School Committee Approves 40 Additional METCO Students | Reading

READING – The METCO program in Reading schools will expand from 40 students to a total of 103-107 students following acceptance of a $260,000 grant and approval of a proposal by the Director of Reading METCO, Kurtis Martin, during the school committee meeting this past Thursday.

The grant award for fiscal year 2022 will support the schools’ enrollment expansion request that was approved by the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) this fall in preparation for additional students for the school year starting in September 2022.

According to Martin, expanding our METCO program will benefit the learning experience of all of our Reading Public School students, including those who live in both Boston and Reading. This expansion will allow our students to learn and grow in increasingly racially and ethnically diverse environments and provide us with additional funding to provide more access, support and opportunities for our students.

At the meeting, Martin also told the committee that he had achieved his priority goal of getting a late bus to take students back to Boston, allowing current middle and high school students to participate in extracurricular activities. Additionally, he explained that he was able to rework the MRTCO bus transportation schedule to allow for a later departure time in Boston and a shorter bus ride for the current total of 67 students. Martin said he was working in the future to get additional late buses that would return to Boston after events such as Friday Night Football games and nightly basketball games.

School committee members applauded Martin’s work and strongly supported his program with President Tom Wise saying Martin was a “wonderful addition to the (administrative) team”.

Superintendent of Schools Tom Milaschewski said he had given his approval to the additional student proposal and that it would be extremely beneficial to all of our students in Reading and Boston, adding that he was “delighted with the ‘expansion”.

The acceptance of additional students and the acceptance of scholarship funds were unanimously approved by the committee.