According to a long-standing policy, Winthrop Public Schools provides education to all school age residents of the town. In the past, families have been required to provide a proof of residency upon entering kindergarten or when entering the district for the first time.
While this process remains the same, the School Committee has adopted a new policy that will help enforce the process to ensure that Winthrop residents receive the appropriate resources. In addition to registering as a first-time resident or as a kindergartner, students will be required to re-establish residency when they approach the third, sixth, and ninth grades, to coincide with building changes.
While this policy will be established immediately, it will only be required for students entering the ninth grade for the 2019-2020 school year, and for the 2020-2021 school year, third and sixth grades will be added to the list of required registrations. A mortgage document, rental lease agreement, or property tax document will be accepted as proof of residency and personal financial information will be required.
“Over the past two years, we have discovered that several non-resident families continue to have students enrolled in the Winthrop Public Schools and we have taken steps to assist them in enrolling their students in the community in which they now reside,” said School Superintendent Lisa Howard. “Our obligation is to ensure that the resources intended for Winthrop resident students are reserved for Winthrop residents only.”
The policy states that “residence” is the primary place where a person dwells permanently and is the place that is the center of his or her domestic, social, and civic life. Temporary residence in the Town of Winthrop, for the purpose of attending a Winthrop public school, shall not be considered residency. Persons who are found to temporarily reside in the Town of Winthrop for the purpose of attending the public schools in the Town of Winthrop or who do not reside in the town of Winthrop may be dismissed immediately from the Winthrop Public Schools and the parent (s), guardian(s), or others may be jointly and severally liable to the Winthrop Public Schools for the student’s tuition and other costs and fees. The Winthrop Public Schools may investigate the residency of any student at any time.
“It is our hope that this process will also create an opportunity for schools to connect with parents,” said Howard. “We welcome family involvement and want to be available to families as a resource. We offer several ways to stay in touch regarding school happenings, including emails from myself and the principals, electronic systems including I-Pass, individual school website pages and social media postings. When you come in to re-establish residency, please verify that we have your correct email and let us know if you need help getting access to any of the Winthrop Public School’s E-systems. We appreciate the cooperation of our families in participating in this process.”