Is the Advanced Work Class the Right Fit for your BPS Student?

Would you like a more challenging educational environment for your student? If your child is in third through fifth grade, you may want to consider the Advanced Work Class (AWC). It is a full-time program in the Boston Public Schools that “provides an accelerated academic curriculum for students in grades 4-6. This program includes subjects studied in greater depth, more schoolwork, and more home study than the traditional curriculum.”

Enrolling in the Advanced Work Class means that your child will receive a greater “focus on pushing students’ critical thinking, writing skills, and their ability to solve real-life challenges. Students participate in Robotics, Coding, and World Language classes. Students also complete a capstone project at the end of the year and present their projects to parents, peers, and teachers.”

Students’ eligibility for AWC is determined by their scores on the Terra Nova test, which is given in the fall of grades 3, 4, and 5.

Application Process for Advanced Work Class for current Boston Public Schools students:

    • All Boston Public Schools students in grades 3, 4, and 5 are tested for eligibility for Advanced Work Class in late September or early October at their school. Test results will be mailed to schools in early January 2020 for distribution to families.
    • Students invited to the AWC program will receive a formal invitation letter in early January 2020. Please note if a student is not eligible for the program, families will not receive notification.
    • EFA is open to all students, so students will not receive a formal invitation to the EFA program.
    • Students invited to participate in grade 6 AWC will receive a school choice form in January 2020 to apply for the Advanced Work Class program. Students invited to grade 4 and 5 AWC will receive a school choice form in February 2020. Families must complete the application and select the school option that states AWC or EFA (for example, “Condon AWC”).
    • Grade 6 AWC and EFA applicants will be notified of their school assignment in March and grade 4 and 5 AWC and EFA applicants will be notified in May.
  • For students not currently enrolled in the Boston Public Schools:

    • Boston students currently attending private, parochial, or commonwealth charter schools may register to take the Advanced Work Class eligibility exam free of charge. There are two ways to register for the test: (1) complete a paper form or (2) submit an online registration. The online registration process allows families to receive instant confirmation via email.
    • Special accommodations testing will be offered for students who are unable to take the exam under standard conditions because of a documented learning difference, physical disability, or limited English proficiency.
    • Students must sit for the TerraNova exam offered by BPS to apply for the AWC program, even if they have already taken a version of the TerraNova at their current school.
    • All students will receive test results at their home address in early January 2020. Students invited to the AWC program will receive a formal invitation letter and information packet to apply for the AWC program.
    • Student notification schedule is the same as listed above for current BPS families.


Test accommodations are any modifications made to the exam or testing conditions that allow students with disabilities or limited English proficiency to fully participate in a testing situation. Test accommodations are available for students who are unable to take the TerraNova under standard conditions. To apply for a special accommodation due to a physical or learning disability, the parent or guardian must submit a request form and a copy of the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan.

To apply for testing accommodations for English Learners (EL’s), the parent or guardian must submit a request form and the student would be required to take an English Proficiency Test to determine eligibility. If granted, the EL accommodation will include the use of an approved word-to-word dictionary and extended time.
BPS will have a limited number of bilingual word-to-word dictionaries available to students. To ensure the use of the word-to-word bilingual dictionary, you may prefer to bring your own copy which is subject to inspection by the BPS. Approved bilingual dictionaries are limited to those that provide word-to-word translations and do not include definitions. Parents may purchase a dictionary from the following list of authorized distributors:

Bilingual Dictionaries Inc.
Hippocrene Books, Inc.
Tuttle Publishing

AWC Testing/Non-BPS Students
Office of Data and Accountability
Boston Public Schools
2300 Washington Street
Roxbury, MA 02119


2 Responses to Is the Advanced Work Class the Right Fit for your BPS Student?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *