LONGMEADOW HIGH SCHOOL | 95 GRASSY GUTTER ROAD | LONGMEADOW, MA 01106 | P 413-565-4220 | F413-565- 4233

Sandra Macdonald

413-565-4220 ext. 2454

"Without meaningful social contact, talk of tolerance and cooperation is nothing but an abstraction." --US Federal District Court Judge Nancy Gertner regarding school intergration efforts

The Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) program is a grant program funded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is a voluntary program intended to expand educational opportunities, increase diversity, and reduce racial isolation by permitting students in certain cities to attend public school in other communities that have agreed to participate. The participating host communities in the Springfield METCO program are East Longmeadow, Hampden/Wilbraham, Longmeadow, and Southwick/Tolland.

The Program has been in existence since 1966 and was originally funded through a grant by the Carnegie Foundation and United States Office of Education. In that year the first Metco legislation was filed, METCO Inc. was established, and seven school districts began accepting the first two hundred Metco students. Currently, there are about 3,300 students participating in 33 school districts in metropolitan Boston and at four school districts outside Springfield.

Tuition and transportation costs are paid for by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education. When a child is accepted into the host community, the child is treated as a community child, with all the same expectations up through graduation. Many students have graduated with a host community diploma and have gone to collage.

There is a high level of cooperation between and among the host communities that provide the educational services and Springfield Public Schools. This cooperation is evident in the Black Collage Tour, the summer school opportunities and annual graduation celebration.

Participants in the METCO program are selected each spring by lottery to fill vacancies declared by the host communities, most often in grade one. All residents of Springfield are welcome to apply, however, due to the limitations of the transportation provided by the host communities, bus routes will be limited to the 01109 zip code area.