Registering for K2? You should probably check the new box
Last week, BPS announced a change to the school registration system. This change only applies to K2 registration.
First, a little background. For all grades after kindergarten, if a child isn't assigned to any of the schools his or her family selected, the child is "administratively assigned" by BPS to the school closest to the child's home with an available seat. Of course, if all schools close the child's home are popular, the closest school could be fairly far away. But at least an administratively assigned student has a seat. This hasn't applied to kindergarten. In the past, children applying for kindergarten who didn't get any of their choices were not assigned at all and their parents would have to return to a Family Resource Center to select a school with open seats.
Starting with registration for September 2013, parents will have the option of checking a box to have their child administratively assigned if seats aren't available in schools they selected. Most parents should check this box. There's no penalty in doing so. If your child is administratively assigned and you don't like the school you're assigned to, you can still go back to the Family Resource Center and request another school. If you like the school your child is assigned to, you won't need to make another trip to the FRC.
The only reason to leave the box blank is if you're absolutely sure that you won't send your child to a BPS school if you don't get one of the schools you list when you register. In this case, you'll be doing another family a favor by leaving a seat free.
Seems like good advice, and I'm glad you included the last paragraph to clearly cover the full range of different family situations.