School and district profiles

Select a school or program type and/or select a city or town to learn more about the schools and programs available for your district. Listed organizations include public schools, alternative education, charter schools, collaborative programs, private schools, special education, and vocational and technical education.

School choice

Although most children attend school in the district in which they live, parents may choose to enroll children in public schools outside of their home district. Choices include the inter-district school choice program, charter schools, vocational technical schools, Metco, and other options.

Career and vocational technical education

Career and vocational technical education programs are offered by many high schools across Massachusetts. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts General Law (M.G.L.) Chapter 74 governs vocational technical education programs in public school districts. Non-Chapter 74 career and technical education programs are programs that meet the federal Perkins Act definition of career and technical education but are not Chapter 74-approved vocational technical education programs. Learn more here.

Charter schools

Authorized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Education Reform Act of 1993, charter schools are independent public schools that operate under five year charters granted by the Commonwealth's Board of Education. Once the Board of Education has awarded a charter, the new charter school has the freedom to organize around a core mission, curriculum, theme, or teaching method. It is allowed to control its own budget and hire (and fire) teachers and staff. In return for this freedom, a charter school must demonstrate good results within five years or risk losing its charter. Learn more here.

Proprietary schools

Proprietary schools are privately owned and operated post-secondary schools organized as either a non-profit or a profit-making venture primarily to teach vocational skills. The Department regulates business, trade, and correspondence schools. Learn more here.

Academically advanced education: Policies and programs

In 2002 the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education published a report on state and district policies and programs for academically advanced students. The executive summary of that report can be found here, along with a link to the entire report.

Alternative education for at-risk youth

Alternative Education is an initiative within a public school district, charter school, or educational collaborative established to serve at-risk students whose needs are not being met in the traditional school setting.

Homeless education assistance

The Office for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth collaborates with other state agencies and community providers to support homeless families and their students by ensuring students enroll, attend, and succeed in school.

Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS)

Designed to meet the requirements of the Education Reform Law of 1993, this series of standardized tests is administered by the Massachusetts Department of Education. Students must pass the grade 10 tests in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics as one condition of eligibility for a high school diploma.

MCAS high school graduation requirements

The Massachusetts Education Reform Law of 1993, state law, G.L. c. 69, § 1D, requires that all students who are seeking to earn a high school diploma, including students educated at public expense in educational collaboratives and approved and unapproved private special education schools within and outside the state, must meet the Competency Determination (CD) standard, in addition to meeting all local graduation requirements.

Race to the Top

Massachusetts is one of 12 winning states in the national Race to the Top competition, funded by the U.S. Department of Education to promote reform in standards and assessments, great teachers and leaders, school turnaround and data systems. Find information and materials about the grant program here.

Massachusetts Online Network for Education (MassONE)

Web-based communication, collaboration, and curriculum planning tools for students, teachers and administrators.

Schools Nutrition Programs Information

This program supports nutritious meal service in day care centers, family day care homes, summer feeding programs and schools.

Statistical reports from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Find statistics on graduation rates, dropout rates, grade retention, educator and enrollment data, and more.