To enroll your child in a public school, the first step is to contact your local school district. If you're not sure which school district you live in, contact your local city or county government. A school district representative will be able to assist you with the registration process and can explain how to determine which school your child will attend. In most places, your child's school assignment is based on where you live. Some school districts also have school choice programs which allow you to apply to multiple public schools.
Once you know which school your child will attend, you will need to submit certain documentation. In most cases, this will include the following:
- Your child's original birth certificate, passport, or other government-issued ID.
- Proof of address in the form of a lease agreement, mortgage statement, utility bill, etc.
- Your child's immunization records.
Some school districts will allow you to complete at least part of the enrollment process online, but in general, you will need to make an appointment at the school or school district office in order to submit paperwork, etc.
Depending on where you live, there might also be the option to attend charter schools (independently operated, publicly funded schools) or private schools (tuition-based independent schools). To find out more about what school options exist in your area, try using Noodle's school search tool. You might also find it helpful to browse Noodle's articles and advice about finding a school and starting a new school.