Signing Up For School: What Your Child Will Need

Enrolling your child in school for the first time or transferring to a new school can be very stressful. Not only are you worried about your child’s success both academically and socially, but the enrollment process itself is daunting. Most school districts post a list of necessary enrollment documents online, or you can find out more by calling the school itself. However, the majority of schools do require a few standard documents listed below that you may want to begin gathering—then you will have much less to worry about when registration day arrives!

  • Birth Certificate – A birth certificate is a standard document required by nearly every school system for proof of age and identity. Before the day of registration, check your child’s certificate and make certain that it is a government-approved document with an official seal—not a souvenir copy that may have been provided by the hospital.
  • Immunization Record – An immunization record has a dual purpose. It proves that your child has all state-required vaccines, and it also can be used to prove identity. Your child’s doctor should be able to provide these documents upon request.
  • Parent’s ID and Proof of Custody – The documents that are required may vary from school to school, but generally a parent’s state-issued driver’s license or ID card is accepted for identification. Another requirement may be a court-issued custody agreement (if there is a joint custody situation.)
  • Proof of Address – You will likely have to prove the address where the family lives so the school system assures the child is in the correct district. This often takes the form of a mortgage or rent agreement, utility bill, bank statement or last year’s tax return document.
  • School Transcript (for Transfers) – If your child is moving from one school district to another, you may be required to provide an official transcript. This is usually provided by the school he or she is leaving and will be given to you in a sealed envelope to assure there is no tampering.
  • Other Paperwork – Depending on the exact situation you face, you may need additional paperwork for your child. If he or she is in a special education program, you may be asked provide an IEP (individualized educational plan) or 504 documents. Additionally, your school may require a statement from the child’s doctor to qualify him or her for specific services within the school setting. Typically if additional documents such as these are needed, your school district will advise you.

While you may not be able to completely stop worrying about your child’s first day at that new school, you can alleviate some of your own worries about registration by taking the time NOW to put together all needed documents. Then, when the big day comes, you should be able to get in, out and on your way—leaving your child to meet his or her teachers, make new friends and navigate the new halls of the school.



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