The METCO Program (Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunities) was founded in 1966, and is a voluntary integration program that provides a suburban public education for African-American, Hispanic and Asian students from Boston. The Arlington Public Schools have participated in the program since 1966. The program provides Arlington students and staff an opportunity to interact with many students of color and to benefit from a culturally diverse learning environment.

Annually, there are approximately 12,000 Boston children on a waiting list for an average of 460 openings. The typical wait for an open seat in a participating public school is nearly five years. There are no entrance exams for students entering the program and openings are filled according to the waiting list. Enrollment is for students residing in the Boston Metropolitan area.