Whether you’re enrolling your child in school for the first time or switching schools after a recent move, the registration process is simple. Head down to the central registration office for your school district and complete the necessary registration forms. You’ll need to bring a few important documents along with you, including proof of your child’s age, residence, immunization status, and education records. Once the school system has copies of these documents on file, your child will be officially admitted and will be able to attend school within 5 business days.
EditIdentifying Your Enrollment Options
- Figure out which school district your child is zoned for. Children attending public school are assigned to different school districts depending on where they live. To find out which district your child is zoned for, put in a call to your city’s Student Assignment Office.
- You can also take a look at a district boundaries map or use a school zone locator tool online to find out where to enroll your child.
- By law, your child is required to go to the school designated by their district.
- Visit the central registration office for your school district. This is where all matters involving student enrollment and documentation are handled. You’ll need to return to your district’s central registration office if you’re re-enrolling your child following a transfer or expulsion.
- It’s not necessary for your child to be present during registration.
- Register your child for school online. These days, most school districts have websites set up to simplify the registration process for busy parents. After determining which school your child is zoned for, visit the home page of the school’s website to look for a link to the registration site. There, you’ll be able to enter your child’s information, upload documents, and read up on important school policies and deadlines, all from one convenient hub.
- If you’re enrolling your child in a school for the first time, it might be necessary to scan and upload digital copies of each of the required registration documents, such as proof of residence and immunization forms.
- Some school systems may only allow returning students to register online. Review the site’s enrollment guidelines to see whether your child is eligible for online registration.
EditGetting the Necessary Paperwork in Order
- Fill out a student registration form for your child. You’ll be asked for a few basic pieces of information about your child, including his or her full name, date of birth, current address, and previous schools they’ve attended. The form may also ask you to specify your child’s first language.
- Make sure the information you provide is complete and accurate to the best of your ability.
- Complete an emergency contact form. Your child’s new school will need to know who to get in touch with in the event of a medical emergency. As a parent, it’s a good idea to list yourself as a contact, along with a one or two other responsible individuals who often look after your child, such as a grandparent or older sibling.
- Don’t forget to make a note of any medications your child is currently taking, as well as existing medical conditions the school might need to know about.
- Coaches, caseworkers, and trusted family friends might also be good candidates for emergency contacts.
- Provide proof of residence. Most school systems ask the registering parent or guardian to present a couple different documents to show that their child will be attending school in the correct district. The first is a piece of personal ID, like a driver’s license, bank statement, or vehicle registration. The second is an up-to-date mortgage statement, property tax form, or utilities bill displaying your current address.
- You’ll usually have quite a few different options for confirming your residence, so there’s no need to worry if you’re new to the area and haven’t updated your driver’s license or other personal ID yet.
- For a complete list of forms that can serve as proof of residence, look through the student registration resources found on your local school district’s website.
- Show proof of the child’s age. Next, you’ll need to produce any one of the following documents—original birth certificate, passport, baptism or religious certificate, or past education records. In some states, the parent or guardian can also present a notarized affidavit signed by a public health official stating his or her age.
- The school district is not legally allowed to ask for your child’s social security card or number, mental health records, or immigration status.
- It’s important for the school to know your child’s exact age so that they can confirm their grade level placement.
- Bring along a copy of your child’s immunization records. You can obtain immunization records from the past year by contacting your city’s health department. These documents verify that your child has been vaccinated within the last 12 months. They must be signed by a state-licensed physician or public health official in order to be considered valid.
- If you’re not sure what vaccinations are required for your child to attend public school, the answer may be found in the immunization guidelines published by your local health department.
- Your child may be able to attend school without having their immunization records on file if they qualify for an exemption on religious or medical grounds.
- Submit the results of your child’s recent medical exams. Some states or provinces also require evidence of a full medical markup or physical for students being enrolled for the first time. As with immunization, the medical exam must have been performed sometime within the last 12 months.
- Students who will be attending a new school for middle or high school may also have to undergo a medical exam.
- Check the registration requirements for your child’s school district to see if it’s necessary to turn over a copy of their medical records.
EditFinalizing Your Child’s Enrollment
- Request a copy of your transferring child’s transcripts. If your child is coming over from a different school, don’t forget to ask that his or her grades be sent over ahead of them. That way, they’ll receive credit for the work they’ve already done. The secretary at the central registration office will see that the transcripts find their way into the right hands.
- Be prepared to fill out a transcript request form for your child if they’re under the age of 18.
- It’s your responsibility to make sure your child’s transcripts get passed along every time they switch school districts.
- Ask about special programs. If your child is in need of an individualized education program (IEP), second language course, or outside tutoring, see if it’s possible to sign them up while you’re already at the registration office. You might be able to save yourself a separate trip or series of forms later on.
- The school district will need a copy of your child’s old IEP so that they can give them the attention they need.
- Information on extracurricular activities like TAG programs and special interest clubs is often available during enrollment.
- Pay any attendant fees. Some public school systems charge a small fee whenever you’re registering your child for a new school year. This money goes toward making sure students have access to meals, textbooks, educational software and other resources instrumental to their education. You can pay your child’s school fees in person at the central registration office.
- Registration fees typically add up to around $50-100 per student.
- For the sake of convenience, ask the secretary for a link where you can go to pay your child’s fees online.
- Check your child’s registration status after 5 days. Make a followup call to the central registration office and ask them to confirm that everything is in the proper order. The attending secretary will be able to alert you of any errors, missing documents, or other issues that could be causing a delay.
- Your child’s name should be added to their new school’s register no more than 5 business days after completing the necessary registration paperwork.
- If for any reason your child is not allowed to start school after being enrolled, file a formal complaint with the Department of Education for your state, province, or territory.
- Take care of the registration process at your earliest convenience to make sure your child will be able to attend school as soon as it starts.
- Your child cannot automatically be placed in an alternative education program at their new school, even if they were in one at their old school—enrolling them in a new school district essentially guarantees them a clean slate. The only exception is if they are currently expelled for a weapons offense. 
EditSources and Citations
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