depends upon when you register:

  • Spring Kindergarten Registration for Fall enrollment:

If you plan to pre-register your child for the incoming kindergarten class during the scheduled dates in February, you may visit any of the schools in your buffer zone to drop off the required documents and state a school preference.   Any kindergarten registrations  after the scheduled dates in February are completed by appointment with the Office of Student Affairs.  In mid-to-late April, the Office of Student Affairs will review enrollments and begin to make school assignments in an effort to notify all Spring registrants by mid-May.  Visiting days will be held during the first two weeks of June for all incoming Kindergarten students registered before June 1.  Buffer zone registrations made in June will receive a school assignment at the end of the Summer Registration period in mid-August. 

  • New to the district mid-year:

If you move into Brookline after the school year has started, you should contact the Office of Student Affairs, 617-264-6492, with your new address and the grades your child(ren) are entering. You may also state a school preference at this time. Decisions on placements are made close to the effective date of the lease or actual closing on a purchase of a home/condo. Advance decisions cannot be made because of fluctuations in enrollments. Siblings residing in a buffer zone are always assigned to the same school.  The Office of Student Affairs office will notify you either by phone or email with a school placement and appropriate contact information.

  • New school year/new to the district:

If you move into Brookline during the summer, you should make an appointment with the Office of Student Affairs to begin the enrollment of your child(ren) using the electronic calendar on the home page of our website. You may state a school preference which will be reviewed, along with the enrollments, in mid-August when the Summer Registration session ends. You will be notified of the school assignment by phone, email or letter in mid-August and directed to contact the Guidance Office at the appropriate school to make an appointment for the end of August. Guidance counselors return in late August to meet with all new families in their district prior to the opening of school.

 

 HOW WILL I BE NOTIFIED OF A SCHOOL ASSIGNMENT?

You will be contacted by the Office of Student Affairs office either by phone, email or letter as outlined above.

 HOW CAN I FIND OUT IF MY HOME IS IN A BUFFER ZONE?

To determine whether or not you are in a buffer zone, visit our School Locator page which will allow you to enter a street address.  This will display the school information, as well as important details about your new neighborhood.  If you are uncertain about an address, you may contact the Superintendent’s office at 617-730-2401.