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How to Enroll a Child in School

If you’ve got young children at home, it seems like time just flies by. They’re crawling, and walking, and rarin’ to go in the blink of an eye. The time to enroll them in t school for the first time will be here before you know it. Some parents choose to enroll their children in preschool education, while others wait until kindergarten to get their kids in the school system. While most school districts have made the leap to digitizing records and services like online school registration, you’ll want to check with your child’s school. They sometimes require physical copies of your child’s records in order to enroll. Each state and even each district can be slightly different in requirements, so be sure to contact your child’s school to ensure you have their specific requirements. That being said, we’ve put together a few basic and common rules on how to enroll a child in school, and some of the documents you’ll definitely need.

How to enroll a child in school – documents you’ll need

Most schools across the U.S. require the same standard documents in order to enroll your child. Some districts and private schools require additional documentation, but when it comes to public schools, you can count on needing to provide these key records.

  • Completed application – Not every school requires you to complete an application to enroll, but this is becoming more and more common. Online school registration will always require you to complete an application when enrolling your child.
  • Proof of address – For a young child being enrolled in school for the first time, you’ll be required to provide proof of address. Some states allow parents to enroll their children in any school district regardless of their home address, while others require a child to be enrolled in the district they live in.
  • Proof of identification – Obviously your young children won’t have a license or ID, so their first and most secure form of official identification will be a certified copy of their birth certificate. You can obtain one through VitalChek.com.
  • Proof of immunization – While there are a select few exemptions, most public school districts require proof of immunization in order to enroll your child with them. 
  • Health records – It’s very common for a school to require proof that your child has recently seen a doctor and has been deemed healthy. Yearly physicals are important to ensure your kids are on track and thriving, and to ensure there are no underlying health issues to be concerned about. In some cases, these records may include vision and dental records. 
  • Proof of guardianship – In the event that your child is adopted, or that you are not the child’s biological parent, you may be required to provide proof of guardianship.
  • Emergency contact and other important directives – This is generally only done during new student registration, but every school will have you fill out forms that contain emergency contacts, who is allowed to pick up and drop off your child, and what to do in case of an emergency.

From school start dates to the age of your child, every school district will vary in their requirements. It’s best to do thorough research on the district and individual school you would like to enroll your child with. Some pre-k opportunities are free while others require a tuition. 

how to enroll a child in school
Have you checked out your states requirements for enrolling students? Knowing start dates is a good place to start when learning how to enroll a child in school.

Back to school resources – getting ready to head back to school

Whether you are enrolling your young student for the first time or you’ve got a seasoned professional at home, preparing for school generally means a whole new change in routine. Check out some helpful resources below to get your kids ready for the school year.

  • Back to school preparation – Getting your students ready for the change in routine
  • Back to school and enrollment FAQs – Where do I find supplies lists? Who do I call when my child will miss a day of school? We have a few answers to some common back to school questions.
  • Back to school shopping – Supplies lists for every teacher will vary, but things like backpacks, clothes, water bottles and day to day needs are pretty standard. 
  • Student identity safety – While online school registration becomes more standard, so goes the need to ensure your child’s identity is safe. Here are some tips to keep your child’s personal information safe when enrolling them in school.
  • Consider apps, calendars and planners – With a home full of working parents and active kids, it can be hard keeping everyone on schedule. Consider family meetings, agendas and apps to help keep your busy life organized.

It doesn’t matter if you have a young student enrolling for the first time, or a teenager headed to high school. Making the shift from summer vacation to school is a big change. If you haven’t done it before, knowing how to enroll a child in school might seem overwhelming. Hopefully we’ve made a bit of sense of the process for you. Now you can just enjoy watching your kiddos thrive! 

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