A Guide to Public Schools Enrollment in Brookline, Mass.

Moving to a new town can be both exciting and overwhelming, especially when it comes to enrolling your children in a new school. To help ease your transition, this article will guide you through the requirements for school enrollment in Brookline, ensuring a smooth and successful process for your family.
guide to brookline schools registration

Table of Content

A Practical Guide to Public Schools Enrollment in Brookline

The schools in Brookline are renowned for their excellence and commitment to providing a high-quality education. With a strong focus on academic achievement, innovative teaching methods, and a nurturing learning environment, Brookline schools consistently rank among the top in the state. The dedicated and highly qualified teachers in Brookline schools go above and beyond to ensure that each student receives personalized attention and support, fostering a love for learning and intellectual growth. Additionally, the schools in Brookline offer a wide range of extracurricular activities, including sports, arts, and clubs, providing students with ample opportunities to explore their interests and talents. With a strong emphasis on diversity, inclusivity, and community engagement, the schools in Brookline create an enriching educational experience that prepares students for success in higher education and beyond.

Who is eligible to register?

Residency Requirements: To register for school in Brookline, both you and your children must be residents of the town. Proof of residency is required to establish that your family lives in Brookline. This documentation could include a leasing agreement, purchase and sale agreement and utility bills that verifies your Brookline address. Having this paperwork in place allows you to begin the application process.

Residency and Physical Presence: While you can initiate the registration process before physically residing in Brookline, it’s important to note that your student(s) cannot start attending school until they are physically residing in the town. They must also complete all necessary placement determinations with the school-based staff. Temporary residence in Brookline, such as staying for four weeks or less, or residing solely for the purpose of attending public schools, will not be considered as residency.

Primary Residence: For a student to attend the Public Schools of Brookline, they must have their primary residence in the town. The primary residence is defined as the place where the student dwells permanently, not temporarily. It is the center of their domestic, social, and civic life. In the case of a minor child, their primary residence is presumed to be the legal residence of the parent(s) or guardian(s) who have physical custody of the child.

Residency Guarantee: Under State and Federal law, your child will always have a place in the Brookline Schools if they meet the residency requirements mentioned above. None of Brookline’s K-8 schools or the high school will ever turn away a student who is eligible based on residency guidelines.

Understanding who is eligible to register for school in Brookline is essential for a successful enrollment process. As you plan to enroll your children, ensure that you meet the residency requirements and have the necessary documentation ready. Brookline schools prioritize providing education to all eligible students, and they are committed to ensuring a quality learning experience. Remember to be mindful of school zones and buffer zones when registering your child for school in Brookline.

Determine Your School District

Determining Your School Zone in Brookline is an important step as it will also determine where you want to live. Students are typically assigned to a school based on the location of their primary residence within Brookline, ensuring guaranteed enrollment at their zoned school. To identify the specific school zone your student is assigned to, you can visit the PSB (Public Schools of Brookline) website, where you will find a tool that allows you to input your address and determine your designated school zone. Or you can access this Brookline School District Map (PDF)

While students have the right to attend the school in their designated zone, the Public Schools of Brookline also endorse a policy of open enrollment, with certain provisions and restrictions established by the School Committee. It is important to note that if a transfer is approved for one student in a family, there is no guarantee that a sibling will receive similar approval. Additionally, transportation to out-of-district schools is the responsibility of the student’s family.

Buffer zones exist in Brookline to help maintain equitable class sizes across the district. Many addresses in Brookline fall within buffer zones, and families in these zones are asked to provide their preferences for school assignments. The Office of Registration and Enrollment strives to accommodate these buffer requests but must consider various factors, including enrollment patterns and class size, to ensure the highest standard of instruction for all students.

As the Office of Registration and Enrollment reviews student placements in collaboration with the Superintendent’s office, they prioritize maintaining small class sizes to provide optimal instruction quality. Factors such as class size, the presence of siblings, and family preferences are all taken into account when making school assignments. This approach ensures that the educational experience in Brookline remains exceptional and conducive to student success.

Native Language Support Program (NLSP) assignments

A student who qualifies for English Language Education (ELE) services may take advantage of a Native Language Support Program (NLSP) at the Public Schools of Brookline. NLSP provides additional instruction and English development to students through their home language. This program is offered in the following languages:

  • Chinese – at Pierce School
  • Hebrew – at Ruffin Ridley School
  • Japanese – at Lawrence School and at Lincoln School
  • Korean – at Baker School
  • Russian – at Driscoll School
  • Spanish – at Runkle School

A student may enroll at a school outside of their assigned zone for NLSP upon approval by the Office of English Language Education (ELE). The ELE department will communicate with the Office of Registration & Enrollment in facilitating and finalizing school assignments. Your child cannot be enrolled in NLSP until they have completed their English Language Proficiency screening.

Gather Required Documentation

To initiate the enrollment process, you will need to gather specific documentation. While the exact requirements may vary slightly between schools, the following documents are typically necessary:

Proof of Residency: Provide documents such as a lease agreement, mortgage statement, or utility bill that demonstrates your residency in Brookline.

New to Brookline?

Obtaining your first bill will take 30-45 days, and will delay the registrations process. In lieu of providing a bill, your landlord can certify that you are a resident.

Proof of Age: Submit your child’s birth certificate, passport, or other official documents verifying their date of birth.

Immunization Records: Present up-to-date records of your child’s immunizations, in compliance with Massachusetts state requirements.

Previous School Records: If your child has previously attended school, request academic transcripts, report cards, and any other relevant educational records to assist with appropriate grade placement.

Registration Process

Once you have gathered the required documentation, you can begin the registration process. Typically, Brookline Public Schools require parents to complete an online registration form, accessible through their website. The form will ask for essential information about your child, including their name, age, grade level, and previous school information. Be sure to provide accurate details to ensure a seamless transition.

Proof of Health Insurance: Massachusetts state law mandates that all students have health insurance. You will need to provide proof of health insurance coverage during the enrollment process. If you don’t have insurance, the school can guide you through the process of obtaining coverage through the Massachusetts Health Connector.

Language Support: If English is not your child’s first language, Brookline Public Schools offer language support services to ensure equal access to education. During the enrollment process, you will have the opportunity to inform the school about your child’s language needs, allowing them to provide appropriate resources and assistance.

Individualized Education Programs (IEPs): If your child requires an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or has special educational needs, it is crucial to communicate this information during the enrollment process. Brookline Public Schools are committed to providing inclusive education and will work with you to ensure the appropriate supports are in place.

Enrolling your children in school is a significant step in settling into a new community, and Brookline offers an excellent educational environment for your family. By understanding the requirements for school enrollment and preparing the necessary documents, you can navigate the process smoothly. Remember to visit the Brookline Public Schools website or contact the respective school for any specific requirements or additional information. Welcome to Brookline, and best wishes for a successful educational journey for your children!

Checklist Download


Register Online on ASPEN

Now that you gathered the required documentation, you’re ready to register online.

Step 1: Complete the Online Application To begin the registration process, you need to complete the online application form. This application is specifically for families who meet the residency requirements and are active residents in the Town of Brookline. The application for Kindergarten becomes available on a certain date in January, check the town’s website for the specific date. Ensure that all documents are translated into English by a professional translator or translation service before your appointment.

Step 2: Create an Aspen Parent Portal Account In order to access the online registration application, you must create an account on the Aspen Family Portal. Aspen is the primary database that stores information about students and families in Brookline Public Schools. This account will be maintained throughout your child’s educational journey, so it’s important to keep a record of your login credentials. New families or those re-entering the district should create a new account on Aspen, even if they have registered with another school or institution before. Current PSB families or families with previous enrollment do not need to create a new account unless requested by the Data Team.

Step 3: Confirm Your Aspen Account and Complete the Application After setting up your Aspen account, you will receive a confirmation email from a “@myfollet.com” account. Click on the link provided in the email to activate your account and gain access to the application form. For optimal viewing and ease of use, it is recommended to access the application on a desktop or tablet by selecting the “view full site” option after logging in.

Step 4: Schedule Your Virtual Appointment The final step in the online application process is to select an appointment time for a virtual meeting with the Office of Registration & Enrollment. Please schedule your appointment no earlier than 2 weeks prior to your date of occupancy in Brookline. Be sure to note the appointment date and time before exiting the application.

Step 5: Submit Required Documents Electronically As part of the online application, you will be asked to electronically submit required documents. Ensure that you have the necessary documents in PDF, JPG, or PNG format and upload them to the database. If you encounter difficulties with uploading or converting the files, you can also email them directly to enroll@psbma.org or drop off physical copies at the Office of Registration and Enrollment.

Step 6: Attend the Virtual Appointment and Verify Documents During the virtual appointment, the Office of Registration and Enrollment staff will verify the documents you submitted electronically. It’s important to note that your child cannot begin school until all required documentation has been validated by the staff. Failure to provide essential documents, such as birth certificates, immunization records, and proofs of residency, may delay your child’s enrollment.

Registering your child for school in Brookline Public Schools has been made more convenient with the online registration process. By completing the online application, creating an Aspen Parent Portal account, and submitting the required documents electronically, you can ensure a smooth enrollment process. Remember to schedule your virtual appointment and have all necessary documents ready for verification.

Enrollment Meeting

As part of the registration process for Brookline Public Schools, a virtual appointment with the Office of Registration and Enrollment is a crucial step.

  1. Virtual Appointment Logistics: Prior to your appointment, the Office of Registration and Enrollment will send you the necessary login credentials for your virtual meeting. If you require additional support, such as translators or family advocates, please inform the office in advance. Once all participants have joined the meeting, a staff member from the office will initiate the registration process.
  2. Meeting Format and Participants: All registration appointments will be conducted via Zoom, with the option of a telephone conference call if needed. While it is sufficient for one parent or guardian to be present, the office welcomes the participation of all family members. During the appointment, the office will review your application, verify documents, and discuss the subsequent steps for your child’s enrollment.
  3. English Language Education (ELE): As part of the registration appointment, the Office of Registration and Enrollment will assist families in reviewing their Home Language Survey responses. In compliance with Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) regulations, the survey helps identify the language(s) spoken at home to determine any specific language needs for the student. If any question on the Home Language Survey indicates a language other than English, further screening with the student will be required. The office will collaborate with the PSB English Language Education (ELE) department to schedule a separate appointment if additional screening is necessary. You will receive an email notification regarding this meeting.
  1. Immunization Records: Student Health Services staff will help families assess whether students meet the immunization requirements. Please note that students cannot participate in school activities until all immunization requirements have been fulfilled. It is essential for immunizations to be approved by the Student Health Services staff before your child can attend school.

The Office of Registration and Enrollment

The Office of Registration and Enrollment (formerly Office of Student Affairs) provides a centralized service for all Brookline residents to process new student registration, provide initial orientation to the Public Schools of Brookline, and perform ongoing residency verification. The Office of Registration and Enrollment also supports student’s attendance, engagement, and advancement in school.

333 Washington Street, 4th Floor
Brookline, MA 02445

Monday – Thursday: 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Phone: (617) 264-6492   Fax: (617) 730-2601


Website: https://www.brookline.k12.ma.us/Page/2172


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