Public Education System
Primary and secondary schools are under the control of their cities and towns in terms of the exact cut-off date for kindergarten and first-grade enrollment. The state mandates school attendance for children between the ages of 6 and 16 and requires school systems to operate kindergartens, but does not require children to attend them. State law requires the following immunizations: 5 DPT inoculations, 4 oral Polio inoculations, 2 MMR inoculations, 3 Hepatitis B inoculations, proof of lead screening, and evidence of a recent physical examination.

According to state regulations a child must be enrolled in school (kindergarten or first grade) in the calendar year in which the child turns six years old. Documentation needed for registration includes proof of residency in the form of a tax bill, deed, or rental lease. The child’s legal birth certificate, social security number, verification of guardianship or custody if applicable, and transcripts from the previous school attended or contact information to obtain transcripts are also required. For complete details on education in Massachusetts or answers to specific questions, contact:

Massachusetts State Department of Education

Department of Education Contacts

School & District Profiles

Adult & Community Learning

Career & Technical Education

Curriculum & Assessment

Nutrition, Health & Safety

School Accountability

MCAS Testing
To evaluate the effectiveness of the public education system, the state relies on the results of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System or MCAS. Curriculum-based assessment provides a yardstick of accountability, indicating how efficiently schools are implementing state-required classes in language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. The scores from these standardized tests are used to compare the performance of Massachusetts public school students to their peers nationwide. In addition to norm-referenced tests for subjects like reading and mathematics, MCAS requires that students at certain grade levels participate in a writing assessment exercise. Here, the evaluation is focused on actual student writing samples. Complete MCAS results are available by subject matter, proficiency level, and grade from:

MCAS Testing & Results

School Choice
The school choice program allows parents to send their children to schools in communities other than the city or town in which they live if space is available. Tuition is paid by the sending district to the receiving district. For more information on the options provided by this program, contact:

School Choice

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