Emily Chan is in the sixth grade, the crucial year to get into one of Boston's three exam schools, which serve grades seven to 12. In the past, the pressure of the entrance test has been intense, and Emily wasn't planning to apply.
But for the first time in nearly 60 years, students won't have to sweat through an exam to land a spot. Instead, Emily was invited to apply based on her pre-pandemic academic record. So she threw her name in for all three schools.
Emily, 12, lives in Boston's South End with her parents, a homemaker and a cafeteria worker, both immigrants from China. Her mother, Meifeng Jiang, said she hopes a golden ticket to one of the city's top-ranked schools will set Emily on a path to become a doctor.
"I just want her to succeed, to have more opportunities," Jiang said through a Cantonese translator. Emily, who loves math and wants to be a pharmacist, said that she's nervous about how hard the classes may be but that she's eager for a "better education."