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 The Mission, DREAM, the VISION, the FUTURE

The Mission:  
Voluntary busing program for the Wayland community in a METCO town.

Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) is a voluntary busing program that transports children of color from Boston and Springfield to suburban schools The METCO program in Wayland’s mission provides academic support and personal guidance, socialization, programming, and advocacy on behalf of K-12 enrolled Boston resident students, including mentoring. We do this by providing educational opportunities designed to enhance their academic, personal and interpersonal experiences. Boston resident students are encouraged to interact with peers from Wayland inside and outside the classroom in an integrated public school setting. We are one Wayland community in a METCO town.

The DREAM: Children of color receiving a quality education.

Growing out of the Civil Rights Movement, the METCO program was founded in 1966 to promote racial diversity. It is a state funded, voluntary educational desegregation program designed to eliminate racial imbalance through the busing of children of color from Boston and Springfield, Massachusetts.

In November of 1965, a group called the Massachusetts Federation for Fair Housing and Equal Rights held a meeting with officials from 12 suburban communities. They discussed the possibility of these towns voluntarily enrolling Boston students of color in their school systems. METCO was the result of that meeting. The program became state funded in 1968 with the passage of the Racial Imbalance Act. 

The VISION:  Integrated schools.

Wayland became a METCO community in 1968. The year 2022 marks Wayland’s 54th year in METCO.  There are currently 133 METCO students in Wayland. Elliott S. Frances was the first METCO student to graduate from Wayland High School in 1971. Wayland is also one of ten METCO communities that participate in EMI (Empowering Multicultural Initiatives). EMI is a non-profit educational collaborative that provides teachers with training around issues of race and racism within the educational setting.

The current vision of the METCO program in Wayland is to help all Boston resident students succeed academically and fulfill their dreams of graduation and ultimately attend college or work. The program benefits Wayland METCO students to embrace differences and grow in one community. Furthermore, we foster collaboration between Wayland residents with parents and students of Wayland residing in Boston throughout the school district. Community and school partnerships help all students succeed in a racially diverse setting. 

The FUTURE: Racial equality. 

Racial equality is the future post-Civil Rights Movement for METCO schools. In an effort to promote racial equality, the Brown v. Board of Education desegregated schools in 1954. Almost 50 years later in 2001 to further encourage racial equality in schools, the No Child Left Behind Act set high standards to provide a quality education to all students through assessments.  In 2009, the Race to the Top was an education reform initiative that set out to improve school teachers and leaders, close achievement gaps, adopt common standards, and turn around low-performing schools. 

Moreover, METCO is pushing forward racial equality and equity in schools. For instance, approximately 3,300 children attend suburban schools through the METCO program in grades K through 12.  There are 37 suburban communities that participate and approximately 3000 students are bused from Boston or Springfield to suburban schools. METCO is a part of the school experience for over 80,000 children and their families.  Students forge friendships that last a last a lifetime. Some signature programs through our 50+ years of Wayland METCO Programming have included the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Celebration, Florence 5K Run, and parent orientation. There are new programs underway all the time as we strive to improve our Wayland METCO experience for all Wayland and Boston resident students.  A noteworthy statistic is that 100% Wayland METCO students graduate from high school and 98% attend post-secondary educational institutions.  

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