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  Glossary of Terms

Other Public School Options

Worcester residents are entitled to free public education at schools run by the Worcester Public School Department. Worcester residents also have other free public school options:

NOTE: Glossary words are highlighted. Click on any glossary word to see its definition.

Worcester charter schools


Charter schools are tuition-free independently run public schools that do not report to local school committees. Each charter school has its own board of trustees. The board of trustees makes decisions about the charter school's goals, curriculum, teaching methods, budgets, and staffing. Charter schools must be approved by the Massachusetts Board of Education.

Charter schools serving Worcester:

The following public charter schools serve Worcester residents:

  • Abby Kelley Foster Charter School
    10 New Bond Street
    Worcester, MA 01606
    Telephone: 508-854-8400

    Grades: Kindergarten through Grade 12
    Kindergarten entry age: age 5 by September 1
    Web site: www.akfcs.org

  • Seven Hills Charter School
    51 Gage Street
    Worcester, MA 01605
    Telephone: 508-799-7500

    Grades: Kindergarten through Grade 8
    Kindergarten entry age: age 5 by December 1
    Web site: www.sevenhillscharter.org/

  • Spirit of Knowledge Charter School
    19 Charter Street
    Worcester, MA 01609
    Telephone: 508-252-7321

    Grades: Grade 7 through Grade 12
    Web site: http://spiritofknowledge.org/

Worcester residents may also send their children to other charter schools in Massachusetts if space is available.


Public charter schools are open to all children in Massachusetts. Charter schools may not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, creed, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, age, ancestry, athletic performance, special need, or proficiency in the English language or a foreign language, or academic achievement.

Charter schools may not give an entrance exam, or otherwise test applicants for aptitude or knowledge before admission.

How to apply:

Admission to charter schools is by lottery. Preference is given to siblings of currently enrolled students and to students who live in the school's charter region. Children not selected in the lottery are placed on a waiting list by preference category. Nonresidents can attend if space permits.

You should call the charter school for an application. Each school sets its own application schedule. You can call the school or check the local newspaper for application deadlines and lottery dates.

More information:

For more information about charter schools, see Charter Schools on MassResources.org.

Vocational technical high schools


Vocational technical high schools are public high schools that prepare students for various career options by combining academic skills, technical knowledge, and other skills needed for employment. Students in public vocational technical programs must meet the requirements for high school graduation that other public high school students must meet, including passing the MCAS tests.

Vocation technical schools serving Worcester:

Worcester students from all city quadrants can apply to attend the Worcester Technical High School:

Worcester Technical High School
1 Skyline Drive
Worcester, MA 01605
Telephone: 508-799-1940
Grades: Grade 9 through Grade 12
Web site: Worcester Technical High School

Programs are divided into four academies:

  • Design and Engineering
  • Health and Human Services
  • Construction Technology
  • Information Technology and Business Services

See Academies on the Worcester Technical High School web site for information about the specific programs offered by each academy.

Worcester students can also attend other public vocational technical schools in Massachusetts:

  • The Chapter 74 non-resident option allows Worcester students to attend out-of-district vocational technical high schools if the programs they want are not offered in Worcester.

  • The inter-district school choice program allows Worcester students to to apply to any public vocational technical program that accepts school choice students.


The Worcester Technical High School accepts Worcester residents from all city quadrants. Admission is by application. Students in grades 9 through 12 can attend. Most students apply in 8th grade.

Homeless students, undocumented students, students with limited English proficiency, and students with disabilities can attend. Non-resident students can attend if space is available.

Worcester high school students are also eligible to attend vocational technical high schools in other school districts if they are accepted through the Chapter 74 non-resident option or school choice program.

How to apply:

The Worcester Vocational High School selects students based on grades, attendance record, discipline and conduct record, and a recommendation from their current school. To apply, call the Worcester Technical High School at 508-799-1980 or speak to your school guidance counselor.

For out-of-district application information, see Vocational Technical Programs - How do I apply? on MassResources.org.

More information:

For more information about Massachusetts vocational technical high schools, see Vocational Technical Education Programs on MassResources.org.

Massachusetts Academy of Mathematics and Science

The Massachusetts Academy of Math & Science at WPI is a free two-year Massachusetts public high school program for 11th and 12th grade academically advanced students. The school operates in partnership with Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). The Academy offers a comprehensive academic program with an emphasis on math and science.

Admission to the Academy is selective and the academic program is rigorous. High school seniors at the Academy attend university classes at WPI and complete a year of college by the time they graduate. The Academy accepts about 50 applicants each year to its program.

For information about eligibility, curriculum, and how to apply, see Massachusetts Academy of Mathematics and Science on MassResources.org.

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