What is METCO?
Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity began in 1966 and is a voluntary educational desegregation program funded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its goal is to expand educational opportunities, increase diversity, and reduce racial isolation by permitting students in certain cities to attend public schools in participating communities. Wellesley began its relationship with the METCO program in 1966 as one of the original seven founding districts. Each year 158 students from Boston attend Wellesley Public Schools from grades K-12 as part of the program.
The METCO Family Friends Program supports the successful integration of families with students in the METCO program into their elementary school community so that they benefit fully from all academic and social opportunities. Every student begins the program in elementary school and has the opportunity to match with a Wellesley student, usually in the same grade and/or class, to become “Family Friends.” Wellesley Family Friends offer Boston students a “home away from home.” In both the short and long term, they become a valuable resource and contact for their Boston family: communicating about school news and functions, helping with questions or concerns, as well as providing a sense of security and belonging.
The first Wednesday afternoon of every school month except September and January is a Stay Day Playdate for Family Friends. The Wellesley family hosts an after school play date for their friend from Boston. This is a wonderful opportunity for the Boston students to see more of the Wellesley community and for both Boston and Wellesley students to have more time outside of school to create lasting friendships that will carry through their middle school and high school years.
The Family Friends program eases the adjustment of students in the METCO program into attending school in Wellesley and helps to build trusting relationships that benefit all involved.
If you are interested in finding out more information about METCO programs at Fiske or becoming a METCO Family Friend, please email Summer Hawkins (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mike Stokes (email@example.com).
For more information about METCO you can visit the Friends of Wellesley METCO website (an independent non-profit that helps to support the goals of the Wellesley METCO program): http://www.friendsofwellesleymetco.org.