The School Committee entered into an agreement with the Bureau of Educational Opportunity to voluntarily desegregate the Lowell Public Schools effective June 11, 1987 through a controlled school choice assignment plan. Controlled choice was designed as a strategy to increase the effective participation of low-income and minority children, while stimulating every school to be productive. Controlled choice has four main objectives:
- to offer all students in a community equal access to all public schools,
- to involve all parents in an informed decision-making process,
- to create pressure for all schools to improve over time, and eliminate enrollment on the basis of residence; and, where necessary,
- to achieve racial desegregation of every school with a minimal number of mandatory assignments.
According to the Voluntary Desegregation Compliance Plan (amended as of February 14, 1996):
All students in the Lowell Public Schools shall be assigned in a manner which assures equal opportunity regardless of race, national origin, sex, language background, or residency in a desegregated, multicultural, pluralistic learning community.
Students in the English Language Learners program and special education program are to be assigned to appropriate components at appropriate school locations, followed by the assignment of all other students by means of centralized enrollment in such a way that each school reflects the percentage of majority and minority in the school system (plus or minus 10%) inclusive of English Language Learners programs. This percentage is revised on an annual basis to reflect the overall current percentages of the school system.
To help insure racial balance, English Language Learners programs were placed in many schools, including schools located in areas with a high non-minority population.
The controlled choice plan divided the City into three zones. A parent/guardian may choose schools from within the zone in which he/she lives; or he/she may select any of the citywide schools, or citywide schools (See Documents & Forms, Lowell School Zones).
In compliance with the Voluntary Desegregation Plan, school assignments are made based on available school capacities, desegregation mandates, and family preferences.
REQUIRED REGISTRATION DOCUMENTS - PLEASE BRING WITH YOU:
- Parent or Guardian Photo ID
- Birth Certificate (issued by a city or town)
- Updated Immunization Record (from doctor or clinic)
- Proof of Address (i.e. current utility bill received in last 30 days in name of legal parent or guardian registering child)
- IEP with pages signed, if applicable